TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove Hillbilly Athlete of the Week: John Gabriele

Credits: Heidi Huze

VERONA, NJ - After a dominant weekend at the Garden State Classic Verona’s John Gabriele has started his senior year with a statement to all opponents in the State and earned TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove Hillbilly Athlete of the Week honors.

“I’m pretty proud to start off the season strong,” said John Gabriele.

Gabriele was impressive to say the least. Competing at the 152 pounds class the senior captain notched three straight victories by pinfall to claim the title. For Gabriele it was a direct result of strategy and hard work.

Sign Up for E-News

“I didn’t really have a strategy I just went to my normal stuff like arm bars and tilts…I’ve been wrestling a lot in this offseason,” said Gabriele.

The senior grappler has been a staple on the Verona squad since his freshman year. Over the last four years he’s excelled and is now on the verge of winning 100 matches in his varsity career.

“It’s easy for me when you pencil John into the lineup to know I’m going to get a quality performance and I can count on getting points from him,” said coach Pete Foster.

Gabriele is one of several Captains on the Hillbilly Wrestling Team this year.  Despite his calm nature he’s a fierce presence on the mat who constantly competes with class

“He’s humble in victory, he’s gracious in defeat, he’s just a great example for all of us to follow,” said Foster.  

As one of the team’s top performers Gabriele wished to improve on fundamentals with the goal of making it to the State Final in Atlantic City. He spent all off-season working on various techniques to improve his chances at making it past Regions.

“[I wanted to] work on my feet getting better [with] takedowns and stuff like that to set up my shot,” said Gabriele.

After working this past offseason Gabrielle has drastically improved the minor details in his technique to make him an even more dangerous opponent. According to his coach in both standing and bottom position Gabriele poses an even more versatile scoring threat to Verona’s oppositions.

“To be at that upper level and still make improvements is hard to do because all those other guys are as well…he’s come back this year and he’s really sharpened some techniques,” said Foster.

While on the mat Gabriele is a consummate professional and teammate, his true value to Verona lies in his leadership abilities. While not a vocal leader, Gabriele leads by example showing younger wrestlers on the roster improvement methods to reach their optimal performance.

“He cares about the other guys, he’s quiet, he’s not a real vocal guy, but I see [how he leads] and that stuff doesn’t go unnoticed,” said Foster.

Gabriele will continue to progress as the season rolls on for the Verona. He hopes that continued hard work will payoff for him with a trip to Atlantic City at the end of the season.

“I just keep training hard that’s pretty much it,” said Gabriele.


TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove  is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.

Sign up for our FREE daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Got a news tip or opinion? email us at

Download the FREE TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get news as it is happening.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Verona/Cedar Grove

Newark Street Renamed After late Essex County Undersheriff

July 18, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - The late Essex County Undersheriff who may soon have the Market Street patrol building renamed after him also had a road dedicated in his namesake today.

Essex County Undersheriff Kevin Ryan often worked security at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, his brother said. A portion of Victoria Avenue in front of that church today was renamed to Kevin J. Ryan Way in honor of ...

Cedar Grove Police Blotter

July 8, 2018

July 2, 2018 – July 8, 2018

On July 3, 2018 at 7:22 a.m., Ptl. Kristian Schneider responded to a David Road address to take a report of a suspicious vehicle. The resident observed a black four door vehicle stop in front of her home at approximately 5:20 a.m. She noticed that both passenger side doors were open and then observed two black males walking from the area of her driveway. She ...

Got Mint? Bayonne Police Charge Man with Stealing $1,000 in Toothpaste

July 17, 2018

BAYONNE, NJ – The case of a near lifetime supply of toothpaste that was taken from a Bayonne pharmacy has been solved.

Marcos Baez, 40, of Isabella Avenue, was charged with four counts of shoplifting after police identified him as the person responsible for stealing more than $1,000 worth of toothpaste, according to a police release.

Police were called to the Rite Aid at 12-16 North ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, July 18, 7:00 PM

Hospital Conference Room 2 (Ground Floor), Glen Ridge

Becoming a Parent

Health & Wellness


Mon, July 23, 9:00 AM

Sellitto Field, Verona

Verona Football 2018 Summer Camp


Mon, July 23, 7:00 PM

Hospital Auditorium, Glen Ridge

Tour of the Birthing Center

Health & Wellness

Calling Local Artists!

July 17, 2018

The Township of Verona is looking to run some new events around town focused on the arts and would like to hear from all the amazing local talent we have here in Verona and the surrounding towns. Please send an email to if you would like to hear more and get involved.

LOCAL BUSINESSES: Please contact if interested in hosting an exhibit at your location.

'Servant of Two Masters' exudes foolish fun

‘Servant of Two Masters’ makes for foolish, frivolous fun

By Liz Keill

MADISON, NJ –Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters,” in a rousing translation and adaptation by Bonnie J. Monte, has the outdoor audience at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey laughing and clapping all the way through.

The yearly production, held at the amphitheatre on the ...