TRENTON, NJ- The New Jersey Scholastic Youth Wrestling State Championships were held on the weekend of March 9th-10th at The Cure Insurance Arena in Trenton, NJ. The tournament is considered the pinnacle of NJ youth wrestling where qualifying is a huge accomplishment. Divisions are categorized by age and weight. The brackets can include up to 27 wrestlers all looking for a spot on the podium for 1st-8th place.
South Plainfield sent 12 wrestlers to Trenton for a chance to become a State Champion. It is not an easy feat to make it to Trenton, as you must qualify first. Beginning in January, wrestlers go to qualifiers all over the state of New Jersey and must be one of the top three finishers to qualify for states. The following wrestlers qualified: Jionni Celentano (1st place), Nikash Patel (1st place), Nick Campagna (2nd place), Andrew Loniewski (3rd place), Nick Teal (3rd place), Alex Teal (3rd Place), Jojo Celentano (2nd place), Dan Borsos (2nd place) Aldo Pigna (1st place), Alex Pigna (1st place) Nicholas France (2nd place) and Dave Dellipoali (1st Place).
This year South Plainfield was well represented by Nicholas Campagna who capped off his 7th grade season with a first-place finish in the 120 lb. Junior Division. This is Nick's third State Title for the South Plainfield Program. Nick took last season off to think about what he wanted from wrestling. He answered that question by winning five straight matches to find his place on top of the podium. The final match saw Nick battling former state champ John Quinonez of Red Nose Wrestling Club. Quinonez nearly tied the match with a near fall that was fought off by the determined Campagna who defeated his opponent 4-2. Weeks earlier Quinonez bested Nick at the State Qualifier. According to Campagna, the loss only motivated him beat his rival wherever they faced off in the bracket. As fate would have it the rematch took place in the final bout for the state championship. Nicholas is a natural athlete who always displays great sportsmanship. He is grateful for his South Plainfield coaches, teammates, a supportive family and his training partner/ brother Jack.
Taking 4th Place on the podium this year was 8th grader Danny Borsos. Danny competed in the 150lb. intermediate division and battled his way back after an early defeat. Danny was a member of The SP Middle Schools undefeated league champion team. He will be taking his skills to High School next season.
Taking 4th place this year as well was first-year wrestler Jionni Celentano. Jionni competed in the Tot 37 division and battled hard. He was also a member of the SP rec program and will be a force for years to come.
Taking 6th place on the podium this year was 7th grader Aldo Pigna. Aldo competed in the 75b intermediate division and made it to the semifinals until he was defeated by the eventual state champ. Aldo was a member of the SP Middle Schools undefeated league championship team.
5th grader Nikesh Patel took 7th place this year and had previously placed in states in 2017. Nikash competed in the 80lb novice division and was a member of SP Central jersey team. He will continue to be a part of the SP CJ team and will also take his skills to the Middle School team.
First year wrestler David Dellipoali took 7th place in the bantam 70lb division. David was part of SP rec program and will be huge part of the tradition for the foreseeable future.
Although the remainder of our wrestlers didn’t make the podium this season they battled hard and came up just short. They are all well accomplished wrestlers (former state place winners 1-8). They also had the courage to compete in the largest youth wrestling event in the State of New jersey. Congratulations to all the SP Wrestlers.
A huge thank you to Coaches Joe Celentano, Dave Butrico, and Will Whitefleet who spent their time coaching, supporting and encouraging the boys!