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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Jan 15, 2020

Red Bank’s Phil Stolfa Captures Patriot Tournament Championship

By Les Pierce

Phil Stolfa, Patriot Invitational 126-pound champion

Last year, as a freshman, Red Bank Regional wrestler Phil Stolfa brought excitement to the Buccaneer program, posting 31 wins and earning a District 20 bronze medal. Buc fans eagerly anticipated his return to the mats this winter, and Stolfa has not disappointed in his early outings.

His debut of the 2019-2020 campaign came on Dec. 19 in a dual meet against Colts Neck. The sophomore promptly recorded his 32nd career win, pinning Cougar Donald Willis in just 11 seconds.

Eight days later, the Bucs traveled to Secaucus High School to compete in the annual Patriot Invitational tournament. Stolfa entered the 126 competition and came through the brackets to face Zach Vera of Livingston, who was a Patriot Invitational champion the year prior.

Seemingly unimpressed by Veraโ€™s credentials, Stolfa scored immediately via a first period takedown. He maintained control throughout the match and ultimately cruised to a 7-0 decision to clinch the title.

It has been seven years since a Red Bank wrestler has captured a District championship. That feat was achieved by Dillon Stambaugh in 2013 wrestling at 170. Looking forward, Stolfa represents the best opportunity to end that drought. Looming as a key roadblock is Shore Regionalโ€™s Gabe Scalise who last season racked up 26 wins and earned silver at the District 20 championships.