Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Cedar Grove, Verona Prepare for County Wrestling Tournament

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Cedar Grove, Verona Prepare for County Wrestling Tournament

Article excerpt

The Essex County wrestling tournament will take over Codey Arena in West Orange this week as wrestlers from across the county will come together to find out who is the best. As Seton Hall Prep vies for another team title, Verona and Cedar Grove hope to nip at the heels of the Pirates after the two teams rounded out the top three teams in the standings. And for one Cedar Grove wrestler in particular, it is a place where the senior can join exclusive company.

Cedar Grove comes into the tournament following a second place finish in the tournament last season, but have lost some experienced seniors from last year's team. Only five wrestlers that competed in last season's county tournament return for the Panthers, but among them are 100-win wrestlers Joe McCarthy and Anthony Clarizio. McCarthy, the runner-up at 170 pounds last season, has wrestled mostly at 182 pounds this season, where he will be expected to compete for the podium.

The big story out of Cedar Grove in this tournament will be Clarizio, who won the tournament at 126 pounds last season. Clarizio will attempt to join an elite club as he goes for his fourth straight county wrestling title, likely at 145 pounds. Clarizio just pinned Caldwell's Saverio D'Angelo on Monday at that weight and could be in a stacked bracket alongside Seton Hall freshman Jack Wilt and Verona's Frank Gabriele.

Elsewhere for Cedar Grove are its dangerous lower weights. Dom Tafuri, who placed fifth at 106 pounds last season, has some quality victories at 113 pounds this season and can expect a good seed from it. Antonio Cuffari has turned some heads and has some wins within the county at both 106 and 113 pounds.

It will be interesting to see the results from the upper weights for Cedar Grove. McCarthy aside, there's a lot of talent, but not a lot of experience. Freshman Dillon Jennings has impressed at 182 pounds, but his quality wins are split between 170 and 182. …

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