Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Sports

January 10, 2013

Matt Cinelli honored

Former LHS great inducted into Wrestling Wall of Fame

LOCKPORT —  

Lockport’s Matt Cinelli learned early in life the importance of setting goals and then working hard to achieve them.
As a seventh grader on the LHS wrestling team, Cinelli said he had many discussions with coaches who imparted those beliefs in him, including Joe Scapelliti, Pat Seidel and Shawn Murray.
“I remember when I first started, my goal was to win the class tournament and sectionals,” said Cinelli, 23, the son of Tom and Anita Cinelli.
“Then once I got there, my goal was to get to states and then when I saw what it was like to be at states, my goal was to go back and to place at states my senior year and I did that, coming in fifth. I was very proud of reaching the goals that I had set.”
Cinelli, the second winningest grappler in Lions mat history behind Bill Morello (215), was inducted Wednesday night into the LHS Wrestling Wall of Fame. There with the Class of 2007 LHS graduate to help him celebrate the occasion were his parents, along with his sister, Jessica; and his girlfriend, Meghan Batt.
“It’s great to be inducted, honestly. I hope that a lot of the younger kids can look up there and realize that someday it could be them,” said Cinelli, decked out appropriately in a Lions’ royal blue shirt. “It only takes a little determination and dedication.”
Cinelli, who finished his stellar LHS career with 161 victories, said most of his memories involve the relationship he had with his teammates and close friends.
“We were like a family,” Cinelli said. “I still miss wrestling. I still miss getting on the mat and the exercise and beating up people, but I miss my teammates the most. We were a real family.”
Cinelli said no single wrestling memory means most to him, but he did recall his many tough matches against “one of the Malvestuto brothers” from Niagara-Wheatfield, his state tourney runs and just horsing around with teammates in general.

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