Shore Sports Network Wrestler of the Week: Raritan’s Anthony Aquilano
Every week during the 2017 season, Shore Conference wrestling fans will have their chance to vote for the Shore Sports Network Wrestler of the Week on our website, with tens of thousands of votes cast so far this year.
The top wrestler for the week of Jan. 16 - Jan. 22 as voted by the fans is Raritan sophomore 152-pounder Anthony Aquilano, who went 4-0 with three pins to help the Rockets clinch at least a share of the Class A Central division title and earn the No. 2 seed for the Shore Conference Tournament.
This past week Aquilano had a pin in Raritan's 45-17 win over St. John Vianney that cleared the biggest obstacle toward clinching a seventh straight division title. In a match versus Donovan Catholic he pinned Conor Panzarella late in the third period in a battle of top-five 152-pounders in the Shore. He polished off his week with an eight-second pin in the Rockets' 84-0 shutout of Monmouth Regional.
Aquilano found immediate success as a freshman last season with a 21-7 record and was expected to be a major component of a Rockets team focused on winning an NJSIAA sectional title this season. However, he began the season injured and didn't debut until a Jan. 3 match against Phillipsburg. He struggled upon his return with a 1-3 start, but has found his groove since with nine straight victories, including seven pins and two wins by forfeit, for a 10-3 record. He is ranked No. 3 in the Shore Conference at 152 pounds by theshoreconference.com
Aquilano and Raritan will try to win the program's first Shore Conference Tournament title this weekend. They host the round of 16 and quarterfinal matches on Thursday, facing Freehold Township first. A win would match them up against the winner of the Point Boro vs. Jackson Memorial match.
Aquilano was the runaway winner of this week's vote with 73.52 percent of the ballot. Long Branch's Hunter Marhan was second with the rest of the pack well behind.