By Jillian Stevens, Sports Division Head. Photo can be found here.
One of LCA’s fiercest leaders and lion pride enthusiasts, Dan Gattineri, is also a fiery competitor on the wrestling mat. LCA knows and loves Dan as our “At Large” Prefect; Dan is the gateway between the faculty and the students. He can be found leading cheerful and loud birthday celebrations at 8:00 am every month, and works to make every student feel special. We all know Dan as a nice, approachable teddy bear, but, when it comes to the wrestling mat, it’s a different story!
Dan is a true champion on the wrestling team, which is hard to do. He’s been wrestling for eight years, and, when he was in middle school, he competed on two teams at once. Dan placed first in the EIL for the 220 pound weight class in 2018. I asked Dan if he does anything to prepare for the season during the postseason, he said, “I’ve put several post and preseason months into wrestling. Through camps, fitness training, and other activities related to wrestling.” The work that Dan puts in during the offseason is always evident when the winter rolls around.
I asked Dan what he loves most about the sport. “The mental strength it takes,” he said, “wrestling is not like most sports. In team sports, a bad player can be on a great team and become a champion. You can’t in wrestling. When you step on that mat, there is no one in the world that can help you win; it’s all up to you.”
Dan is the senior captain of the wrestling team and works to rally all the guys together to push each other to be the best, and he leads most prominently by example. When Dan was telling me how important the team is to his performance, he said, “while it is up to the individual, a good team atmosphere can help everyone reach their full potential;” he went on to say “when everyone likes to work hard, it’s good because you want to better yourself so you can be as good as the older guys. But you also want a team that can have fun so you don’t end up hating practice or yourself.” These words coming from a captain are extremely important; a leader that knows how important a team effort is (especially within such an independent sport) is key to a team’s success.
Dan and his wrestling and leadership skills are assets to the LCA sports community, and we’re proud of him and the team.