Carcuffe, Matthews, Sickles and Stoll Look to Repeat
WMCHS will host the West Morris Wrestling Tournament on Dec. 15 starting at 10 a.m. Many top area grapplers will compete, and a smorgasbord of hot and cold refreshments will be available throughout the day. Seniors Brandon Carcuffe, Nick Matthews and John Sickles, and sophomore Thomas Stoll will defend their first-place titles from last year’s tournament.
Spectators will get a first look at a senior-led team that, according to Carcuffe, “will be solid throughout the whole line up and that will show in the tournament on Saturday.” Carcuffe, Matthews and Sickles enter the season with a combined 242 varsity wins and strong winning records as juniors.
Stoll, a state champion grade school wrestler, jumped on the high school scene to gain 11 varsity wins as a freshman, including 1st Place in this tournament last year.
Stoll, sophomore Kevin Sears and senior Zach McGuire just re-joined the team, days after winning the football State Title.
Senior Cory Fleming and junior John Schade look to improve on their silver medal spots on last year’s tournament podium. McGuire (5th), junior Jesse Windt (3rd), sophomores Dylan Luciano (3rd) and Sears (5th) also placed.
Freshman Ben Yaskulka and sophomore Ben Piraneo make their first-ever varsity starts at the tournament.
“We have wrestled together for a long time,” said Sickles, reflecting that this tournament starts his final season. “We started together in the youth program, and now find ourselves still really best friends on and off the mat.”
Matthews expressed, "I'm looking forward to achieving the team goals of becoming County and Conference champions. I am expecting us to start out strong at this weekend's tournament."
Head coach Ken Rossi agrees, saying “The team has a great chance to excel this year if guys stay healthy. We have strong senior leadership.and a lot of experience.”
“The West Morris Tournament will be a good opportunity to get the guys ready for some early dual meets against county rivals,” explains Coach Rossi. “It should be a great way for guys to start the season.”
Northern Highlands and Pascack Valley each bring eight varsity starters with winning 2011-12 records to the tournament, including Highlands’ Nick Gravina, who was 38-3. Wrestlers from West Essex Regional, Chatham, Pingry, Mountain Lakes, Rahway, and Manville high schools will also compete Saturday.
Mike Sickles, well known here as a former coach, summed it up, “Although I am John's father and very proud of all his accomplishments, I feel fortunate to be in a position to see and experience the growth and development of many of the wrestlers. Our youth program through the years has provided a excellent wrestling foundation and Coach Rossi, Coach Balella, Coach Marold and Coach Barnett have refined their skills enabling them to reach the next level so that they are highly competitive in high school.”
Saturday's Starting Lineup
106 Ben Piraneo
113 John Schade
120 Cory Fleming
126 Michael Oros
132 David Migliaccio
138 Nick Matthews
145 Brandon Carcuffe
152 Kevin Sears
160 Ben Yaskulka
170 John Sickles
182 Adam Kratch
195 Jesse Windt
220 Thomas Stoll
285 Scott DeBoey