Rockland Scholar-Athlete of the Week: Suffern's Stephen Lauro

Name: Stephen Lauro

Suffern wrestler Stephen Lauro is this week's Journal News Rockland-Scholar Athlete of the Week

Suffern wrestler Stephen Lauro is this week’s Journal News Rockland-Scholar Athlete of the Week

School: Suffern High School

Class: Senior

Sport: Wrestling

Athletic accomplishments: Lauro made it to states, winning his opening match before losing in the quarterfinals. He finished the season with a 31-5 record at 170 pounds. He’s a two-time Rockland County champion. He was first at the MacArthur, Mahwah and Garden City tournaments. He was captain of the wrestling and football teams.

Academic accomplishments: Lauro currently has a 3.92 GPA. He’s taking AP calculus, Honors English, and Cambridge Global Perspective. He’s in the National Honor Society and Italian Honor Society. Lauro’s a member of the All County Band. He plays the French horn. He’ll be attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute next year to study civil engineering.

School and community involvement: Lauro coaches youth football and wrestling with the pee-wees and school clubs.

Getting to know Stephen Lauro

The Journal News: How did you feel the wrestling season went?

Stephen Lauro: It was good, there were definitely points that could’ve been better. I would’ve liked to win a Section 1 title but I felt it was good to go to states again. To make it to the top eight and win another county title, I mean it was a great season – a great career.

TJN: What was the moment you realized you could be successful as a wrestler?

SL: Freshman year, I was entered in the divisional tournament. They kind of threw me in there – (coach Chris) Matteoti and (coach Mickey) DeSimone told me to do my best. I ended up placing fourth and qualifying for sections. I beat a kid who was ranked third in the section at the time who’s a senior from North Rockland, Troy Feniger. It was a really big upset. It was the only match I can remember him coming back onto the mat after the match and giving me a huge hug.

TJN: What is your most memorable match?

SL: Up at states, the last match of Friday night was against a kid that I lost to last year back at the MacArthur tournament. I lost to him 4-2 my junior year at their tournament but then up at the states this year, I was losing with about 15 seconds to go, we go out of bounds, come back in, keep wrestling. I get in a shot with about three seconds left and I ended up grabbing his ankles and toe-dragging him to stay in bounds to be credited with a takedown and win by a point. It was the match to get into the blood round to stay in the tournament. My whole goal was to go as far as I can and I said I wasn’t going to lose at that point to the same kid I lost to a year ago. The biggest thing for me was after the match, I looked up in the stands and saw how happy my parents were, my coaches were going nuts, the Section 1 coaches were going nuts. It was really cool, it was nice.

TJN: So going into college next year, are you going to continue wrestling or will you play football?

SL: I’m committed to Worcester Polytechnic Institute to play football.

TJN: What position do you play?

SL: I play the quarterback

TJN: Why did you want to stick with football in college?

SL: I started playing when I was 5 years old. My dad (Tony) was a football player in college. He played down at East Texas Tech and he wanted me to play and I fell in love with it. It was awesome. I told him I wanted to play quarterback. He got me lessons and I kept working at it. I played for the middle school, JV and high school and started at all three levels.

TJN: Why did you want to play quarterback?

SL: At first I didn’t know what I wanted to play. I just wanted to run around as a kid. My dad described the quarterback as the best leader on the field. You had to be the toughest kid on the field. I said I wanted to be that kid and I wanted to be that leader. That’s what made me want to be that leader.

TJN: Who are your quarterback role models?

SL: Tom Brady and Jets quarterback Joe Namath.

TJN: Why civil engineering?

SL: I’ve always been good at math and science. My uncle is an architect and engineer in the city so I’ve always been around it. I’ve gone in to see what he does and it always interested me especially building large things like bridges and buildings.

TJN: How nice is it to have band as a place for an artistic release?

SL: Yes, I’ve always been fascinated with the scores to movies. I love John Williams scores, the score to “Star Trek” and the “Lord of the Rings” scores are my all-time favorite.

TJN: Since you mentioned the great John Williams, what did you think of the score from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”?

SL: I thought it was good how it kind of touched on the older score but throw in the new twist for each character they introduced, which was nice. John Williams is always going to be great no matter what he does. I thought it was cool.

TJN: What’s been your favorite community service you’ve done?

SL: I coached some of the young kids in Midget Mounties over the summer and when we had time during the season. I’ve coached a lot of the younger kids. I actually coached my sister when she wrestled. I like to work with kids in sports.

The Journal News Rockland Scholar-Athlete of the Week program honors students for their academic, athletic and community achievements. Each week a winner is selected from nominees submitted by athletic directors. Only seniors can be nominated, and the award can be won only once. Nominations must be received by 5 p.m. Monday. The presenting sponsor for The Journal News Rockland Scholar-Athlete program is Gary Goldberg Financial Services.

Debbie Schechter

Twitter: @LoHud_Debbie

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