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Festa, Greco Head To State Tournament


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Verona High School wrestlers Joe Festa and Frankie Greco will be heading to the state wrestling tournament in Atlantic City after securing third place finishes in the Region 4 tournament on Saturday.

Greco, who had taken first place in his weight category in the District 13 championship a week earlier, suffered a rare decision against him in Regions, a 13-6 loss to Bryan Loughlin of Becton. The Verona junior, who had just seven wins in the 2010-2011 wrestling season, soared this year. He goes to the state championship in Atlantic City with 20 wins to his credit, including 11 pins.  More than a few of those were speedy dispatches, like the wins over Dan Bauer of Madison (25 seconds), McDaniel Jeantus of Columbia (35 seconds) and Mauro Altamura of Hasbrouck Heights (46 seconds). Greco took his third place at Regions by defeating Jordan Nochimson of Nutley with a pin in 2:49. Greco’s first match in Atlantic City will be against Nick Baranello of River Dell.

Festa came to Regions after a second place finish in Districts. The senior team captain, who wrestles at 220, took his first match at Regions with a 4-3 decision over Carlos Rosa of Nutley. He then wound up on the short end of an 11-6 decision to Anthony Angelone of West Orange. Festa, who is 32-3 on the season, takes on Colton Bigelow of Ocean in his first match in Atlantic City. VHS sent only one wrestler to Atlantic City last year, Colin Farawell.

Five Verona wrestlers made it to Regions this year as a result of the District 13 championship. In addition to Greco’s first place and Festa’s second, Paul Scully and Joe Cordasco had first place finishes and Tom Cundari had a third place. Scully lost in the first round of wrestlebacks to Passaic Valley at Regions. Cundari won his first round of wrestlebacks at Regions over West Essex before fall to Glen Ridge. In the Regions semifinals, Cordasco lost by pin to James Dugan of Becton.

The state tournament starts this Friday, March 2.

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Photos courtesy Sherre Festa

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citranohttps://myveronanj.com
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 Forbes.com. 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]


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