Tonawanda News — TOWN OF TONAWANDA — The first time Kenmore West wrestling coach Bill Hineman saw Anthony Argentieri, he was taken aback by what he saw.
What stuck with Hineman wasn’t necessarily Argentieri’s wrestling talent, or his size. What stood out to him the most were the then-seventh grader’s toughness and moxie.
“The first time that Anthony wrestled on a varsity mat, he competed against an older and much bigger kid,” Hineman said. “He went right at him. He didn’t back away or anything like that. He still ended up getting pinned, but that showed me right there what he was all about. Anthony wasn’t going to back down from any challenge, and he wasn’t going to be afraid of any wrestler standing in his way.”
Little did Hineman know that Argentieri’s resolve would lead him to the verge of reaching the pinnacle of his sport.
Argentieri, now a sophomore and wrestling in the 113-pound weight class for the Blue Devils, was recently crowned Section VI champion after defeating Clarence’s Ryan Burns at the Section VI Division I State Qualifiers at NCCC. With the win, Argentieri will now set his sights on becoming Kenmore West’s first-ever state champion this weekend at the New York State Championships in Albany beginning today.
But Argentieri didn’t originally want to become a wrestler. Instead, he was devoted to a different type of physical activity —martial arts.
“When I was younger, I used to take tae kwon do,” Argentieri said. “I loved that sport, mostly because it involved being physical. But around the seventh grade, a friend of mine introduced me to wrestling and thought I should give it a try. I did, and I found out that it was a lot like tae kwon do. There were a lot of similarities, and it felt natural to me.”