Wayne Valley wrestlers make summer commitment to success
The Wayne Valley High wrestling team has put in a busy summer, competing at duals as well as spending a few quality days at the Rutgers Camp.
Coach Todd Schroeder has liked what he’s seen from a talented group of returning wrestlers for the 2018-19 season.
“We’ve had a lot of kids putting in quality time,” said Schroeder. “We competed at the Passaic Valley Duals and the Hopatcong Duals, as well as taking a lot of kids to the Rutgers Camp, which was a really good experience for us. The Rutgers coaches and wrestlers taught us a lot. We had the chance to see both Anthony Ashnault and Nick Suriano and get some tremendous instruction.”
Ashnault and Suriano are the only wrestlers in New Jersey high school history to win four straight state championships, as well as finish undefeated in their respective careers.
Ashnault, who wrestled at South Plainfield High School, was 170-0, when he graduated in 2013. Suriano, a star at Bergen Catholic, was 159-0 and was graduated in 2016. Both wrestlers have attained All-American status on the collegiate ranks at Rutgers, and Suriano was an NCAA finalist last season. He’ll be a junior this year.
A number of returning Wayne Valley grapplers have excelled in the summer.
“Reid Colella is having a tremendous summer season,” said Schroeder of the incoming senior who will most likely wrestle at 152 or 160 pounds. “His goal is to get back to the states this coming season and stand on that (medal) podium.
“And Dan Murphy has put in a lot of time, and he’s also been juggling football responsibilities. There’s a lot that goes on for the kids in the summer, especially those who compete in multiple sports during the school year.”
Colella, who advanced to the state championships in Atlantic City last March, and Murphy have also competed in a number of prestigious summer wrestling tournaments.
Schroeder has also been pleased with the performances of twin brothers Sean Hammer and Ryan Hammer, Matt Jimenez, Michael Antonuccio, Attila Valy and Andy Roth.
In addition, talented wrestlers Nick Trani, Nick Duncan and Elijah Lugo, have been busy, both with football and wrestling this summer. Trani qualified for the state championships last year and Schroeder already said he thinks Duncan and Lugo have the ability to make it to Atlantic City next March.
“We’re excited about the season,” said Schroeder. “Success in the winter begins with the hard work in the summer, and I’m seeing a lot of commitment from our kids.”