“All-American: Phil Conigliaro.” Dr. Melvoin’s words were met with both awe and amazement. A young man not much older than a seventh-grader receiving such a high honor is unheard of; however, Conigliaro is not your average Middle Schooler.
Conigliaro’s first true love came in the form of football; he began the sport in fourth grade, and continues to play the sport today as a bruising fullback. After every football season, the coaches gave out flyers promoting wrestling; picturing WWE-style fights in his mind, Conigliaro could not wait to join the ranks. Conigliaro was denied this opportunity by his mother when he first asked, but in fifth grade, he was finally allowed to start wrestling for Dedham. Although he did not have the opportunity to throw any chairs as he imagined, Conigliaro displayed a propensity not previously seen by his coaches, and in seventh grade, they recommended him for a club team. At first, Conigliaro was “beat up by everyone”; then everything clicked, and he started dominating at a national level. At Belmont Hill, Conigliaro did not lose a match in the Middle School; however, he knew that the competition would be much stiffer come varsity.
Before the varsity season, Conigliaro set three goals: to win the Beast of the East tournament, to win the New England championships, and to place at National Preps. Although Conigliaro did not win Beast of the East, he came back with a vengeance the rest of the season, and crushed the opposition. Conigliaro came in fourth at Prep Nationals; about a month later, he came in third place at Freshmen Nationals. Conigliaro’s goals for next season are to win the Beast of the East and to win a national championship; he knows that his hopes will be difficult to fulfill, but he “always sets the bar high”.
Conigliaro is not just a stud on the mat; he is also in advanced math and was a class officer this past year. He is also a role model around campus, exhibiting great leadership qualities, such as his humility and grit; he says that “without Coach Leo, Coach Bradley, Coach Davis, and Pete (Tedesco), I would not be where I am today.” Before every match, Conigliaro reminds himself that he has worked too hard to lose; it is hard to defeat a wrestler with that kind of mindset. Conigliaro admits that he doesn’t know how far his career will go; however, he definitely has the potential to achieve great things. Phil Conigliaro has received many accolades in the past; however, he has an even brighter future.