By: Matt Rothman
On Saturday, Parkland’s own Michael Mocco won a State Championship for Cardinal Gibbons High School.
“It felt really good and refreshing after placing third last year,” Michael said. “I can check it off and say I am a State Champ. It’s the beginning of my high school career, and I’m hoping to win states all four years.”
Michael, who resides in Whittier Oaks, began wrestling when he was young. His father, Steve, was a former professional wrestler and a two-time National Champion. At the same time, his younger Peter finished as a District runner-up after winning 44 matches as a seventh grader. Michael says he learned how to wrestle with his father at American Top Team Club and began to take it seriously at age 12.
Michael began wrestling at Coral Springs Charter in middle school with his father and Head Coach, Eric Perez. He went 18-11 and finished second in Districts as an eighth grader and won Regionals before finishing in third place in the State Championship after going 46-3. This year at Mocco went 44-1 and won a District, Regional, and State Championship. His only loss came against a Lake Gibson High School senior, Brian Barburija, who is committed to the Air Force Academy.
With one more year left on the varsity team, he hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps and wrestle in college.
- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism and then graduated from the University of Florida as a graduate student.
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