WEST ORANGE (updated Friday March 16, 1:41 p.m.) – The Seton Hall Prep wrestling team had an outstanding season. The Pirates finished the dual meet portion at 19-1, with the lone loss coming against powerhouse Bergen Catholic in the NJSIAA North Jersey Non-Public “A” state tournament final. They captured their first Morris Knolls Tournament title. SHP won its third consecutive Essex County Tournament title. The Pirates also were the runner-up in the NJSIAA District 13 Tournament.
They finished ranked in all four wrestling polls: No. 1 Region 4, No. 10 Star-Ledger, No. 11 Coaches, No. 11 Writers, and No. 13 Full Circle.
Head coach Jack Decker completed his ninth season at the helm. His record is 136 – 65.
The top SHP wrestlers were sophomore Larry Melchionda, 29-7 record; freshman Conner Decker, 30-10; sophomore Dean Musialowicz, 12-17; freshman Cole Carroll, 18-16; senior Charlie Cunningham, 35-6; senior Maguire Pecci, 21-5; sophomore Michael Massa, 27-10; senior Danny Young, 28-10; sophomore Alex Garcia, 27-11; sophomore Zach Merlino, 22-15; senior Ben Halligan, 9-14; and junior Niko Diakides, 32-10.
The SHP wrestlers also made All-Super Essex Conference-American Division. The First Team honorees are: 106-pound weight class: Melchionda. 113: Decker. 138: Pecci. 160: Young. 285: Diakides. Open: Cunningham. Second team: 152: Massa. 170: Garcia 182: Merlino
Honorable mention: 138: Aidan Cunningham. 145: Jack Wilt.
Coach Decker and his assistants are looking forward to next season when they lose only Cunningham, Young, Pecci, and Halligan and have a great group of underclassmen returning.