Verona Matmen Advance In State Tournament

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A win for the record books

For the first time in school history,  the Verona High School wrestling team advanced to the second round of the state tournament with a thrilling 34-32 come-from-behind win over Hasbrouck Heights before a packed house in Verona on Monday night. The fourth-seeded Hillbillies will now face Caldwell on Wednesday night at Caldwell in a semi-final match-up.

After an opening forfeit win at heavyweight for Verona, Hasbrouck Heights’ lightweights came out with guns blazing, securing victories in the 103, 112 and 119 lb. weight classes. A critical 2-1 decision at 125 lb. by Mike Randall kept Verona alive but it was trailing 13-9. Four more straight wins by Hasbrouck Heights put Verona’s  back to the wall, trailing  32-9 and needing wins in the remaining five weight classes to pull out a win.

As has happened all  year the upper weights did not disappoint. Captain Craig Cundari brought the crowd to its feet with a 28-second pin at 152 lbs. to keep Verona’s hopes alive. In what proved to be the pivotal match of the night, Taylor DelColle pulled a minor upset over Andrew Hodulick at 160 lbs. with 2-0 win.

With a forfeit secured at 215 lbs. and state placewinner Colin Farawell set to go at 189 lbs., the stage was set for sophmore Frankie Greco at 171 lbs. and, as he has done a number of times this year, he did not disappoint, pounding out a physical 12-1 major decision. All that was left was for Farawell to secure a win and give Verona the victory. Thirty-two seconds later, a pin by Farawell gave Verona  its first state tournament win in school history. The pin was Farawell’s 110th win, breaking the VHS record set by Chris Hardenberg and Dillion Lawler.

The match with crosstown rival Caldwell should prove to be another nail-biter, with the Hillbilly squad matching up very well with the top-seeded Caldwell team. A victory for Verona on Wednesday night will mean a chance to wrestle for a state title against the winner of the Belvidere vs. Boonton match.

WeightclassWinnerPointsOutcomeLoserPointsTime
HeavyweightAnthony Parra (Verona)0Forfeit
103 poundMarc Mastropitrio (Hasbrouck Heights)0PinNick Esposito (Verona)001:15
112 poundMatt Innis (Hasbrouck Heights)5DecisionPaul Scully (Verona)0
119 poundAnthony Cirrincione (Hasbrouck Heights)9DecisionBob Hildenbrandt (Verona)1
125 poundMike Randall (Verona)2DecisionRobert Spangler (Hasbrouck Heights)1
130 poundJhanna Arias (Hasbrouck Heights)10DecisionAnthony DeCandia (Verona)1
135 poundRyan Spangler (Hasbrouck Heights)0PinFranco Camerota (Verona)001:35
140 poundMark Spangler (Hasbrouck Heights)0PinDan Marin (Verona)00:56
145 poundSteve Mastropietro (Hasbrouck Heights)10DecisionTom Cundari (Verona)2
152 poundCraig Cundari (Verona)0PinAlex Hodulick (Hasbrouck Heights)00:28
160 poundTaylor DelColle (Verona)2DecisionAndrew Hodulick (Hasbrouck Heights)0
171 poundFrank Greco (Verona)12DecisionDemitris Tubito (Hasbrouck Heights)1
189 poundColin Farawell (Verona)0PinR Tores (Hasbrouck Heights)00:32
215 poundJoe Festa (Verona)0Forfeit

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