ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – Passaic Valley Regional High School senior Nick DeNora became the latest PVHS wrestler to medal in the NJSIAA Individual Wrestling State Championships on Sunday.
Making his first trip to the bright lights of Boardwalk Hall, DeNora placed eighth in the 106-pound weight class.
“It just feels good,” DeNora said. “All the hard work since freshman year, to finally make it down and get a medal.”
DeNora lost to Don Bosco Prep’s Justin Bierdumpfel by a 4-2 decision to finish eighth.
Earlier in the tournament, DeNora beat Queen of Peace’s Will Grater, 4-1, in wrestle backs on Saturday to secure a Top 8 finish.
The senior finished the tournament ultimately satisfied with the result, considering this was his first “working trip” down to Atlantic City and the individual state championships.
“I came down to watch and stuff, but never to wrestle,” DeNora said. “It took a couple of hours [to get comfortable] after warming up. When I first walked in I was really nervous, but I kind of got used to it after a little while.”
DeNora hopes his finish this year, as well as the Top 8 place winners of previous years can help grow the Passaic Valley program, specifically the younger wrestlers that look up to him.
He said, “The younger guys looking up to me makes them want to push harder to do the same thing or better.”
Fellow PVHS senior Kenny Kerwin also competed in the state championship tournament. The 113-pound wrestler lost his opening round match on Friday night before bouncing back with a first round wrestle back victory on Saturday morning. He ultimately lost in the second round of wrestle backs.