St. Peter’s Prep’s Caedyn Ricciardi was unseeded at the Beast of the East and placed sixth.
He was seeded second at Sam Cali and won the tournament.
And on Sunday, the sixth-seeded Ricciardi added another prestigious tournament title – and the championship belt that goes with it – when he defeated Caravel Academy’s fourth-seeded Luke Poole, 7-2, in the Escape the Rock 126-pound final.
A freshman, Ricciardi joined Kingsway senior Dakota Morris as New Jersey wrestlers who won titles at the tournament at Council Rock South (Pa.) High School Sunday. Morris, the top seed, dominated the 160-pound bracket, defeating the host school’s Matt Colajezzi, 6-3, in the final.
St. John Vianney’s Anthony Knox (113), St. Joseph (Mont)’s Michael Dellagata (172) and St. Joseph (Mont.)’s Jimmy Mullen were runners-up.
Knox – a freshman who is the nation’s top-ranked 113-pounder – lost 6-4 in sudden victory to Delaware Valley’s Zach Jancuso. Dellagatta, who pinned in 15 seconds in his semifinal, fell 3-2 to Frazier (Pa.’s) Rune Lawrence at 172.
Mullen lost 10-2 in a matchup of the top two heavyweights in the country against Malvern Prep (Pa.)’s Nick Feldman, who beat Mullen at Powerade, 13-0, in late December. St. Joseph (Mont.) finished third in the team scoring.
Ricciardi avenged a 6-4 loss to Poole in the Beast of the East fifth-place match. He is part of an impressive young core at St. Peter’s which includes 106-pounder Adrian DeJesus, who finished third at Escape the Rock and is ranked in the top five nationally.
“I’ve been wrestling a lot and just getting better every week and people are seeing that,” said Ricciardi, a Sparta resident. “This means a lot, a lot of hard work went into it. The team will be really good this year. The coaches are working us hard and getting us as good as we can be. (The finals) win was just what we work on all the time, moving the guy and finding those openings in neutral so I can shoot and score.
“The next big tournament is states. We’re going down there to win.”
We’ll see where he gets seeded in Atlantic City.
Morris’ wrestling career seemed to take off when he pinned Pope John’s Kaya Sement in the first minute of the third-place match at Escape the Rock two years ago. He returned to Council Rock South (Pa.) High School for the first time since then this weekend – after a seventh-place finish in the state as a sophomore and runner-up honors as a junior – and made another statement.
Morris took a 6-0 lead in the final in a matchup of nationally-ranked wrestlers.
“Escape the Rock was the first big tournament I really placed at, because two years ago at Beast of the East I lost in the blood round,” said Morris. “It wasn’t where I wanted to be, but it helped me get my confidence up. Now I’m performing the way I want to perform. I’m feeling good.
“I knew I got a lot better since then, and I knew it would be a breeze going through. The kid was really tough in the finals, but the way I train I knew I would be on top. This is definitely the biggest (tournament) I won over regions, but I’m still looking for a state title and this would be below that.”
Morris has been tuning up for Sunday with some stiff competition in New Jersey. He went up two weight classes and lost a 4-2 to Delsea’s Jared Schoppe and went up one class and defeated Camden Catholic’s Jurius Clark, 3-2.
“It’s really good wrestling really good people,” said Morris. “Especially when I’m a little lighter, wrestling the better people gets you better for the bigger matches. That’s what Kingsway likes to do so when it comes to states we’re all ready.”
- 106: Nate Desmond (Bethlehem Catholic) DEC Anthony Mutarelli (Malvern Prep), 6-4
- 113: Zachary Jacaruso (Delaware Valley) DEC Anthony Knox (St. John Vianney), 6-4 SV
- 120: Dillon Campbell (Legacy Christian Academy) DEC Jack Consiglio (Malvern Prep), 4-1
- 126: Caedyn Ricciardi (St. Peter’s Prep) DEC Luke Poore (Caravel Academy), 7-2
- 132: Braden Basile (Jesuit High School – Tampa) DEC Spencer Barnhart (Malvern Prep), 7-2
- 138: Tyler Kasak (Bethlehem Catholic) DEC Kelvin Griffin (The Hill School), 7-3
- 145: Colin Dupill (Greeneville High School) DEC Jack Crook (Jesuit High School – Tampa), 3-2
- 152: Gavin Brown (Legacy Christian Academy) F Dagen Condomitti (Northampton), 4:00
- 160: Dakota Morris (Kingsway) DEC Matt Colajezzi (Council Rock South), 6-3
- 172: Rune Lawerence (Frazier) DEC Michael Dellagatta (St. Joseph Regional), 3-2
- 189: Quinn Collins (Central Bucks East) F Sergio Desiante (Jesuit High School – Tampa), 4:48
- 215: Nicholas Pavlechko (State College) DEC Carl Digiorgio (Central Bucks West), 8-2
- 285: Nicholas Feldman (Malvern Prep) MD Jim Mullen (St. Joseph Regional), 10-2
- 106: Adrian Dejesus (St. Peter’s Prep) DEC Carson Dupill (Greeneville High School), 7-3
- 113: Tommy Link (Malvern Prep) DEC Gauge Botero (Faith Christian Academy), 4-2
- 120: Jacob Joyce (Ponaganset) DEC Cael Mcintyre (Bethlehem Catholic), 1-0
- 126: Dante Frinzi (Bethlehem Catholic) DEC Nikolaus Oneill (Malvern Prep), 2-0
- 132: Brandan Chletsos (Notre Dame Green Pond) DEC Nicholas Diaz (St. John Vianney), 2-1
- 138: Julian George (Christian Brothers Academy) DEC Tom Crook (Jesuit High School – Tampa), 5-4
- 145: Jude Swisher (Bellefonte) DEC Reed Fullmer (Malvern Prep), 5-0
- 152: Chase Kranitz (Norwin) DEC Sammy Gerard (JW Robinson), 6-2
- 160: Holden Garcia (Notre Dame Green Pond) DEC Rafael Hipolito (Independence HS), 1-0
- 172: Caleb Campos (Cannon School) DEC Chase Stein (Cincinnati LaSalle), 8-3
- 189: Anthony Moscatello (Mt. Olive) F Andrew Connolly (Malvern Prep), 4:18
- 215: Dominic Petracci (Washington Twp) DEC Aidan Schlett (St. Joseph Regional), 5-4
- 285: Charles Crews (Williamsport) DEC Frederick Retter (Quakertown), 6-1 SV
- 106: Patrick O’keefe (St. John Vianney) DEC Eren Sement (Council Rock North), 2-1 TB2
- 113: Cole Campbell (Bethlehem Catholic) MD Max Elton (Holy Spirit), 13-5
- 120: Billy Dekraker (McDonogh School) DEC Asher Cunningham (State College), 4-1
- 126: Nathan Taylor (Kingsway) DEC Joe Manno (St. Joseph Regional), 3-1 SV
- 132: Mason Barvitskie (Southern Columbia) DEC Enzo Bell (McDonogh School), 2-0
- 138Pierson Manville (State College) M FOR Alex Almeyda (St. Joseph Regional)
- 145: Riley Bower (Williamsport) DEC Chance Babb (Boyertown), 3-2
- 152; Bekhruz Sadriddinov (Council Rock South) DEC Tyler Barrett (Christian Brothers Academy), 6-4
- 160: Alex Poore (Caravel Academy) DEC Roberto Padilla (St. Joseph Regional), 5-2
- 172: Dom D’agostino (Interboro) DEC Nicholas Hall (Caravel Academy), 3-2
- 189: Kingsley Menifee (Fauquier) DEC Sebastian Robinson (Williamsport), 3-1
- 215: Zack Evans (Chambersburg) F Dante Burns (Conwell Egan), 4:22
- 285: Joshua Mancia (Woodbridge Senior) DEC Cooper Rudolph (JW Robinson), 3-2 UTB
- 106: Ayden Smith (Notre Dame Green Pond) DEC Tyeler Hagensen (Mt. Olive), 3-2
- 113: Holden Huhn (Cincinnati LaSalle) DEC Carson Wagner (Northampton), 5-4
- 120: John Hildebrandt (Williamstown) M FOR Jackson Young (Camden Catholic)
- 126: Garrett Totten (Christian Brothers Academy) F Anderson Heap (Osceola High School), 2:00
- 132: Ashton Campbell (Bethlehem Catholic) DEC Jonathan Fuller (St. Peter’s Prep), 4-2
- 138: Collin Gaj (Quakertown) DEC Jake Niffenegger (Cincinnati LaSalle), 5-4
- 145: Evan Maag (Notre Dame Green Pond) DEC Eric Alderfer (Faith Christian Academy), 12-8
- 152: Josh Palmucci (Kingsway) DEC Mason Stein (Central Bucks East), 5-4
- 160: Owen Quinn (Malvern Prep) DEC Zander Silva (Christian Brothers Academy), 3-1
- 172: Kevin Olivarria (Manheim Township) DEC Isiah Wright (Malvern Prep), 1-0
- 189: Joseph Lapenna (Notre Dame Green Pond) DEC Matthew Duarte (Caravel Academy), 6-2
- 215: Aden Roe (Council Rock North) FOR Lucas Doyle (Council Rock South), 0-0
- 285: Leo Muzika (Faith Christian Academy) F Matthew Cruise (Easton), 3:19
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