The names Nick Meinsen, Nick Terdick, Matt Fusaro, and James Dekrone most readily slide off tongues when wrestling fans describe the impact of the John Glenn dynasty. Since John Glenn exploded into dominance in 2009, capturing their first of two consecutive Section XI team titles, and now set their sights on the coveted hat-trick, Joe Giaramita has been a quiet source of strength.
When you think of Cinderella stories, few compare to Giaramita’s Phoenix like accomplishments in the 2009 Section XI tournament. In the League tournament only a week before, Giaramita battled for third place with a 4-1 decision over Scott Carey of Westhampton Beach. Who could have predicted what was to come? He was never ranked; never talked about on the forums. His teammate, Mike Bosco, and opponent at 145lbs was ranked throughout the season and placed higher at Leagues taking second.
Joe Giaramita! “Who’s he?” was the fans’ reaction as he pinned his way into the semifinals to face teammate Mike Bosco. He defeated Giaramita earlier in the season by 2-1 decision. In the semifinal bout, there was one motivating thought that drove him to victory. “I didn’t want to wrestle 2 more matches,” said Giaramita. After defeating his teammate for the finals berth, he lost a 5-1 decision to future state champion, Anthony Volpe.
Proving his runner-up finish was no fluke in 2009, Giaramita grew four weight classes to compete at 189lbs. Few wrestlers have been successful after moving up only two weights, he jumped four and placed third in sections in 2010. A wild card gave him an opportunity to compete for a State title, but a repeat Cinderella tale was not to be.
Giaramita enters the 2011 Section XI tournament with a 30-3 record. “My goal is to first win the counties and then the states,” said Giaramita. Two of those losses are repeats to Frank Abbondanza of Mount Sinai, and the most recent was last week when he lost 1-0 in the League 6 finals.
The obstacles are present, but this competitor will never let a setback distract him from his goals. Whatever the outcome, Giaramita has shown us all how to walk like a champion: let go of the past, focus on the goal, and don’t get distracted by the talk.
For some exciting wrestling this weekend, make sure you pay attention to this weight class.
Giaramita answered a few questions to give us a side of the wrestler we don’t often get to know much about….
LHW: What kind of competitor were you when you first started?
Giaramita: I really didnt know much about wrestling when I first started ,but I won most of my matches.
LHW: What’s the best wrestling advice that anyone has given you?
Giaramita: Everything you do in the regular season is only to get you better for the post season.
LHW: What would be the best advice you could give any wrestler reading this?
Giaramita: My advice to another wrestler would be to dream big.
LHW: Why do you wrestle?
Giaramita: I enjoy the sport because you get to become closer with your friends and it will discipline you for later in life .You can always take some anger out on the other opponent.
LHW: What person(s) has had the biggest impact on your wrestling career, how, and why?
Giaramita: My dad becuase he introduced me to the sport.
LHW: What’s your most memorable match and why?
Giaramita: When I placed third in my league my sophomore year at 145lbs, I was able to make it to the County finals from a rat tail.
LHW: What match still troubles you when you think about it?
Giaramita: The match in the State tournament last year that I lost in double OT. If I had won I would have had a chance of placing.
LHW: What’s your favorite song/Band?
Giaramita: Lupe Fiasco –The show goes on.
LHW: What’s your favorite movie and why?
Giaramita: The Godfather .. it dosent get better than the Classics
LHW: What’s your favorite book and why?
Giaramita: All the Harry Potter books. I’m a big fan of fiction .
LHW: When not wrestling, what are some of your interests and/or hobbies?
Giaramita: Football, backyard sports with my friends.
LHW: What are three things most people don’t know about you that you think they would be surprised to learn?
Giaramita: I wrestled 45lbs higher my junior year after my sophomore season. I watch the vampire diaries, and I read the bible every night.
LHW: Are there any final words you’d like to leave your adoring fans with?
Giaramita: “Stay Classy San Diego ” –Ron Burgundy.
Thank you Joe for taking the time to speak with Lighthouse Wrestling. Congratulations on an outstanding high school career. We wish you Godspeed in your pursuits.