Carcuffe Takes Silver, Seven WMC Wrestlers Place
Jesse Windt secured his place in West Morris Central High School wrestling history with a dramatic overtime finals victory at Saturday’s Morris County Tournament. Windt secured 2nd place for the team by defeating Roxbury’s top-seeded Steven Arthur 2-0 at 195 lbs. -- becoming the first Wolfpack County Champion in seven years.
Delbarton dominated the tournament with 215.5 points, while WMC (174.5 points) topped all public schools, edging Roxbury (173.5) and Hanover Park (173) for second overall. Twenty-four schools competed.
Brandon Carcuffe took 2nd place, defeating Roxbury’s Jon Patane 11-4 for the silver, and losing only to top-seeded Danny Reed of Delbarton in the finals.
Windt is the ninth County Champion in WMC wrestling history, and the first at 195 lbs. Dillon Landi was the last winner, in 2006. The last “homegrown” WMC County Champion was Daren Carfaro in 1995 (Landi wrestled for WMC his senior year only). Landi and Carfaro used their county titles as stepping stones to the podium in Atlantic City, where both wrestlers took 4th in States.
“When overtime began I was so nervous of what the outcome would be,” reflected Windt. “I felt great at the end when I was at the edge and just listening for the two to be called.”
Rewarded for his overtime take down, that “two” was the only score of the match, and perhaps the biggest two points of the Wolfpack season to date.
To what does Windt attribute his success? “I feel I was successful because of all the work I did in the off season,” he explained. “I thought coming in second was a great accomplishment for the team because we work so hard in the practice room.”
That practice room is led by WMC head Coach Ken Rossi, and Assistant Coaches Jim Balella, Chris Marold, John Barnett and Jeremy Adickes – all highly decorated wrestlers in high school and college.
Hanover Park had four champions, but WMC’s success came from the strength of its lineup, top to bottom.
Three Wolfpack wresters took bronze: Cory Fleming by defeating Roxbury’s Devon LaFranco 8-3 in overtime; Nick Matthews by topping Parsippany Hills’ Christian Signorelli 7-3; and Adam Kratch by besting Andrew Massefski of Parsippany 3-2.
David Migliaccio and John Sickles both placed fourth -- Sickles over Parsippany Hills’ Stephen Stringas, and Migs over Morris Hills’ Dawry Desangles.
That deep lineup had the Wolfpack on top of Delbarton after Friday night’s first-round action. John Schade led the way by upsetting 7-seed Zach Kovacs 4-0. Schade ignited a string of victories – including Dylan Luciano, Zach McGuire, Scott DeBoey, Fleming, Matthews, Carcuffe, Sickles, and Windt -- all by pin.
Despite all these WMC wins, had Windt lost in the finals, his team would have fallen to fourth place behind Roxbury and Hanover Park.
The Morris County Tournament title was the sixth in a row for Delbarton, whose wrestling talent reflects a student body “from over 8 counties and 60 towns” according to its web site. Last year, WMC placed fifth, with Matthews the only finalist (2nd).
WMC dominated Chatham last Wednesday on the Cougar’s home mat, 54-6, with Nick Stanzione winning his first varsity match of the year. The predominantly-Wolfpack crowd even applauded WMC’s only loss of the night, as freshman Shea Owens wrestled tough in his varsity debut to one of Chatham’s top wrestlers, senior Justin Engel. Matthews and Schade defeated the Cougar’s other two top threats, as Kevin Sears, Aldo Cammalleri, Luciano, Migliaccio, McGuire and DeBoey were all victorious.
The team’s next matches are Tuesday at home vs. Parsippany, Friday at home vs. powerhouse Don Boscoe Prep, and Saturday at home vs. Hopatcong, Belvidere and Mt. Olive.
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