After falling two points shy of advancing to the state wrestling tournament in Atlantic City last year, Absegami High School senior Jack Willette was determined to take the next step this year. Coach Shawn Scannell believed he was capable of finishing the job.
On Friday night, Feb. 22, Willette took the first step.
Willette was seeded second in the 145-pound weight class, and advanced out of the first round of the District 32 tournament at Absegami with a pinfall victory over seventh-seeded Rece Thompson, of Egg Harbor Township, according to results published on The Press of Atlantic City’s website.
Willette takes the next step this morning when the tournament resumes at 10 a.m. The top three finishers in each weight class advance to the regional tournament next weekend.
Willette was one of five Braves to advance Friday night.
At 113, freshman Yani Patsaros secured the No. 2 seed. On Friday night, he pinned seventh-seeded John Swift, of Atlantic City, in the first round.
At 195, William Sanz entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed. He pinned No. 5 James Loftus, of Middle Township, in the first round.
Tiger Kirvay entered the 220-pound weight class as the No. 4 seed. He advanced to today's action by pinning fifth-seeded Benjamin Keating, of Cedar Creek.
Heavyweight Roman Rudisill entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed, and advanced to Saturday’s action with a pin of Egg Harbor Township’s Alex Torres, the No. 5 seed.
Meanwhile, 182-pounder Nicholas Mille won his only match of the night. The eighth-seeded Mille pinned No. 9 Barry Edwards, of Middle Township, in the preliminary round, but had to forfeit to the No. 1 seeded John Bernard, of Oakcrest, in the first round.
At 106, eighth-seeded Kelvin Siem pinned ninth-seeded Joey Curtis, of Middle Township, in the preliminary round before falling to Holy Spirit’s Patrick D’Arcy via pinfall in the first round. D’Arcy, also of Galloway Township, is the top seed in the weight class.
At 152, sixth-seeded Robert Mears opened the tournament with a pinfall victory over Cedar Creek’s Christopher Heitzer, seeded 11th. Mears then fell in the first round to No. 3 seed Joseph Cutugno, of Atlantic City, by a score of 10-5.
At 160, seventh-seeded Andrew Gabros outlasted No. 10 John Campbell, of Lower Cape May, by one-point. Gabros picked up the 6-5 victory, but fell victim to Egg Harbor Township’s James Ingersol, the No. 2 seed, by a score of 13-2.
Chris D’Alfonso (120), Chris Harvey (126), Kevin Vazquez (132), Youqi Kokulo (138) and Alvin Mears (170) all fell in their first matches Friday night.
For full results of Friday's action, visit The Press of Atlantic City.