Three Delbarton grapplers will compete for bronze medals Sunday at the state wrestling tournament at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.
Dean Sullivan (215 pounds), Devon Gobbo (140 pounds) and Jeff Canfora (135 pounds) each will battle for third-place awards. Sullivan, a senior 215-pounder, has come a long way this year.
“Dean's made a really great improvement,” teammate Max Rogers said. “His body is perfect for 215. He's not too big, but he uses his leverage against opponents really well.”
Sullivan looked impressive in his quarterfinals match. He earned a 13-4 major decision over Haddonfield’s Kristopher Rahn and advanced to the semifinals. But then he ran into Andrew Campolattano of Bound Brook.
Campolattano breezed past Sullivan, winning 11-2. But Sullivan bounced back nicely in wrestlebacks. Sullivan beat Clearview’s Dan Garwood, 7-3, giving him a matchup Sunday with Montville’s Taylor Bernstein.
Gobbo dropped Michael Ferinde of Nutley, 8-2, in quarterfinals. However, he lost against High Point’s Drew Wagenhoffer, 4-1.
Rogers said he considered Gobbo a team leader.
“Devon's been amazing this year,” Rogers said. “A lot of the kids on the team look to him as a role model. He's definitely one of the team leaders.”
Gobbo then locked down another win to propel him to a chance at third place. He defeated Hillsborough’s T.J. Guidice by major decision, 13-0. Gobbo will Eric Fajard of Boonton tomorrow.
Canfora lost his quarterfinal bout in overtime to Alexander Richardson of St. Peter’s, 9-6. In wrestlebacks, Canfora fought his way to his shot at third place with two decisions: and 8-4 win over Rutherford’s John Boyle and a 2-1 win over Louis Mascola of Seton Hall.
Canfora will wrestle Bergen Catholic’s Connor Melde on Sunday.
Delbarton sent four athletes home. Although 130-pounder Jorge Lopez lost his first and only match in wrestlebacks on Saturday, he performed well, losing a close one to Haddon Township’s Ron Hoover, 4-3.
Nick Anderson wrestled twice on Saturday, winning his first match against Bergen Catholic’s Michael Maye by a 3-2 decision and then losing to Mike Pongracz from Delaware Valley, 3-2.
Rogers (112 pounds) beat Toms River South’s Kevin Corrigan, 4-0. Later, Rogers fell to Mike Magaldo of Watchung Hills, 3-0.
“I was just going to go at it like any match I've had down here,” Rogers said. “I won my first three. I wasn't going to change anything too much. I was just going to give it my best.”
Rogers went on to wrestlebacks after the loss and finished his season with another loss, 4-0, to Ricky Carter of Timber Creek.
Christian Innerella, a 103-pounder, had a nice outing on Saturday. He went deep into wrestlebacks, winning major decisions against Shawnee’s Connor Muli and John Gentile of Paulsboro. He lost to JFK-Iselin’s Carl Buttitta in a major decision.