ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – Montville wrestlers Parker Fox (285 pounds) and Dominic Fano (152 pounds) made early exits from last year’s state championship, losing before the heat of Boardwalk Hall’s lights radiated from the rafters.
This year, following a hot start in the district and region tournaments, the experienced duo of Fano and Fox take on the field of their respective weight classes looking to prove they belong. Joined by juniors Connor Meytrott and Liridon Leka, Montville sends four grapplers to the 2017 NJSIAA Individual Wrestling State Championships at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Fox is the lone Region 2 winner of the group, but Meytrottf inished a respectable second in the 138-pound class. Fano and Leka both placed third in their brackets.
In years past, Fox would have had a first round bye due to his first place region finish, but the bye was eliminated this year with the addition for eight wrestlers from each weight class to the field. Fox will wrestle as the No. 8 seed against Cumberland Regional’s Bryce Dunn, the fourth place finisher from Region 8.
After finishing third in Region 2, Fano picked up the No. 7 seed in his weight class, the second highest seed for a non-region winner in the field. He takes on Emerson/Park Ridge’s John Garda in the opening round on Friday.
Meytrott has arguably the worst draw of Montville’s Atlantic City contingency. Despite earning a second place finish in Region 2, the junior is the No. 16 seed and has to wrestle No. 17 Ray Smaha (Lenape Valley) in the opening round, before a presumed date with Bergen Catholic’s top-seeded Gerard Angelo in round two.
Leka picked up the No. 11 seed in the 220-pound class. He will wrestle fellow Region third place finisher Timothy Miles of Winslow in the opening round.
Matches begin on Friday at 2:30 p.m. The end of day one will whittle each weight class of 32 wrestlers down to eight. On Saturday, wrestlers who lost on Friday night will compete in wrestle back rounds, while the championship contenders will matchup in the quarterfinals and semifinals.
The final day will begin with the final wrestle back rounds and then the consolation semifinals before the third, fifth and seventh place matches commence on Sunday afternoon. As is tradition, the NJSIAA Individual Wrestling State Championship bouts will be played on a single mat on Sunday night.