Stanzione Has Big Week Returning from Injury
Jesse Windt won both his matches this week for the West Morris Central High School wrestling team against Morristown and Hanover Park -- nothing less than what the team expected. Last year, he was a solid starter, going 18-18 for the Wolfpack. This year, he’s taken his performance to new heights – even while making high honor roll in school.
Often wrestling up one or two weight classes to help the team (from 182 to 195 or 220), Windt is now 13-1 on the season. His only loss came in the finals of the ultra-competitive John Goles Tournament, versus Constantine Rissiotis of South Brunswick (who is 15-1).* Now a junior, Windt started the season winning the West Morris Central Wrestling Tournament, along with teammates Cory Fleming, David Migliaccio, Nick Matthews, Brandon Carcuffe and Adam Kratch.
Along the way, Windt has been victorious against a series of powerhouse wrestlers, gaining bonus points for the Wolfpack (by pinning his opponent or winning by more than 7 points) in nine of his 13 wins – including five pins.
Not surprisingly, Windt was exceptionally dedicated in the off season. His intensive training included frequent workouts and private lessons with SIR Wrestling. Wind’ts father, Mike Windt, arranged for SIR to run sessions at West Morris Central during the off season, helping the entire team benefit from the training.
The Wolfpack won an exciting home match Wednesday versus Morristown, 38-24. Fleming, Migliaccio, Matthews, Carcuffe, John Sickles, Kratch, and Windt all contributed wins for the Wolfpack. But it was senior Scott DeBoey, returning from injury, who secured the win with a thrilling overtime victory. Nick Stanzione, also returning from injury, helped the Wolfpack by preventing bonus points against 11-5 Derek Campbell -- despite losing a gut-wrenching overtime match.
The team lost a heartbreaking thriller at Hanover Park Saturday, as controversy filled the air all night. Wolfpack parents loudly protested frequent dangerous moves – including Hanover’s state champion Anthony Cefolo’s perilous arm-bending on Mike Oros -- and numerous after-whistle throws not reined in by the referees. Despite an exhilarating overtime fall by Zach McGuire and six more Wolfpack wins, WMC lost the match 30-27 on the evening’s final, controversial play.
With the Wolfpack leading by six team points, Hanover Park won the final bout via disqualification, resulting in a three team-point penalty for West Morris. Hanover’s Zecca was winning, but needed more for a team victory. He hurled Anthony Rivera off the mat seconds after the whistle blew to stop the clock. Rivera charged Zecca in retaliation, resulting in the disqualification and the Hanover victory 30-27. Head coach Ken Rossi protested as Wolfpack parents booed loudly, and the home crowd cheered. The team is now 6-3.
On Sunday, the team hosted the West Morris Central JV Tournament. Junior Nick Stanzione triumphed at 113 with a gold, while sophomore Ben Piraneo (106) and freshman Ben Yaskulka (152) took home silver. After winning a thrilling squeaker in the semi-finals, “Stanz” made quick work of his opponent in the finals, earning his place at the top of the podium by first-period pin. It’s his second consecutive tournament title.
After pinning his first two opponents, Yaskulka lost in the finals to Roxbury senior Mike Larusso, a former varsity starter coming back from injury. Noah Yaskulka joined his brother and Piraneo with two wins (by fall) on the day, while Michael Brown (who placed 4th), Greg Ierokomos, Shea Owens and Cole Solsky all had their hands raised at the tournament.
The team’s next match is Tuesday 1/15 at home versus rival West Morris Mendham. It's Wolfpack night, when Long Valley Wrestling youth program participants will be introduced to the home crowd at West Morris Central. The JV matches start at 5:30 PM, and varsity at 7 PM. On Saturday the team wrestles at North Warren High School, versus North Warren, Warren Hills and Hackettstown.
Visit the Wolfpack on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WMCwrestling.
*Note: The National Wrestling Coaches Association Stat Tracker web site incorrectly attributes a 2nd lost to Windt, showing him with both a win via forfeit (which is correct) and a loss (which was a teammate’s) in a dual versus Morris Knolls. A wrestler cannot wrestle twice in the same dual.