Go 3-0 with two wins on tie-breaker criteria
Shane Metzler, John Schade, Dylan Luciano and David Migliaccio paced the West Morris Central Wolfpack wrestlers to an historic Mt. Olive quad triumph Saturday, each going undefeated. WMC swept, defeating Somerville and Mt. Olive on tie-breaker criteria, and beating Montgomery 42-33.
Coach Ken Rossi told the team he’d never coached to a tie: “Having it happen twice in one day has got to be rare. It will definitely be a match I remember for a long time.”
WMC “is a hard working team,” explained freshman Metzler
(106 lbs., 8-3). “Winning three of three matches on Saturday -- I feel the hard
work is starting to pay off.” The team raised its season record to 3-1.
Mt. Olive’s Marauders and WMC each won twice before sparring in the finale’. Schade (120, 7-1) and Luciano (126, 7-2) gave the Pack a 12-0 lead with pins. Anthony Rivera (132, 2-4) lost a heartbreaker in OT, but Mike Oros (138, 5-5) restored the Wolfpack’s 12 point lead by winning 5-3, followed by a Migliaccio (145, 5-2) pin.
Two Marauder pins and a Wolfpack forfeit tied the score. Anthony Fallick gutted out his first-ever win to take back the lead. After a Marauder pin, captain Jesse Windt (220, 8-1) – knowing WMC would forfeit at heavyweight -- re-gained the lead with a critical pin.
That left two Wolfpack freshmen, and they stepped up. Metzler scored his third pin of the day – a
team high. But Mt. Olive saved Shane Murphy (8-1) to face Kade Loughney (113,
6-4). Loughney wrestled tough, avoiding bonus points, to force a 36-36 team tie.
Officials gathered at the scorer’s table, reviewing one
tie-breaking criterion after another. Team points, bout wins, penalty points,
falls, tech falls, majors, first period points – were all dead even.
Officials descended to criterion “i” – near-fall points – to award the Wolfpack sweep with the narrowest of victories, 37-36. As Rossi said, “going to criterion ‘i’ is pretty crazy.” Astonishingly, it was the Wolfpack’s second win of the day – and of the decade – based on criteria.
Earlier against Somerville, Schade’s impressive victory over
Luke Prothero (20-16 last year) plus wins by Metzler, Loughney, Luciano,
Migliaccio and Caleb Isemann (152, 5-5) evened the match with four bouts to go.
But with two WMC forfeits looming, Aldo Cammalleri (182, 3-6) and Windt needed pins to keep pace. Cammalleri defeated Kyle Diamond at 2:19 and Windt followed suit at 1:45 over Roger Zuniga, tying the match at 34. That was the Wolfpack’s eighth bout win (to six for the Pioneers), securing a 35-34 team victory by tie-breaker criteria.
Lighter weights did heavy lifting as WMC defeated Montgomery 42-33. Cougars won every upper weight bout, as even Windt suffered his first loss, to undefeated state-ranked Anthony Cassar.
Wins from Metzler, Loughney, Schade, Luciano, Rivera, Oros, Migliaccio and Isemann carried the Pack to victory.
Rossi said “I was very happy with how the boys wrestled today. Some young guys stepped up and our upper classmen took care of business. The kids have been training hard.”
Wrestlers were optimistic the sweep would provide momentum, “But it's not going to be easy,” noted Metzler. “We must continue to show our dedication and perseverance.”
Luciano agreed, “It was really exciting winning all three matches, especially Mount Olive because it went down to criteria. I think as a team we did really well but there’s also a lot of room for improvement. I’m looking forward to a great year!”
The Wolfpack (3-1) take on state-ranked Voorhees Tuesday 1/7 at home, travel to Randolph Wednesday, and are home against powerhouse Hanover Park (#8 in NJ) Saturday. Sunday the team will host the West Morris JV Tournament.
Visit the team’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WMCwrestling.