BEDFORD, N.Y. -- Fox Lane graduate Matt Pasqualini knew he wanted to continue wrestling in college, no matter where he was going.
Once Pasqualini, the 2012 Section 1 Large-School 160-pound champion and fifth-place state-finisher, made his decision on Big 10 power Michigan State, nothing changed.
“I wanted to go to a big Division I school and Michigan State was my first choice,” said Pasqualini, who was also considering West Virginia and Drexel. “Once I made my decision I spoke to the coaches and told them I wanted to walk on to the team. We talked about what wrestling for the team would be like and their schedule/plans for the year.”
Pasqualini, who was a sectional finalist his junior year, spent his summer preparing for the grueling college wrestling practices. Pasqualini worked extensively with former Horace Greeley great and current assistant coach Anthony Tortora, who wrestled at Hofstra. He also spoke to former Fox Lane teammate and friend Steven Rodrigues, who is wrestling for Illinois, and club coach John Degl, a former Iowa wrestler.
“I wrestled a lot with college guys, especially Anthony, so I could get a feel for it and experience what they went through,” Pasqualini said. “John went to Iowa so he was telling me what wrestling in the Big 10 was like. Steven also told me what his year was like.”
Pasqualini said he understands he will have to increase his work ethic and dedication just to make the team.
“My coaches have prepared me for this,” Pasqualini said. “Walking on to a Big 10 wrestling team is not an easy thing to do but I have mentally prepared myself and will do whatever is thrown my way.”