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Jan 15, 2020

Holmdel Wrestlers Capture Holiday Tournament Championship

By Les Pierce

Nick Ammirati, Holmdel Holiday and TCNJ Pride 113-pound champion

The Holmdel wrestling squad provided some insight as to the season ahead by claiming the team championship at the annual Holmdel Holiday Tournament. The Hornets topped a field of 12 squads and edged out Rumson-Fair Haven for the top spot by a 169.5-165 tally. Participating schools included some of the best shore contingents and outsiders Scotch Plains-Fanwood and Edison. The grueling, all-day tourney featured bracketed single elimination bouts that led to two opponents meeting in a final match.

Holmdel accounted for seven medal winners, including four individual weight class champions. The first Hornet to capture a title was Nick Ammirati, who took out Shane Learn of Monmouth Regional by a 7-3 decision in the 113-pound final. A District 18 silver medalist last season, Ammirati also claimed the 113-pound title at the TCNJ Pride Tournament a week earlier.

After watching his brother win the 113-pound championship, Thomas Ammirati may have felt some additional pressure going into the 132-pound final. He was already under the gun as he was facing off with 2019 District 28 silver medalist Jacob Maroukis of Donovan Catholic. Possibly a bit of sibling rivalry worked to his advantage as he posted a 9-5 decision over Maroukis to earn gold.

Victor Waldika claimed the 182-pound crown via a dominating 6-0 shutout of Keyport’s Shane Zimmerman. This was a quality win for the Holmdel senior as Zimmerman was a 27-bout winner last season and seized the 182-pound title at the Rumble in the Pines Tournament this year.

Mike Pavlinetz captured the 220-pound crown with a hard fought 2-0 decision over Donovan Catholic’s Luke Barlet. Pavlinetz was Holmdel’s sole District champion last season and is looking to repeat in this, his senior year.

Picking up silver medals for Holmdel were Matteo Pinnero (138) and Thomas Cleary (170). Luke DuPont (145) took home a bronze.