Cross Cannone, the all-time leader in wrestling victories at Trumbull High, will be taking the mat for Wartburg College in Iowa this season.
“I was wrestling at the Senior National finals (at 132 pounds) in Virginia Beach last March and I lost in triple overtime to a guy who will be going to (Wartburg rival) Luther,” said Cannone, who compiled a 168-19 years in his four years at THS.
“After the match (recruiting coordinator) Chris Ortner came up to me, said he liked my heart, and wanted me to go to Wartburg and wrestle there.”
Cannone went for a visit. “I liked everything about the school,” he said. “From the coaches, to the guys on the team it was a great atmosphere.”
Wartburg, coached by Eric Keller (99-3), set an NCAA Division III record by winning four consecutive National Championships before Augsburg relegated the Knights to runner-ups last season.
Wartburg has had an individual National Champion every year since 2003. It has been the National Champion or the National runner-up in 16 of the last 19 years.
“Classes start on Sept. 9 and I will be leaving on the 2nd,” said Cannone, who will be studying pre-law. “Our first match is at the Luther Open on Oct. 14. This school has everything I want academically and athletically.”
A plus for Cannone is that he is expected to wrestle at 141 pounds in his first year.
“I’ve put on some weight, been lifting a ton, and it’s nice not to sweat about the pounds,” Cannone said.
His resume that includes being the 2015 State Open winner, a New England finalist in 2014-15, a two-time State Open finalist, two-time Class LL champion and a two-time FCIAC finalist resulted in Cannone being named the 2015 Trumbull Sports Person of the Year by The Fairfield County Sports Commission.
Cannone will be recognized at the 11th annual Sports Night awards dinner, Monday, Oct. 19, at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich at 6 p.m.
“I’m very honored to be chosen,” Cannone said. “My friend Phil Terio (football) was selected in 2013 and it’s nice to live up that type of performance.
“I loved my time at Trumbull. I’m happy to leave a legacy, but the ending was bitter sweet. In the New England finals I was doing well, controlling the match when I got thrown in the last second and lost.
“To this day it still haunts me. I’m going to bring that hunger with me to college.”