Four Madison Wrestlers Make it to Regions

Madison Dodger Wrestling

Nick Lami

Madison Dodger Wrestling

Nick Lami, Writer

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Wrestling is a sport like no other. It has both the team and individual aspect of the game. When the team season is over, practice continues as all the wrestlers prepare for districts. Many have heard of the road to Atlantic City (AC) as one that all wrestlers dream of, but many fail to notice how hard it actually is to travel. The road to AC starts at districts. Throughout the state, there are 32 districts and about nine teams per district. The only way to make it out of the district is to place in the top three in one’s weight class. This is easier said than done. Madison is in one of the most-up-and-coming districts in the state with Roselle Park, Seton Hall, and Irvington becoming better and better.

On February 21st and 22nd, Madison put their 14 best wrestlers on the mat and hoped for the best. Madison shocked many when they had four wrestlers place in the top three. Zach Evens placed 3rd at 145lbs with a fairly easy third place match, beating his opponent 9-0, punching his ticket for Regional’s.  Dom Luppino made it into the finals vs. a very strong Roselle Park opponent at the weight of 170lbs. Luppino kept the match very close and almost pulled off the upset, but ended up taking 2nd. Donovan Mantone came into the tournament as the pre-seceded number and came through with flying colors, pinning his opponent in the second period. Mantone was one of the only wrestlers to pin his opponent in the finals, something that is usually unheard of at that level. Madison’s last place winner came from senior heavy weight Yianni Kostidakis. Kostidakis had not wrestled the second half of the year due a knee injury and shocked everyone by making it to the finals. Kostidakis had the finals in the bag but lost the match in the final second of the third. This was heartbreaking for Kostidakis; he looks to avenge his loss by succeeding at Regional’s.

Dom, Zach, and Yianni will all wrestle at Regional’s on Wednesday, February 26th. Donovan will wrestle on Friday, February 28th.   All of the Madison wrestlers look to make out it out of Regionals and ride the parkway all the way down to AC.