Slackman (Top) wrestling Niko Angelinas (Patchogue-Medford)
Commack senior and Section 11 stud heavyweight Joey Slackman has committed to the University of Pennsylvania. Along with a heavy list of colleges in consideration including many other Ivy League schools, Hoftsra, Duke, Bucknell and Binghamton, Slackman felt UPenn was the prefect fit both athletically and academically.
"The coaching staff welcomed me with open arms at my unofficial visit and made me feel right at home whenever I spoke to them." Joey added. Fortunately for Joey and his family, UPenn's campus is just a mere two and a half hour drive from their home in Suffolk County.
Slackman was also drawn into the history of the UPenn program and the prestige that 21 year veteran Coach Roger Reina carries. "Coach Reina is someone that I want to be mentored by as he has an esteemed history at the school." Joey said.
While Slackman was on his unofficial visit, he met a lot of incoming freshman and even some future teammates including Section 6 standout and NYS Runner-Up Tyler Hall of East Aurora.
"Tyler was extremely kind and welcoming to me. He did a great job of showing me what being a Penn wrestler is all about." Joey stated.
Before Joey steps foot on the Philadelphia campus, his senior season at Commack looms and is welcomed by huge expectations and some unfinished business.
Last season, Slackman took the silver medal in both the Section 11 tournament and the New York State tournament losing both times to eventual champion and North Carolina St. freshman Deonte Wilson of Amityville.
Slackman's ultimate goal for his senior campaign is becoming a New York State Champion. Aiming to be a state champion does bring along some extra hype. "I am aware of the ensuing competition because of my success from last year. I will be prepared for the challenge and I am looking forward to this year." Slackman said.
The loss in the state finals doesn't nullify Slackman's 2017 success which included a win over nationally ranked Tony Cutrie of Wyoming Seminary at the prestigious Eastern States Classic. Coming off line 9, not many expected Slackman to get beyond the aforementioned Deonte Wilson in the quarterfinals. An unbeknown injury to Wilson allowed Joey to advance to the semi-finals where he pinned Section 4 Champion Trentyn Rupert of Newark Valley.
Being down 4-1 after the first period against Cutrie, Slackman cradled up Cutrie twice in the second period scoring 2 points each time. After a 3rd period escape, the upset was complete and Joey Slackman became a household name through the entire state of New York.
We look forward to seeing Joey Slackman in action this upcoming year and wish him the best of luck!
Joey would like to send a special thank you to his high school coaches Mike Guercio, Frank Lamagna and Steve Troisi, Coach Izzy Medina of West Babylon, The club coaches at Pro-Ex, H.E.A.TSprotsLI, and his parents and sister Valerie for their continued support and love throughout this process.