From dream to reality: The story of Mac Cafurello and his road to a state title

Sports

CLIFTON, Va (WDVM) — Mac Cafurello’s wrestling career started long before he became a state champ in 2020. It actually started when he was born. 

“As soon as I was born, he already bought me a pair of shoes,” said Mac Cafurello. “So it was bound to happen.”

“For my kids, it was definitely and introduction,” said Mac’s father, Bruce. “It was never a huge push. They had to enjoy it.”

From an early age, Mac began to fall in love with the sport of wrestling. 

“I’ve done a lot of other sports as a kid, but wrestling was just the one that stood out to me and I felt like I could have the most success with,” said Mac.

The success started to come to Mac at a young age, but all of a sudden, he was a Freshman in high school. 

“Anything from the practice room to the matches to the tournaments to the atmosphere, it was all different as soon as you entered high school,” said Mac.

It might have seem different, and felt different, but Mac still found success his freshman year, making it to the state meet. 

“He went 2-2 at states as a freshman and then he was just hungry,” said Bruce. “He was hungry to work harder, put more time in, more effort, to get himself better.”

His second year at the state meet, Mac was looking to do more than compete. He wanted to place. But the sophomore found himself leaving states again with nothing. 

“It was definitely a heart breaking moment,” said Mac. “Not what we wanted and I definitely had to go back to the drawing board and just kind of process it in my mind, it happened, stumble in the road, and just get back to work.”

“That was definitely a turning point in his career and he was motivated by his not placing at the state tournament,” said Bruce.

That offseason, Mac was prepared to make sure that wouldn’t happen again. 

“That summer was probably my most intense training session for a while,” said Mac. “I started hitting the weight room a lot more, I started to get a lot stronger. I knew I had two more years to get it done and just not letting it break me.”

The hard work finally paid off. His Junior season was a dominant one, and it ended with a spot on the podium, at the top of the podium, as a state champ. 

“It was a great feeling,” said Mac. “After I put my arms up I just knew I really made my family proud, including myself, all my friends, coaches, teammates. Just knowing that I accomplished that, was such a big goal in my mind.”

“All the long nights, and the long car trips, and the late nights of practice and studying and keeping up with everything,” said Bruce. “To see that pay off. He paid his dues and he has worked hard and he has earned everything he’s got.”

As a senior, Mac looks to defend his state title this Sunday in Virginia Beach. Then it is off to college, where he will continue his career at Roanoke College. 

“The goal was to always wrestle in college,” said Mac. “I think a lot of kids look for that state title, but also look to wrestle in college.”

From missing out on placing at states his first two years, to now being a state champ looking for number two. Mac Cafurello is leaving behind his legacy at Centreville High School.

“I think, what he wanted to do is show everybody that if you put in the work, those things are possible,” said Bruce,

“If you want to work hard towards a goal, you got to put the work in for it,” said Mac. “You can’t say you want to, you actually have to do it. Enjoy practice. Enjoy the technique you learn. Enjoy the bonds you have after a tournament. Just enjoying it. That’s what you need to base your career off of. Not just the end result.”

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