Hanover Park Athlete of the Week: State Champion Nick Raimo

Credits: Steve Valenti

EAST HANOVER,NJ- Nick Raimo became the fourth individual state champ for Hanover Park with his victory in Atlantic City on March 5th.

Nick, who made the finals last year, was determined not to come in second this year and that started last summer when he went to Fargo N.D. and finished first against wrestlers from all over the country. When this season began he wrestled in a couple of tournaments, the Beast of the East, were he took second, and the Escape the Rock were he finished first. During Hanover Park's regular season he went undefeated and helped the Hornets to a 17-6 record against many top twenty squads.

Nick was unable to wrestle in the MCT for the second season in a row due to an injury, but recovered to help his team win the North Jersey 2 Group 2 title and come in second in their district. Hanover Park advanced 11 wrestlers to the regionals, Nick won the 126lb weight class and was part of six Hornets to make the trip to Atlantic City. He received the #1 seed and has been ranked fifth or sixth nationally all season.

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With his mind set on not falling short, he dominated in his matches at the state tournament with a pin in round one and a technical fall and two major decisions in the following rounds. In the finals he scored a convincing 10-4 win, jumping out to a quick 6-2 lead after the first period. Nick attributed his success to the support family he has enjoyed this past season from all his coaches, which includes Head Coach James Lavalle who was a three time state champ for Hanover Park in 1995, 1997 & 1998, his parents, teammates, and his brother, Lou, a senior who helped him master his skills.

Nick never game-plans against another wrestler because he feels they need to have a game plan went they meet him. He took to wrestling at an early age and is thankful for the Recreation and East Hanover Middle School programs that helped his development. Nick still has two more years at Hanover Park and is looking forward to becoming the second three time state champ for the Hornets.

Upcoming for Nick is a Charity event to earn funds for Autism research were the state champs of N.J. wrestle against the champs from New York. The event will be held on April 8th

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