By Aphrodite Kotrotsios
Special to the Hellenic News of America
Stefanos Karpontinis, a senior at Nortre Dame High School in Lawrenceville, NJ, has shaken up the world of athletics. This young rising star is on the varsity teams for both football and wrestling. He currently holds a 26-1 record for wrestling. This year, he also won the Mercer County wrestling title. He has embraced his talents and transformed himself into an unstoppable machine. His next step includes the State Championship this weekend, which is held in Atlantic City, NJ.
What’s running through his head you ask? Relief. He set a goal and is now on his way to achieving victory at state champs. He couldn’t be more excited and ambitious about the upcoming tournament. The Karpontinis clan, comprised of family and friends, will be there with him to cheer him on to victory.
Karpontinis is of Greek descent. His family came from Kalamata, Greece, and has settled in Hamilton, NJ. He is also a member of Saint George Greek Orthodox Church in Hamilton, NJ, where he plays G.O.Y.A basketball. He is also a dedicated student and athlete. For Karpontinis, balancing school, a social life and athletics hasn’t been an easy task, but he has set goals for himself and that’s what helps him stay focused on his aspirations of going on to play professional football. “Hitting the books and training all the time has cost me my social life,” said Karpontinis. “I am very passionate about sports, and of course, doing well in school. Obtaining a solid educational foundation will set me up for life.”
Karpontinis refuses to be just average. He knows the only way he can make a difference in his career is by working hard and setting goals, and this mindset has certainly paid off for him. He has been recruited to play Division I football at St. Francis University in Loretto, PA.
“One message that I would give to a fellow athlete is to just keep pushing forward, even though things might look like they are bad and seem as if there is no hope, it gets better in the end. It always does,” concluded Karpontinis.
Photo 1: Stefanos Karpontinis
Photo 2: Stefanos with Teammates
Photo 3: Stefanos with his mother, Margo