Metuchen Grapplers stay sharp over summer



The Metuchen Grapplers Wrestling Club held their annual summer wrestling camp last week.

Sponsored by the Metuchen Recreation Commission and held at the high school, this is the fourth year the camp has been offered.

In his second year as camp director, Nick Zaneto, Metuchen High School Athletic Trainer and Grappler alumnus, worked with 16 wrestlers.

"The majority of the boys are Grappler team members who attend the camp for the chance to train in the off-season," Zaneto said. "This year we had a few young guys who had never wrestled before.

"Beginners Dylan Marino and John David Rizzutto were both very enthusiastic, while newcomer Jacob Lucas showed a lot of instinct," he continued.

"We hope all three will decide to join the Grapplers this winter." said Leigh Ratzkovich, a Grappler coach who assists every year at the camp.

Zaneto, a two-time district finalist during his four years on the Metuchen High School Varsity Wrestling team, enlisted other Grappler alumni to help with the teaching, training and demonstrating.

Matt McManmon, home for the summer from York College, where he has wrestled for the past three years, started wrestling with the Grapplers and continued through his high school years.

"These kids show a lot promise. I love working with them," said McManmon, who has helped at the camp for the past three years.

Jack Barrett, who will be entering his senior year at Metuchen High School, also started with the Grapplers. Barrett is a two-time district finalist and took third in Region 8 last season.

"I have worked with some of these experienced guys for a few years now," Barrett said "It’s exciting to see them grow as wrestlers."

Nick Donahue, a sophomore in September, attended the camp for the first three years and looked forward to coming back this year as a counselor. His two younger brothers, Steven and Max, attended camp and are seasoned Grapplers.

Ryan Semone, last year’s captain of the seventh- and eighth-grade Grapplers team, also came to work with the young wrestlers.

Grappler novice wrestlers Matthew D’Alfonsi, Jim Hampsey, Steven Walsh, Ian McNee and Kyle Day all had fun and improved their basic skills.

According to Zaneto, "These are all young, talented wrestlers with tremendous potential They are the future Grappler stars."

Veteran Grapplers Lucas D’Alfonsi, James Rasmussen, Mickey Ladines, Nikolai Ratzkovich, Tommy Sullivan and Reggie Mosley all came to camp to add to their skills and learn more advanced moves.

"Each of these guys will add strength to the varsity team as they graduate from the Grapplers and enter high school." Zaneto said.

"I like wrestling with the older guys. They teach us more effective, useful moves and techniques," said Lucas D’Alfonsi, captain of the sixth grade-and-under Grappler team. "It’s really great that they come help us."

The Grapplers wrestling season will begin in December.