Delbarton vs. Blair Wrestling

A Titanic Match

Donovan Carey, Contributing Writer

On Friday night, Delbarton students were fortunate enough to witness one of the greatest high school wrestling matches in New Jersey history. Delbarton, ranked sixth in the country, faced off against Blair, ranked first in the country. With arguably the best lineup they’ve ever had, the Green Wave had the chance to capitalize and take the number one spot in the nation. With standout wrestlers such as Tyler Vasquez, Louie Cerchio, Simon Ruiz, and several other Division 1 commits, Delbarton had high hopes going into the match.

Starting at the lightest weights, Delbarton got a pair of wins at 106 and 113 with Dylan Palentchar and Jayden James, putting Delbarton up 8-0. Blair fought back in the next three weights, winning the 120 weight with the fourth-best wrestler in the country and the 126 weight with the 3rd best wrestler in the country. Blair also won the 132 weight class, and with these wins, Blair took the lead, making the score 11-8. Delbarton senior and Princeton commit Tyler Vasquez was next, winning 6-2 against his matchup and tying the score 11-11. Once again, Blair shut down any momentum Delbarton had by winning the 144 weight with the #20 ranked wrestler in the country and the 150 weight with the number one ranked wrestler in the country.

With Blair leading 17-11, the heart of Delbarton’s lineup struck with fury. First, in the 157 weight class, sophomore Alessio Perentin won a 5-3 matchup. Next, Delbarton’s Louie Cerchio faced off against Blair stud Peter Snyder. Snyder, who just came off a win against the 17th-ranked wrestler in the country, lost to Louie in overtime, tying the match 17-17. Then, in possibly the match of the night, Delbarton senior and Cornell-commit Simon Ruiz won 4-2 over the number five ranked wrestler in the country, Lorenzo Norman.  

The Green Wave went into the last three matches leading 20-17, but that lead diminished when Blair won the 190-pound weight class. All tied up 20-20, junior Vinnie Lee secured a massive 12-4 victory, giving the Green Wave bonus points and making the team score 24-20 in Delbarton’s favor. It all came down to the final match, where unfortunately, the number two ranked wrestler in the country, Carter Neves, pinned Connor Martin, handing Blair the 26-24 win.

Looking back on the match, it’s safe to say it was one of the most exciting wrestling duals in recent NJ history. As the two of the best high school teams faced off, there were eight lead changes through 14 matches. While Delbarton did not get the result they wanted, this match proved to the rest of the country that Delbarton wrestling is an absolute force. Delbarton looks to win the state championship in March, and the Blair match only confirms that Delbarton can take high-level competition.