PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – The Grippi brothers introduction to wrestling came in the form of watching World Wrestling Entertainment.
Current Fox Lane senior Tommy, along with older brothers Joey and Peter, would execute the moves in the family living room, resulting in broken furniture in their Bedford Hills home and the ire of their father.
The trio would eventually make their way to the Fox Lane Booster Club kids’ program and then to the Fox Lane varsity. Joey Grippi paved the way, followed by Peter and Tommy. Now Tommy is leading the way for younger brother Matt, a seventh-grader.
Tommy Grippi kept the Grippi brothers’ wrestling tradition going Monday, winning the 145-pound Section 1 large-school title at Pace University.
Grippi qualified for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Wrestling Championships Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22 and 23, at the Albany Times-Union Center.
It was Tommy Grippi’s second sectional title, matching Joey, and his family-leading 197th win. Matt Grippi became the first Grippi brother to place as a seventh-grader, finishing third at 106 pounds.
Joey and Peter Grippi were both in attendance to watch their younger brothers. Joey Grippi was in the coaches’ corner during his brothers’ matches.
“Once we got into wrestling, we got a mat in our house,” said Tommy Grippi, who began wrestling in third grade.
Joey, a Springfield College senior who is currently ranked No. 1 at 141 pounds in Division III, joined varsity in eighth grade, as did Peter, a Springfield College sophomore wrestler, and Tommy. Matt is the only brother to be promoted in seventh grade.
Tommy Grippi defeated R.C. Ketcham’s Brad Marvin, 6-2, in the final. He said having Joey and Peter at Pace was a major boost.
“They gave me confidence because they were both in this situation before,” said Grippi of a sectional final. “It helps when you have older brothers who can help you out. Having Peter in the stands and Joey on the floor, in my corner, was a good feeling.”
Tommy Grippi was without his brothers on varsity last year, which was something new for him. This year, he welcomed Matt.
“Matt can be a little bit of a pain,” said Grippi, with a laugh. “He’s always asking me for advice but then he won’t listen to me. And when he does something wrong, he blames it me.”
All kidding aside, Grippi said it’s great that Matt is on the team with him and he was quite psyched when little brother finished third.