More than 40,000 people visited the legendary Boardwalk Hall for the three-day 2014 NJSIAA State High School Wrestling Championship tournament (March 7-9), according to Global Spectrum, operators of Boardwalk Hall. The event directly contributed $4.3 million in spending to the local Atlantic City economy. A yearly tradition in the high school wrestling community, Championship weekend in Atlantic City has become a celebration of the sport and the highlight of the year among high school wrestlers, coaches, families and fans.
An immensely popular fan event year after year, 2014 proved to be another successful weekend in the history of the New Jersey State High School Wrestling Championships. This year’s competition hosted 336 top wrestlers in the 14 different weight classes of 106 lbs, 113 lbs, 120 lbs, 126 lbs, 132 lbs, 138 lbs, 145 lbs, 152 lbs, 160 lbs, 170 lbs, 182 lbs, 195 lbs, 220 lbs, and 285 lbs. from various high schools all across the state of New Jersey. The event was presented by The Star Ledger and Resilite Wrestling Mats.
“This year’s Championship weekend was outstanding”, said Steve Timko, Executive Director of the NJSIAA. “This was our first experience working with Global Spectrum and the event ran very smoothly. The staff ensured that everything was taken care of and were there to answer any questions. It was a fantastic event all the way around and we are looking forward to next year.”
A highlight of the weekend was the induction of Anthony Ashnault of South Plainfield High School into the Boardwalk Hall of Fame. Ashnault made wrestling history during last year’s Championships when he became the first, undefeated four time NJSIAA State Wrestling Champion. He finished his career as a four time District 12 Champion, a four time Region 3 Champion and a four time State Champion with a perfect record of 170-0. Steve Timko, Executive Director of the NJSIAA and Fran Rodowicz, General Manager of Global Spectrum, Boardwalk Hall, presented Ashnault with his piece of the Hall of Fame this past Sunday. Ashnault and Delbarton’s Mike Grey are the only two wrestlers to have received this honor.
“It is very rewarding to be able to host a state-wide event that holds such a special significance for so many people”, said Fran Rodowicz, General Manager, Global Spectrum at Boardwalk Hall. “These wrestlers have worked hard and prepared all season to make it to the state Championships here at Boardwalk Hall. As the host site, we are glad to be able to provide a positive and memorable experience for the wrestlers and their families.”
The newly crowned 2014 New Jersey State High School Wrestling Champions include Delbarton’s Ty Agaisse (106 lbs), Bergen Catholic’s Nick Suriano ( 113 lbs), Hanover Park’s Anthony Cefolo (120 lbs), Bound Brook’s Craig De La Cruz (126 lbs), North Bergen’s Anthony Giraldo (132 lbs), Paulsboro’s Ronald Gentile (138 lbs), DePaul’s David McFadden (145 lbs), St. Augustine’s Jack Clark (152 lbs), East Brunswick’s Jonathan Schleifer (160 lbs), Roxbury’s Dillon Artigliere (170 lbs), Bergen Catholic’s Johnny Sebastian (182 lbs), Montgomery’s Anthony Cassar (195 lbs), Delsea’s Bryan Dobzanski (220 lbs), and Camden’s Andrew Stevens (285 lbs).