VERONA, NJ - A Verona senior has trained hard to not only stand out on his team this season, but also in the county. Now, Nick Fierro stands out as TAP into Verona/Cedar Grove’s Hillbilly Athlete of the Week.

“I am honored to be named athlete of the week,” Fierro said of the honor. “I have trained hard throughout the year and it is very satisfying to see my hard work paying off.”

His hard work most recently paid off at the 2017 Essex County Tournament, where Fierro took the championship spot in his weight class and helped his team take third place.

Sign Up for E-News

That win is one that Fierro said he is extremely proud of and one that he has been looking forward to.

“The highlight of my season so far has been winning the Essex County Tournament,” Fierro noted. “Winning counties has been a goal of mine ever since I was in middle school and to win the tournament in my final season as a high school wrestler was a dream come true.”

Even with some early setbacks, Fierro’s record currently stands at 20 wins and three losses and the wrestler attributes that impressive record to his ability to learn from his mistakes.

As a team, Fierro said the athletes struggle with staying aggressive in matches.

“Our team knows that in big matches bonus points are very important and our coach always stresses the importance of scoring points and trying to work for the pin, even when we have the lead in the match, to put up extra points for our team,” Fierro said. “This has been a challenge for myself and the team but we have been adjusting to this style of wrestling and it is helping us win matches.”

Coach Peter Foster described Fierro as a dedicated wrestler both during the wrestling season and during the off-season.

“He has a positive attitude and cares for his teammates,” Foster said. “He sets high goals for himself and works hard to achieve them.”

Individually, Fierro said he hopes to make it to the state tournament in Atlantic City and place. As a team, the goal is to advance in the state sectional tournament.

“I love wrestling because I believe it is the purest form of competition,” Fierro said. “And there is nobody else to blame out on the mat but yourself.”

Editor's Note: The "Athlete of the Week" is a weekly reoccurring feature story that highlights an individual student-athlete's success. The Verona High School Athlete of the Week is selected with the assistance of the school's athletic director and coaching staff.

To obtain local news and events faster, download the new TAPinto for iPhone or Android free in the Google Play Store and the Apple Store by searching for “tapinto” or “tapinto.net.