WEST ORANGE, NJ – West Orange High School senior Victor Lopez finished his amazing wrestling career with a good run in the NJSiAA state tournament at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Lopez, who became the school’s all-time winningest wrestler earlier in the season, went 2-2 in the tournament. He entered the tournament with just one loss – which came in the Essex County Tournament championship bout against Livingston’s Anthony Petrillo – and finished his season with a terrific 34-3 record.
Lopez also ended his WOHS career with 136 victories, the most in school history.
Lopez was the No. 7 seed in a field of 32. On the first night of the tournament, Lopez decisioned No. 26 seed Jake Wiatroski of Old Bridge, 5-0, in the preliminary round on Friday, March 3. But Lopez lost to No. 10 seed Robert Howard of Bergen Catholic, 4-1, in the pre-quarterfinals later that night.
The next day, Lopez was put into the wrestlebacks second round where he decisioned No. 25 seed Kenny Kerwin of Passaic Valley, 7-5. But in the wrestlebacks third round later that day, Lopez was eliminated after getting pinned by No. 16 seed Joseph King of Colts Neck in a time of 3:56.
Lopez won the District 10 tournament title at Nutley HS and won the Region 3 tournament title at WOHS to reach the state tournament for the second year in a row. He won at least 30 matches in each of his four years.
Howard has reached the championship bout and will face top-seeded Antonio Mininno of Gateway/Woodbury on Sunday afternoon, March 5.