By Sheri Duff
Connor Gobeille is a savvy competitor. “Although most of Connor’s opponents have several more years of experience, he makes up for it with tremendous heart and work ethic,” explained Champlain Valley Union (CVU) head wrestling coach Gunnar Olsen. “He’s been able to defeat more experienced wrestlers with an ‘in your face’ wrestling style that his rivals and others find overwhelming. His aggressive style will serve as an example for the next few years as the team gets stronger and stronger. Connor’s name will be mentioned quite a bit in the practice room as I teach technique,” coach Olsen informed.
Born on June 13, 1996, Gobeille has lived in Shelburne his entire life. His family includes parents, Kim and Al; older sisters, Erika, a St. Lawrence University senior; and Mikaela, a sophomore at Lafayette College, and an English mastiff named Bear.
“I started to wrestle my freshman year at CVU. I first heard about the sport from some of my dad’s friends,” Gobeille said. “They credited wrestling with getting in shape. That’s the reason I started.”
From those humble beginnings, Gobeille is a three-year varsity wrestler and senior captain who admits to one personal ritual before every meet. “Coach urges us to warm up until we’re sweating a little bit. I get loose with a warm up followed by jumping rope. That usually does the trick for me.”
What Gobeille has accomplished this season is no trick. The 152 lb. wrestler has contributed important points to a successful 8-man varsity team, instead of the usual 14, through preparation and technique. His credits include such tournaments and invitationals such as the Sandy Murray Early Bird (4th place), Hubie Wagner (4th place), Peru Invitational (4th place), and wins at the Jason Lowell Memorial, Essex Classic, Colchester Invitational; meets with Colchester, Middlebury, and Enosburg, the Mt. Anthony Duals; a tri-meet vs. Middlebury and Essex, and the Northern Vermont Athletic Conference Championships.
“The guys on the team come to me for a wide variety of reasons. They feel comfortable asking me for help at school and help on the mat,” shared Gobeille about his strengths as captain. “I’m there for them.”
Gobeille is also happy to discuss his proudest moment. “My greatest achievement is being named captain of the wrestling team,” he began. “It meant a lot to me because I was given the responsibility of taking care of, speaking for, and leading my teammates throughout the season. It was also a testament to my relationship with my coach and how much he trusts me.”
In addition to wrestling, Gobeille is a two-year varsity football player, he’s played since the fifth grade, and is gainfully employed at two popular downtown eateries during the spring and summer. “I work at Breakwaters or Burlington Bay. I’ve done it all—from dishwasher to food prep. I’m a jack of all trades.”
As for his future, Gobeille will attend the University of Vermont, his number one school. Based on his successful past and special brand of style, competitiveness, and leadership, there’s not much doubt that Gobeille will be in a position of advantage next year.