Tonawanda News — Certain aspects of the game did feel natural to Argentieri, but there were still some kinks in his game that he needed to work on in order to improve.
“I think I had a lot of anger issues when I first started wrestling,” Argentieri said. “I hated losing. Don’t get me wrong, I still do. It’s just that in tae kwon do, I didn’t lose very often, so I wasn’t used to it. But it was probably because I wasn’t experienced enough in wrestling, so I took some lumps early.
“One guy that I looked up to, (former Blue Devil) Dylan Caruana, really helped me out. I would practice against him every day and he kind of showed me the ropes on how to wrestle. We also started wrestling during the summer and I took a lot of what I learned from him and from those summer matches and applied them to my own game. He was a huge role model to me, and he and other guys like Mark Stucke and Christian Bauman have really helped by going against each other in practice every day.”
All of the practice and hard work led Argentieri to a berth in the Section VI Championships last season as a freshman. However, a four-overtime loss to Burns denied him an opportunity to compete for a state championship.
A rematch against Burns with the same stakes on the line was what fueled Argentieri during the offseason, and not only did Argentieri exact revenge against Burns at the State Qualifiers, he also beat Burns two more times during the 2013-14 season.
“Losing to (Burns) last year was tough to take, because it was such a close match,” Argentieri said. “I knew that I had to get stronger and better this offseason if I wanted to beat him and reach my goals. Being able to beat him three times, including to get to states, felt really good.”