11 NCAA Div. III national team championships
(What you won't find on Facebook...even if you are approved as a friend)
Hometown: Perkasie, Pa.
High School: Pennridge
I came on my visit and just loved the feel of everything--smaller school, start a new team, small class size, and a lot of personal connections with everyone. It was really just a great fit for me. I've been out here for 4 years and looking back on it I wouldn’t change a thing.
Your favorite professor and why?
Throughout the years I have had a lot of great professors--too many to name. It's really hard to put a favorite one out there because they are all great. If I had to pick one though I’d say Dave Pavlat, he is very knowledgeable and just willing to help with anything he can to get you to understand the info. Being an exercise science major I have had him for a few of my classes and every one is a blast. He helps lighten even the toughest subjects with jokes and just really cares.
You know I’d like to say I have it planned out but I really don’t. I'd love to do a lot of different things with my life, and don’t really see one job being the only thing I do. For now I’d like to get into the fitness world and help people and teams reach personal goals they never thought they could, and I'll probably stay in wrestling as long as my body lets me. In the future I really hope to be a great husband and father and just be happy with whatever I am doing.
The food you love but can’t eat during season
Haha there are a lot of them but I'd probably say pastas lol. I’m Italian and have always loved a good home cooked meal. It doesn’t take much to make me happy as far as food goes but pasta I do miss.
Who is tougher – you or your brother?
I grew up with an older brother who is a year and a half older than me. He was always bigger and better then me at most things but never wrestling. Nowadays just because of all the work I have put in through the years with wrestling I’m probably a little tougher then he his. Hope he doesn’t read this though haha.
What you like best about this year’s team
This is the first team we have had in my four years with some real size to it lol. When we eat together we all need to put together a bunch of tables and when we travel we need big busses. It makes me feel like we finally are making some big steps towards what we have been working for the past four years. We've got a lot of talent and a ton of enthusiasm with a lot of our new guys and I really think they will get the team back up on top where we belong.
Your favorite sports-related movie
I am from Philly so I've got to give a shout out to my boy ROCKY. Any of those movies get me going and I just love the character in them as corny as it maybe.
The thing most people don’t know about Coach Van Kley
As nice and polite as VK is when he isn’t on the mat he is one of the hardest working and toughest guys I have ever met. He regularly outworks college kids in the room. You might score on him or even get up a few points but every one of them you fought tooth and nail for and he will most likely make you pay for haha. I can’t say enough good things about coach but he is not the kind of guy you want to get in a scrap with haha.
Person past or present you’d like to have lunch with
I’d like to meet my self in 30 years and sit down and see how I did in life--who I still see, how my kids are doing lol maybe get some game scores haha. I’d like to learn a few things I only saw when I looked back and plus I feel like we would get along haha.
The toughest part of practice
I would say all of them, the whole season is tough. We go in every day knowing we are going to war, we are going to test ourselves, and each other, and our coaches are going to do everything they can to push us past the point of exhaustion. But when it’s all over 5 minutes later and you're in the locker room joking around with your brothers not once do you think it’s not worth all the blood, sweat and tears.
What you would do with a time machine
Hmmm…. I'd get the winning numbers for the Powerball so me and Beekman could split it and do what we always talk about with our millions. Haha but seriously I’m not sure. Maybe see some past wars or gladiators, go back and see a t-rex haha sell it who knows I would have some fun is for sure though.
I always say a prayer before my match and slap my legs before I go out but that’s about it. I’m not too superstitious or anything so it’s not really a big deal to me.
What you like best about Pella, Iowa
Well it’s a nice, small town. You never have to worry about getting mugged or your car stolen. Everyone is really nice compared to people back east. No matter who you are or if you know them people are willing to lend a helping hand.
Teammate most likely win Fear Factor and why
Greg Barner. He is a bear for godsakes he will eat anything and is a great climber. Plus bears fear nothing, but he is easily distracted so its 50-50
Travel the world, sky dive, own a private zoo, win the lotto, open a restaurant, manage a country singer, live life to the fullest every day, help my family and friends, be a dad and husband, set a world record, learn magic, win a belt in anything haha, catch a shark, and own a classic car collection.
See previous close-ups.