While Thanksgiving marks the beginning of a relatively quiet, carefree season for many, itÂ signals a new season on the mats for disciplined wrestlers like St. Peter’s Prep standout Niccolo Colucci.Â
By Ruben Candelaria/Hudson County View
Picture this: you arrive in Jersey City on a chilly night walking through a football field, into an athletic facility. You take the elevator two flights up walking through the doors of a wrestling practice facility.
All of the grapplers are exhausted after a grueling practice, but through there is one athlete in particular that catches your attention: his name is Niccolo Colucci.
He is a Senior at St. Peters Prep High School and heâ€™s been wrestling for at least 10 years, following in the footsteps of his brother, Christian Colucci, who was a state champion.
Niccolo Colucci is coming off an impressive 2017-2018 season with 20 wins and 9 losses.
Six of those wins were decided by pins, one major decision and two technical falls to add
to his impressive season.
This is a drastic improvement upon his freshman year, where he amassed just nine wins and 17 loses.
â€œIâ€™ve grown up a little bit, I was young as a freshman. I put in more time then I had in years past out of season. So, just focusing on getting better out of season and making some changes,” he said when asked about the improvements to his game.
Some of those changes included practicing every day, hitting the weight room hard and taking a cleaner, more serious approach to his daily diet.
Last year, Colucci made the national championship in North Carolina called the Super 32.
After losing the first match, he showed significant resiliency by winning six matches in a row.
Despite being unsuccessful in that tournament, his expectations going into this season is to stand on top of the podium as a champion as often as possible.
â€œI lost my first match and it was easy to get down on yourself losing early but then, being able to rally and win six matches in a row I thought showed my mental toughness,” Colucci recalled.
Colucciâ€™s preparation leading up to a match is simple: he doesnâ€™t think about his match and focuses on staying relaxed. Then, gets into the trainersâ€™ office to get some Stim which, is an electric shock of sorts for his muscles. Next, comes the heating pad, a nap, and getting some homework done.
Immediately before the match, his playlist consists of songs from artists like Travis Scott to help him focus before it’s time to get the job done.
Overall, Colucci expressed gratitude towards St. Peters Prep for being helpful with the student/athlete balance.
â€œThey give us a lot of time to do our work in school. So, Iâ€™ve got free time during the day and Iâ€™m working all day in with the teachers in the classrooms to get extra help,” he explained.
“Also, making sure Iâ€™m doing my homework so, when I get home, I can get to bed early and Iâ€™m not feeling tired for school or practice the next day.â€
After high school, Colucci hopes to be an NCAA Champion. He also noted that he loves mathematics and currently plans to pursue a college degree in engineering – his current dream job.