“This year, one of my main goals was to win that county championship,” LaRotta said. “It has been the screensaver on my phone for a while. It was something I’ve been obsessed with so to finally be able to say I am a county champion meant a lot to me.”
At the William S. Venable DeKalb County Championships, LaRotta pinned Stone Mountain’s Jovarn Gueh for the 182-pound title.
“Every year he has always set his goals to do better than the year before and he has attained those goals,” Lakeside wrestling coach Pete Carlson said. “He is one of those kids who is very goal-driven. He is always focused on what he has to get done.”
This weekend, LaRotta hopes to defend his title in the Area Traditional Tournament and then go further in state sectionals and state championships.
“I always want to be pushing and try to put someone on their heels,” LaRotta said. “It’s a lot easier to take someone down when they are going backwards than if they are coming at you so I like to be the aggressor.”
LaRotta, who has a 3.2 grade-point average, doesn’t plan to wrestle in college, while majoring in business.
LaRotta and Carlson also gave a lot of credit to an honorary team member.
"My mom has always been there," LaRotta said. "She's always pushed me. Always made sure I was at the practices and at the competitions. She has put in just as much work as I have."
"He has a great mom who has always been supportive of our program," Carlson said. "She is at every meet."