PV looks to repeat 2017 success

Valley returns experienced lineup

Tommy+Chiellini+wrestles+during+a+match+last+year.+He+will+wrestle+at+182+LB%27s+this+year+for+the+Indians.++
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PV looks to repeat 2017 success

Tommy Chiellini wrestles during a match last year. He will wrestle at 182 LB's this year for the Indians.

Tommy Chiellini wrestles during a match last year. He will wrestle at 182 LB's this year for the Indians.

Curstine Guevarra

Tommy Chiellini wrestles during a match last year. He will wrestle at 182 LB's this year for the Indians.

Curstine Guevarra

Curstine Guevarra

Tommy Chiellini wrestles during a match last year. He will wrestle at 182 LB's this year for the Indians.

Jeremy Lesserson, Assistant Sports Editor

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Coach: Tom Gallione (14th Season)

Last year’s record: 22-6

Key Returners: Bradley Zirlin (Sr., 113-120; 6-4), Jake Averna (Sr., 113-120; 9-14), James Allmers (Jr., 132; 12-4), Tyler Pizzi (So., 138; 18-4), Matt Beyer (Sr., 145; 22-8), Luke Petaccia (So., 160-170; 18-6), Stephen Soravilla (Sr., 160-170; 14-5), Tommy Chiellini (Sr., 182; 33-3), Jack Tsokanos (Sr., 195; 2-1), AJ Menendez (Jr., 220; 1-0*), Zach Olson (Sr., 220; 13-4), Mitchell Sorreta (Sr., 285; 3-6)

*— denotes record from the 2016-2017 season

Key Losses: Robbie Natelli (120-126, 24-10), Nolan Shields (132, 17-9), Jake Prusha (170, 20-9), Casey Lewis (182-195, 26-3), George Dvoynos (195-220, 11-8), Will Morris (170-182, 22-6)

Key Depth Wrestlers: Sean Sheehy (Jr., Middleweights), Joe Tolomeo (Jr., Lightweights), Ari Quinn (Sr., Middleweights), Ethan Berg (Sr., Upperweights)

Key Newcomers: Noah Martin (Fr., 106), Drew Petaccia (Fr., 126), Nicholas Savariego (Fr., 126), Peyton Chang (So., 152), Andrew Demboski (Sr., 285)

Strengths of Team: Returning wrestlers. Nearly everyone has a lot of experience at the varsity level and contributed in past years.

Areas that Need Improvement: Depth. If the Indians are plagued with the injury bug, they might find themselves in a lot of matchup problems.

Outlook: The Indians are vying for their second straight state sectional tournament win, which is Gallione’s highest milestone. However, Gallione said that his team still has to focus on the smaller team goals that Valley can accomplish. Championship wins for the league and county are priorities, as is doing well in the District tournament.

The losses of Natelli, Lewis, Prusha, Morris, Dvoynos, and Shields hurt the roster. The most notable losses are Natelli and Lewis, who both placed in the Region 1 tournament in 2018. Lewis placed fifth and Natelli placed third. Natelli’s placement moved him to the state tournament in Atlantic City. The Indians will try to fill the voids by way of their underclassmen

The Indians’ toughest opponents include the top-10 in-state ranked Howell and Emerson Boro. Emerson has been among the best wrestling schools in NJ for several years. Old Tappan, Westwood, and North Hunterdon also stand out as tougher matches on the schedule.

As for the wrestlers individually, Gallione would like at least half of them (six or seven wrestlers) in the Region Tournament. Natelli claimed third in the Region 1 tournament at 120, Beyer claimed second in the Region 1 tournament at 138, and Chiellini was the Region 1 champion at 160.

Three Indian wrestlers made the state tournament in Atlantic City a year ago; Gallione said that he would love to see that same number, if not more, participate this season.

Coach’s comment: “We lost a lot, but we do have a good number of guys coming back that have had plenty of varsity experience. We want to make state sectionals and make a run at it, “Gallione said. “Two years ago, it was, ‘ok, we made the states.’ Last year it was then, ‘ok, now let’s make a run at it.’ I think when looking at our group this year in the states, the kids and myself think they can make another run at it if we stay healthy.”

Possible Lineup:

106- Noah Martin

113- Jake Averna/Brad Zirlin

120- Jake Averna/Brad Zirlin

126- Drew Petaccia/Nick Savariego

132- James Allmers

138- Tyler Pizzi

145- Matt Beyer

152- Peyton Chang/Ari Quinn

160- Stephen Soravilla/Luke Petaccia

170- Stephen Soravilla/Luke Petaccia

182- Tommy Chiellini

195- Jack Tsokanos

220- Zach Olson/AJ Menendez

285- Mitchell Sorreta/Andrew Demboski

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