ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – Summit’s Philip Angelo made the most of his one and only trip to the NJSIAA Individual Wrestling State Championships in Atlantic City. The senior 138-pounder placed eighth in his weight class to close out his Hilltopper wrestling career.
In the seventh place match, Angelo was narrowly defeated by Delaware Valley’s Matt Kolonia, 8-6.
Angelo and Kolonia battled back-and-forth in the second period, exchanging the lead four times throughout the match’s middle two minutes. Trailing 6-5 in the final seconds of the period, Kolonia picked up a 2-point takedown to go up, 7-6. Angelo never recovered, and lost 8-6.
“I regret not staying focused on the last takedown at the end of the period,” Angelo said. “That kind of got in my head a little bit. I tried to keep wrestling hard and push through the match but it just didn't go in my favor.”
Despite the setback, Angelo knows the experience alone will help him in his future wrestling career at Gettysburg College.
“I learned so much,” Angelo said. “It's definitely going to help me in college. With all these fans out here, you learn a lot about maintaining focus and all that stuff.”
Angelo’s route to a Top 8 finish was the most difficult path a New Jersey high school wrestler can have. HE lost his first round match on Friday night, meaning his lone course to a medal was to win four consecutive matches on Saturday.
The Summit senior did just that, grabbing a seven-point win in his first wrestle back, a 7-3 victory in his second tilt, then a third-period pin in his third match. With a medal on the line in the fourth consolation round, Angelo triumphed over Woodstown’s Travis Layton, 7-5, to secure his Top 8 finish.
“This is my first time down here, so I’m pretty excited coming all the way from the wrestle backs,” Angelo said. “I lost in the first round, so it was a long day yesterday. I’m glad it all paid back.”
Angelo’s teammate Danny Petrela also participated in the state championship tournament, but fell one match short of a medal.