- The Home of Pequannock Panther High School Wrestling
- created by Friends of Wrestling
For Coach Jay LaPaglia, 2017 was a tremendous inaugural season as Pequannock Wrestling's new Head Coach. Coach LaPaglia's leadership and guidance clearly had an impact throughout all aspects of the program. It was truly remarkable to see the coaching staff that he assembled, representing one of the best throughout the entire state of New Jersey. I am happy to say... once again, all coaches will continue to train and develop our Pequannock Panthers as both wrestlers and student-athletes with character. Assisting Coach LaPaglia are the following: Rickey Redd (former collegiate wrestler, competed at DePaul H.S., former Don Bosco assistant coach, and clinician for Bitetto Trained Wrestling club; AJ Benvenuto (Kutztown alumni, and member of a Lenape Valley H.S. family with a tremendous wrestling pedigree; and Shaun O'Brien (Lock Haven alumni, and former Pequannock Township H.S. wrestler... who rolls with our big guys, after serving his duties as a police officer). For those who have not seen this crew in action, you are in for a treat! Our boys are very fortunate to have them.
As the Panthers enter their second season under the direction of Coach La Paglia, they look forward to building upon a rock-solid foundation. Last year, the team (14-9) finished in third place within the competitive Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference / Independence Division. In addition, the team made an appearance in the North 1 Group 2 state tournament. With that being said, they competed mostly with juniors and underclassmen in the starting lineup... which provided an encouraging glimpse into the future. Pequannock only lost three seniors to graduation last year: 100+ match-winner Steven Pocze (now wrestling at Oneonta); Zach Toback(now playing football at Ithaca); and Joe Bauer (who, after his final mission this past October: 54 hours, 48 miles, 45lbs of gear, 36 stations, 29 problem-solving exercises, on only 6-8 hours of sleep... became a United States "Marine"). Oorah!!! Way to show them how a wrestler gets it done, Joe Bauer, and we all thank you for your dedication and service to our country.
Leading the team this year are captains Joe Carmichael (132), Chris Martinelli (160), and Joe Leszczynski (195). As a junior, Carmichael was 24-11 in a brutal weight-class that was absolutely stacked with some of the best talent including NJ state place-winners. Carmichael placed 2nd in the Kittatinny Tournament, 3rd in the Mt. Olive Tournament, and 4th in the Morris County Tournament. Joe is a very dedicated wrestler, who will be focused... one match at a time... and ultimately, striving to make a trip to Atlantic City.
Joining Joe Leszczynski with our upper-weights, is returning junior and region-qualifier Jason Burklow(220). Burklow was 21-9 last season with a third-place showing in the district tournament. At the top of the order, sophomore Dominic Terry (106 / 113) is expected to have a breakout year after wrestling light last season. The Panthers also welcome a group of promising freshman, including 8th grade state champion... Tommy Goodwin!
Good luck to PTHS Wrestling, as we look forward to another fabulous year with our awesome group of Pequannock families, fans, and alumni. Let's carry forward the tradition and have fun!!!
Tim Burklow Sr
PFOW give great thanks to our Sponsers
The PFOW send out a hearty thank you to all sponsors for their financial support, without which we would not be able to provide the extras that enhance our athlete’s high school wrestling experience – scholarships, team clothing, over-night tournament accommodations, etc.
PFOW strongly encourages the Golden Panther community to patronize these sponsors whenever possible.