Valley wrestling looks to reload

Team has lost state qualifiers, regional champions and district champions to graduation since last year

Junior+Tyler+Pizzi+works+to+pin+an+opponent.

Junior Tyler Pizzi works to pin an opponent.

Mason Baronian, Sports Writer

Coach: Tom Gallione

Last year’s record: 13-8

Key Returners: Noah Martin (So.), Nick Savariego (So.), Drew Petaccia (So.), Tyler Pizzi (Jr.), Luke Petaccia (Jr.), James Allmers (Sr.), Sean Sheehy (Sr.), AJ Menendez (Sr.) and Griffin Arsis (Sr. 138/145) 

Key Losses: Matt Beyer, Tommy Chiellini, Jake Averna, Andrew Demboski and Jack Tsokanos

Key Newcomers: Joe Duffy (Jr. 220), Jace Macfie (Jr. 195) and Stefano Bravi (Jr. 195)

Strength of team: “I would say [the strength of the team] is that we have a good amount of depth at certain weight classes, which could also be a problem figuring out who is going to be the starter, but it’s a good problem to have,” Gallione said. “It  is such a long season, there are always injuries, always guys getting sick, and tons of matches to give opportunities to everyone.”

Weakness of team: Valley’s weakness would be the inexperience of some of the wrestlers. In previous years, it was clear who would be in the lineup for the Indians; however, that’s not necessarily the case this year.

“I think [inexperience] is a weakness,” Gallione said. “We wrestle 25 matches and three tournaments. As the year moves on, [the wrestlers] will gain a lot of experience. Come mid-January, they will have 15-20 matches under their belt, so hopefully they will learn on the fly,” Gallione said.

Outlook: “I think we will be good again,” Gallione said. “I think a lot of people look past us because we lost a lot of people to graduation the past two years.” 

Valley has lost state qualifiers, regional champions, regional winners, and district champions to graduation. 

“We lost a lot [of wrestlers] the past few years but I think what we have is a nice young group that has learned a lot from those guys. Although they weren’t out on the mat, they watched those guys compete for the last few years and now it’s their time to step in,” Gallione said.

Starters: Noah Martin (So. 106/113), Nick Savariego (So. 120), James Almers (Sr. 132/138), Griffin Arsis (Sr. 138/145), Sean Sheehy (Sr.145), Drew Petaccia (So. 145), Tyler Pizzi (Jr.145/152), Luke Petaccia (Jr. 160), Jace Macfie (Jr. 195), Stefano Bravi (Jr. 195), AJ Menendez (Sr. 220) and Joe Duffy (Jr. 220/285) will all see varsity time this season.