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Junior Alec DiVito took second place in the 132-pound division at the Class M State Championship for the East Haven wrestling team this winter. Alec also plays receiver for Yellowjackets’ football squad. (Photo courtesy of Alec DiVito )
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Alec DiVito has competed for East Haven’s football and wrestling teams since his freshman year at the high school. Now a junior, Alec has turned the corner and become a solid contributor for both squads.
As a member of the football team, Alec plays receiver and catches passes from his twin brother, quarterback Tanner DiVito. On the wrestling mat, Alec recently completed a season that saw him post a record of 36-14 and finish as the runner-up in the 132-pound weight class at the Class M State Championship.
Alec has a career record of 62-42 with the Yellowjackets’ varsity wrestling team after having gone 21-10 in the JV ranks. He’s put in plenty of hard work to get where he is now.
“After my freshman year, I was 4-6. I wanted to be a good wrestler, so I started doing some offseason wrestling with kids from different schools. At the time, they were better than me. They taught me moves and different techniques to be a good wrestler,” says Alec. “My sophomore year, I went 22-22, which is still not where I should’ve been. So, after that season, I did much more offseason training and went to different tournaments. I went to Lake Placid and faced kids from all over the United States, and learned a lot, which led to me being second in Class M this year.”
East Haven wrestling Head Coach Mark Tolla saw the results of Alec’s offseason effort in each one of the junior’s bouts this season. Alec was consistent for the Yellowjackets throughout the year. In addition to taking second at states, he also placed well at several tournaments during the regular season and then finished fourth in the 132-pound bracket at the SCC Championship.
“He really put his time in during the offseason to develop his craft. Alec will wrestle for six minutes and not stop moving for all six minutes. He has that grit and stamina that you just can’t teach,” Tolla says. “He’s a kid that, early in his career, wasn’t afraid to take a risk. He’d be winning matches, but make a mistake, and not win matches he should win. That’s part of the learning process and, this year, he was wrestling smart, and he just blossomed. I think he’s shooting for the stars.”
Alec wrestled in a few different weight classes for East Haven this year. He competed at 126, 132, and 138, while helping the Yellowjackets put 20 victories in the books. Alec feels that the 132-pound division is the right one for him.
“I think I’m at my best at 132. It’s my natural weight, so I don’t have to cut too much for it,” says Alec. “126 is small and tough for me to get to, while I don’t look right at 138, because I’m a little skinnier.”
Alec has put together great runs at the Class M State Championship in each of the past two seasons. Last winter, he came in fourth place in the 126-pound division. Going into this year, Alec wanted to place higher at states and came through with a second-place performance.
“A lot of the kids there had beaten me previously, but I wanted to place, and I wanted to place higher than fourth. I had the mindset of winning every match,” Alec says. “I won my first match 8-2. Then, I had another match where the kid does a lot more offseason than me and has more technique, but I used my strength to my advantage and countered most of his moves, which led to me going to the finals, where I lost a tough match. It gave me good experience of what the kids are like at that level and what I should be.”
Alec feels fortunate that he gets to compete alongside his brothers on the football and wrestling teams. Alec says that Tanner and his younger brother Matt help him get better every day.
“It’s great having them, because they’re always there in my corner, helping me, and telling me what I should do,” says Alec. “I drill with my brothers, and they push me really hard to be great. That’s why Tanner is a two-time placer and why Matt placed at SCCs. We all push each other to be great, and it’s really benefiting all of us.”
With his senior year still ahead, Alec has his sights set on seeing continued success on both the gridiron and the mat.
“For football, I want to score two touchdowns next year, because I haven’t gotten any. I want to get a least two and catch most of the passes thrown to me, because I did drop a few last year that I should’ve had,” Alec says. “For wrestling, I want to place at least second in most tournaments and have a really good record.”
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