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The Jefferson Township Falcons wrestling team only had about an hour to spare last Saturday morning before quickly recovering from a nine-point loss to Emerson Boro. On January 5th, JTHS hosted their first and only tri-match of the season at 9am, inviting a distant opponent along with their close-town rival, Sparta Township.

The Falcons woke up on the wrong side of the mat, clearly noticed after winning just six bouts against Emerson, five of which were mostly first-period pins, however. The final outcome of their first matchup was 42-33, but Jefferson had very little time to hang their heads. Thanks to a home-team advantage, the Falcons were able to take a seat in their blue and gold bleachers for a moment and watch Emerson murder the Spartans 42 to 28, before taking the stage a second time. The Falcons though, were determined to sharpen their claws for round two.

Beginning with heavy-weight, Jefferson failed at gaining the head start as Sparta snatched 6 points from Joey Liotta against Zach Stager within the first minute of the match. Jefferson’s vital Freshmen, Thomas Verrone, however, efficiently tied the scoreboard with a remarkable 21-second pin against Sophomore, Julian Couto (106 lbs).

Despite the now even score, the Falcon’s head coach, Matthew Moscatello, understood the triple threat about to enter his gymnasium, ironically all in back-to-back-to-back weight classes. The three Stewart brothers, Garrett, Cooper, and Spencer, are considered large catalysts for the Sparta Spartans blatantly clear in their 143 combined career wins. Sophomore, Cooper, was first to show off their family name at Jefferson when pinning Blake Bartholomew at 5:18. Brothers must wrestle alike just as much as they look alike being that Sophomore, Spencer, and Junior, Garrett both snatched major decision-wins against Jefferson Sophomores, Luke Ciampa and Austin Jack.

The Stewart boys dominated the board, now giving the Spartans a 14-point lead, 20-6. When mentioning the talented twins and state-qualifying Junior, Moscatello expressed eagerness for the Stewart’s high school departures (only three more years).

Brotherly love for wrestling is an ongoing theme amongst Sparta, being that Freshmen, Nick Hwang and Senior, Chris Hwang also strapped on headgear subsequently. While Nick fell two points short of a win to Jefferson sophomore, Lawrence DiBiase, Chris battled an even tougher fight to Senior captain, Ryan Tripodi. Nick gained the first takedown within the 138 bout, however, Tripodi claimed victory after keeping a strong hold to Hwang before he had the chance to escape. Tripodi walked off the mat, winning 5-4.

The most game changing bout of the morning was clearly in the hands of JTHS Senior, Robert Ferucci. The Falcons were trailing behind just two points (18-20) right before Ferucci slammed his opponent’s shoulders flat to the mat. At 160 pounds, Ferucci wasted no time taking down Sophomore, James Bates, in the first ten seconds after the whistle was blown. With a 1:21 pin, Ferucci finally gave the Falcons the lead for the first time. It was smooth sailing in the air for the mighty Falcons as they closed the last three matches with a tech fall from Michael Gould (170 lbs), forfeit for Justin Randzio (182 lbs) and an icing-on-the-cake-pin for Freshman, Dyland Patscher (220 lbs). The Falcons soared victorious over the beaten up Spartans who fell twice in one morning. The final team score of the match ended as 47-20 (an even worse loss than Sparta’s fall to Emerson). Just as Spartans were getting back on their feet, gaining their first two wins of the season prior to Saturday, Emerson and Jefferson had no problem shooting them back down. Needless to say, Jefferson was able to stop holding their breath and relax once the lighter classes were finished that morning.

After interviewing Ferucci regarding his significant matchup against Bates, that ultimately decided his team’s win, he had nothing but a determined answer. Ferucci elaborated by stating, “This was a big match for me and as a team. We’re cross-town rivals with Sparta and I knew what I had to do to get the job done and give us the lead.” Tripodi also confidently discussed his match when explaining, “I knew Hwang was really tough and I knew I had to be on my best game to beat him. But moving forward, I think we should have a good showing against Hackettstown.” And just as Jefferson’s captain predicted, the Falcons kept the ball rolling as they demolished Hackettstown on the road, 60-18 on Tuesday, January 8th. The JTHS wrestling program continues to take high flights with a record of 9-3.


106 lbs
W – Thomas Verrone Jefferson 0
Julian Couto Sparta 0
Pin – 0:21

113 lbs
W – Cooper Stewart Sparta 0
Blake Barthaolomew Jefferson 0
Pin – 5:18

120 lbs
W – Spencer Stewart Sparta 10
Luke Ciampa Jefferson 1
Major Decision

126 lbs
W – Garrett Stewart Sparta 11
Austin Jack Jefferson 1
Major Decision

132 lbs
W – Lawrence DiBiase Jefferson 8
Nick Hwang Sparta 6

138 lbs
W – Ryan Tripodi Jefferson 5
Christopher Hwang Sparta 4

145 lbs
W – Mike Jack Jefferson 11
Rocco Gigantelli Sparta 4

152 lbs
W – John Bohn Jefferson 3
Troy Schmitzer Sparta 1

160 lbs
W – Robert Ferucci Jefferson 0
James Bates Sparta 0
Pin – 1:21

170 lbs
W – Michael Gould Jefferson 16
Dominick Gigantelli Sparta 1
Technical Fall – 5:59

182 lbs
W – Mason Godfrey Jefferson 0

195 lbs
W – Justin Randzio Jefferson 0

220 lbs
W – Dylan Patscher Jefferson 0
Peter Cofrancesco Sparta 0
Pin – 0:53

285 lbs
W – Joey Liotta Sparta 0
Mike Pease Jefferson 0
Pin – 1:02

Nicole is a senior at Jefferson HS. She's a varsity field hockey player who will be continuing her athletic career at the college level at Bloomsburg University in the fall. She is also the statistician for the Jefferson wrestling team.

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