Apprentice School Wrestling Team Prepares for Strong Finish

Published January 11, 2023

The Apprentice School wrestling team kicked off its current season in November, and Peter Cortapasso – a senior on the team – has high expectations for a strong finish.

“I have been on this team since 2018. I’ve seen a lot of star athletes. I’ve seen a lot of opportunity and potential, but I’ve never been so confident,” said Cortapasso, a supply chain apprentice. “I believe we have the potential this year to win it all for The Apprentice School and come home with a big shiny trophy.”

This year, the National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA) is holding the National Collegiate Wrestling Championships in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Cortapasso is looking forward to the championship, which he said will benefit the sport of wrestling, the people of Puerto Rico and The Apprentice School and Newport News Shipbuilding.

“It opens opportunities to a labor market that may not know about The Apprentice School or the shipyard,” he said. “I think this is just a great opportunity for the school, the shipyard, the wrestlers and the communities that are going to become aware of what we have to offer.”

Cortapasso, a Virginia Beach native, said wrestling was “definitely an incentive” to come to The Apprentice School.

“The Apprentice School is undoubtedly the best opportunity I’ve ever taken. I’ve never once regretted my decision to come here,” he said. “A lot of people talk about coming to the shipyard. It can change your economic situation completely. It offers opportunity for you to get an education without having to go into an insurmountable amount of debt.”

Apprentices face situations that require problem solving and critical thinking skills, according to Cortapasso. “The wrestling team and The Apprentice School go hand in hand in teaching those values and instilling them in future leaders of the company,” he said.

As an athlete at the school, Cortapasso said it’s important for fellow apprentices to show support. “That support has grown exponentially, and it will continue to grow,” he said.

There are upcoming opportunities to see the wrestling team in action locally. The team is participating in the Virginia Duals at the Hampton Coliseum this Friday, Jan. 13, and the Builder Invitational at Kellam High School in Virginia Beach on Sunday, Jan. 22. For more information and to see the full schedule, visit