Hononegah grad Cassioppi striving for greatness

Tony Cassioppi's victory at the Midlands Championships could be the start of an extraordinary collegiate career, but he's not doing it just for himself.

The Roscoe native says he hopes to be the wrestler current and future Hononegah athletes can look up to.

"I remember looking up at the board in our wrestling room and seeing most career wins, most career falls and the state championship bracket boards thinking I want to be there one day," said Cassioppi. "I've accomplished that and it's great and I hope kids like me are in there training and looking at my name wanting to be great."

What they are witnessing so far is pure greatness.

After finishing seventh last year, the Iowa heavyweight bullied his way through the talented tournament field and kept his unblemished record alive.

Cassioppi said his training is setting him up to succeed.

"It proves to me that I'm capable of winning in big tournaments like this," Cassioppi said. "My body feels great because I've been grinding hard in the wrestling room and putting myself through a lot of pain in the wrestling room so I could be feeling good today."

But being the best is still not good enough for Cassioppi, who broke the Indians pin-fall record and now wants to do the same for the Hawkeyes.

"That's the goal," said Cassioppi. "That's the awesome thing about wrestling. There's a knockout blow and I love getting that. I've always been a pinner. In high school, I was a pinner so I just wanted to keep that going and score a lot of team points for the Hawks."