Passion for Solon Wrestling Still There

It was freshman year at Solon High School and the first time I ever had to announce a Solon wrestling match was for the annual Comet Classic Tournament to begin the season. I was still a bit green to the sport and was looking forward to the opportunity to learn more. It wouldn’t take long for me to get acquainted with the sport and Solon head coach Tony DiGiovanni.

Well before I took the microphone to announce my first match, I knew DiGiovanni was one of the most well respected coaches in Northeast Ohio. DiGiovanni had built up Solon’s program into one of the top wrestling schools in the state.

What impressed me the most the first time I saw DiGiovanni coach was his passion for the sport. DiGiovanni was in his glory well before the first match started and I couldn’t help but get excited when I saw him encouraging each Solon wrestler on the mat that day. DiGiovanni wanted his wrestlers to succeed and it was apparent that he had the passion to take them to the next level.

I continued to see the fire in DiGiovanni’s passion for the sport during the rest of my years at Solon High School. I mainly announced Comet Classic matches and while the names of the Solon wrestlers changed, there was one thing that was consistent: DiGiovanni’s passion for the sport.

Even when I lived in Westerville, OH (near Columbus) to attend Otterbein University, DiGiovanni’s passion for the sport was well known in positive ways. A former supervisor of mine at radio station WRFD-AM, Ryan Moran, knew who DiGiovanni was when I told him my background. Moran coaches at Westerville Central High School and knew instantly who DiGiovanni was and was impressed with the passion the Solon coach has for the sport.

In addition to Moran, former Columbus DJ Buzz Fitzgerald (a former high school wrestler) knew who DiGiovanni was when I met him during an internship and was impressed with how far Solon had come during DiGiovanni’s tenure. When doing a television story on Westerville North wrestlers Jesse Dong (now at Virginia Tech) and Josh Demas (now at Ohio State), their coach David Grant knew DiGiovanni’s name and was impressed with the work done at Solon.

This past Thursday, I walked into Solon’s gym to announce a dual match between Solon and Strongsville and prepared my notes for the evening. It was senior night and Coach DiGiovanni took the microphone to talk about each senior. His passion came through on the microphone and I couldn’t help but smile. Even after all of these years, it was incredible to see the passion DiGiovanni has for an exciting sport.


~ by jeffrsabo on January 5, 2013.

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