Mike Racca Versatility a Bonus for Franklin Wrestling

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Senior Mike Racca has been able to wrestle in different weight classes for Franklin High, something that has brought the team to the top of its game.
Issue Date: 
April, 2018
Article Body: 

Wrestling for the Franklin High School, Mike Racca has seemed to find success in whatever weight class he has been in. During his first three seasons wrestling in the Division 1 Central Championships, the now senior found himself near the top of the pack for the most part. As a freshman wrestling at 106 pounds, Racca finished second in the sectionals; the following year, he moved up to 113 pounds and grabbed a third place finish, and last winter, wrestling at 120, he finished fifth.
So needless to say, when it came time to wrestle this year, his final season with the Panthers, it was not out of the ordinary that Racca changed weight classes once again – this time to 145.
“I don’t care who I am wrestling, I was not interested in personal goals. I just want to wrestle and help the team win,” Racca said. “Wrestling at 145 I got to eat what I wanted for the most part and still got to go out and kick ass on the mat going 27-8.”
Originally, it was the senior who approached Franklin Coach Carmine Colace about the move. Colace told him that if he was serious, he’d have to put on some weight on.
“Having a bunch of wrestlers in the 126, 132 and 138 weight classes, Mike thought it best for the team if he bumped up to wrestle at 145, so that his teammates could wrestle where they wanted,” the Franklin Coach said. “That tells you a lot about the kind of person he is.”
Although he did manage to put some weight on, Racca was still giving up some serious weight to his opponents once he got into the tournament and didn’t fare all that well, but it wasn’t about him, he was wrestling for the team.
“I just went out and tried to win, it was all heart and drive that allowed me to wrestle bigger guys. I was going up against kids 10-15 pounds heavier, but it didn’t bother me,” Racca said. “I was not concerned with individual success, I was focused on the team, and we crushed it. We finished 24-0 won the Hocks, the Sectionals and the Dual States.”
The Panther coached agreed.
“Mike is the type of kid who wrestles bigger than he is. He is always thinking win and usually backs it up, although his size eventually got the best of him in the States,” Colace said. “He had three big pins in the State Dual Championships, giving us momentum to capture the title.”
Wrestling found its way to Racca’s heart some 10 years earlier when his father introduced him to the sport through the Recreation Department. From there, a younger Racca joined Colace’s wrestling club, where he has since dedicated three seasons a year to the sport.
Almost immediately, Racca knew that this was for him and soon found himself on the winning side more often than not.
“When I started winning I realized that I had a talent for this sport, even though I was wrestling against kids who were 8 years older,” he said. “I got the crap beat out of me more than once, but I was having fun doing something I enjoyed, while learning.”
Upon entering high school, Racca had to take a much more serious approach to wrestling and was convinced that he wasn’t going to be on the winning side of the match all that much.
“During my freshman year, I figured that I was going to lose my share of matches, but when I pinned my very first opponent in 30 seconds, I found out that high school wrestling wasn’t that much different and the competition seemed to be about the same,” he said. “That first win helped me, and I was very confident in my ability.”
Prior to his sophomore season, he was able to attend the Disney Wrestling Duals in Orlando Florida with his club team where he went 8-6 squaring off against some talented wrestlers throughout the country.
Capping off his final season on the mat with his Franklin teammates, Racca is proud of his accomplishments, and although he will be attending college next fall, he’s unsure if he’ll wrestle.
“I’m undecided where I’ll be going to college, but I don’t think wrestling is in my future,” Racca said. “I think I might just go out on top, with everything that we accomplished as a team this year.”