PROFILE: Cito Santiago wrestles to win for Rider

Written by: Jamie Strickland

Ramon “Cito” Santiago Jr., a twenty- year-old junior at Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ, says he never thought he would become a wrestler, let alone a champion.

“I thought I was going to grow up and play Major League baseball,” Cito said in a recent interview with The VOICE. “I didn’t expect for wrestling to take off at all.”

According to Ramon Santiago Sr., Cito’s father, Cito was always a great athlete, every sport he tried he was good at and wrestling was no exception.

As a junior at Sayreville High School, Cito placed in a state wrestling competition becoming a High School All American and defeating the second best high school wrestler in the country.

“It felt great to win,” said Cito. “Having a big crowd with all eyes on me is one of my favorite things about wrestling.”

Determined to help his son become the best wrestler he could be, Ramon Sr. would drive Cito fifty minutes from their house four times a week to train at Melisha Wrestling Club in Lodi, NJ.

Cito continued to wrestle all through high school, winning more than 100 matches and becoming a three time district champion. Cito earned a full wrestling scholarship to Rider University which is a Division I school.

According to Cito, wrestling in college is very different than in high school.  The matches are longer – about eight minutes compared to seven in high school.  And in college everyone on his team is a state champion, unlike in high school where people just signed up for something to do.

“[Cito] is a very talented wrestler and a lot tougher since last year,” said Gary Taylor, Rider’s head wrestling coach.

As a freshman wrestler at Rider University, Cito won 20 matches before officially making it on the team as a Rider Bronc. Cito has won thirty-three matches since making the team and his father was there to see them all.

“Since day one I’ve never missed any of his matches,” said Ramon Sr., “I remember every name and face of everyone he ever went up against.”

According to Cito, what it takes to win isn’t always fun. Along with practicing with his teammates five days a week, Cito also has to maintain his weight, which is a twenty-four hour, seven day a week job. Everything that he eats or drinks affects his weight and that could take him out of the 157 weight class.

“It’s hard because I love to eat,” said Cito, “I look forward to the summer when I can eat what I want.”

According to the article, “Broncs Have Spirit of St. Louis” on gobroncs.com, two Bronc wrestlers went to St. Louis this past March to compete in the 2012 Division I Wrestling Championship. Cito was not one of them. Both Taylor and Ramon Sr. said Cito could have been more aggressive at the finals that led up to the championship.

“He was too cautious,” said Ramon Sr..

According to Cito, no loss will make his wrestling career final, there will always be another match and he will be ready for next year’s championship.

“He has a shot at All American next year,” said Taylor, “but he will have to work hard to get there, same with all our wrestlers.”

Print Friendly
Share this:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumbler Email

Tags: , , , ,

Jamie Strickland
advert

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Transgender discussion panel succeeds despite vandalism

Including panelists, 20 people attended a transgender issues panel held at Mercer in SC 104 on April 16, 2015 despite […]

Atlantic City’s gamble doesn’t pay off for NJ students

When gambling was legalized in New Jersey in 1976, Atlantic City was touted as an economic dynamo that would be […]

College president Dr. Patricia Donohue retiring at end of semester

Mercer’s President, Dr. Patricia Donohue, is retiring at the end of this year after eight and a half years leading […]

Dr. Eun-Woo Chang sets new agenda as incoming VP at MCCC

On August 14, 2014, former Dean of Science, Engineering and Mathematics of Montgomery County Community College, Dr. Eun-Woo Chang replaced […]

Show me the honey: annual beekeeping demo at Howell Living History Farm

Standing in the morning sun, a cool breeze blowing, a crowd of about 25 people gathers around three white boxes […]

Student show opens in The Gallery at MCCC

Full disclosure: Reporter is currently an intern at The Gallery. This year’s annual Visual Arts Student Exhibition located at the […]

Community college worked for Tom Hanks and me; it can for you, too

What do James Dean, Eddie Murphy, Tom Hanks, you and I have all have in common? We have all attended […]

Community college bullshit was perfect prep for Ivy League

Mercer grad and former VOICE Editor-in-Chief Sara Gatling transferred to Columbia University where she graduated cum laude in 2013 with […]

Beloved English Professor Fran Davidson retires after 30 years

English Professor Fran Davidson is retiring at the end of this semester after 30 years of service to Mercer. She […]

Coach Kerins helps baseball team continue to thrive

Since moving from assistant to head baseball coach in 2012, Kevin Kerins has had a powerful effect on the team. […]

Mercer’s student production of Romeo and Juliet was a success

The Mercer County Community College rendition of Romeo and Juliet ran from April 10 to 19 and was fantastic. The […]

REVIEW: Big Easy Restaurant provides most mouth-watering soul food in Trenton

The Big Easy Restaurant is located on 120 South Warren Street, just a five minute walk from Mercer’s Trenton campus. […]

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.
Social links powered by Ecreative Internet Marketing