With an impressive 19-6 regular season in the books, the Wayne Valley High wrestling team now prepares for the final stage of a long season.
Head coach Todd Schroeder’s Indians will be at the District 8 championships, at Hopatcong High School, on Feb. 17, where the team will seek to defend its championship. The top three wrestlers in each weight class at the 32 districts throughout the state will move on to the eight region championships, which begins on Feb. 21. continues on Feb. 23 and concludes on Feb. 24. Wayne Valley will compete at Region 2, which will be contested at Mt. Olive High, in Flanders. The top four wrestlers in each weight class at the eight regions move on to Boardwalk Hall, in Atlantic City for the state championships, from March 2-4.
Nick Trani, getting his hand raised, has put together a tremendous season at Wayne Valley. (Click on photo for larger image)
Last week, Wayne Valley lost in the state sectional semifinals to West Morris Central, 35-21, on Feb. 8. The team then concluded the regular season with three victories, downing Lyndhurst, 67-12, Teaneck, 66-6, and River Dell, 46-24, in a quad on Feb. 10.
Schroeder was pleased with the effort down the stretch. Wayne Valley ended the regular season by winning 16 of its last 18 matches.
“I thought our kids did a good job against West Morris,” said Schroeder of his team’s match against the top seed in North Jersey, Section 1, Group 4. “We’re at a good place now, with the districts coming up. It will be a good test for us, especially with Passaic Valley and Montville in our district. They’re really good teams.”
Wayne Valley won the District 8 crown last year, in the first season of the newly formatted district and region set up.
“It was different, seeing a lot of new teams last year,” said Schroeder. “We did a good job, overall, at the districts and we’ve got a lot of kids back from last season who know what it takes this time of year to move on.”
The Wayne Hills High School wrestling team finished the regular season on a strong note, winning three straight and five of its last seven matches.
First-year head coach Dan DiColo’s Patriots finished 10-15 and will be at Kittatinny High School, in Newton, for the District 2 championships on Feb. 17. District 2 includes some talented teams including Kittatinny, Jefferson and Pope John. The top three wrestlers in each weight class at District 2 will move onto the Region 1 championships, at Wallkill Valley.
Pete Dellechiaie of Wayne Hills. (Click on photo for larger image)
Among the highlights of Wayne Hills’ season was Aidan Broderick winning the Passaic County Tournament (PCT) crown at 113 pounds and Pete Dellechiaie finishing second at 220 pounds at the PCT.
Entering the districts, Dellechiaie had 96 career victories.
“After the county tournament, we had a great team win, with two back ups in freshman Chris Brutofsky at 145 pounds and junior Galo Guerra at 160, getting huge wins for our team against Lakeland,” said DiColo.
Hills finished the regular season by sweeping a quad, against Dwight Morrow, 66-6, New Milford, 52-19 and Kinnelon, 42-27, on Feb. 10 while also defeating Lakeland, 36-34, on Jan. 31, and Passaic, 61-9, on Feb. 2.