Von Egidy wins national title
Parker Von Egidy will long be revered for his accomplishments on the wrestling mat, and the Piedmont High senior added to his lore on Sunday when he won a national championship in the 170-pound weight class.
Von Egidy defeated Jadaen Bernstein out of New Jersey, 5-4, in the title match at the prestigious Virginia Beach Nationals.
"I was really happy," Von Egidy said by phone during the ride home Sunday night. "I slipped up my sophomore year and didn't win it (placed second at Fargo in North Dakota). I really wanted to win a national championship before I left for college. I really wanted this a lot."
Von Egidy's accomplishments in high school are unprecedented in Union County. He's a six-time all-American, a three-time state champion and caps his senior season with a 65-0 record.
His final tournament was easily the toughest. The 50 wrestlers who competed in the senior division at Virginia Beach had to place top two in their state or be a previous all-American.
Von Egidy went 6-0 in the tournament, and was feeling fatigued after three matches on Saturday.
By the time he reached the title match, Von Egidy was "beaten down and very sore."
He credits his coaches, twin brothers Brandon and Christian Sinnott, with putting him in a position to win the national championship.
The Sinnott twins, now 27, were all-American wrestlers at Central Michigan. Both are now officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, and have been training Von Egidy off and on since his sophomore year.
Rather than have Von Egidy sit around cold before his only match on Sunday, they took a different approach.
"The Sinnotts really made sure I got a hard workout in, a good cardio workout, almost like a match before I wrestled. It opened my lungs up and it really got me ready. I felt like that was a big advantage for me."
Von Egidy said he was nervous before the championship match, but the Missouri signee got a good pep talk from the twins.
"They reminded me I've been on the big stage before," Von Egidy said. "They were saying 'No pressure, you've already signed. They made me feel a lot better."
As a bonus, Von Egidy got to win his national championship in front of Missouri head coach Brian Smith.
Missouri had four signees in the senior division. Three of them won national titles and the other finished third. With most of his team returning, Smith plans to red-shirt Von Egidy and the rest of his incoming freshmen class.
"I can't wait to get up there and start training," said Von Egidy, who plans to graduate early so he can start summer school classes in June. "We should have a very good wrestling team in two years."