BRISTOL - As a sixth grader, Bristol Central senior wrestler Chris Trelli fell in love with the sport, as he watched his older brother Matt compete for the Rams.
Seeing his older brother wrestle inspired Trelli to sign up for the Gladiators program in Bristol, and the rest has been history.
Trelli has been the model of success for this year’s Rams team, and came into the year with high expectations after being the first Fargo All-American from Bristol Central and the first finalist in his weight class (106 pounds) at the Junior Men’s Freestyle National Championships in Fargo, N.D.
“That was huge for me,” Trelli said. “I went in with a goal of just placing at that tournament and I made it to the finals. I ran into some studs, but I stayed composed and I beat [most of] them.”
While Trelli has been recognized for his talent on the mat, his success hasn’t come without adversity.
“He’s been challenged,” Bristol Central head coach Matt Boissonneault said. “He has six losses right now. He will be ready to compete this postseason. He works his butt off in the room. He’s a wrestling junkie.”
After a loss, Trelli doesn’t look at it as a decline, but rather sees losing as a road to progression.
“You’re always learning,” Trelli said. “You can’t be upset about one loss. Obviously I hate losing, but it comes with the sport. You just gotta keep working.”
This past Saturday, Trelli suffered a tough loss, competing at the Ridgefield Challenge. Trelli was up against Preston Maucere of St. Anthony’s school in New York.
He couldn’t pull out the win, though, as he lost a 3-1 decision to Maucere.
Just a day later, Trelli was already looking to the future and to figure out what he could have done better.
“He lost that match on Saturday and I talked to him on Sunday when I was watching [his] match on film and I said [to him], ‘did you see it?’” Boissonneault said. “And he said, ‘Yeah, I’ve already watched it a few times.’ He definitely has a hunger and that’s what makes him who he is as a competitor.”
As a junior last season, Trelli was also challenged.
He made a deep run in the state tournament, but lost in both the Class L finals and the State Open finals to Jarod Kosman of Fitch.
He is expecting to see Kosman again this year and will look to redeem himself.
While all his accomplishments have been earned, by every measure, Trelli still has goals left to be met.
Individually, Trelli is looking to win both the State Open and New England championships, and then place at the Virginia Beach Nationals in March to conclude what has already been a successful high school career on the mat.
One of the biggest goals, however, is team-oriented, helping Bristol Central beat rival and No. 2-ranked Bristol Eastern.
“I want to lead this team to beat Eastern,” Trelli said. “That’s a big goal of mine. It’d be huge. We’re really rebuilding right now. We’re young and got a lot of potential, but if we come out with a win against Eastern, that’d be a huge morale booster for this team.”
He added, “I’m excited. We haven’t beaten Eastern at all since I’ve been in high school. We’ve got a lot to work on, but hey, who knows, anything can happen.”
While beating the Lancers is no easy task, Trelli will be one of the most dominant wrestlers in the gym as the Rams host Bristol Eastern Wednesday night at 6 p.m.
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org