By Marissa Spears
Junior Anthony Cheloni wrestles in the 132-lb. weight class for Marmion Academy in Aurora, Ill and is currently ranked third in the state. This weekend Cheloni wrestles Dylan Duncan, number two in the state. If he wins this match he will move up in state rankings.
Q: What is one thing that really interests you or excites you? This could be a sport or a hobby. A: Wrestling.
Q:What is something you do to practice and improve your wrestling?
A : I practice six days a week for about two hours each day. and I work on my technique with my partner AJ Jaffe afterwards to put in more time.
Q:What do you do during the offseason to practice and maintain your wrestling skills?
A: I find time to get into the practice room and keep working on technique. Along with going to as many tournaments as I can before nationals. I also compete in freestyle and greco, which are two different kinds of wrestling.
Q: During the offseason when there is no school practice room where do you go to practice? Through which organization?
A: Overtime School of Wrestling in Naperville.
Q: Who is the head coach there?
A: Carey Bowman
Q: What type of wrestling do you do through the school? Which is your favorite and why?
A: Through school, the style of wrestling is folk style. I prefer folk style, because it’s what I have been wrestling most since I was six years old and I have more background knowledge in that style.
Q: What got you into this hobby / when did you start?
A: An old football coach talked to my dad and suggested that I should go try SCN Youth Wrestling and said it would be a good idea because he thought I would fall into the category and enjoy the sport. This was when I was six years old.
Q: Why did this coach recommend wrestling for you? What potential in you made him think you would be good in wrestling?
A: He watched me play football with him for two years and I guess just watching me tackle and my endurance he thought I could be a good wrestler. Since I liked hitting and tackling he thought it would be even better for me to try a more intense sport.
Q: What is your personal goal for this season of wrestling– school season?
A: Finish first in state and the top ten in the country for my weight class 132.
Q: Who has been the biggest role model/ inspiration or supporter for you during your wrestling career?
A: My dad and my partner AJ Jaffe.
Q: How do they push you to become a better wrestler?
A: My dad has just been behind me for the last 11 years and not pushing me to the point where I want to break, and even when I have reached that point he has helped me to realise that it’s about the sport and to have fun. Not to worry about wins and loses. AJ has been like a brother to me and he’s always been like a brother to me. He just sees the potential in me and he helps me realize what I’m capable of. He’s always staying with me after practice to help me get my technique up to where it should be. He has never allowed me to quit along with helping me become a better person.
Q: What are you plans for after high school?
A: I plan to get a scholarship to a D1 college and continue to wrestle throughout college.
Q: What do you plan to study if you plan on attending college?
A: Marketing or accounting something in the business field.
Q: What has inspired you to study this or go into this career?
A: I have just always been good at math and I think it would come easy to me.
Q: What is one future goal you hope to accomplish in ten years?
A: I plan finish high school and college, get a good paying job and start a family.
Q: Do you have any big important matches coming up?
A: On Saturday, Marmion wrestles against Montini, our rivals, and I go against their 132-pounder, Dylan Duncan. He is ranked number two in Illinois and eighth in the country. I am currently ranked third.
Q: Do you think this is going to be a tough match?
A: Yes because Duncan is a very technical wrestler and very smart. He is very precise about his technique.
Q: What would you say are Duncan’s advantages / disadvantages, along with your own?
A: He is very good on top. He is very good at turning. I think one of his disadvantages are that he isn’t that good on his feet nor on bottom. I’d say I’m pretty good on top and have good defense on bottom. My disadvantage is that I don’t do very well on my feet.
Q: What are you working on in order to get ready for this big match?
A: I am working with my partner AJ after practice every day to work at getting better on my feet and making sure I won’t have a problem on bottom.
Q: How did you do during last years wrestling season?
A : I had a long season and came into the finals with 11 losses. I beat the number one kid in state, Bobby Alexander, advancing myself into the finals against Shane Oyster (138 pounds).
Q: Why do you think it was that you didn’t beat Oyster?
A: It was a 3-3 match and then I cut him making it 4-3. I just didn’t come in prepared to get a takedown to secure the victory.
Q: What have you done to improve from this last season to make sure what happened last years finals won’t happen again?
A: I improved on my feet and cleaned up the other parts of my wrestling to make my moves cleaner for a bigger impact.