Source: Mike Lamberti, Special to Wayne Today — NorthJersey.com
WAYNE – A busy summer produced some very good results for the Wayne Valley High School wrestling team.
Head coach Todd Schroeder watched his team put in four intensive days of work at the Rutgers University team camp, then concluded its summer campaign by wrestling three-straight nights at the Hopatcong Duals. The Indians will take some much needed time off in August. For some of the kids, that means taking vacation, but also a quick turnaround for football season, which will begin official practices within 10 days.
“The kids can use the time off,” said Schroeder. “We got some good work in during June and July and I came away very happy with what I saw. The Rutgers camp was really tough, but we came through it very well. We competed hard and didn’t have any injuries. Hopatcong is always a good test for us and this year was no exception. There were 20 teams there and what was good about that, as well as Rutgers, was we saw teams that we generally won’t see during the course of our high school season.”
what was good about … Rutgers, was we saw teams that we generally won’t see during the course of our high school season.”
–Todd Schroeder, Head Coach
At Rutgers, Wayne Valley faced a number of talented teams, especially from the talent-rich South Jersey area.
“There were a lot of good teams there,” said Schroeder. “It was different competition, which is always good. We were 7-0 in dual meets in our pool, but the record wasn’t nearly as important as our kids facing good competition in specific matches. That’s what we wanted to accomplish the most.”
The camp was certainly a grind, but Schroeder saw that as good mental preparation for what is always a long season, from November to March.
“If you think about it, the four days at Rutgers almost makes up 75 to 80 percent of our regular season in terms of the matches we got in,” said Schroeder. “Rutgers does a great job running the camp, too. Their coaches are very supportive and their wrestlers, who served as counselors, were very proactive.”
The Rutgers camp is always a good experience for the team as they stayed at the school for three days.
“It’s a good team bonding experience,” said Schroeder. A week after the Rutgers camp, the Indians were at the Hopatcong Duals for three nights of work.
“Teams like High Point, Kittatinny, Roxbury and Pope John, all Region 1 schools, were there,” said Schroeder, noting that Wayne Valley has long been a Region 1 school.
Among the wrestlers who excelled for the Indians were Connor Murphy and Jacob Tareky, both of whom were team captains last year and will be seniors this fall. A pair of sophomores, Nick Duncan and Reid Colella, were also standouts. Nicola Trani did a good job at 220 pounds. Trani is also a standout football player, so his focus will shift quickly to the gridiron.
A pair of seniors, Nick Pellegrino and Dean Zindaki, should make the middle of Wayne Valley’s lineup quite formidable and those wrestlers did a good job in the summer tournaments.
“I also thought that Hunter Davis and Cole Drozjock did a very good job,” said Schroeder. “And two other guys, Sean Hammer and his brother, Ryan Hammer, who wrestled JV last year, are working hard toward varsity spots, too.”
When school starts up in September, Schroeder noted that the team will begin preparing for the fall workouts.
“We give them a little time to get acclimated to school, then we start the fall work,” said Schroeder. “Murphy and Tareky could get the opportunity to compete at the Super 32 this fall in Greensboro (North Carolina), which would be a tremendous experience for them.
“But, for now, it’s a chance for the kids to get some rest and enjoy some down time. Our varsity and JV kids did very well. We’re looking forward to the season, which will be here before you know it.”