Re2pect For When the Stars Align

It is extremely difficult to win a state championship.

We all know that.

But I would attest that those who have won one have a keener sense of how difficult it is to do.

They understand that there are many variables at play.

Variables, that no matter how much they tried, they could not control. And that makes them understand the difficulty of the feat, but it also makes them see and experience the vulnerability of the sport up close.

Repeating as a state champion from one year to another is special.

After winning it one-year one realizes all that had to go right in order to win it. The stars had to line up perfectly. And they did.

After winning it one year, one also realizes how lucky they were for having those stars align at the right time. And how much could have gone wrong and how different the outcome could have been even with just one variable changing.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to win a state championship two years in a row, looking to win a third.

Or three years in a row looking to win a fourth.

Or incredibly four years in a row looking to win a fifth.

But Adam Busiello can.

And believe me, he understands and appreciates all that goes into winning and the difficulty it is to repeat as state champion from one year to the next.

It has always fascinated me how Adam has handled winning five straight NYS championships.

I always wondered if he appreciated and understood the difficulty of his own achievement.

I believe he does.

Why do I feel that he does?

Take a look at his actions right after winning his 5th NYS championship.

After a very brief communication of love to his family in the crowd, and after being released from a bear hug from Coach Ryan Patrovich, Adam made his way back to the center of the circle to shake hands with Willie McDougald, who himself was a returning state champion.

Right after Adam and Willie shake hands, and just as Willie was done with the handshake and ready to walk away, Adam stops him for a second, consoles him and offers some words of encouragement.

It was in this brief, easily missed exchange when I realized that Adam had a great appreciation of the difficulty of the stars aligning once again.

He was quite aware of how difficult the task was to repeat as a State Champion and magnitude of what he had just accomplished.

After winning his 5th state championship Adams intuitive reaction was to respect his opponent, a State Champion who did not repeat in this given year.

To console and offer encouragement to him.

To empathize with him.

He didn’t get in his face and taunt him like so many wrestlers nowadays are doing.

Instead, he briefly put himself in his opponent’s place, felt what he was feeling.

At that moment, my re2pect for Adam and the magnitude of what he accomplished increased exponentially if that is even possible.

And yes, I brought out the Jeter Re2pect to describe Adam, it is extremely fitting.

I have tremendous Re2spect for not only what Adam accomplished, but more so for Adam having appreciation that the stars aligned once again.


For All Works by JohnA Passaro


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