Leesburg (May 15, 2016) — Loudoun County High School senior Jack Scalio has made a commitment to continue his wrestling career at the Virginia Military Institute starting in the 2016-2017 school year.
“It feels amazing, all the hard work over the years paid off — everything fell into place,” the 6-foot, 170 pound Scalio said. “I finally 100-percent know where I’m going for the next four years. I always had VMI in the back of my mind but now it’s official.”
The Division I Keydets are coached by Chris Skretkowicz — who took over the team in 2014 after being the assistant coach for seven years prior.
“[It’s the] best path for success. I was looking at the bigger picture of things when I made my decision: great school academically, Division I athletics, a coaching staff I had built a relationship with and a structured environment” Scalio said. “Also VMI was the only place I would be able to accept the four-year Air Force ROTC Scholarship I received and still be able to wrestle in college. VMI really cares about it’s students and takes care of them. Not only when you’re attending the school, but also after you graduate.”
Scalio mentioned among the things he hopes he can bring to the team is his great work ethic and refusal to quit.
“[I will add my] hard work and a great attitude,” Scalio said. “I’m constantly looking for room to improve. I’m competitive and try to outwork everyone else. I take pride in working hard. I’m coachable and have a positive outlook on life. I see adversity and anything else in my path to success as a challenge to take head on. I refuse to quit.”
In the 2015-2016 season, Scalio finished with a record of 44-6 and placed fifth at the VHSL 4A state tournament back on February 19 and 20.
“It’s been quite an awesome ride. I was blessed with one of the best coaches in Virginia — Joel Caruso. Our room was filled with great wrestlers. Getting beat on as a younger wrestler definitely helped made me mentally tougher in the long run. Coach [Caruso] recognized the hard work I was putting in and elected me as the only captain my senior year,” Scalio said. “Previous captains Logan Smith, Hunter Day and Luke Rivera all set the example of how things were to be run. Not only that but they guided [the]younger me along the way to where I ended up [today]. I progressed tremendously as a person and wrestler during my time at Loudoun County. My senior season was my most memorable one.
Scalio mentioned that although he only started wrestling his sophomore year, it’s something that has changed his life and made him who he is today.
“I started wrestling my sophomore year because I wanted a sport that would not only challenge me, but made me in control of the outcome,” Scalio said. “On the mat, it’s just you and your competition. Winning or losing is all dependent upon yourself and how much work you’ve put into it.
The All-LoCo honorable mention wrestler also noted that the sport is the backbone for his life.
“I wrestle for many reasons. Wrestling gives me purpose, it forces me to set goals for myself and then go out and achieve them. It keeps me extremely busy and away from trouble. Wrestling builds a strong bond. Some of my closest friends I have made through wrestling. Plus, it’s a lot of fun just letting it fly out on the mat,” Scalio said. “Whenever I start to lose motivation I think about what motivated me in the first place and where I want to be in the future as a wrestler. I also think about the doubt placed upon me by others and how I want to prove them wrong.”