NUTLEY – The Nutley High School varsity wrestling team is making a case to be the top team in Essex County this season.
After defeating Irvington, 49-18, Jan. 6, in Irvington, the Raiders knocked off West Essex, 49-23, Friday, Jan. 8, at West Essex in North Caldwell in a key Super Essex Conference-American Division match.
West Essex won three straight bouts from 113, 120 and 126 pounds, before Frank DeMaio and Robert Duxbury won the next two for the Raiders to help seal the win. DeMaio pinned Johnathan Bartley in 5:32 at the 132-pound bout and Duxbury decisioned Chris Zaccaria, 9-8, at 138. The other winners for Nutley were Domonic Cofone, who pinned Billy Garafolo in 3:33 at 106; Darwin Pena, who won by forfeit at 145; John Zarro, who decisioned Santo Dicondina, 10-4, at 170; Louis Long, who pinned Joe Servidio in 40 seconds at 182; Justin Bivona, who pinned Joseph Gambino in 3:28 at 195; Sabino Coppola, who pinned Francis Hunter in 5:41 at 220; and Luis Abreu, who won by forfeit at 285.
NHS went 2-1 during a home quad meet on Saturday, Jan. 9, beating Pequannock, 47-27, and Verona, 51-21, and losing to Hanover Park, 40-23. The loss was the Raiders’ first of the season as their team record moved to 6-1.
The Raiders will host Caldwell on Friday, Jan. 15, at 4:30 p.m. in a divisional match, and host the annual Gift of Life Duals on Saturday, Jan. 16, beginning at 9 a.m. Michael DiPiano Sr., the father of NHS wrestling head coach Mike DiPiano, is the director of the Gift of Life Duals, which was created to bring awareness of organ donation. DiPiano Sr. is an 18-year organ donation recipient and a former legendary head wrestling coach at St. Benedict’s Prep.
NHS won the team title at the Gary Vittorio Holiday Classic at Parsippany High School on Dec. 29. The Raiders believed they had finished in second place, one-half point behind the host school, but a re-calculation of the team standings determined that Nutley was the champion.