As many as eight wrestlers from Union County are now three wins away from winning state championships!
Winning pre-quarterfinal round NJSIAA Tournament bouts Friday night at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall and advancing to Saturday’s quarterfinals were Brenden Calas of Clark and Seton Hall Prep and Jon Mele of Governor Livingston at 120, Colin Barber of Westfield at 152, John Balboni of Brearley at 160, Joe Balboni of Brearley at 170, Brian Bulger of Westfield at 182, Anthony Iarussi of Summit at 220 and heavyweight Anthony Tufaro of Scotch Plains.
Mele, Barber and John Balboni also won preliminar round matches.
The semifinals follow the quarterfinals Saturday, while wrestleback competition will also begin.
The third-place consolation matches and the finals are set for Sunday.
NJSIAA TOURNAMENT AT ATLANTIC CITY’S BOARDWALK HALL
UNION COUNTY WRESTLERS WHO REACHED SATURDAY’S QUARTERFINALS
PRE-QUARTERFINAL ROUND WINNERS:
120: Brenden Calas of Clark, Seton Hall Prep, dec. DJ Tirelli, River Dell, 2-1.
120: Jon Mele, Gov. Livingston, maj. dec. Tom Gattinella, St. Augustine, 15-6.
(Mele also won a preliminary round bout.)
152: Colin Barber, Westfield, dec. Dom Ruggierrio, Timber Creek, 4-2.
(Barber also won a preliminary round bout.)
160: John Balboni, Brearley, dec. Joey Schultz, Howell, 9-5.
(Balboni also won a preliminary round bout.)
170: Joe Balboni, Brearley, maj. dec. Nick Elmer, Penns Grove, 13-4.
182: Brian Bulger, Westfield, dec. Brad Schwarze, New Egypt, 4-3.
220: Anthony Iarussi, Summit, pin Armond Cox, St. Peter’s Prep, 4:29.
HWT: Anthony Tufaro, Scotch Plains, dec. Noa Merritt, Pope John, 8-3.
– JR PARACHINI