Beyer, Chiellini win county titles

PV's first county champions since 2001

Pascack+Valley+wrestlers+and+coaches+pose+after+the+BCCA+Holiday+Wrestling+Tournament+on+Friday.+Seniors+Tommy+Chiellini+and+Matt+Beyer+won+county+titles+at+their+respective+weight+classes.
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Beyer, Chiellini win county titles

Pascack Valley wrestlers and coaches pose after the BCCA Holiday Wrestling Tournament on Friday. Seniors Tommy Chiellini and Matt Beyer won county titles at their respective weight classes.

Pascack Valley wrestlers and coaches pose after the BCCA Holiday Wrestling Tournament on Friday. Seniors Tommy Chiellini and Matt Beyer won county titles at their respective weight classes.

Jeremy Lesserson

Pascack Valley wrestlers and coaches pose after the BCCA Holiday Wrestling Tournament on Friday. Seniors Tommy Chiellini and Matt Beyer won county titles at their respective weight classes.

Jeremy Lesserson

Jeremy Lesserson

Pascack Valley wrestlers and coaches pose after the BCCA Holiday Wrestling Tournament on Friday. Seniors Tommy Chiellini and Matt Beyer won county titles at their respective weight classes.

Jeremy Lesserson, Assistant Sports Editor

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Following the victories of two Pascack Valley senior wrestlers, the Indians’ 17 year drought without a county champion finally came to a close.

Longtime friends Matt Beyer and Tommy Chiellini were crowned champions on Dec. 28 at Hackensack High School in the BCCA Holiday Wrestling Tournament. Beyer defeated Emerson/Park Ridge’s Jonah Schechtman 7-4 at 152 and Chiellini defeated Fair Lawn’s Ben Liss 13-6 at 182.

The last PV wrestler to win the county tournament was Steve Hult in 2001. It was also the first time since 1998 where PV had more than one county champion in the same year. That year, PV had three county champions in Steve Hult (103), David Germakian (112), and Ryan Hult (119).

PV also placed first as a team in Group B, and Beyer won the OW award for his efforts.

“Beating [Schechtman] and the St. Joe’s kid earlier in the tournament,” Beyer said. “Those are two of the best guys in the state, so it feels good getting those wins early on in the season.”

Sophomores Tyler Pizzi and Luke Petaccia took fourth place at 132 and 170, respectively, while Stephen Soravilla placed fifth at 160. Andrew Demboski, a first year wrestler, took sixth at 285.

Beyer missed last year’s tournament with an injury, but was able to shake off the rust. He came into this year’s holiday tournament with confidence after he beat Schechtman in a dual match on Dec. 22. 

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Gary Beyer, Matt’s father and PV assistant wrestling coach, thought that his son could have been a bit anxious for the tournament. However, he has confidence in Matt to know that he could rise above any possible nerves.

“Matt is a competitor,” Gary said. “He works hard, he’s 100 percent healthy and he’s feeling good. Because he really loves this sport and he has a passion for it, I don’t think he had any rust at all. He came in here with high expectations, and he decided he was going to walk away with it. And he did.”

 

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After finishing in second place at last year’s county tournament, Chiellini knocked off Liss to capture the title. He said that his familiarity with the tournament allowed to him to remain calm, cool and collected throughout the match.

 

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Beyer spoke of the happiness he felt that both he and Chiellini won their first county titles on the same night. The two have been wrestling together since they were in elementary school.

“I’m super excited for Tommy,” Beyer said. “It’s great that we both got to do it. He’s worked so hard. He took second last year, and this year he came back and won it, so that’s awesome.”

Chiellini has been able to benefit from a change to a heavier weight class this year. Last season, he wrestled at 152 and 160, but this year he is up to 182. Even though some of his opponents are bigger than him, it is much easier on his body as a whole.

“The way I train doesn’t matter what weight class I’m at,” Chiellini said. “Honestly, being at this weight class, I don’t have to cut any weight, so I get to eat as much as I want and hydrate as much as I want. I can just focus on becoming a better wrestler. Being at a higher weight, the guys are definitely a little stronger so I’ve got to ‘out-quick’ them. But it’s a good weight class to be at.”

As proud as Gary Beyer is of the two champions, he spoke of the performances from the whole team. He said that they looked really good overall, and said that the wrestlers who placed, including Pizzi, Petaccia, Soravilla, and Demboski really “rose to the occasion.”

After winning the group title for the second straight year, PV coach Tom Gallione commended his team for staying strong after the loss of six starters from a year ago.

“It shows that the hard work these guys are putting in is paying off,” Gallione said. “We lost a lot of kids last year from our lineup, but these six kids put together a nice tournament. Even the guys that didn’t make it today, had some wins in the wrestlebacks. It all helps the team championship.”

 

The Indians return from school after the winter break on Jan. 2 and have their first dual meet two days later against Tenafly.

 

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