MIDDLETOWN — Just six days into the season and with little time for preparation, Middletown North head coach Matt Sirchio learned a great deal about his team after a crucial divisional win over Wall.

The Lions, ranked No. 4 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10, rallied from a 12-point deficit by scoring 26 points from 106 to 132 pounds and picking up bonus points in six of their seven victories for a 35-30 Shore Conference Class B North victory over No. 6 Wall on Wednesday night.

Senior Sean Deering, leading by two points at 126 pounds, hit a cement mixer for a pin in the third period to put Middletown North (1-0, 1-0) up 29-21 with three bouts left, and sophomore Nate Pujols clinched the win when he locked in a cradle and decked Wall freshman Gus Setteducato. Senior Brian Winz and freshman Tyler Klinsky also won by fall for the Lions while freshmen Thomas O’Keefe and Fred Luchs secured major decisions to fuel the program’s first win over Wall since 2008.


“One of the things we’ve been preaching is if it’s there, go for it,” Sirchio said regarding his team’s high-scoring output in their first dual of the season. “It’s early in the season, so if you start forcing stuff you can put yourself in a bad position, but at 126 we have Deering in a close match and hits a cement mixer, and for us that was huge.”

Wall received a pin from junior Josiah Schucht, a technical fall from sophomore Rob Kanniard and a major decision from senior Matt McKenzie, the returning state third-place finisher at 195 pounds. The feature matchup came in the final bout when the match had already been decided, but it was there that Wall senior Jack Kelly edged Middletown North junior Stanley Wojdylak, 6-4 in sudden victory overtime, at 145 pounds. Kelly was fourth in Region VI at 120 pounds last season while Wojdylak reached the second round of region wrestlebacks at 138 pounds.

Both teams feature a trio of freshmen between 106 and 120 pounds, and it was the Lions’ newcomers the came through with clutch wins and bonus points to give Middletown North the lead. O’Keefe picked up three near-fall points just before time ran out in the third period against a talented, but undersized Cole Meyer at 106 pounds before Klinsky pinned Tyler Ferris in the first period at 113 pounds. Luchs’ 13-0 win over Jacob Glantzman at 120 pounds put Middletown North up 23-21 and set the stage for its veterans to close out the match.  

“Down low is where we figured we could get it,” Sirchio said. “We knew they were going to make some moves between 138 and 152, we figured they would bump (Kanniard) to Jacob Anderson at 160. We stuck out little guys against their little guys, saved some bonus points up top against their big guys and it worked out for us.”

“The reality is we have a young team and for these young kids it was their first opportunity to be in a big match,” said Wall head coach Brian Fischer. “We saw what we needed to from them and know what we need to fix moving forward. They have the potential and my coaching staff has the knowledge, so we’re expecting big things in the future.”


Box Score

No. 4 Middletown North 35, No. 6 Wall 30

152: Josiah Schucht (W) p. Joey Cavanagh 5:28

160: Rob Kanniard (W) tf. Jacob Anderson 5:42 (25-9)

170: Nicko Cofone (MN) d. Chad McClelland 5-2

182: Brian Winz (MN) p. Jack Wolter 1:00

195: Matt McKenzie (W) md. Thomas Anderson 8-0

220: Shane Davis (W) d. Austin Dewise 6-4

Hwt: Darryl Valme (W) d. Ray Nelson 5-2 TB

106: Thomas O’Keefe (MN) md. Cole Meyer 8-0

113: Tyler Klinsky (MN) p. Tyler Feris

120: Fred Luchs (MN) md. Jacob Glantzman 13-0

126: Sean Deering (MN) p. Shane Golumb

132: Nate Pujols (MN) p. Gus Setteducato

138: Nick Wagner (W) by forfeit

145: Jack Kelly (W) d. Stanley Wojdylak 6-4 SV

Records: at Middletown North (1-0, 1-0); Wall (0-1, 0-1).


Wrestling editor Bob Badders can be reached at badders@allshoremedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights. 


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