Carroll County junior Joey Rotella is one of the Cavaliers’ top wrestlers. Having wrestled on the varsity squad since his freshman season, Rotella is off to a 28-5 record this season and working hard to make his first appearance in the Group AA State Wrestling Tournament in Salem after missing it by one match as a freshman and being set back by an injury last year. When he is not on the mat, Rotella has quite a humorous and interesting personality, which shines through in this week’s edition of Talking Trash.
You are off to a 28-5 start this year, but we understand your wrestling career didn’t have a very successful beginning. Could you tell us a little bit about your first year of wrestling in the sixth grade? NOT MUCH TO TELL, “I STUNK.” I was chubby, didn’t know anything, and each time I wrestled I got pinned within one minutes.
We understand you are also a big outdoorsman. Ever thought about combining those two passions and putting Bambi in the crossface? The very first time I went hunting and shot a deer I was left with a scare from the scope on my forehead. This was sort of how my wrestling life started….on my back with bumps and bruises. When I’m sitting on the ground waiting for Bambi to get close, I get this urge to double leg it to the ground.
Tell us about the time you went all-out in full wrestling gear, wearing your singlet, wrestling shoes and headgear during Spirit Week? I felt like showing my true colors to everyone…..My spirit and pride of wrestling. Plus no one thought I would do it. Everyone thinks I’m serious all the time when I do love having fun.
Did your coaches have a hard time getting you to discern from your left and right on the wrestling mat? If so, did Coach Morris threaten to tell all the girls to break you of this habit? Yes, they wrote with a marker Left and Right on the back of my hands…LOL. They also quizzed me everyday.
You do know that the atomic elbow is not allowed in high school wrestling, right? LOL…..now I do. Yea that move cost me! Who would have guessed it was illegal in UFC.
How stressed out where you the first time you ever had to wrestle a girl? VERY…I knew what would happen in the wrestling room if I lost. I never would have heard the end of it from the team.
Other than wrestling videos, what would the names Joey Rotella, Logan McCollum and Bronson Bowman bring up in a youtube search? “3 MEN WOLF PACK” and Bronson and I at the end of season. EARNEST T GRUMP! This was very funny for both of us. It’s still on YOUTUBE.
On a serious note, you were one match away from the state tournament as a freshman and missed it last year because of injury. What’s your mindset this year on making it to Salem?
My mindset is to put all my hard work and training to the test when I toe the mat. And by the good graces of the Man in Charge Upstairs come out on top.
Coach Morris says you would make a great soldier because you will do anything he tells you to do. Let’s reverse roles for a second. What would you like to tell Coach Morris to do? Tell him “you stink” for a change. He knows what I mean.
Speaking of Coach Morris, he says you still owe him a chicken biscuit from Hardee’s. How do you plea to these charges? GUILTY…..Paid in full now. Next time it will be the other way around.
Do you prefer to wrestle at 145 or 152 pounds, and why? 145 because I feel this is my strong point now where I don’t have to drain myself to get there.
What is your favorite type of wrestling? Folk style….this is my favorite but I enjoy Freestyle and Greco also. I especially enjoyed qualifying for the Virginia National Team in the 9th grade. I would have loved to have made it to Fargo, North Dakota but ended up breaking my hand while in training to leave at the UVA Camp.
Who is the toughest opponent you have ever faced? DEFEAT
Who has been the biggest influence on your wrestling career? Coach Joe Shumate……because he has been there on top and he wants me to succeed in my wrestling career.