HACKENSACK, NJ - The Hasbrouck Height rec wrestling team had another outstanding appearance at the 2020 Regional Tournament in Hackensack over the weekend.
The team entered 26 wrestlers which was the most of any of the 45 teams in the league, according to head coach Andrew Nass. It is the second year in a row the program achieved this goal.
According to Nass, the MVP of the morning session was Jair Vargas-shiskov who has only been wrestling a little over two months. Jair won his first match in round 1 by pin in the first period, which set him up to wrestle the second seed in his bracket in the quarterfinals. In that match he nearly got another first period pin, and ended up pinning his opponent in the second period. In the semifinals, against the number 3 seed, he wasted little time and got another first period pin, advancing him to the finals in his first region tournament of his career. He came up just short in the finals against a returning region champ and state medalist, "overall had an incredible day" said Nass.
The league handed out it's annual league awards before the start of the afternoon session. The Vince Nocito Award is given out every year to one seventh or eighth grade wrestler who has wrestled in the league for at least four years, who has not only achieved great career success in recreation wrestling, but who has also attained a high GPA and marks in school, and who has helped out in many areas of the community through different community service projects. This year the league awarded the Vince Nocito Award to Connor Scuilla. He has won the District tournament seven times, is a four-time Region champion, placed third in the State Championships in 2016, and has qualified to wrestle in the State tournament six times, winning four State qualifier tournaments. Off the mat, he has a 4.0 GPA in middle school, making the Honor Roll every year, and has helped out in several community service projects as a member of the Hasbrouck Heights Middle School Band.
"This is an incredible achievement, and Connor becomes only the third Heights wrestler to receive the Nocito Award since it began in 1987," said Nass.
The MVP of the afternoon session was Damon Rivera, who was matched against the top seed in his bracket in the quarterfinals round. Rivera dominated that first match, winning by a score of 5-0, setting up a match against a tough Lakeland opponent who Rivera had lost to earlier this season at one of the state qualifiers. In a very close match which went into overtime, Rivera scored a takedown with under 20 seconds left in the overtime period to advance to the finals, before ultimately coming just short of the gold medal.
Overall, the wrestlers had a combined total of 22 matches won, and 10 total medals. Here are the Region medalists:
2nd Place (Silver Medal) - Jair Vargas-shiskov, Deacon Delorenzo, Nick Leone, Gavin Abromowicz, Ryan Prince, and Damon Rivera
3rd Place (Bronze Medal) - Danny Guido, Rocco Pantiliano, Brandon Karwoski, and Anthony Cummings
4th Place (Honorable Mention) - Travis Kest, Nick Haines, and Connor Scuilla
There is one more qualifying tournament before the State Tournament in a week.
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