Greens Farms Academy senior wrestler Nico Provo capped off the most illustrious career in the school’s history on Monday with his second national championship in just two weeks.
One week after winning the NHSCA’s National Championship in Virginia, Provo won the 120-pound 2021 Prep School National Championship in Wilkes-Barre, Penn.
He was one of eight GFA wrestlers to bring All-American honors back to campus.
Senior Justin Mastroianni finished as the Prep National runner-up at 145 pounds, freshman Nate Taylor placed third at 160 pounds, junior Peter Kane placed fourth at 145 pounds, senior Aiden Hebert was fourth at 132 pounds, and Caleb Seyfried placed seventh at 126 pounds, Mikey Bartush was seventh at 195 pounds and CJ Shea was eighth at 132 pounds.
“It’s hard to imagine four years ago we only had one All-American in the history of the program and today we have eight in this tournament,” Provo said. “This was the last hurrah.”
Provo won five matches to win his first Prep National championship.
"He was the most dominant kid in the whole tourament. Period," GFA head coach Jack Conroy said. "And, he was in the toughest weight class, too."
Following an 18-3 technical fall win in his opener, Provo pinned three straight opponents to advance to the championship match.
An 8-2 decision gave that elusive title had had been chasing four of his years at GFA.
“It’s hard to put into words what this means,” Provo said. “National Preps, for us, our season leads up to this moment. It is THE tournament and to finally win it, it’s about time. It means a lot to me and it means a lot to GFA and the program.”
The title also means Provo’s GFA wrestling career has come to an end, leaving him as arguably one of the most prolific athletes in the history of the school.
“It hasn’t really hit me, but I’m sure it will,” said Provo. “Maybe later today or this week. I tried not to think about it during the tournament because it might have made me wrestle differently. Putting some thought into it now, it’s weird.”
Mastroianni pinned his first three opponents and rolled through the semifinals with a 15-0 tech fall victory.
In the championship match, Mastroianni had a 1-0 lead in the late going before two controversial points were awarded to his opponent, relegating him to second place.
"What happened to Justin in the finals was unfortunate," Conroy said, "but Justin's career is not ending with that loss. He's going to keep getting better in college."
Taylor placed third at 160 pounds in his first season as a GFA wrestler.
“It means a lot, definitely,” Taylor said. “It says a lot about what kind of wrestler you can become at GFA in your first year. To come out and take third in a big national tournament is great. I set my expectations high. You always want to have goals of being one of the best in the country.”
After two wins, one by pin and one my major decision, Taylor fell in the quarterfinals.
In the consolation round, though, he posted four straight hard-fought decisions, by a combined 18-4 count, to pull out his third-place showing.
"The craziest thing about Nate Taylor is there is still a lot of room to grow," Conroy said. "We haven't even scratched the surface how good he can be."
Also, Kane placed fourth at 145 pounds. After opening with a 16-second pin and an 8-0 major decision, Kane found himself on the wrong end of a 13-4 major decision loss.
In his first two consolation matches, Kane outscored his opponents 25-0 and then pinned his opponents in 2:51 to wrestle for third place.
Facing the same wrestler who beat him before, Kane fell 5-0 the second time around, to finish fourth.
Hebert won three straight matches, two by pin, while advancing to the semifinals.
In that match, he was leading 6-3 when he was pinned with just two seconds left in the first period.
He bounced back with a 14-10 decision but was unable to wrestle for third place and was awarded fourth place.
Seyfried won his first two matches with back-to-back pins before falling by pin the quarterfinals. He went 2-1 in the consolation round to place seventh.
Bartush also placed seventh at 195 pounds, losing in the second round. A 31-second pin in his last match gave him seventh.
After winning his first two matches, Shea lost in the quarterfinals and both of his consolation matches to place eighth.