Home Is Here For World Wrestler
Huntington is home to many impressive people, and one of them is the professional wrestler who is currently ranked eighth in the world.
Anthony Schettino, who recently wrestled in the Veterans World Championships in Bosnia, is a native of Long Island. He grew up in Port Washington and has lived in Huntington Station for the past 16 years.
Schettino placed eighth at the Veterans World Championships in October in the 40-45 Veterans age group, and wrestled in the 152 lb. weight class. He also earned a bronze medal at the 2013 US Nationals in Las Vegas in April.
“My whole life is wrestling,” Schettino said. “It teaches a lot of lessons like hard work, responsibility, dedication and determination that play into so many facets in your life.”
Schettino began wrestling in the fourth grade. He went on to wrestle in middle school, high school and college. He is in his 22nd year of coaching wrestling at the Port Washington high school he attended, and he also coaches football and baseball at the Green Vale School in Old Brookville, where he is a technology teacher.
After not competing for 15 years, Schettino decided to participate in the 2012 US Nationals after he reconnected with a high school wrestling friend. A severe injury to the elbow during training prevented him from competing that year, but his friends inspired him to continue training for the 2013 US Nationals in Las Vegas in April 2013.
It was a long and hard journey for Schettino to get his body and mind back into competition mode. And he wasn’t just going to be going up against average wrestlers – he would be wrestling the best in the nation and even the world.
At the time, he planned to enter at 167.5 lbs., but another injury to his elbow during training changed his mind. At that weight, he would be one of the smallest in his class, so Schettino decided to drop down to 152 lbs., where he believed he would find more success.
The decision to drop such a significant amount of weight added to the intensity of the wrestler’s workouts and training regimen, which he often made time for after a long day’s work. He even traveled into New York City about three times a week after teaching and coaching to train with top wrestlers.
It was all worth it for Schettino, who went 3-2 at the 2013 US Nationals, which included winning the bronze medal, two pins, a win over the Russian Greco-Roman champion, All-American honors, and the opportunity to compete at the 2013 World Championship with the USA Team in Bosnia.
On his way home from the world competition in Bosnia after about five months of extreme preparation, Schettino said he was overwhelmed with a sense of accomplishment and gratitude for his experience. He kept a journal of his journey, and in it he wrote, “I’ve learned so much about myself. I’ve become a better athlete, wrestler, father, husband, and man through the process.”
Schettino is married and has two children. Tyler, 10, has been wrestling since he was in kindergarten and Lily, 8, is a dancer who will soon also begin playing basketball.
“A commitment like this is tremendous,” Schettino said. “I had an insane training regimen and the sacrifice isn’t just about you, it’s about your family too.”
Schettino has put immeasurable effort into balancing time for his jobs, family and training for world-class wrestling tournaments. He is also currently the secretary of Section XI USA Wrestling and owns and operates Advantage Wrestling LLC, a wrestling club based out of the Green Vale School Sports Complex.
Schettino watched his beloved sport face a rollercoaster ride as he traveled on his own adventure this year. In February, lovers of wrestling were devastated when the sport was eliminated from the Olympic Games. However, a vote in September brought wrestling back into the games over squash and baseball/softball.
“I watched the whole thing on my computer,” he said of the Olympic vote. “I was in tears when I saw that we made it back in.”
The wrestler plans to continue to work hard and place even higher in next year’s US Nationals and World Championships.
“Now it’s time to begin planning and preparing for the 2014 World Championships,” he wrote in his journal. “I have unfinished business.”