THOMASTON — As the summer looms closer, C.R.E.A.M.P.U.F.F. Wrestling Club is getting the kitchen set to bake their next batch of great wrestlers during their second session of the program since its maiden season last summer.

Head Coach Gabriel Pietrorazio of Watertown is recruiting athletes from varying levels of experiences into the sport of wrestling. With an estimated 11 to 13 wrestlers who joined the program last session from the towns of Thomaston, Waterbury, Watertown, Woodbury and Terryville, C.R.E.A.M.P.U.F.F. cultivated personal growth, athletic success and a true sense of team comradery funneled through the art of wrestling by proudly representing their purple and yellow pastry banner in offseason competitions throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Last summer, C.R.E.A.M.P.U.F.F. captured numerous individual medals at tournaments and secured high school club team distinctions including second place in July as well as a championship title victory in August during the monthly Nieves Wrestling Club tournaments hosted by Springfield Technical Community College.

Alongside the experienced Assistant Coach John Varanelli, a former UConn wrestler and coach of the Berkshire Valley Bears, the Thomaston varsity winter co-op wrestling team, Pietrorazio has sought to expand the size of his coaching staff with a new crop of talented coaches in preparation to accomodate a resurging need for the club.

Kevin McDonald, a student at Chase Collegiate School and member of the Class of 2019 will jump onboard as an assistant coach with C.R.E.A.M.P.U.F.F. As a highly accomplished high school wrestler, a multi-time prep-school state and New England placer, who recently received a scholarship on behalf of the Connecticut Wrestling Hall of Fame, McDonald feels fortunate to give back to the sport that gave him a fulfilling career, especially after deciding to not wrestle in college by committing to study at Salve Regina University next fall.

“While I haven’t chosen to wrestle in college, I hope to always keep it a part of my life, including helping those who helped me,” McDonald expressed.

Years prior, Pietrorazio inspired McDonald to fully invest into wrestling while attending Chase Collegiate School, before he graduated in 2016. Pietrorazio is very content in soliciting the skills and services of McDonald four-years after they first met when he initially guided him through the sport.

Additionally, as the standout wrestler from the inaugural C.R.E.A.M.P.U.F.F. crew in 2018, McDonald shall return to the program as an educator and inspiration for club wrestlers once he assumes his newly appointed coaching position.

D.J. Mangini, a graduate from Holy Cross High School’s Class of 2016 will also join C.R.E.A.M.P.U.F.F. as the second newest assistant coach. A prominent high school wrestler, Mangini was a superior athlete within the NVL wrestling scene and a standard bearer at the state level, who has been highly regarded by his fellow wrestling peers.

While attending Chase, Pietrorazio routinely trained, drilling moves with Mangini in co-op practices between the two high schools during their winter seasons. 

“I’m very excited to be joining the club and grateful for the opportunity to have an impact on these young wrestlers,” Mangini explained.

Pietrorazio notes that he his fortunate to have Mangini serve C.R.E.A.M.P.U.F.F. in this capacity as a dear friend and dedicated individual to the sport by joining his coaching staff.

Finally, Nicholas Pietrorazio, brother of Gabriel rounds out the crew to fill-in the final assistant coaching position. A former C.R.E.A.M.P.U.F.F. wrestler, third placer at the 2018 Nutmeg State Games and 2019 NVL tournament at the 138lb weight class, he is excited to start coaching with the program upon graduating from Holy Cross High School’s Class of 2019 and pledging to study at Roosevelt University of the Chicago College of Performing Arts next fall.

After assembling a newly-fledged coaching staff and full offseason schedule packed with Folkstyle, Freestyle, Greco-Roman and Beach wrestling tournaments throughout New England, their summer session is slated to start in early June.

Practices are coordinated to take place twice-a-week at the Thomaston High School with athletes trickling in from Thomaston and its surrounding local towns.

C.R.E.A.M.P.U.F.F. is already accepting new high school youth athletes who are interested in joining the club team this upcoming summer session, pulling from a wide pool of skill levels, ranging from beginners to experts. 

Those seeking additional information may email creampuffwrestlingclub@gmail.com.

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