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Morris Sussex Sports covers 40 schools’ sports teams that consists of about 14,000 athletes in Morris, Sussex and parts of Warren counties. Out of those 14,000 athletes, Morris Sussex Sports and Parisi Speed School honor just one athlete who does something special each week with the Parisi Speed School Player of the Week.  Go to Parisi Speed School to raise your game and become faster, bigger and stronger.  Mention “Morris Sussex Sports” and receive a FREE Speed Pass to one of their world class training sessions.  

This past week there were a ton of fantastic performances in Morris-Sussex between hockey, wrestling, basketball and other sports.  But the player we felt deserved the Parisi Speed School Player of the Week the most was Whippany Park wrestler Franco Bellomo. Bellomo had a gutsy showing against Roselle Park in the semi-finals of the North 2, Group 1 tournament. All the junior needed to do was get through his match without getting pinned for his team to advance. But after a giving up costly back-points in the first period, it looked as if that might be easier said then done. However, Bellomo came out in the second period, caught his opponent on his heels and was able to get the pin to take his Wildcats to the tournament finals.

We caught up with Franco to talk about this momentous moment, find out what it’s like to come back to wrestling after taking last year off and what his goals are for the rest of the season.

Morris Sussex Sports: Are you glad you decided to come back to wrestling after taking a year off?
Franco Bellomo: Yes I am happy that I returned to the sport. Once I returned to practice I realized how much I missed wrestling.

MSS: When did you decided you wanted to come back to wrestling?
FB: Towards the end of last season I started missing my teammates and the sport.

MSS: Did you learn anything while taking time off?
FB: I learned that there is no other sport like wrestling that teaches you confidence and discipline.

MSS: What was the moment like when you got the pin to help your team advance North 2, Group 1 Finals?
FB: I was proud that I could help my team advance, nothing could beat the feeling of celebrating after the match with my coaches and teammates.

MSS: What’s it like heading into Districts, Regions and States knowing that you are basically wrestling for yourself?
FB: It’s more pressure because I’m wrestling more for myself, rather than my team.

MSS: Did you have any goals coming into this season?
FB: My ultimate goal is to make it to states, I know that this would be a great experience and achievement since I am a junior in high school and I took a year off.

MSS: What would surprise people to know about your team?
FB: People would be surprised by the toughness of my team and how we fight to get every point possible.

MSS: What’s the funniest thing Coach Engelberger ever said?
FB: I can’t think of just one funny thing that Coach says to us, even though our practices can be intense. He always finds a way to make us laugh and have fun.

MSS: What makes him the angriest?
FB: What makes Coach Engelberger the angriest is when we don’t follow his exact directions.

MSS: Who on your team loosens the team up with humor?
FB: Sean Savercool by far is the funniest on the team. His personality is hilarious and never fails to cheer the team up.

MSS: Who is the most intense wrestler?
FB: The most intense wrestler is Dean Savercool because he always tries to pin everyone in the first 10 seconds.

MSS: Who is the biggest diva?
FB: There’s not any divas on our team, we all pull together and help each other get better.

MSS: Who is your role model?
FB: My role model is my dad because he is always there at every match and tournament.

MSS: What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?
FB: I see myself being a police officer.

MSS: Which Whippany Park wrestler do you see advancing the furthest in the State Tourney?
FB: Thomas Stigliano and Sean Savercool

MSS: Congrats Franco and best of luck in Districts!

George Muha has been covering high school sports since 2006. He feels high school scholar-athletes are the most important part of the community and highlighting their achievements on the field, in the classroom and within the community is his personal mission.

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