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Viral shoey celebration caps NY high schooler’s state title
New York-area high school wrestler and Michigan commit Cam Catrabone had a celebratory drink of water out of his shoe after he won the high school state meet on Feb. 25. (Courtesy: Cam Catrabone)

Viral shoey celebration caps NY high schooler’s state title

BUFFALO, N.Y. (BVM) – Michigan Wolverines wrestling commit and Williamsville North High School junior, Cam Catrabone, won the 145-pound crown at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association D-1 state meet on Saturday and went viral shortly after. 

Catrabone, who is nationally ranked at No. 12 in the country in his weight class by FloWrestling, created the most talked about moment at the NYSPHSAA state wrestling meet. After being named state champion, Catrabone downed a shoey (a celebratory drink out of a shoe) – shown below. 


Tasted sweet 😮‍💨 @#fyp #foryou #wrestling #mma #shoey #tai #taituivasa #states #statechamp #newyork


Catrabone noted he took inspiration for the shoey from his coach – who had texted him before the final match to “make the most of it, you only win your first state title one time.” But, no one could foresee the ideas that Catrabone had in mind. 

“Right after I won [the championship match], I was pulling at my coach, and I was saying ‘give me your shoe, give me your shoe’ – and he goes ‘no way,’” Catrabone said. “I told my other coach ‘give me your shoe’ and he goes ‘no way.’ Then I was like oh my gosh I actually have to do this with my wrestling shoe.” 

Metaphorically speaking, Catrabone admits that it tasted like sweet victory. But, he couldn’t help but acknowledge the fact that it was “disgusting.” 

“It was absolutely sickening and I woke up at 4 a.m. gagging,” Catrabone said. “But I don’t regret it one bit. I just knew they had to remember me somehow because you get like 26 state champions a year and I just wanted to make sure I did something special.” 

Catrabone believes he can win the back-to-back title for his senior season. However, he noted that he wouldn’t dare do another shoey and will have to figure out another way to be memorable. 

More on Cam Catrabone

Cam Catrabone is the son of Jeff Catrabone – one of the greatest wrestlers in University of Michigan history. Jeff, who was a Wolverine over two decades ago, was a three-time All-American who finished his collegiate career with a 160-27 record and the school record for all-time pins (55). Jeff still stands on the list of winningest wrestlers in program history. 

So it’s no surprise that Cam, who is in the high school graduating Class of 2024, chose to commit to the Michigan program as only a high school sophomore.

“Since my dad went to Michigan, I knew there wasn’t any other school that I’d even think about going to if Michigan was an option,” Cam said. “[When I told him I was going to commit there], he was crying [tears of joy.] I want to beat his records. We’ll see, but I definitely think I can do better than him.”

Cam acknowledged that he doesn’t feel pressure to live up to his dad’s legacy since he’s “doing his own thing.” Cam’s successes include a national freshman title, five straight sectional titles and now, the crown for being the first wrestler in Williamsville North HS history to win a state title. 

Cam finished his junior season with a 47-2 record despite a season full of setbacks. 

“My knee has been pretty bad,” Cam said. “Even at the state meet, I had a lidocaine patch on my knee and it was my only worry going in.”

Overall, Cam will take the necessary time to recover before he returns to the mat in hopes of making Team USA and winning an NCAA title in the future.

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