Fellow Highlander emerges as national athlete

Hours upon hours in the weight room, training harder than most athletes in America, junior Alex Calandrino proves to be one of the top wrestlers in the country. Even though many know him as just a Howell High School wrestler, Calandrino spends the rest of his time with family and friends.

“I am most like my uncle,” Calandrino says with a smile. “He’s crazy . . . and outgoing.”

Even when he is training, his family is still with him. Calandrino’s younger brother, Ben, wrestles at 103 pounds as a freshman. Coming from a wrestling family, outside the mat he is still very focused on his goals. Calendrino carries his work ethic into the classroom, as well as the weight room, or the wrestling room.

Calandrino started his wrestling career twelve years ago, and has loved it ever since. “Wrestling isn’t a sport where you have a coach pushing you as much as other sports. You have to push yourself in order to succeed,” Calandrino says.

Even though Calandrino is self-driven, he has people along the way that has helped him succeed.

“He is hard-nosed,” Mr. Dan Hutchinson, Howell’s athletic director says. “He has a college mentality work ethic already. His sky is the limit.”

The morning before meets and tournaments, he makes sure to stay focused and quiet. Directly before his matches, Calandrino loosens up, listens to a few songs, and goes over in his head what he is going to do.

Ending up third in the state in 2010, Calandrino looks to be the best this season.
When the high school wrestling season ended last year, he spent his time working with national teams, and wrestling in national tournaments to improve his game and push it to the next level. When Calandrino wasn’t wrestling, he was in the weight room getting stronger.

The 2010-2011 season looks to be good for Calandrino and Howell this year. He remains undefeated, and intends to stay that way.

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