Jack Schiavo is a wrestler with patience — and the cardio to capitalize on that.
Even when trailing in the later stages of a match, Schiavo is confident that the extra focus he puts on his conditioning will allow him to outlast an opponent.
“I usually have a strong third period. I do a lot of conditioning,” Schiavo said Wednesday following Niskayuna’s Suburban Council dual meet at Shenendehowa. “I think that, combined with a good amount of technique, pays off in the end.”
It worked Wednesday night, when the Niskayuna junior found himself trailing Shenendehowa’s Joey Scheeren late in the second period, only to turn the tide and eventually score a pin late in the third. It worked on Jan. 4 at the Saratoga Invitational, when he powered through a tough 120-pound field to claim the championship.
The Saratoga Invitational title marked another milestone for Schiavo, as his 6-4 decision win over Windsor’s Troy Hayes was the 100th victory of his career.
Niskayuna coach Shaun Neely has seen Schiavo’s conditioning pay huge dividends over his three varsity seasons. A cross country runner in the fall, Schiavo has taken some of his biggest victories of the season by going deep into matches, including his tournament final wins at both the Saratoga Invitational and December’s Mat Mania tournament in Glens Falls, as well as Wednesday’s pin against Scheeren.
“He’s a cross country runner, and he really prides himself on his conditioning,” Neely said. “I think he kind of waits for that third period to come and then turn it on.”
When he reached 100 wins, Schiavo became the fourth wrestler on the current Niskayuna team to hit the milestone. Ben Catrambone is the team’s active leader with 143 wins, while Peter Meshkov and James Murphy both have 127. Through Wednesday, Schiavo’s career total sits at 103.
The Niskayuna career wins record belongs to Eoghan Sweeney with 210.
“A lot of hard work and dedication paid off,” Schiavo said. “You go into that room every day to try and do the best you can, and eventually it pays off if you have the heart.”
“Jack’s a fun kid to coach. He’s such a gentleman,” Neely said. “He’s in a tough sport, but he never loses his cool. He always keeps his composure. It was real nice to see a kid like that get it.”
Schiavo is 24-2 this season, with his only losses coming at last weekend’s Eastern States Classic. He has reached the podium in both the Section II Class A and Section II Division 1 tournaments each of the past three seasons, but is hoping to use his grind-it-out formula to attain greater postseason success this February.
“You take one match at a time,” Schiavo said. “That’s the kind of mentality I had going to that [Saratoga] tournament.”