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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

Grasso gains his 100th win

Coach Daniel Grasso and some members of his team after the match.
Photo Credit: @CHS_Wrestlin_ taken with permission
Coach Daniel Grasso and some members of his team after the match.

On February 6, 2016 varsity wrestling coach and Special Education teacher Daniel Grasso, won his 100th match. Grasso has been coaching at Colonia High School for a total of 15 years and said, “it was a long road, with a lot of obstacles, but we finally got there.”

Grasso wrestled at Colonia in ‘94 and ‘95 under Pellegrino LaSala, who is now the Athletic Director at Colonia High. Grasso stated that LaSala was the best [wrestling] coach he ever had, and that he gave him knowledge that will guide him through the rest of his life. After attending American International College for football, LaSala who at the time was the head coach, asked Grasso to be his assistant. After 2 years he was promoted to head coach where he has been ever since.

A letter written by Daniel Grasso to his coach at the time Pellegrino LaSala.
Photo Credit: Sam Pucci
A letter written by Daniel Grasso to his coach at the time Pellegrino LaSala.

“Grasso’s 100th win is good for him, he is a hardworking guy and keeps the program steady, improving it every year,” LaSala said. Grasso has also a Special Education teacher at the high school for 15 years, teaching all subjects and all grades.

Grasso is very big on practice, his philosophy is ‘how well you practice is how well you wrestle’. “His style of coaching is different than others, but it’s just as effective, if not more,” says sophomore Elhusssain Bachir. “He motivates me to work harder in practice and overall become a better wrestler. I really do look forward to matches because it shows if I have improved or not. I get a little nervous though right before, but as soon as I step on the mat I’m calm,” Bachir stated. “His 100th win is a huge accomplishment not only for Grasso but for the Colonia Wrestling team. It is a privilege and an honor to be on the team that delivered Grasso his 100th win.”

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Grasso impacts the team in more than just the form of wrestling, “Coach Grasso not only helps me as a wrestler but also as a person. He taught me life lessons and has showed me what it takes to succeed in life. I’ve never had a coach who cares so much about each one of his wrestlers. He always checks on our grades to make sure none of us are slacking. He motivates us to push more and be a better person,” Junior Lenny Gigantino said. “It is a very great thing for him, I’m happy that I was able to be on the team at the time he got his 100th win. It’s an honor to be a part of his team.”

Along with his 100th win, this season the team has also had 12 wins, which has never been done before. On January 2nd the team led by Keion Cherry, who was named Outstanding Wrestler after claiming the 138-pound crown, won its first invitational tournament, the Minuteman Classic at Elizabeth High School under Grasso. “It’s the best season so far, record wise,” Grasso stated. For his 100th win, his assistant coach gave Grasso a packet of quotes from past wrestlers. “It was powerful, a prized possession. I hope that I have impacted them because they have truly impacted me. I have 2 daughters, and 400 sons in 13 years.”
Good luck to Coach Grasso and his team as they continue their season making Colonia proud.

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About the Contributor
Sam Pucci, Spring Reporter and Editor
Sam Pucci is 16 years old and is currently a junior at Colonia High School. She is a pitcher for the Softball Team, where she is called "Pooch", a member of Heroes and Cool Kids and a stat girl for the swim team. She enjoys shopping, spending time with friends and family, and being involved in school activities. Pucci has been writing for the newspaper for 2 years now, and has had 2 articles published in the Colonia Corner. She hopes to go to college in New Jersey for Sports Marketing/Management, minoring in journalism.

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Grasso gains his 100th win