Athlete Spotlight: Richie Rizzuto

Richie Rizzuto, a sophomore wrestler at Leesville Road High, is taking the high school wrestling scene by storm. This past season–Rizzuto’s first in the starting lineup–he achieved or surpassed nearly every goal set for himself: numerous tournament titles (including a Regional Championship), qualification for the prestigious NCHSAA State tournament, and a sophomore season record of 52-9.

“My freshman year, I was a second string wrestler,” said Rizzuto. “I had a record of 2-9 and was clearly brand new to the sport–but I was hooked.”

From the moment his freshman season ended, Rizzuto began training for next season. Every weekday was filled with club wrestling–between Wolfpack Wrestling Club at NC State and Tank Wrestling Wearhouse in Goldsboro–and every evening was spent practicing. In addition, Rizzuto spent nearly every weekend traveling to compete in wrestling tournaments. As if all of this wasn’t enough, he also spent time at three different “intensive training” wrestling camps: Appalachian State Team Camp (Boone, NC), Bulldogs Wrestling Camp (Lakeland,FL), and Jeff Jordan State Champ Camp (Urbana, OH).

“I started to make friends from other schools at these tournaments, and I went to train with them,” said Rizzuto. “The connections I made with strong wrestlers have made me so much better.”

Some of these helpful connections were made within his own team. “Max Buico (sophomore) has been there for me since the beginning–he pushes me, competes with me, and reminds me to keep a good mindset during tournaments. I have to thank him for a lot of my success,” said Rizzuto.

Richie Rizzuto is an athlete on a mission; he won’t stop until he becomes the very best he can be. His sophomore season has just reached its end, and the offseason has just begun. As Rizzuto continues his vigorous training, we wait in anticipation to see what success will follow him in his next season.

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