Wrestlers Defeat Par Hills, Hopatcong, Belvidere, Now 14-5
Brandon Carcuffe became just the second wrestler in West Morris Central High School history to win 100 matches for the Wolfpack Saturday, leading the team’s sweep of Belvidere and Hopatcong.
Carcuffe accomplished the rare milestone just one month after his friend and fellow senior captain Nick Matthews won his 100th. A third friend and senior co-captain John Sickles will next take the mat with 99 wins after going 4-0 this week.
“It feels good to accomplish this with your friends,” reflected Carcuffe. “It is unfortunate that Cory may not get it this season because of his injury in the past years but he is still one of the wrestlers who worked hard enough to reach it,” Carcuffe added, speaking of the Wolfpack’s fourth senior co-captain Cory Fleming.
“It is a privilege to coach three wrestlers who reach the 100 win mark,” said head coach Ken Rossi. “Brandon is an extremely hard worker and made great strides during the off-season. He has a variety of techniques which gives him a lot of options on the mat. “
Carcuffe went 3-1 on the week, losing only to Belvidere’s state-ranked Jesse Thorsen, 7-3. The Wolfpack also went 3-1, the loss coming at the hands of powerhouse Don Bosco Prep, 44-29.
“It was a great challenge wrestling Don Bosco,” said Rossi. “They have several ranked wrestlers and their team is ranked 7th in the state. That is the type of match we need to get ready for districts.”
WMC defeated Parsippany Hills – which was previously ranked just above WMC in the standings – by 44-21. Matthews and Jesse Windt triumphed over Par Hills’ two top wrestlers, while Fleming, David Migliaccio, Sickles and Adam Kratch also delivered victories against highly ranked opponents.
According to Rossi, “I thought Par Hills was one of our best performances of the year. The guys really stepped up and got bonus points as well as winning the toss up matches. We are peaking at the right time.”
Proving Rossi’s point, the Wolfpack finished the week by sweeping Belvidere 43-24 and Hopatcong 60-18 on Saturday, raising its record to 14-5.
Kratch joined Sickles in going 4-0 on the week for the Wolfpack. John Schade, Dylan Luciano, Migliaccio, Matthews and Kevin Sears joined Carcuffe with three wins each. Fleming, Michael Oros and Windt added two, with Aldo Cammalleri contributing a critical win by fall against Hopatcong.
Carcuffe, who wrestles at 145 lbs., entered the season with a 76-35 record through his junior year. Last year he was 27-8, winning the West Morris and John Goles Tournaments.
This year he’s 24-3, winning the West Morris again, and taking silver at both the John Goles and the Morris County Tournaments. His losses are all against likely State finalists.
“Looking back it feels good that all my hard work has paid off and hopefully it will continue as the season finishes,” concluded Carcuffe.
Nick Stanzione and Ben Yaskulka took home silver medals at the Newton JV Tournament on Sunday, as the Wolfpack ran head on into the top team in the state, South Plainfield. Both medalists, along with Noah Yaskulka, won every match they wrestled -- except when they faced opponents from the 25-0 powerhouse Tigers. Stanzione defeated a South Plainfield wrestler in the semis, but fell to his teammate, freshman Christian Gonzalez (who is 5-4 varsity) in the finals. Ben Yaskulka defeated a High Point junior in the semis, but fell to South Plainfield junior Mike Reim (4-0 varsity) in the finals.
Shea Owens and Greg Ierokomos placed 4th, highlighted by Ierokomos’ inspiring, extraordinarily well-orchestrated, narrow victory over a boy with Downs’ Syndrome (after which the opposing coach gave Greg effusive thanks for how he handled the match). Ben Piraneo and Mike O’Rourke also had wins.
The Wolfpack will face two state-ranked teams this week, visiting Delbarton Wednesday night, and hosting High Point Friday night. They begin Sectionals next week.
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