Herrick's Joseph Manfredi wrestles Hauppauge's Mikey Manta in 110 pound...

Herrick's Joseph Manfredi wrestles Hauppauge's Mikey Manta in 110 pound Division 1 final of the 2022 NYSPHSAA wrestling championships on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, at the MVP Arena in Albany, N.Y. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

What’s next? Joseph Manfredi fresh off a state championship, isn’t satisfied. The win isn’t the mountain top, it’s merely part of the journey.

"I have to keep moving forward and see what’s next," Manfredi said. "I know I want to get to the next level, I want to be a Division I athlete."

Manfredi is Newsday’s Athlete of the week. The sophomore became Herricks first state champion in wrestling since 2007, securing the 110-pound title after a win over Hauppauge’s Mikey Manta at MVP Arena in Albany.

It was no surprise to see Manfredi be crowned victorious as he finished 53-0 this season and went into the 110-pound event as the number one seed.

"It felt good to kind of show that our program is still here," Manfredi said. "We showed that we’re capable and still a good team."

Part of what makes Manfredi successful is his ability to recognize when there is room for improvement. Before heading into his final matchup, he acknowledged his shortcomings in the semifinal, despite winning a 4-2 decision.

"The matchup in the semis was one of my worst, definitely my worst of the tournament," Manfredi said. "I knew I had to be better prepared for the final."

His preparation before getting on the mat is heavily mental. It isn’t so much about who the opponent is, but more so Manfredi focusing on his game.

"I aim to remain calm and try to stay loose," Manfredi said. "I focus on wrestling how I wrestle; I don’t let my opponent dictate what I’m going to do."

For the last five years wrestling has been the focal point of Manfredi’s life. He credits the sport with helping mold him into the person he is today.

"It definitely makes you tougher, everything about it, from losing weight to competing" Manfredi said. "It really brings out your personality."

Now Manfredi will use the next few years to try to bolster his resume in hopes of achieving his goal of competing at the next level.

"I definitely think I’m on the right path, but there’s a lot more I have to do," Manfredi said. "Have to keep my grades intact and correct any mistake in my wrestling."

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