GARDINER — Matt DelGallo turned in an impressive body of work during his four seasons of wrestling for Gardiner Area High School.

As a freshman, DelGallo was named the most outstanding wrestler at the Class B state meet while winning the 112-pound division.

The following season, while wrestling in the same weight class, he was named the most outstanding wrestler in the Class A meet.

In 2009, DelGallo won the 119-pound title at the Class A state meet.

Then, three weeks ago, he became only the 14th wrestler from Maine to finish his career with four individual state titles by winning the 125-pound crown at the Class B state meet.

During his four years at Gardiner, DelGallo compiled a school-record 165 wins.

Because of his accomplishments, DelGallo has been named the Maine Sunday Telegram’s MVP for wrestling.

“He’s come to a different level in wrestling,” said Gardiner Coach Matt Hanley. “I think when he started wrestling as a freshman he was coming on that fear factor, where he didn’t want to make mistakes. Now, he’s settling in to really wrestle.”

DelGallo, who started wrestling when he was in the first grade after going to some of his brother Adam’s practices, has long been a student of the sport.

“I keep practicing and I’m always looking to pick up new stuff,” he said. “I watch other people wrestle. You’ve always got to change what you’re doing because people get used to what you’re doing.”

While on the mat, DelGallo employs a versatile approach.

“I don’t really change styles,” he said. “But you can’t go with the same things every time. You’ve got to go with new moves.”

DelGallo has the speed and strength to go for the quick pin, but he also has the patience and stamina to ride out a match for a decision.

“I don’t have a favorite move,” said DelGallo, who hopes to continue his wrestling career at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa. “I usually feel a guy out, see what he’s going to do. If they do anything, then I’ll start trying to make (a move). It’s about technique.”

It’s also about temperament.

“The way he approaches a match is different,” Hanley said. “You never see him sky-high. There’s no low-low. He’s pretty even-keeled. For the big matches he turns it up to another level, but you couldn’t tell that from looking at him.

A lot of wrestlers like to spend time alone before a match. But DelGallo often would spend some time talking with his coach.

“Before a match, we’ll be over on the side laughing and talking, wrestling a little bit,” Hanley said. “It looks like he’s goofing off. But deep down inside, he has his own little way to get himself ready to wrestle.”


Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

[email protected]


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