Grossi wins three matches at state wrestling tournament

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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Troy Grossi didn’t earn a medal at the state wrestling tournament in Bakersfield over the weekend, but the Vista del Lago senior performed well in winning two matches against the toughest competition the state has to offer.

All in all, it was a solid performance for Grossi.

“I didn’t know what to expect, but I was really just happy to win a match,” Grossi said. “When I won the second one, it was even better. I finished in the top-16 and I was ranked 30th so I did better than expected.”

Grossi dropped his opening match, 6-1, to Tyler Zimmer, before advancing to the second round of consolation when his opponent injury defaulted out of the tournament. In the second round is where Grossi picked up his first win, defeating Jonathan Villapania of Gridley, 7-4. He followed it up with a 12-1 victory over Matt Boles of Durham.

“Winning that first match relieved a lot of stress because there is a lot of stress down there,” Grossi said. “After that first win, the tournament’s not that bad. Winning that second match was even better.”

Grossi was then eliminated from the tournament following an 8-7 loss to Josh Cortes of Thousand Oaks.

“That was his heartbreaking match,” Vista coach Frank Richmond said. “He almost pinned the guy in the first period, just missing it by a quarter of a second at the end of the period, but had a 5-0 lead. The kid was tough, though, and fought back and Troy led by two in the third period before the kid turned him for three points. Troy missed a reversal by a half-a-second at the end of the match.”

Despite the loss and missing the medal round by two wins, Grossi was appreciated of the opportunity to compete in wrestling for the last seven years.

“Wrestling taught me that it’s not always about the win, but about the journey,” Grossi said. “It’s not about getting knocked down, but getting back up and getting that hope and strength again.”

Richmond added, “Troy wrestled great. We told him not to settle. A lot of guys get to state and are just happy to be there, but Troy went down there and performed and finished in the top-16 and was one point from a top-12 finish.”