In a state with 32 high school wrestling districts, it’s hard to pinpoint one and say it’s unique.
But since I’ve been covering wrestling for various newspapers dating back a few decades, there are some nice memories for me at District 14, which is traditionally held at Livingston High School.
Besides the wrestling, there’s the usual array of food available outside the gym. Almost all of the goodies are homemade by parents and friends of the school and its respective wrestling program. The people who put it together don’t ask for any fanfare, but I had to say a special thanks to Michele Florio-Campisi, who makes a tremendous macaroni and cheese dish. For years, I’d pay my $3.00 for a nice portion of the M & C. And if you know people from Essex County, we can be particularly snobby when it comes to this dish.
This year, I got to the districts a little past lunch, and figured I’d missed out. But out of the blue, Michele approached me and said, “I got you covered.”
Bear in mind, I hadn’t seen Michele since last year’s tournament, but she still remembered. Her big heart certainly made my day.
Great, I said, figuring I’d get a nice dish of M & C. Instead, she had made me a pretty big tray, and three days after receiving it, I’m still enjoying.
According to Livingston wrestling coach Tom Noto, Florio-Campisi is a very important person to the wrestling community in town.
“Michele works really hard for us,” Noto said. “She runs the booster club and is always there for anything we need. She has a step son currently on the team and had another son graduate from Livingston High a few years back.”
Noto also said that Michele works with special-needs children.
So, thanks, Michele, for making the annual day of wrestling at District 14 continue to be special. Can’t wait for next year !
And thanks for all that you do.