Wrestlers Cavallaro, Shockey Make History

Senior+Yadel+Schnabel+squares+up+for+a+home+match.

Vista Staff

Senior Yadel Schnabel squares up for a home match.

Written by Matthew Gusmerotti, Ryan Keebaugh and Sammy Pierce

Senior wrestler Catie Cavallaro made Virginia history this winter season, becoming the first girl to advance to the VHSL State Wrestling Championship meet. Cavallaro was joined in the record books by junior teammates Derek Shockey, who became the second Wolverine to ever win the individual 4A West Region title, and Jared Tardiff, who achieved his 100th career win.

In the state tournament, Shockey fought to win a fourth place medal.

Like all great athletes, Cavallaro ran into some obstacles along the way before earning her place as a state-caliber athlete.

“My dad was pretty indifferent about the subject of me wrestling,” Cavallaro said. “However, my Mom was completely against me being a part of the team.”

Going against her mother’s wishes, Cavallaro contacted head coach Scott Fortney about joining the team her freshman year. Fortney greatly praises Cavallaro for her hard work over the past four years.

“Catie, this season, really has just been outstanding,” Fortney said. “Not only for our team but even on a historic level.”

Despite being the first female wrestler in the state to reach this level, Cavallaro does not consider herself special.
“I didn’t really consider myself any different from any of the other wrestlers because I was a female; I just considered myself another wrestler,” Cavallaro explained.

Shockey has also been a Woodgrove wrestler since his freshman year. Overall, he was very impressed with the team’s performance over the season’s duration.

“Everyone did very well this season, put in a lot of work, and achieved what they deserved,” Shockey said. “Hopefully, we can all come back next year and do even better.”

On his own regional performance, Shockey expressed great pride, but hopes to improve and return even stronger next year.

Tardiff, in earning his 100th career win, became the second wrestler in school history to do so, joining senior teammate Yadel Schnabel, who achieved this feat in January at the Get the Bell Rung Invitational.

Senior Zach Stanley also put on a strong performance, falling in fourth place by default due to injury. Tardiff and senior Joe Candelaria also placed fourth in their respective weight classes.