2015 Shore Sports Network Wrestler of the Year: Tyree Sutton
From the start of the season, Keansburg senior Tyree Sutton was chasing history. Under the bright lights of Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, he caught it.
Sutton’s thrilling 5-3 overtime victory over Holy Cross’s Matt Correnti won him the NJSIAA 195-pound state championship and made him the first wrestler in Keansburg history to win a wrestling state championship. He also became the first Titans wrestler to win a Region VI title, and he is our selection for the Shore Sports Network Wrestler of the Year.
As a junior Sutton finished sixth in the state tournament to become Keansburg’s first state medalist. He entered his senior season ranked among the top 20 in the nation at 195 pounds, and from the beginning his mindset was state title or bust.
He plowed through the regular season unbeaten with wins over Moorestown’s Tyreek Smith, who was ranked No. 1 in the state at the time, and Middletown North’s Chad Freshnock, who won the Region VI 220-pound title. He captured his second District 22 title with ease before claiming his region title with a 1-0 win over Wall’s Matt McKenzie.
Having already defeated one of the state’s best 220-pounders, it looked like a clear road to a state title for Sutton at 220 pounds. Instead he opted to drop down to 195 pounds and take the tougher road. He would’ve been a light 220-pounder anyway, but his real motivation was to win the tougher bracket, and specifically get another shot at Correnti after the Holy Cross junior, ranked No. 3 in the nation, beat him during last year’s state tournament.
Sutton cruised into the semifinals, where he met Queen of Peace senior Jeff Velez. The two had wrestled before in offseason tournaments with each going to overtime. Velez was 3-0. This time Sutton turned the tables with an overtime takedown to win 4-2 and set up the match with Correnti for the state championship.
In the state final in front of a capacity crowd at Boardwalk Hall, Sutton made history. He had not been scored up all season until Correnti turned him for three near-fall points in the third period, but Sutton never panicked. He took Correnti down with four seconds left in regulation to tie the bout at three and force overtime, and in sudden victory he competed his mission by taking Correnti down one final time for a 5-3 win. To top it all off, the win was the 100th of Sutton’s career. Of course, he is the only Keansburg wrestler to ever reach 100 wins.
“I can’t use any other word but ‘amazing,”’ Sutton told SSN’s Scott Stump after the state final. “It feels good that I made history and it was my 100th win, so it’s just amazing right now.”
“Words can’t describe it,” Keansburg head coach Chris DeTalvo said. “It’s pretty unbelievable.”
He finished 41-0 as one of just four New Jersey wrestlers to finish the season undefeated, and concluded his career with a 100-14 record in just three seasons. Sutton will most likely wrestle at Nassau Community College next season but plans on transferring to a Division I program after one season.
“Since freshman year I have been dreaming of this day,” he said. “I’ve had some setbacks, but I knew I just had to stay focused and I could do this. Again, the only word I can think of right now is ‘amazing.”