By: Christopher Dalla Riva
When asked what he thought of this year’s wrestling team, 4-year varsity wrestler, and captain, Mike Dalla Riva responded candidly: “This should be one of the best teams I’ve wrestled for in my four years.” Hopefully, Dalla Riva’s words will prove true and harbinger the team’s return to the top of the section.
With a slew of not only returning, but successful, varsity wrestlers, including Ryan Condit, Ray Iodice, Nick LaToracca, Jimmy Still, and Mike Dalla Riva, it seems that Caldwell has the experience to go deep into the state tournament as a team. Additionally, according to Dalla Riva, this team not only has the experience but, “has done the most offseason wrestling…since Coach Garamella [began coaching].” This combination of hard work, experience, and skill should herald a strong season.
As individuals, Caldwell’s wrestlers should, too, standout. With few holes left to fill, the Chief’s lineup will most likely stand as follows: Caravela at 106, Russomanno at 113, Pitch at 120, Condit at 132, Dalla Riva at 138, Iodice at 145, LaToracca at 152, Stille at 160, Graffeo at 171, Sibilia at 182, Galioto at 195, and Bongo at 220. (All unmentioned weight classes are not decisively decided yet). As the United States watched New Jerseyian Jordan Burroughs wrestle for gold this past summer in London, it is likely that the Chief fandom will be watching individual Caldwell wrestlers competing for the top spot on the podium throughout the county, district, and regional tournaments, respectively. Maybe we will even get to see a few wrestlers contending for a spot on the coveted Atlantic City podium this March.
With one last shot at glory for the senior Chiefs, it seems we will have to wait and see if they can bring home another state championship and prove Dalla Riva’s words to be true.