Oklahoma high school wrestling: Ferrari brothers making their presence known in debut season with Stillwater
STILLWATER — Anthony Ferrari’s aggression began to show at a young age.
He was about 4 and doing drills during a martial arts class when another kid got him on the ground.
As the situation escalated, Ferrari quickly felt an uncontrollable stream of emotions.
“This kid was choking me out,” Ferrari said. “He had me in some weird position. I just said, ‘When I get up, I’m going to kill you.’”
Stunned and terrified by what Ferrari had said, the other boy ran to his father and started crying as he told him what had happened.
The boy’s father was impressed with Ferrari. He admired the kid’s toughness.
He went over to Ferrari’s dad and talked to him about Anthony and his other brothers.
“He told us we should try wrestling,” Anthony said. “So, we got into it.”
Now, the Ferraris are one of the most elite wrestling families in the nation.
Anthony, a junior Oklahoma State commit, and his younger brother, Angelo, are the newest stars at Stillwater High School and will try next month to win Class 6A state titles in their first season since transferring from Allen, Texas.
Their older brother, AJ, is a freshman 197-pounder at OSU and was the nation’s top recruit in the 2020 class.
Anthony and Angelo, a freshman, instantly got comfortable in Stillwater and have already proven they are among the best high school wrestlers in the state.
They live and breathe the sport, and Oklahoma is a perfect fit.
“It’s not just something they do,” Stillwater coach Ethan Kyle said. “They’re living the whole lifestyle. The results kind of speak for themselves.”
The Ferrari brothers — proud Italian-Americans — were raised in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and their dad is a certified public accountant.
They moved to New Jersey in 2018 because of wrestling and lived in the state for a brief time. AJ and Anthony wrestled at Blair Academy, which regularly competes in the famed Geary Tournament in Oklahoma, and Bergen Catholic before moving back to Texas in 2019.
With AJ at OSU and excellent coaches and training partners in Oklahoma, the Ferrari family decided to move to Stillwater.
“I like it,” said Anthony, who competes in the 160-pound division. “It’s different. In Texas, football was the sport. In Oklahoma, wrestling is the state sport it seems like.”
Angelo, the second youngest out of five kids in the family and the youngest boy, has also enjoyed his time in the state.
Just like his two brothers, he is one of the nation’s top wrestlers in his class.
The 152-pounder has always looked up to Anthony and AJ. He embraced every opportunity to learn from them when he was growing up.
“I’d be with (Anthony) every day getting beat up,” Angelo said. “And then AJ was amazing because he would always show me technique every day, so it’s just been great.”
Anthony and Angelo know just about everything about each other.
They share a room at their house and spend countless hours together.
“He may get on my nerves sometimes, but we’re really close,” Anthony said.
Wrestling is at the center of their relationship.
Along with practicing together, the brothers work out in their home gym in the garage. They’re gym rats and often post weight lifting videos on social media.
And of course, the brothers are extremely competitive with each other.
“The other day, handball got too competitive,” Anthony said.
The brothers are focused on their sport and want to become UFC fighters after their wrestling careers.
They certainly have the work ethic it takes to be successful professional fighters.
Kyle, who is in his first season as Stillwater’s coach and was a standout wrestler at OSU, is astonished with the brothers’ relentless drive.
“I mean, Angelo is in ninth grade,” Kyle said. “Most ninth-graders are still learning how to get their shoes taped properly. … They’re ready to scrap every day, and they put their whole heart and their whole soul into every session that they’re in. It’s amazing.
“As a coach, it’s awesome to have that to point to every day.”
Reporter Nick Sardis covers high school sports across the Oklahoma City metro and state. Have a story idea for Nick? He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @nick_sardis. Support Nick’s work and that of other Oklahoman journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today at oklahoman.com/subscribe or by using the link at the top of this page.