Wrestlers Have Strong Showing At County Tourney


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Colin Farawell had to go the distance to beat Montclair's Donte Bellamy

On Saturday, the Hillbilly Wrestling team had one of its strongest showings in years at the Essex County Tournament. The day kicked off with eight Verona grapplers advancing to the semi-finals–the largest contingent in the 28-year history of the Verona wrestling program–and ended with Colin Farawell taking first place at 189 pounds, becoming only the fourth county champ in the history of the Verona team. In between, there were plenty of amazing moments of wrestling and more than a few when the momentum could have gone the other way. Of the 21 teams competing, Verona finished in 6th place, the highest finish among all group 1 schools in the county.

The wrestlers who advanced to the semi-finals ranged from Paul Scully, a freshman competing at 103 pounds to senior Anthony Parra at 215. The Cundari brothers–junior Tom and senior Craig–both made it in, as did Farawell, sophomore Frank Greco, junior heavyweight Joe Festa and senior Taylor DelColle. Though DelleColle ended the day with an 8th-place finish, his takedown win over Jack Black-Singer was one of the high points of the afternoon, as was Greco’s 5-3 upset win over senior Windsor Guzman of Caldwell.

In the finals, Farawell gave the Verona fans a scare before coming from behind to win 9-5 over Montclair’s Donte Bellamy. It was only the third time this season that Farawell, who usually makes short work of his opponents, had to go the distance.  Tom Cundari squared off against four-time county champ Lou Mascola and came in second; Mascola was later voted the tournament’s outstanding wrestler. Parra also finished in second place, losing a tough bout in the final seconds.

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Here’s how Verona finished:
Colin Farawell, 1st place, 189 lbs, 9-3 decision over Montclair
Anthony Parra, 2nd place, 215 lbs, 5-3 loss to West orange
Tom Cundari, 2nd place, 140 pounds, loss to Seton Hall Prep
Joe Festa, 4th place, 215 pounds, loss to Seton Hall Prep
Craig Cundari, 6th place, 152 pounds, loss to Irvington
Frank Greco 6th place, 171 pounds, loss to Livingston
Paul Scully 7th place, 103 pounds, win over Glen Ridge
Taylor DelColle, 8th place

Images from the 2010 Essex County Wrestling Tournament
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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]


  1. Congrats to the entire VHS wrestling team for a job well done. Congrats to the coaches for doing such a great job with our kids! Coach Morgenroth has done an amazing job with this program and the parents thank him! Good Luck on Monday night!


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