Wrestling may not have many similarities to football and lacrosse at first glance, but when it comes down to examining the psyches of each sport, that’s where the parallels begin for Massapequa’s Angelo Petrakis.
“I think mental toughness is definitely a huge part of wrestling,” Petrakis said. “And it helps being a multi-sport athlete. That work ethic to push yourself to the next level is key because even though football and lacrosse is extremely grueling, wrestling takes it the next level.”
Petrakis, a senior three-sport athlete at Massapequa, has excelled on the lacrosse field, gridiron and the mat. After going undefeated in his four matches at the state Division I dual meet championship at the SRC Arena in Syracuse January 26, Petrakis helped lead his team to a state crown and has been named Newsday’s Athlete of the Week.
“It was a dream come true,” Petrakis said, the top ranked 182-pound wrestler in Nassau. “I’ve dreamed of this since I’ve started wrestling. It means everything to this program and this town and I couldn’t be happier to get it done with these guys.”
In just the second year of an official dual-meet state championship in wrestling, the Chiefs were excited to be able to bring home a title like many other programs in the school. With six-year varsity wrestler Petrakis leading the way.
“I think one of the things we pride ourselves on at Massapequa is knowing your individual role,” he said. “And I’m extremely happy I was able to fulfill my role on the team. Go 4-0 and we all executed as we wanted to. It was a perfect weekend.”
And Massapequa coach Ron Serrano said Petrakis’ experiences as a multi-sport athlete helps the senior in pressure moments.
“He’s been in the limelight in a lot of different scenarios over the years,” Serrano said. “And when you go out there 1-and-1, it’s not as scary because he’s been battle-tested.”
After placing third in last season’s county championships, Petrakis, who will play lacrosse at Cornell, wants to end his high school wrestling tenure with the ultimate prize.
“I fell short of my goal but that only made me hungrier,” Petrakis said. “Coming into this season, I had a goal. I’ve had a goal to be No. 1 in the county and I can’t wait to see it all pays off.”
“I think a state title is within reach and that’s his goal right now,” Serrano said. “And it’s not a high expectation. It’s a reasonable one.”