Charleroi's Gavazzi hopes to remain unbeaten, claim regional title
By Chris Adamski
Published: Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
By his own admission, Nick Gavazzi achieved what he had set out to achieve when he won the 138-pound WPIAL Class AA individual wrestling championship last season.
This time, he's not nearly as content with a mere WPIAL title. Gavazzi, a junior at Charleroi, wants so much more.
Gavazzi is out to improve on his fifth-place finish at last year's PIAA Southwest Regional individual wrestling tournament as he preps for this season's event Friday and Saturday at Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown.
“Last year, I think I lost focus after WPIALs,” said Gavazzi, who still competes in the 138-pound weight class. “That was the ultimate goal, but this year the priorities are slightly higher and I'm keeping focused. I've got to take it one match at a time, though, and look just at the first one right now.”
Spoken like a wrestler who truly has mastered the mental side of his craft.
Gavazzi has mastered virtually every part of his game this season — his record speaks for itself and says so. He's 32-0 after sweeping sections and WPIALs, improving his high school career record to 97-12.
There's a good chance Gavazzi reaches the 100-victory mark this weekend. To win the Southwest Region title, he will need to win four consecutive matches.
Last season, it was Blairsville's Noah Tarr who eliminated Gavazzi in the Southwest semifinals. Gavazzi already has avenged that defeat, at the Southmoreland tournament in December.
“That helped his confidence,” Charleroi wrestling coach Chad Alexis said. “Last year, being a sophomore, he was still young, and it really affected him in the regional tournament. He got down on himself before he ended up coming back to take fifth to go to states.
“Mentally, I know it bothered him a lot. I definitely think there's another step in him of reaching the goal of placing high on the (PIAA championships) podium this year.”
Last season, Gavazzi won one of his three matches at the PIAA individual championships in Hershey. This season's championships are next week, and Gavazzi will be there — provided he finishes among the top five at the Southwest Regional, of course.
Besides turning the tables on Tarr, Alexis points to another match that has shown Gavazzi is a different wrestler than he was last season. In the Section 2-AA championship match last week, Gavazzi fell behind Jefferson-Morgan's Jason Miller when Miller caught him in a five-point move late in the first period.
“Nick kept his composure and wrestled back and pulled out a victory,” Alexis said. “His biggest thing is maintaining that composure, keeping his mentality and just not getting too frustrated.”
Gavazzi added: “You've got to be mentally tough. You definitely can't let one thing ruin you. Stay composed. Even if you are losing, just keep pressing.”
Gavazzi has been wrestling since he was young, following in the footsteps of older brother Casey, who also wrestled at Charleroi. Nick Gavazzi wrestles year-round, and Alexis said his work ethic and explosiveness are his best attributes.
“I'm still maturing, factoring in my past experiences,” Gavazzi said. “Success, it's the hard work you put into it.
“You've got to get better everyday. That's the goal every day — get a little better, and I think that's what's put me on the next level this year. I've really put in the work, and I guess it's showing on the mat.”
Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Garden Q&A: Firecracker vine OK for trellis?
- Starkey: Penguins’ arrogance astounding
- Matt Calvert’s goal in double OT evens series for Blue Jackets
- A-K Valley high school notebook: Deer Lakes, Freeport to pick up where they left off
- Late Arnold baseball coach was tough, fair
- Tax law proves its worth by bringing in lost revenue
- Penguins’ Gibbons scores twice but leaves with apparent injury
- Second-period short-handed goal gives Blue Jackets momentum
- Mail for IRS delivered to Squirrel Hill home
- Unbeaten Arizona outlasts Power, 73-69
- Trib prospect: Aliquippa’s Patrick Anderson