Becomes First WMC Wrestler to Win 100 for the Wolfpack
A young man who thinks of his teammates first, Nick Matthews stood awkwardly alone where no West Morris Central High School (WMC) wrestler had ever stood.
Coaches and teammates pushed him to the center of the mat where Matthews absorbed a standing ovation for his 100th career wrestling win. He’s the first to win 100 for the Wolfpack.
The WMC senior co-captain was 89-27 through his junior year. With three wins Saturday, Matthews improves to 12-0 this season–making him the winningest undefeated wrestler in New Jersey at 138 lbs.–and 101-27 overall.
After the historic victory, Matthews reflected, “It feels good. This wasn’t one of my goals, but it’s a great milestone indicating we’re going in the right direction.”
WMC head Coach Ken Rossi was ecstatic, citing Matthews’ leadership, hard work and “outstanding technique.”
Another wrestler, Dillon Landi, achieved the century mark in a Wolfpack uniform, but he had transferred to WMC his senior year. He placed fourth in the States and won 40 matches in 2006 -- his only WMC wins.
Matthews summarized the secret to his success as “Positive attitude, hard work and consistency.” He also recognized the influence of his coaches – particularly Rossi, Mike Sickles and Jeff Hill.
Of all his wins, his most memorable was “the match for third place at Region 1 to become a state qualifier last year – winning in the third overtime period.” No home-grown Wolfpack wrester had qualified for states in 17 years.
His performance Saturday helped lift the Wolfpack to three wins on the day, defeating Somerville 48-21, Cedar Creek 56-9, and the home team, Mt. Olive 40-23. The Wolfpack improve to 5-2 on the season.
Fellow senior co-captains Brandon Carcuffe (12-1 on the season), John Sickles (9-3), and Cory Fleming (11-2) are not far behind Matthews’ career mark. Each went 3-0 on the day, bringing their career totals to 88, 86 and 72 respectively.
“We’re so proud of Nick,” said his father, George Matthews, “and of the other boys, too. Cory could have reached 100 first if he hadn’t lost much of his sophomore year to injury.”
Dylan Luciano (5-3), Adam Kratch (9-4) and Jesse Windt (11-1) also went undefeated at Saturday’s quad-team match, boasting three wins apiece. David Migliaccio (8-2) and Zach McGuire (6-4) provided two wins each against outstanding opponents. Sophomores Ben Piraneo, Mike Oros, Kevin Sears and Thomas Stoll each added convincing victories.
Last week, Matthews and Sickles won the prestigious John Goles Tournament, with Fleming, Carcuffe and Windt taking silver. Freshman Caleb Isemann got his first varsity start, and first victory.
For the JV squad, Anthony Rivera and Michael Brown scored impressive victories at Mt. Olive. Last week, Ben Yaskulka took first place at the Roxbury Tournament, bringing his JV record to 7-1. Cole Solsky took a bronze at the tournament. Brown, Solsky, Noah Yaskulka and Greg Ierokomos nabbed wins at the Randolph JV Tournament on Sunday.
Matthews’ advice to young wrestlers just starting out? He simply emphasized working on technique and getting experience. In short, “Have fun, work hard and don’t worry about winning and losing,” he said. Powerful advice from the winningest wrestler in school history.
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