Talk about conflicting emotions!
When the Timberlane wrestling team invades North Andover on Dec. 27 for the second battle of mat powerhouses, Knights’ junior Stephen Cincotta will be in emotional turmoil.
On the one hand, Cincotta will be excited for the chance at redemption for North Andover after last year’s lopsided defeat to the Owls.
“It’s a really big meet — we got whipped last year and we definitely want some revenge,” he said. “We’ve been looking forward to this.”
On the other hand, Cincotta will be down in the dumps because he won’t be out there with his teammates competing in what is clearly the region’s marquee dual meet.
“This will be a really tough one to miss,” he said. “I like going to the meets but it kills me inside to see my friends wrestling. I want to be out there helping the team.”
Unfortunately, Cincotta has gotten accustomed to missing not only big meets but, because of a slew of injuries, virtually all meets over the last four years. If there were a poster boy for athletic injuries, he’d be a leading candidate.
Over the years, Cincotta has had two knee surgeries for a torn meniscus, two shoulder surgeries, the most recent coming Oct. 8, and three elbow surgeries, with a fourth scheduled for Jan. 8.
His elbow problems have been with him since he was 4 years-old and broke his growth plate when he fell off a chair. When he got his cast off, it was discovered that the injury hadn’t healed properly. He’s been trying to correct the problem ever since.
“There’s a bone chip stuck in the elbow and sometimes it makes my elbow lock.” said Cincotta, whose father, Carl, is the Knights’ coach and whose older brother Nick is a senior on the team. “I can’t straighten it out. I’ll wake up sometimes in a lot of pain.”