Athlete of the Week: 10 questions with Massey Odiotti, Loyola wrestling
Massey Odiotti is a senior wrestler for the Ramblers who became the first state champion in program history on Feb. 18. He will wrestle for Northwestern University next season.
1. Do you have any prematch rituals or superstitions?
My warmup routine — I always gotta make sure I do every step of it before a match. I can’t rush and skip things. I have to do all of it. First, I stretch out my calves, ankles, shoulders, and then knees, hips and back, and then stance and motion and visualize putting on ankle band and stepping on the lines, stance and motion and then fast feet, knees to chest twice and cycle through that until match starts.
2. Why Northwestern?
I think it’s a good fit because I was looking for a school strong academically and with wrestling. It’s in the Big 10, and it was a goal of mine to wrestle in the Big 10. It checked all the boxes and I didn’t want to go too far from home. … It all fit what I wanted in a college.
3. When did you get into wrestling?
I started wrestling in second grade. My dad wrestled in high school (Loyola Academy) and college (Boston College) and wanted my brothers and I to give it a try. We all tried and liked it.
4. What do you enjoy most about wrestling?
I think the I enjoy most is that it’s something hard. It’s unlike other sports in a way. Other sports I played practices were more laid back and chill and fun, more like an activity. Even when I did travel baseball and soccer, it was never as strenuous as wrestling. When you do something hard, the accomplished feeling is more satisfying. Finishing a tough soccer practice was never like what got after a tough wrestling practice.
5. You wrestled at 120 pounds for three years. How difficult was that?
It wasn’t very hard. The first year at 120, I was kind of walking around at 120. Last year the (weight) cut was bad but it wasn’t awful. But my diet wasn’t as fine tuned. This year, I stayed to the diet better. This year was pretty easy.
6. What is your dream job?
Right now I’d probably say a personal trainer, working with athletes. I want a job where I can be active too. I don’t want to be sitting around all day. All personal trainers I’ve had work out before or after or with me. That seems like something fun, and I’m helping out the next group of athletes.
7. What is your favorite thing to do off the mats?
I like hanging out with friends. I don’t really play much video games or anything. In winter, it’s mostly wrestling season, but in summer, going fishing is fun.
8. If you’re in Walgreens with a couple bucks, what are you buying?
Probably the Reese’s wafer bars. That’s kind of specific but really good. And probably like an Arnold Palmer for a rink.
9. What’s something people don’t know about you?
I used to do magic shows. I performed magic tricks in front of audiences — all throughout middle school, sixth grade through eighth grade. I did one in an auditorium at Northwestern in front of a lot of people.
10. What can you say about wrestling for Loyola Academy?
I think (the success) was largely due to my coaches. I didn’t come into Loyola as a big kid to watch out for. I was really not very good coming in. It was really the coaching staff that helped me, starting as a freshman. Another big thing was seeing the good and the bad. During the COVID year, the bad was the school getting shut down and the good was I was able to find time to travel to Wisconsin and other tournaments and spend time focusing on wrestling. That year I made one of my biggest jumps.
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Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319