Four PV wrestlers advance to regions, doubling last year’s total

Beyer and Lewis take first, Natelli takes second and Dvoynos takes third as all four move on to Region 1 tournament

Four PV wrestlers advance to regions, doubling last year's total

The score may have been the same, but the bout didn’t feel the same as the last one to Casey Lewis.

The Pascack Valley junior edged Newton’s Joseph DeLuca 1-0 for the second time this year, but Lewis’ victory on Saturday was to claim the 182-pound District 1 championship at Ramapo High School. Lewis advances, along with teammates Matt Beyer (first at 132), Robbie Natelli (second at 120), and George Dvoynos (third at 170) to the Region 1 Tournament at Bergen County Community College. Natelli and Dvoynos will join the other second and third-place finishers from Districts 1, 2, 3, and 4 Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the preliminary round, while Lewis and Beyer receive a bye to Friday’s quarterfinals.

With 97 team points, PV finished sixth in the nine-team field and right on the heels of fifth-place Ramapo (104.5). High Point edged Old Tappan 162-160.

Lewis, who finished fourth at District 8 a year ago, also nipped DeLuca 1-0 in a dual match on Jan. 18 but says that this one played out a little differently, as he rode DeLuca out in the second period and scored the decisive escape point early in the third.

“The intensity changed a little bit,” Lewis said. “The last time we wrestled, I was down in the second period. So when we were both on our feet, the intensity wasn’t the same. When I held him down in the third period in that match, it didn’t feel the same as this time.

“This time he came into the match knowing that he might have trouble escaping when he was on bottom, and I ended up going on bottom.”

Lewis added that he knew how his opponent was feeling at certain points in the match, as well as how he was feeling at those same moments.

“In the second period when I held him down, you could tell that he was getting a little bit nervous and anxious. I was really desperate to keep holding him down. In the third period when I got out, you can see that there was a different kind of intensity to the match where he was desperate for a takedown and I was desperate to just keep that one point lead.”

Lewis failed to advance to the region tournament each of the last two seasons.

He was injured during the quarterfinals as the No. 2 seed his sophomore year and his freshman year he lost by decision in the quarterfinals as the No. 4 seed.

But he was rewarded with the top seed this year after finishing 19-2 with 10 pins.

That lifted a burden off of Lewis and allowed him to go out and just focus on wrestling a good bout.

“It feels great. I’ve had a couple of bad runs with Districts my freshman and sophomore year, so it’s great to just kind of get that curse over with. It really takes a lot of pressure off me for the rest of the season and next season knowing that I found success in the postseason.”

PV’s other champion, Beyer, pinned Old Tappan’s John Pabst in 3:12 in the championship bout, and beat his other two opponents by fall as well.

Last year in districts, Beyer placed third in his weight class.

This year, the 30-1 sophomore was the No. 1 seed at 132 entering the tournament. That allowed to him relax and get a confidence boost, which propelled him to the top spot on the podium.

“I definitely felt really awesome winning in the finals,” he said. “Last year I knew I had a tough tournament because I faced tougher and older upperclassmen. But this year I was the first seed and I felt like I was the most dominant, so it felt good going into it.”

PV’s third wrestler to advance to the Region 1 tournament, Robbie Natelli, wound up taking second place at 120.

Natelli found himself taking on Dumont’s Gianni Manginelli in the semifinals. Natelli’s experience wrestling Manginelli goes back to December during the Bergen County Tournament, where Natelli lost to Manginelli by a narrow 4-3 score. As the three seed in this tournament, he outlasted the second seeded Manginelli in this semifinal match by a score of 3-2.

Natelli proceeded to lose to Westwood’s Trent Furman in the finals, who was the number one seed of Natelli’s weight class. Natelli looked to be showing promising signs of an epic turnaround with a takedown in the second period to narrow Furman’s gap, but the match was virtually over when Furman recorded a takedown late in the third period.

Along with Manginelli, Natelli also wrestled Furman in the Bergen County Tournament. Natelli and Furman faced off in the fifth place bout where Natelli lost to Furman by a score of 7-0, and ultimately took home sixth place.  

George Dvoynos, the third place finisher at 170, will move into the Regions tournament for Pascack Valley as well. After a semifinal loss by pin to Old Tappan’s Ryan Foy, he bounced back strong in the consolation round by pinning Ramapo’s Jeff Foster in 2:30.

Keep an eye on The Smoke Signal and its “PV Mats” wrestling blog for updates on Region 1 pairings this week. Preliminary round matchups are expected to be released Monday night.