This week, the West Morris Central High School wrestling team launched the 2012-13 season with its first practice yesterday – the first practice of a week well known for its intensity.
Head wrestling Coach Ken Rossi – a three-time NCAA Academic All-American and legendary high school wrestler – addressed a room full of wrestlers and their parents at last week’s 2012-13 wrestling kick off dinner. “We look forward to competing,” he told the crowd, with his customary modesty.
After a strong 2011-12 season – and only losing three wrestlers to graduation -- he spoke with confidence about his team. Rossi pointed to a table full of senior wrestlers: Cory Fleming (28-12 as a Junior), Brandon Carcuffe (27-8), Nick Matthews (33-7), Joe Welsh (2-8), Greg Wallace (17-16), Adam Kratch (8-21), John Sickles (26-11), Zach McGuire (6-12) and Scott DeBoey (0-5) – and each got up to introduce himself to the crowd.
Rossi spoke of the team’s off-season dedication, including many hundreds of matches and wrestling club visits. SIR Wrestling club – recently recognized as one of the best in the nation – conducted private clinics at WMCHS throughout the off season. Strength Coach Chris DelPriore has helped train wrestlers since June, with workouts getting noticeably more intense in recent weeks.
Many team members participated in an Oktoberfest charity tournament in Newton, NJ, conducted by SIR Wrestling, and benefitting Pin Cancer and other charities.
In addition to its large contingent of senior leadership, this team boasts plenty of lettered underclassmen. Returning Juniors include John Schade (10-3), Aldo Cammalleri (6-17), Jessie Windt (17-16), Anthony Riviera, and Nick Stanzione. Sophomores include Dylan Luciano (28-10), David Migliaccio (21-13), Kevin Sears (6-8), Ben Krulan (2-6), Thomas Stoll (11-13), Michael Oros (0-1), and Mike O’Rourke.
With an eye towards the future, the first wrestlers Rossi had introduce themselves to the crowd were incoming freshmen Michael Brown, Caleb Isemann, Shea Owens, Cole Solsky, Noah Yaskulka and Ben Yaskulka -- all to nice applause. Freshman Tommy Galayda is also joining the team.
Rossi emphasized he expects his wrestlers to excel in the classroom as well as on the mat --and is compiling a list of those who achieve Honor Roll. He also emphasized “hospital level” hygiene measures that will be taken to prevent skin issues.
Parents Club president Craig Carcuffe began the evening by inspiring parents to band together to support the team with an array of fundraising efforts.
The crowded room enjoyed a scrumptious pot luck dinner organized by Hope Fleming and Barbara Sickles of the Parents Club. One of the fundraising opportunities -- the new Wolfpack wrestling apparel—was on display and proved a popular destination in the room, as wrestlers and their families scrambled to sport the team’s regalia and support the team.
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