The Smoke Signal

Athlete of the Week: Tommy Chiellini

Junior is PV's first Region champion since 2001

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Athlete of the Week: Tommy Chiellini

Tommy Chiellini is this week's The Smoke Signal's athlete of the week. Chiellini finished his season with 43 wins, the most wins by a wrestler in PV history.

Tommy Chiellini is this week's The Smoke Signal's athlete of the week. Chiellini finished his season with 43 wins, the most wins by a wrestler in PV history.

Curstine Guevarra

Tommy Chiellini is this week's The Smoke Signal's athlete of the week. Chiellini finished his season with 43 wins, the most wins by a wrestler in PV history.

Curstine Guevarra

Curstine Guevarra

Tommy Chiellini is this week's The Smoke Signal's athlete of the week. Chiellini finished his season with 43 wins, the most wins by a wrestler in PV history.

Jeremy Lesserson, Sports Writer

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Name: Tommy Chiellini

Sport: Wrestling

Grade: 11

Weight Class: 160

The Lowdown: Chiellini placed second in the Bergen County Tournament and was champion at District 1 and Region 1. He was the first Region champion from the school since Steve Owimrin in 2001. He compiled a record of 43-7, breaking the school record for wins in a single season, and was 3-2 in  the NJSIAA State Individual Championships in Atlantic City, finishing one win shy of winning a medal. He also helped PV capture its first ever state sectional title Feb. 9 with a 50-18 win over Sparta. After missing the first thirty days of his sophomore year, going 11-0 in his dual meets, and breaking the growth plate in his finger, he rebounded. Next year, he will vie to be PV’s first state placewinner since Dan Ressler in 2012.

Coach’s Comment: “Tommy had a great year. The one thing about him is his consistency all year. He had a plan from day one when the season started and he stuck with that plan, from the first practice all the way to the state tournament. He never let anything bother him at all. He had a tough loss at the county finals to obviously a really good kid (eventual state fifth-place finisher Matt Dallara of Hasbrouck Heights). Then he was close with the kid (Michael Petite) who was the state fourth-place finisher from last year from Piscataway and he was right there at the end and then he lost at the buzzer, but he stuck with his plan. He knew that he’s deserving and he should be one of those guys in the tail end and he was. He fell around short of placing but after coming off the injury from last year, it was a phenomenal year, he’s a phenomenal kid and he is a big part of what we are trying to do here at Pascack Valley Wrestling. So, [we are] happy to have him back for another year.”  — PV coach Tom Gallione.

Favorite Aspect of His Sport: “The fact that it has an individual and team aspect. So when I’m on the mat, it’s about me. But it’s also about doing what’s best for the team and you still get to celebrate with the team. It’s awesome, the team bonding we have. Being able to win a team title, an individual title, there’s so many different goals that come with wrestling, I think it’s really cool.”

Last Year’s Situation:

CJ Guevarra

What it was like to Experience the Team’s State Sectional Victory: Chiellini said it was his favorite part of the whole season. “It was just a great string of victories. We knew going into it that we were a strong team but we didn’t know how strong. And being able to dominate that tournament and having a strong performance from the whole team. It was a great feeling.”

Experience At States: 

CJ Guevarra

Best Sport Memory: The bus ride home from the state sectional title. “We were mentally going crazy. All the fans getting off the bus and when we went crazy all of the fans were cheering. Going out as a team and being with the team was just such a great memory.”

Role Model Teammate: “Me and [Jake] Prusha were really close this season because we were partners pretty much every day. And we basically just built each other. We both had successful seasons, got better every day. As much as we were friends in the room we were competitors, partners. We were always looking to take each other out, and also rooting for each other. That helped his season as well as my season.”

Funniest Teammates: Robbie Natelli and James Allmers. “[Natelli is] kind of a nut, going crazy, saying funny things. Him and Allmers, they’re both pretty funny, pretty crazy and funny to listen to.

Difference Between Wrestling for Don Bosco and PV:

CJ Guevarra

How’s Practice?: Chiellini dreads it most of the time, calling it “torture”. The team as a whole sings and dances in the room to get through the brutal practice. “If you saw our wrestling practice you’d be a little shocked how we try to have fun. We’ll have like 25 guys singing and dancing at the same time and you’ll be like, ‘wow, this is wrestling practice? This is ridiculous’. It’s definitely not fun.”

The Money Squad: A squad formed by PV alum Dan Schneiderman. He comprised the group with Northern River Vale natives and it has been passed down to the current Indian wrestlers who live in that neighborhood. Chiellini was not a student at PV when the Money Squad was created, but he has become an honorary member.

Will You Form Your Own Carpool?: Chiellini decided to not give much away, but could be hinting at something else. “We’ll see. Maybe.”

Best Thing About PV: How the teachers are friendlier, not necessarily calling your teachers with the Mr. or Mrs. handle. I feel like you’re more friends with your teachers than they are your teachers. Being able to call them by their last names. It doesn’t seem like a big thing, but I think it’s kind of cool.”

Favorite Subject: Math

Favorite Music: Country, old school, a little bit of pop. “That’s my general music outlook, I’m not a big rap guy. I like country, pop. Stuff that wouldn’t necessarily be the genres for most teenage boys I guess.”

Favorite Song: Thunder by Imagine Dragons

Favorite Movie: Good Will Hunting

Favorite Pro Athlete/Role Model Athlete: Jordan Burroughs (former wrestler at The University of Nebraska—Lincoln) 

Four People He Would Invite To A Dinner Party: Robin Williams, Kevin Hart, Eddie Murphy (“To see how he mixes with Kevin Hart”), LeBron James

One Superpower: 

CJ Guevarra

Future Plans: Moving somewhere warm for college. “The U (University of Miami) is in my sights right now. I just kind of want to get out of here, go someplace near a beach. Somewhere warm, where I don’t have to suffer through these winters. Somewhere, hopefully, decently academic and can have fun at the same time. Maybe during my winter break I can go back a little early, weather is a big factor for me. I hate the winter.”

Wrestling Future: He doesn’t see himself wrestling at the collegiate level, but is open if colleges talk to him. “If colleges want to talk I’ll open up. I’ll talk to colleges, but I don’t think it’s in my cards right now. It’s a lot of work.” Chiellini said. 

Happy to Play A Spring Sport Again?: Chiellini likes being back out on the baseball field. The last time he played baseball was in eighth grade. He has not participated in a spring sport during each of the last two years because of wrestling. 

Favorite Clothing/Shoe Line: Nike

One Thing People May Not Know: He plays the harmonica

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About the Writer
Jeremy Lesserson, Assistant Sports Editor

Jeremy has been writing for The Smoke Signal since his freshman year, and specializes specifically in writing for wrestling in the winter. He looks forward...

1 Comment

One Response to “Athlete of the Week: Tommy Chiellini”

  1. Phil Chiellini on March 23rd, 2018 10:15 am

    I couldn’t be prouder of Tommy, he’s a great kid, great athlete, & a geat competitor he reminds me of his uncle Phil … it’s in the genes … LOL …

    Love you big guy !!!

    Uncle Phil

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Athlete of the Week: Tommy Chiellini