WEST ORANGE, NJ — The Seton Hall Prep wrestling team had a great week. The Pirates won five dual meets to raise their record to 7-1 overall and 3-0 in the Super Essex Conference-American Division on the season as they now prepared to defend their Essex County Tournament title today and tomorrow, Jan. 16-17, at Richard J. Codey Arena in West Orange. The Pirates are seeking their fifth straight ECT team title.
The Pirates defeated Verona, Wednesday, Jan. 8, and Nutley 61-15, Friday, Jan. 10, before sweeping a quad meet on Saturday, Jan. 11, in Livingston, beating Livingston 49-13, Rumson-Fair Haven 43-27, and Mahwah 61-18.
At SHP’s Frank J. Tracey Gymnasium against Nutley, 126-pound senior Larry Melchionda achieved his 100th career victory with a 12-second pin. He became the 12th wrestler in school history to achieve this accomplishment. After the match, Melchionda said, “It feels great to accomplish this feat, especially at home in front of all my teammates, friends and Pirate Nation. It is a great honor to know that I am joining an exclusive club that includes head coach Jack Decker and assistant coach Lou Mascola and other great former Seton Hall Prep wrestlers.”
100 career wins
- Lou Mascola, 144 -15 record, 2007-11.
- Aidan Monteverdi, 127-28 record, 2013-17
- Charlie Cunningham, 125- 31, 2014-18
- Angelo DiLeo, 124-18, 2001-05
- Jack Decker, 117-12, 2000-04
- T J Calas, 116-29, 2013-17
- Maguire Pecci, 112-31, 2014-18
- Brenden Calas, 112-12, 2009-13
- Tom Eidel, 111–11, 2002-09
- Chris Puorro, 108-34 ,2005-09
- Eammon Gaffney, 107-34, 2008-12
- Larry Melchionda, 102-30, 2016-20
The Essex County Tournament will begin at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16 with the preliminaries, pre-quarterfinals and quarterfinals. On Friday, Jan. 16, the semifinals and wrestlebacks will begin at 4 p.m. and the championship round will begin at 8 p.m.
The Pirates have won the ECT title in each of the past four seasons. They are tied with Belleville for the second-most ECT titles with seven in the 44-year history of the event.
Livingston has won eight ECT titles.