Athlete of the Week Luke Petaccia

Luke Petaccia



Weight Class: 160 pounds

Recent Performance: On Feb. 22, Petaccia took first place in the District 4 Tournament. He continued his postseason success on Saturday, when he placed third in the Region 1 tournament, ensuring his spot in the New Jersey State Tournament in Atlantic City this weekend. Seeded 16th out of 32 - right in the middle of the pack - Petaccia was defeated in his first match on Thursday, but kept his hopes of placing alive, securing the victory in the first round of wrestlebacks.

Recent Team Results: The Indians were knocked out of the North 1, Group 3 state sectional playoffs by Paramus. Less than two weeks later, PV won the District 4 Tournament as a team, while advancing eight wrestlers - including Petaccia - to the Region 1 Tournament.

Pascack Valley after winning the District 4 Tournament

What Petaccia contributed to the team: Wrestling at 160 pounds in his junior campaign and bumping up to 170 pounds when necessary, Petaccia was a staple in the Indians' lineup for the third straight season.

What Petaccia Likes Most About Wrestling: Petaccia likes that even though wrestling is a team sport, when it comes down to it, there are only two people on the mat controlling the action.

District 4 Tournament results for Pascack Valley. Eight wrestlers placed in the top three, prolonging their seasons and earning themselves a spot in the Region I Tournament.

Expectations before Region 1 Tournament:

Knowing he needed to have a positive mindset in order to succeed, Petaccia believed he could place top four in the region and punch his ticket to the state tournament.

“I think it’s important to have confidence and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without believing that I could get there.”

Petaccia placed third in the Region 1 tournament on Saturday, sealing a spot in states. Thursday marked his first appearance in the New Jersey State Tournament in Atlantic City.

Emotions Prior to State Tournament: “I’m really excited to get a chance that not a lot of people get, and I worked really hard for it,” Petaccia said. “I’m a little nervous but I’m more excited to just get there and do the best that I can.”

Best Wrestling Memory: Petaccia’s fondest moment in wrestling came In 2018, when PV won the North 1, Group 3 state sectional title.

Favorite Pre-match Meal/Snacks: Petaccia eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, as well as pretzels before his matches.

Sport Superstitions: Prior to every home match, Petaccia has the same routine to prepare mentally and physically.

“I always go in the wrestling room before the match,” Petaccia said.

Petaccia wrestles in the 145 pound weight class during his freshman season. As a third-year starter for the Indians, Petaccia was a starter on PV's North 1, Group 3 title-winning team in 2018.

Favorite Netflix Show: American Vandel

What He's Been Streaming: Rap, Country, and Classic Rock

Favorite Teacher: Anthony Judilla

Favorite Pro Athlete: Saquon Barkley

Superpower of Choice: Teleportation

Dream Vacation Spot: Costa Rica

What Petaccia Does In His Free Time: Petaccia enjoys fishing and watching movies in his free time.

One Thing People May Not Know: Before deciding he was going to commit to wrestling, Petaccia used to play basketball.

Role Models: Petaccia looks up to many others, including his parents, his brother Drew, and his coaches, specifically coach Gallione.

Future Plans: Still only in his junior year of high school, Petaccia is not completely sure about his future, and still needs to make decisions on where he wants to go to school, as well as many other parts of his future.

Created By
Noah Silver