Spartan signs with N.C. State
Sun Valley High all-American wrestler Michael Macchiavello signed a partial scholarship to wrestle for North Carolina State on Wednesday morning.
Macchiavello is the third Union County wrestler to ink a scholarship this Spring.
"It feels really good," he said. "Hard work pays off. I'm just real excited for next year and I'm looking forward to it."
Macchiavello came up a soccer and football player and never thought until the last couple of years that wrestling would be his ticket to the next level.
"Honestly, I really didn't think that would ever happen," he said. "I thought I would've been going for a different sport like soccer or football but everything happens for a reason,."
Macchiavello was first talked into giving wrestling a shot in the eighth grade, and he didn't lose a match that year.
"My friend Keenan Whalen is the one that actually got me started in the sport of wrestling in the eighth grade," he said. "It was right after football practice. Coach Sean (Greiner) came to the practice to try to get people to wrestle because he had just started the middle school program. I was like, 'I don't know. I'm not really interested, I'm not really into wearing the spandex or whatever'. That's what I called it when I was in eighth grade.
"Keenan convinced me to try it out and I told him I would do it if I wrestled in shorts and a T-shirt. I wrestled my first match in shorts and a T-shirt, not a singlet."
Macchiavello chose N.C. State over a partial offer from Appalachian State and a $20,000 financial aid grant from non-scholarship Bucknell.
Macchiavello is impressed with second-year N.C. State head coach Pat Popolizio and his staff.
"I like the coaching staff a lot," he said. "I think the new coaching staff they got this past year is really good. I think within the next couple of years the program is going to be where it needs to be. I'm just real excited for what they're bringing to the school. I think the potential for the program is really good for the next couple years."
The Wolfpack had a tough time in Popolizio's first season, going 0-5 in conference matches.
Popolizio, however, has built a program from the before. He turned Binghamton into a Top 25 program after the school went 0-12 in 2005-06.
Macchiavello, a two-time high school all-American, hopes to make an immediate impact for his new coach.
"My goal is to start; I think I have the potential but you never know what could happen," Macchiavello said. "I could get red-shirted, you never know. I'm just going to work hard and whatever happens, happens."