Wins highlight holidays for Passaic Valley wrestling
A busy holiday season provided a lot of highlights for the Passaic Valley High wrestling team.
The Hornets took a 3-0 record into a match with Lakeland on Jan. 4. On Jan. 7, the team heads to Mendham High School for a quad match, which starts at 10 a.m. On Jan. 11, another tough match is scheduled, at DePaul, starting at 7 p.m.
PV head coach Joe Benvenuti has been pleased with his team’s performance in the early going.
“As a team, we always talk about the season, which breaks down into three parts,” said Benvenuti. “The early season with the December tournaments and some early duals, then the dual season, starting in January, with league matches, dual meets and quads. Then, of course, the tournament season (in February), with the state sectionals, followed by the districts, regions and ultimately, the states (in early March).
“That being said, I’m happy with where we are, so far. Don’t get me wrong, we still have a lot of work to do, but to get out of December 3-0 and finishing second at the Roselle Park Tournament (last week), proved we’ll be okay down the road, when it matters most.”
PV wrestled Passaic County Tech on Dec. 28, and won, 39-27.
“Our team has relied heavily on the performance of our lower weights, with Nick DeNora, Kenny Kerwin and Greg Sabbak, so far,” said Benvenuti. “All three have been getting consistent wins with bonus points, to help us win our early season dual matches. In the upper weights, Tom Marretta and Yousef Karmi have also been doing well. In the PCT match, we had three important victories, starting with a quick pin by Hunter Fortier, then hard-earned wins from Greg Fellanto and Vincenzo Brigati.”
DeNora (106 pounds), Sabbak (120), Fortier (152), Marretta (220) and Karmi (HWT) all won by fall while Kerwin (113) prevailed, 9-2.
The Roselle Park Tournament was a good test for the Hornets, as the team finished a solid second to North Carolina-based Orange High School.
“We’ve been tested early with two good tournaments, as well as challenging dual meets with PCT and Nutley,” said Benvenuti. “I was pleased with our effort at Roselle Park, and the tenacity in going after pins. We really had a collectively good day with medals, as seven of our kids earned top three and 13 of our guys finishing in the top five.”
DeNora won the title at 106 pounds and took a 7-0 record into the Jan. 4 match with Lakeland. Sabbak was also solid, winning his weight class with three pins.
“Sabbak leads our team in pins with seven,” said Benvenuti. “He was very impressive in the Roselle Park Tournament.”
Kerwin was second at 113 pounds while Jordan Sconciafurno wrestled well and finished third in his weight class, recording a pair of falls. Fellanto and Karmi each finished third and the team also got a good effort from Jeremy Galletta, as well as a pair of silver medals in tournaments.
“Jeremy has put together a nice season, with a winning record,” said Benvenuti.
The coach knows the next month will be interesting.
“Now we really get into the dual meets,” said Benvenuti. “On Saturday, we have a big quad with Mendham, Emerson-Park Ridge and Jefferson.”