Monday, February 22, 2016

Wrestling: Districts 1, 2, 3 and 17 by the numbers

As we prep for Regions 1 and 5 this week, let's take a look at some of the noteworthy happenings from the four district tournaments that house teams from the Open Mike area.

127 -- Kittatinny senior Austin Scrivani joined some elite company on Saturday by winning his fourth District 3 title -- joining former state champions Steve Dalling (1988-91), Matt Valenti (1999-02) and Will Livingston (2003-06). James DiCataldo (1994-97) is the only other Cougar to win four. In the process, Scrivani (127-27) moved into a tie with Valenti (127-7) for sixth place on the school's all-time wins list. Next up is Kieran Gerrity (130-34 from 2010-14). Kittatinny, which has had at least once champ since missing in 1993, raised its all-time total to 109 winners.

Ted Sibblies and John Gill with their coach of the year awards.
13 -- Lucky for Newton, which has produced 13 champions in District 3 over the past 10 tournaments. Seniors Lance Fischer (160) and Adam Schlereth (220), both runners-up last season, won for the Braves on Saturday. Fischer continues to be a feel-good story as he was once thought to be done for the season with a torn ACL in his left knee. Schlereth was second in District 4 for DePaul. Speaking of Newton champions, former state placewinner Kevin Churchill, who won a District 3 titles as a freshman in '07, is now an assistant coach at Wallkill Valley. His father, Jeff, is the head coach. Ted Sibblies, a district champ for the Braves in 1989, was named District 3's Assistant Coach of the Year.

8 -- Lenape Valley and Hunterdon Central advanced eight wrestlers to Region 1 and 5, respectively. The Patriots had one champion in District 2 as junior Jacob Falleni (113) won his second straight title, as the Sussex County school has produced at least one winner every year since being shut out in 2003. Ray Smaha (126), Nick Palumbo (145) and Sam Palumbo (182) were runners-up. James Haws (106), Scott Prior (195), Ralph Hall (220) and Rich Fritzky (285) finished third. Over in District 17, Jack Bauer (106), Hunter Graf (113), Peter Nace (120), Kevin Ciresa (145), Michael Iodice (170) and Victor Lacombe (220) all won titles, while Vincent Romaniello (132) and Connor Wheatley (195) finished second to lead the Red Devils to the program's 35th team championship and sixth in eight years as they finished five points ahead of Delaware Valley.

10 -- This was a magic number for Delaware Valley (D17), Kittatinny (D3) and Phillipsburg (D1) as these schools advanced the most wrestlers out of their respective districts. The Terriers had three champions in Matt Kolonia (132), Kyle Lightner (182) and Kyle Schlittler (195), while the Cougars had three winners in Mark DiGernonimo (113), Nick Klinger (132) and Scrivani (138). The Stateliners led District 1 with seven champs -- Kyle Markus (113), Brandon Paetzell (132), Brian Meyer (145), DJ Wissing (152), Drew Horun (195), Robert Melise (220) and Kyle Nothnagel (285).

198 -- North Hunterdon is closing in on 200 district champions overall as Cole Marra (138), Derek Ciavarro (160) and Charlie Tordik (285) all won titles in District 17. Ciavarro won his second in a row, while Marra and Tordik are juniors and will get a chance to repeat next season. Who will be No. 200? Andrew Gapas (126), Wyatt Vrancken (170) and Tyler Gapas (182) finished second and move on to Region 5 for the Lions.

61 -- With seven champions in District 1, Phillipsburg has had at least one winner for 61 straight tournaments since missing in 1955. The only other year that the 'Liners came up empty was 1950. Bill Lowe was the program's first champ at 103 pounds in 1948.

7 -- Since going six straight years without a champion, Sparta has won seven District 3 titles in three seasons as Al Falco (170) and William Loewen (195) win championships on Saturday. Falco and three-time finalist Garrett Gerndt, who was second at 120, both went over the 90-win mark for their careers. The Spartans, who will send seven wrestlers to Region 1, finished third in the team race and appear to be a far cry from the program that went two straight years without a quarterfinal winner a few years back. Hats off to coach Frank Battaglia and his entire staff.

114 -- High Point ran its streak of at least one District 3 champion to 13 straight tournaments as seniors Jared Kobis (145) and Kevin Lewis (220) won for the second year in a row. Kobis (22-0), who is 93-6 overall, won his third title and is just the 13th to win at least three for the 'Cats. On a sad note, the High Point family lost one of its own as Joe Donahue, a champion at 189 in 2008, was killed last week during a work-related accident. A moment of silence before the start of Friday's quarterfinals was a nice touch by Kittatinny. Deepest sympathies to the Donahue family.

71 -- It's been a struggle for Hopatcong this season with low numbers and just three wrestlers entered for the District 2 Tournament. But sophomore Anthony Mastroeni, who finished fourth in Region 1 as a freshman, won his first district title at 132 pounds to give the Chiefs their 71st champ.

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