ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – Delbarton’s dynamic lightweight duo of Anthony Clark (106 pounds) and Patrick Glory (120 pounds) dominated the field at the 2017 NJSIAA Individual Wrestling State Championships, winning two individual titles at Boardwalk Hall on Sunday.
Following two disappointing state tournament runner-up finishes for Glory, the junior Randolph native defeated his personal adversity to beat Pope John’s Joseph Aragona, 3-1, for his first ever state title.
“Mentally, I’m just there,” Glory said. “Mentally, I’m in it. Coming into this match, I had no doubt in my mind that I was going to win this match. To be honest with you, I thought it was going to be a bigger blowout.”
20 minutes before Glory’s arm was raised, his lightweight protégé, freshman Anthony Clark, picked up a title of his own by beating St. Joseph of Montvale’s Samuel Alvarez, 4-2, in the 106-pound final.
Clark, one of the highest rated freshmen in New Jersey wrestling, came into the tournament more relaxed than most freshman ever appear to be. Due in part to his family’s history in the tournament (his cousin Anthony Oliveri wrestled at Hanover Park High School), Clark fought through tight matches in the early round before winning his championship.
“It definitely was a lot better [to have been here as a fan before],” Clark said. “I never got nervous. I kept my composure. I like the spotlight. I like being watched. I like to go out there and put on a show for the crowd.”
Clark and Glory were joined on the Top 8 podium by two of the their Green Wave teammates: Cole Kreshpane (170 pounds) and LJ Castellano (182 pounds).
Kreshpane finished sixth in his weight class, while Castellano placed fourth. Travis Tavoso (138 pounds), Kieran Calvetti (160 pounds) and Trey Zgombic (220 pounds) also competed in the tournament, but failed to make the medal rounds.
“Its spectacular,” Kreshpane said of Delbarton’s four place winners and seven total wrestlers. “We come into our room every day. We try to work and get the job done. We practice hard. We grind through our practices. We think we have some of the toughest practices in the state, the hardest working guys. To bring seven down here is incredible. It goes to show we have four place winners. Its surreal.”
Castellano said the program has superior leadership from their coaches, who are constantly pushing the team to strive for bigger things.
“We have the same goal in mind,” Castellano said. “We have a little calendar in our room that says ‘How many days until the state tournament?’ We are all just hungry for a state title. Whether we come up short or get it, its all about achieving that goal.”