My Biggest Fan – by Anthony Cirillo

Posted by JohnA Passaro on


I’ve been wrestling since I was six-years-old, varsity since the 7th grade.

I’d like to think I’ve had a good career.

I lost my dad suddenly, my freshmen year right after counties.

A lot of kids might have had a hard time moving forward, but I knew I had too since my dad was my biggest fan.

A week after my father died I went to Virginia Beach and wrestled in the NHSCA Nationals.

My coach didn’t think this was a good idea being it was so soon after my dad’s death.

But I went, and I became a 3x All-American – I did it for him.

This year started out rough for me as dealing with my dad’s death got to me, more than ever before.

A lot of people wrote me off,  saying I was through being an elite wrestler.

I knew I couldn’t quit.

I worked too hard, and that wouldn’t have been what my dad would have wanted me to do – so I worked harder, and I came back strong.


For the third consecutive year, I am heading to Albany to wrestle at States.

It is a great feeling putting on that Section XI state singlet.

Winning it all this year would be great.

But to me, it’s not what it’s about.

This year it is more about me fighting through my fears and making a strong comeback.

Because I know my dad would want me to do “Whatever It Takes” to keep moving forward.

Anthony Cirillo
3x State Qualifier 
3x All-American
2x All-State
Rocky Point High School

Photo’s by Ray Passaro

They call it the greatest sport on earth for a reason.
It just took me 26 years to figure out why.



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on May 30, 2014
This book is so much more than a “wrestling book” or a “baseball book”!
6 Minutes Wrestling With Life is a book about life. About dedication. About always believing. About heart. About love. About teamwork, passion, and a singleness of purpose. Mr. Passaro draws from the lessons he learned as a wrestler and baseball coach to find the strength to confront every parent’s worst nightmare, an injury to their child. In doing so, and writing about it, he teaches us how to live our lives each and every day.
Every parent should get this book. It is a quick read but be sure to block out 3 hours or so because you won’t be able to stop.

on August 28, 2014

A book that changed the way I look at life. My wife and two 14-year-old boys have also read the book and we all agree that it is not only an inspiring story but one that is life changing. A very quick read and one that is difficult to put down. This is a must read for anyone that has kids. It is a reminder of just how precious life is. You do not have to be a high school wrestling fan to enjoy this book.

on November 23, 2014

As a coach, a father, a husband, and just someone always striving to have a positive effect, this book hit me on a million different levels. I bought this book because it had a wrestling title but I did not have great expectations. Like most others who reviewed this book, I could not put it down and it had a profound impact on me. After reading this book I regularly find myself now moving beyond the thought of sacrificing one part of my life for another, and simply saying “I want both”. Thank you, John, for writing this book!

Compelling and inspiring!

on March 18, 2013
As a wrestler, coach, and the father of a child severely affected by autism, John Passaro’s book has truly inspired me. It is gripping from page 1. Whether you can relate to wrestling, special needs parenting or neither, no matter what challenges you face, do not pass go, go directly to 6 Minutes and start reading. John’s wisdom will help you rise above. 

Jason Bross, Founder – Pinning Down Autism

Thank you, John

Tom Magnani on July 21, 2014
6 Minutes Wrestling with Life is a true treasure. What Religion calls holy, John Passaro has captured. Not only on paper but in his daily life. At 61years old, I finally found a book I could not put down. I read a comment on the wrestling forum that said the book was not about wrestling, this could not be further from the truth. It’s everything about wrestling. It’s about truth, honesty, hard work, family, commitment, humility, and perseverance. And everything in between. This is a book for everyone. It’s timeless and for every age. From John to his wife, to their kids, it’s heartfelt and real. It puts life in a perspective that everyone must experience and understand. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
This will be my next gift to my entire family and friends.
Tom Magnani HHH wrestling 1979- 2010

Truly inspirational

on March 28, 2013

I couldn’t put this book down from start to finish. It was beyond inspiring. An amazing story of love, dedication, hope and the will to never give up. I am proud to have read his families story.

on March 20, 2013

I have known the Passaro family for many years through competing against them and trying to prepare my kids to wrestle against them (a very daunting task) but I did not know about the tragic events that they have gone through until I read this book. I started the book and completed it in one sitting, I could not put it down. As a parent of three boys myself I totally felt the pain that the author was going through, the struggle to help his daughter while trying to keep his family with a modicum of normalcy was gripping. This book is an inspiration to anybody who knows how to love their family and would move heaven and earth to save them if they were in trouble. I highly recommend this book, whether you’re a parent or not, this story will find a place in your heart. Bravo to you and your family Mr. Passaro it has been a pleasure and an honor to hear your story!!!

on March 17, 2013

Each chapter is better and better and you can’t put it down.
Sadness, strength, desire, love, hope & the will to keep going…this book has it!
It’s a great book and it makes you think about your own family and what if?

You need to read it! It’s a great book for anyone!

on November 24, 2013
Simply the best book I have ever read. Every person who reads this book will be blessed by each lesson and experience John shares with us. His love and commitment to his family is incredibly powerful. You will be filled with hope, inspiration, and commitment to whatever your passion is by reading John’s inspiring and captivating book. I read it in one day…you will do the same. You will not want to put it down. It will inspire every person who reads it to dig deep for their greatness….and to never give up, EVER. A true gift to all, it will inspire each reader to set big goals.
“Amazing awaits when you work hard enough.”
“Champions muster up a little more.”
“There is something inside of you that is greater than any obstacle.”
Great book for athletes, students, parents, teachers, coaches. Great book for all….hopefully, each will be as inspired to share it with young people so they can be equally inspired. Many blessings to John and to his family…Miracles are coming…you just have to believe.


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