Senior Spotlight: Stefano Bruni


Courtesy of Stefano Bruni

Pictured is wrestler Stefano Bruni showcasing his impressive set of moves

Jack Houston, Sports Editor

Whatever happens on the mat stays on the mat. This is the fierce, almost warrior-like, mentality which exemplifies senior Stefano Bruni’s attitude throughout his dominant run on the Ramapo wrestling team. With dominant performances and an ounce of swagger, Stefano has helped lead Ramapo to a new age of high school wrestling and has given its students a masterful set of skills to awe at.

Wrestling has always been a defining factor of Stefano’s life. At the young age of seven, Stefano was introduced to his future passion by his father. His father’s love for wrestling seemed to be genetic, as Stefano quickly took a great liking to the sport. Stefano’s dad quickly became Stefano’s number 1 coach and hype man, doing whatever it takes to make his son the best wrestler and person he can be.

Without a doubt, my Dad is my biggest supporter and critic,” says Stefano. “Without the critique there is no support. My dad thought the lessons within wrestling would be a great way to prepare me for what comes at me within life. And it did exactly that.”

Stefano’s burning passion for wrestling perfectly translated into extreme success. With an absurd amount of wins and accolades galore, Stefano has solidified his legacy as one of the Ramapo greats. Garnering an overall record of 68-28 (71% win rate), Stefano has showcased a masterful control over his body, increasing his body weight from 106 pounds in his freshman year (23-7 record), to 120 pounds in his sophomore year (19-13 record), to 132 pounds in his junior year (6-1 record), and finally to 138 pounds this year (20-7 record). His absolute dominance on the mat is shown on even the biggest stages in which he placed 6th in counties his freshman year, 5th in his sophomore year, and 3rd this year (his junior season was unfortunately cut short due to the pandemic). Stefano has also been placed on the 2018-2019 Big North Conference All-Division Second Team and the 2019-2020 Big North Conference All-Division Honors Team.

However, this sport is more to Stefano than the wins or the rewards.

“Wrestling is about mind-set and our teammates’ support of each other,” says Stefano. “This is almost the only sport that does not rely on others to pick up the slack. This is the sport that it is all on you. You either have it or you don’t. I hope Ramapo can some day get a full line-up of dedicated teammates that can challenge that responsibility.”

Stefano’s dedication to Ramapo has been noticed by both teammates and coaches. He is a natural born leader and this is shown through his positive nature and helpfulness that his teammates are bound to describe him as.

Stefano also harbors an extreme amount of respect for this team. When asked about what his favorite part about playing on the team, he responded with how “Being part of a small team [allows us to] learn about each other and become friends and relate to situations which bring us together. The memories we create as wrestlers are unique.”

Stefano’s love for the game and his teammates is also true for Ramapo itself.

“I will miss all those who made my experience at Ramapo memorable,” says Stefano. “That will include Coach Gibbs with wrestling and Mr. Mancino with setting me on a path to succeed. Also, my friends who had my back and those teachers who pushed me to my limits.”

As of now, Stefano is planning on pursuing a career in computer science where he will surely pan out to be a leader in that field.

If there is only one quote or statement to describe Stefano Bruni’s mentality and nature, it would be:

“It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” – Rocky