Seven seniors recognized for dedication to wrestling
Shelton wrestling recognized its eight seniors prior to the Gaels match with Notre Dame-West Haven last week in the Vincent Murray Gymnasium.
Coach Bill Maloney welcomed the Green Knights and their seniors before calling Shelton’s upper class to the mat along with their family members. Teammates read accolades and memories for each of the seniors — Chris Cavagnuolo, Garrett Ziperstein, Adam Rosetti, team manager Allison Drapp, Brady Havee, team manager Michelle Marty and Christian Olavarria.
A team captain and three-year varsity wrestler, Cavagnuolo wrestles in the 120-pound weight class. An honor roll student with a 3.7 grade point average, he plans on attending the University of Connecticut, where he will study business. Teammate Mason Stutheit said of the two-time tournament placer. “In the time that I have known Chris, he has constantly included me in whatever he was doing. It may not seem like a big deal to most, but to me it means a lot. He looked past who I wanted to be and saw who I really was. He wanted to understand me. I’ve learned a lot from him, from wrestling to being a good friend.”
A three-year wrestler with 79 wins to his credit, Ziperstein competes at 126 pounds and is a team captain. An honor roll student every marking period, he is a member of the Spanish National Honor Society. Ziperstein received the Science Outstanding Academic Achievement Award, the James L. Homes Shelton High Boys Soccer Scholarship Award and recently completed his Eagle Scout Project for the City of Shelton. Teammate Graham Ziperstein said of his brother, “Garrett is one of the hardest workers on the team, whether he is staying after practice and working out, maintaining his weight, or pushing the team to its limit. This past summer he earned a spot on the Connecticut National Wrestling team. He is a great brother that I’m lucky to have.”
A first-year wrestler, Rosetti competes in the 132-pound weight class. An honor roll student, he is captain of the tennis team where he earned the Most Improved Player Award. He plans on attending Southern Connecticut State University. Teammate Justin Ayora said, “Adam has done so much within his two-month experience. I know you give it everything whenever you step onto the mat. That motivates me and everyone else on the team. I’m glad to say I’m sharing this journey with not only a good wrestling partner, but with a good friend.”
A three-year team manager, Drapp is also manager for the Aspetuck Valley Rugby Club. A member of the Spanish National Honor Society and an honor roll student, Drapp will attend Bentley University, where she will study accounting and finance. Fellow team manager Ginny Sebas said, “Her excitement and passion for helping the team was evident through how she was talking about her experiences, which was how she was able to convince me to manage the wrestling team. Allison has been a great friend throughout the process, and I couldn’t imagine being a manager these past two years without her. She has been a great help to the team not only as a manager, but as a friend.”
A first-year wrestler at Shelton, where he competes in the 195-pound weight class, Havee plans to serve our country upon graduation by joining the US Army. Teammate and captain Mike Monaco said, “Brady may be new to Shelton wrestling, but that doesn’t mean he is a rookie. Brady is a living example that hard work pays off. He told me he once weighed over 300 pounds. But with his hard work, he has shaped himself into who he is now. Brady is a hard worker on the mat, in practice, and in school. Brady has inspired me to shape myself into not only the best wrestler I can be, but the best person I can be.”
Marty is so accomplished at her position that she was presented the Sportsmanship Award — which usually is given to a wrestler — at this year’s Shoreline Scuffle in Branford. A three-year manager, Marty will pursue a degree in criminal justice. Fellow team manager Ginny Sebas said, “Michelle never shies away from helping the team and the people around her. She has a great sense of humor (joking with the wrestlers). Shelly has helped the team though tough days of the season. Thanks for all your hard work.”
In his second season on the varsity, Olavarria wrestles in the 138-pound weight class. A member of the Shelton Fire Department, he will pursue a degree in business management. Teammate Matt Weiner said, “There is one thing that anyone who watches Christian’s matches notices; he is a fighter. If every match came down to who has more heart and determination, Christian would never lose a match. I am not at all worried about what will happen to Christian after high school because I know, whatever it is, he will work hard and succeed.”
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