Pinning West Orange Wrestling for the New Season

Natalie Nevins, Features Editor

After finishing last season with an overall record of 14-8, West Orange Wrestling has raised the bar for the 2019-2020 season. Head Coach of the Mountaineers Stephan Zichella revealed what goals he and his coaching staff have this season. 

Right now our goal is to develop our wrestlers.  We have so many new faces and this is the least experienced team I’ve ever coached.  Two goals that I have at this point are to place in the top 8 in the county tournament, as well as qualify for the team state wrestling tournament.”

Even after losing a talented senior class, Coach Zichella still has hopeful expectations of his younger wrestlers to step in and fill their shoes.Coach Zichella says, “We hope to win more than half our matches and be at our strongest at the end of the season.  Right now we have some key wrestlers out with injuries, so just competing with our schedule will be a great challenge. We are hoping for some strong leadership and performance from a few of our returning varsity seniors in Michael Charles, Daniel Neil, Sandy Guerrero, Daniela Tacuri, Adonis May, Amadu Kamara, and Kevon Atkins.”

In addition, Coach Zichella listed some specific wrestlers to keep an eye out for this season, “Returning after strong underclassmen seasons are Junior 126lber Damian Torres, Junior 182lber Danny Periera, Junior 113lber Noah Foster, and Sophomore 152/160 lber Ari Rosu.  Keep an eye out for Sophomore Sean Tandy, Junior Matthew Suarez, and freshmen Jaden Mendez and Justin Barr. Two newcomers that seem to be naturals at the sport of wrestling is Precious Opara and Junior Amara Almodovar.”

As of now the Wrestling team has not named any captains, but Zichella indicated that for the start of the season it will most likely be Damien Torres, Sandy Guerrero, and Daniel Tacuri. 

The Wrestling Team will host their first home competition on New Year’s Eve, which will be the 2nd annual Tim Groves Memorial Tournament. There will be 8 teams competing in the tournament including PCTI, Dwight Morrow, Middle Township, Montclair, Columbia, Depaul Catholic, Lodi and West Orange.