The way David Giovannacci remembers it, his affinity for wrestling wasn’t exactly a first-period pin.
It took a little time, but once wrestling got its grip on Giovannacci it seems nothing could keep him off the mat.
Giovannacci is nearing the end of a spectacular high school wrestling career, and the Landmark School senior from Topsfield is focused on going out in the most memorable way possible.
Despite wrestling on a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), Giovannacci has been perfect in the 220-pound weight class this season — including a recent victory in the Eastern Independent League Tournament. Now, he heads into this weekend’s New England Tournament at Brooks School in North Andover as the No. 1 seed and has the championship on his mind.
“I think there are a few (opponents) who are looking pretty good, but I definitely think I can win the tournament,” said the 17-year-old Giovannacci, who has handled all of his competition wrestling for the private school in Beverly with relative ease this winter, having won all but two of his matches by pin (and those two were technical falls).
His record — which is up to 28-0 — and statistics speak for themselves. Giovannacci’s season has been impressive in its own right, but mix in the fact that if he were sitting out due to injury, no one would even blink.
A torn ACL usually takes close to a year to recover from after surgery and rehabilitation. Giovannacci tore his over the summer while competing at a wrestling camp in Pennsylvania.
Instead of opting for the surgery and missing the season, however, Giovannacci looked at his other options. He chose to battle through it and will have surgery in the offseason.
“I don’t necessarily do everything the team does (in practice). I can’t do much running, so I ride the bike a lot and I did physical therapy before the season to get my hamstring as strong as possible,” Giovannacci said. “I wear a special brace when I practice and during wrestling tournaments and dual meets.