Four wrestlers from Verona have earned the right to compete later this week in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association State Wrestling Championships, and there could be a Verona versus Verona rivalry for one of the spots.
Verona High School is sending Frankie Greco and Joe Cordasco. But James Kellner, a Verona resident who attends Saint Peter’s Prep, and Nick Anderson, who goes to Delbarton School, have also qualified for states, and Cordasco and Kellner are in the same 170-pound weight class.
Kellner took first place at 170 pounds in the Region 4 championship this past weekend, after pinning Walid Rabah of JFK and scoring decisions over Christopher Morgan of West Orange and Nathan Bueno of Becton. Cordasco finished in third place. He pinned his first opponent, Phil Walsh of St. Mary’s, but lost to Morgan in the next round.
Greco took first place in the 182-pound class at Regions. He pinned Charles O’Connell of Nutley in a lightning-fast 1:30 in the semifinals and defeated Vinnie Mainiero of Nutley, 4-2 in double overtime.
Anderson won first place in the 132-pound class at the Region 9 championship in Morristown. He pinned Tommy DiGuglielmo of Parsippany High School in just 32 seconds and scored a major 13-2 decision over Christian Signorelli of Parsippany Hills High School.
Paul Scully also competed in the Region 4 championship. He won his first two matches before falling to Steve Bonsall of North Arlington. Only the first three wrestlers in each weight class go on to Atlantic City.
The state competition begins at 5 p.m. on Friday with the preliminaries and pre-quarterfinals. On Saturday, March 9, the competition starts at 10 a.m. for the quarterfinals and wrestle-backs. On Sunday, competition begins at 10 a.m. for consolations, followed by the finals and awards ceremony at 2 p.m. The brackets for the championship have not yet been posted.
Photos copyright Donna Giuliano. Used by permission.