J.P. Stevens wrestling wins twice to start season


The J.P. Stevens High School wrestling program got off to a strong start with a pair of wins over the weekend to open the season. The seniorladen lineup posted lopsided wins over North Plainfield (69-4) and Ridge (54-18) to improve to 2-0 on the year.

The Hawks will look to continue their winning streak with matches this week against Scotch Plains and Old Bridge.

“We haven’t beaten Old Bridge in a few years now, so it will be another tough challenge for us,” Stevens head coach Mike Sider said. “Scotch Plains is always one of the better teams, and last year they went 20- 5.”

Freshman Chris Campione picked up a win for Stevens at 103 pounds after losing his first match 11- 10 to Ridge’s D.J. Ragonese.

Chris DiPalo picked up two wins at 112 pounds with a forfeit and a pin over Ben Tumulo of Ridge. Teammate Mike Giacobbe went 1-1 with a pin over Ridge’s Harold Imperatore.

“Mike will be in and out of the varsity lineup this year,” Sider said. “He’ll see time at 119 along with senior Andrew Chen.”

Chen wrestled up at 130 pounds over the weekend and cruised to 2-0 with a pair of pins. Junior Mario Perricone also went 2-0, at 125 pounds, with a pin over Ryan Metcalfe of Ridge and an 11-8 win over North Plainfield’s Yuri Urrutia.

“Both Andrew and Mario got off to good starts,” Sider said. “Mario really put in the time over the summer and it’s really showing.”

Senior Dan Keiser wrestled at 140 pounds, with Chen occupying his usual 130-pound slot. Wrestling up a couple of classes could hardly slow down Keiser: he posted an 11-4 win over Chris Reilly of Ridge and technical fault over Ricky Herrera of North Plainfield.

“Dan is a returning district champion and he’s closing in on 100 wins this season,” Sider said. “He took second in the regions and finished among the top 16 in the state. His goal is to return to Atlantic City and finish among the top eight in the state.”

Sophomore Anthony Rovito also picked up a pair of victories at 135 pounds. Rovito pinned Kyle Winter of Ridge and Jon Marhalojos of North Plainfield. Junior Quentin McCarthy is expected to split time with Rovito at either 135 or 140 pounds.

“Anthony is one of our rising stars,” Sider said. “We’re hoping Quentin turns the corner this year, because he has a lot of talent.”

At 145 pounds, senior Jesse Sattler registered a 13-4 win over North Plainfield’s Dennis Guerrero and a pin of Ridge’s Dean Rice. Sattler took fifth place at the county tournament last season and is looking to build on his success.

Fellow senior Greg Zannetti got off to a 2-0 start with a forfeit and a pin of North Plainfield’s Ubaid Harroon in less than a minute. Zannetti finished fourth in the regions last season and is hungry for a trip to Atlantic City and the state tournament.

“Greg is also getting close to 100 wins,” Sider said. “He was runner-up at the county tournament and a district champion last year. He’s a dedicated wrestler with a clear goal of getting down to Atlantic City.”

Greg Gerold earned an impressive win at 160 pounds over Ridge’s Steven Bercik. A regional qualifier last year, Bercik was defeated by Gerold 4-2 in overtime. Gerold’s second win came via a pin of North Plainfield’s Mohammed Hussan.

At 171, Brad Newman got a victory via forfeit but lost a tough 4-3 decision to ex-region qualifier John Lorid of Ridge. Senior Malcolm Reuben bounced back from his loss to Nick Wilson of Ridge with an 8-1 victory over Gino Berrera of North Plainfield at 189 pounds.

At 215, Marc Ruggerio picked up a pair of wins with a pin of North Plainfield’s Emilio Robles.