What was it like for Matt Grippi to be wrestling for Fox Lane’s varsity last year as a seventh-grader? It was like being at home.
The eighth-grader at Fox Lane Middle School has three older brothers, all of whom wrestle, so competing against high school students the last two years was nothing new for him.
Grippi advanced to the Section 1 semifinals at 106 pounds as a seventh-grader and reached the section final this year in the 120-pound class. He hopes that’s just the tip of the iceberg: His goal is to win four section titles and four state titles in his four high school seasons.
“Now since I’ve grown so much, I just go into every match thinking I’m going to win, and I just don’t think I can lose,” Grippi says.
Grippi started learning his way around the mat when he was about 5, wrestling in Fox Lane’s youth program, at Iowa Style Wrestling in Somers, and, of course, with his brothers. Having proven himself among the section’s best wrestlers already, Grippi’s confidence is sky-high.
“No matter how old they are, I think I could beat them. I have no fear of losing. Last year, I was a little nervous before every match. Now, I have no fear at all.”