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The Holdovers Review
February 20, 2024

Caldwell Wrestling: Sectional Champions


As predicted, the Caldwell Varsity Wrestlers have proved themselves to be truly deserving of the sectional title due to their hard work and tenacious efforts within the season which they won on Friday, February 14th. Granted with their 15-7 winning record, the team was seeded number one in the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group 2

Photo Courtesy of Izzy Caravela

team tournament. 

Their first opponent in the quarterfinal round of the tournament was Rutherford, who they easily beat 64-9. Next, in the semi-final round they faced Hanover Park, which was a much more difficult match, but they still defeated 43-22. They then anxiously awaited their next opponent, Hacketstown in the final round of the tournament for the sectional title, which they had not won in 10 years. 

The team went into the match with a rough start, losing 17-3 after the first five matches within the dual. It wasn’t until 195 pounder, John Casale pinned his opponent in three minutes and fifteen seconds in the match which lit a huge spark of energy for the rest of the team. He gave the team bonus points, which was huge as they needed any points they could get to secure a chance at a win. Following Casale’s pin, 285 pounder Ben Rivera received a major decision, along with 120 pounder Josh Eng. 113 pounder, Ricky Caamano pinned his opponent giving Caldwell crucial 6 points. 

Hackettstown came out strong, but couldn’t finish strong enough to secure the win. Joe Jenkins, Luke Schaffer, and Max Ruiz also won their matches, making the final score 29-16. For the first time since 2011, Caldwell won the state sectional title. Senior Dom Perna

Photo Courtesy of Izzy Caravela

said, “I am so proud of what this team has accomplished this year. Last year with a 6 win season and not making the sectional tournament, now to an 18-6 season was truly unbelievable. That was my last ever match in our home gym and I will remember this for the rest of my life”. The rest if the seniors were extremely excited to have ended their last season with a huge win and a state sectional title under their belts. 

As his first year as the new head coach after recent 20 year Head Coach Gary Garamella stepped down, Coach Sean Romano said, “Friday night was a very stressful night. We went down into a very fast hole but we battled all the way back to win. I am very proud of every single kid Friday night and if we didn’t come out and give that kind of effort there would have been a different result. Our guys worked so hard every single day and really deserve this section title”. Coach Romano had truly changed the Caldwell Wrestling program with his hard work, dedication, and motivating qualities that have pushed the team throughout the whole season, earning them this title.

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