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PHOTO BY MARY CAMARCA

Fauquier High senior Gino Camarca (left) will be joining older brother Franco at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. Gino, 17, won the 138-pound state title in February by pinning all four opponents. Franco, 20, won state titles his junior and seniors year in 2017 and 2018 and was also a star football player.

 

Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, has recruited a second wrestling state champ from Fauquier High. 

His DNA is very similar. His last name identical.

Falcon senior Gino Camarca is joining older brother Franco at the prestigious small Catholic college located an hour north of Kansas City. “I feel like I know it pretty well. My brother’s been telling me he likes it, and I liked a small school personally,” said Gino, who broke through to win the Class 4 title at 138 pounds in February, helping FHS to the team title. 

Like Franco, Gino is getting athletic scholarship money from the NAIA school.

“I think it’s pretty cool he’s coming out to wrestle with me. I’m not super surprised by it. I saw it coming a mile away,” said Franco, who won state titles at 182 pounds in 2018 and 170 in 2017 and was an all-district defensive lineman in football. Franco was 2018 Fauquier Times FHS Boys Athlete of the Year.

Parents Tom and Teresa like a Catholic education for their seven kids, who range in age from 9 to 24. The two youngest (Bruno, 9; Maria, 12) attend St. John the Evangelist School in Warrenton; Marissa, 15, Gino and Franco went as well. Mary Camarca, 22, went to Seton School in Manassas and is a senior soccer player at Marymount University.

“My dad’s pretty persuasive. Gino and I have been on the same team since we started wrestling back in 2006. When Benedictine offered him  to come wrestle it wasn’t a hard decision,” said Franco. 

Gino has been there several times, since Franco has been there two years.

“The school is on the edge of the Missouri River. There’s a big cliff over the river and it’s near a small town. All around it is corn fields and flat land,” Gino said.

Gino capped a dominant season by pinning all four of his foes at states. With senior Sam Fisher pinning his four foes at 182 pounds and freshman D.J. Richards winning at 126, Fauquier had three state champs and its third state crown after also winning in 2015 and 2016.

Camarca and Fisher were team MVPs. “Gino showed up at the end. He did what Sam did when we needed it most,” said coach Doug Fisher. 

Camarca pinned Liberty’s William Winegardner in 5:42 in the championship match.

Franco followed the news from Kansas. “The minute he won my mom and dad texted me,” said Franco, adding, “It’s about time. I’m happy not to be the only one.”

Like Franco in 2017, the state title brought tears to Gino’s eyes. “None of the kids I was worried about,” he said of his opponents. “Throughout the years my technique has gotten stronger.”

Gino is working at a tree nursery in New Baltimore and lifting with a workout partner. He plans to study civil engineering and move into a military career after college. “Designing bridges, roads, waterways, city planning,” he said.

Franco, whose Benedictine career has been beset with injuries, is studying architecture. "I'm healthy now," he said.

Older brother Vito, 24, wrestled at FHS and is now in the Marines, but there’s another potential Camarca male wrestler in Bruno, 9. 

“We’re not sure what he’ll do. He plays every sport,” said Gino.

 

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