Apex Wrestling School has always worked to build champions from the ground up. By coaching young athletes from the youth through the college level, Apex has developed a level of consistency that is unrivaled in the area. The past two years have seen many of our top youth stars enter into high school, including; Ryan and Connor Burkert, Joe Travato, Christian Bassolino, Craig DeLaCruz, Zach Hertling, Gavin Murray, Joe Oliva, Matt Zovistosky, TT Hatton, Luis Gonzalez, John Stramiello and many others. Having won the national high school duals in 2011 some would say that Apex is on a “short” run. Surely once the current crew of high schoolers graduates we will dip, right? Wrong!
Apex youth wrestlers are making noise on a national level, providing depth for years to come, and ensuring the future of the club is a bright and successful one. Success on the youth level is measured differently than it is on the high school level. In high school making the state tournament two or three times and placing once or twice, hopefully winning at least once, means you had a great high school career. In recreation level wrestling year long consistency is king. From kids states, War at the Shore, Reno, Tulsa Nationals, Battle of the Belt, Super 32 and Schoolboy Nationals young wrestlers are expected to place at every tournament to prove they are among the best.
Year after year Apex sends a crew of young and talented young wrestlers to each of these events. The past two years the number of athletes who are attending these prestigious events has more than doubled, culminating in one of the most successful weekends in Apex youth wrestling history. This past weekend a dozen of our best youth athletes traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the Tulsa National Championships and seven placed including one champion. Featuring over 2,000 of the country’s best youth grapplers this tournament is generally considered the toughest youth event in the country.
Nick Suriano, 8th Grade, Paramus, NJ
Nick has been a member of Apex since the clubs inception in a small studio in downtown South Hackensack. Since his first day at the club Nick has been one of the hardest working athletes in our program, on any level. High School and college athletes often look at Nick and wonder where he gets the energy to train as hard as he does. Nick’s work ethic and determination have helped him be one of the most consistent competitors in the entire country.
This past weekend Nick won the Tulsa National Championships for the 3rd time in his youth career. Nick dominated the tournament field capping off a tremendous tournament with a convincing 6-1 win in the finals. A 5 time youth state champion, Nick has been making noise on the nationals level for years having also won the War at the Shore 3 times and Super 32 Middle School Division twice.
This past off season Nick became part of our high school team at two important events for Apex. The first is when Apex squared off against Ascend Wrestling Club of Nassau County, Long Island, New York. For the first time in our history Apex hosted a dual at our home gym in Kenilworth against one of the top clubs from New York. Nick was a key part of that win. Weighing in at only 94lbs Nick was able to dominate Jose Rodriquez who weighed nearly 10 pounds more than him. Rodriquez was coming off a hugely successful year having been ranked in as one of the top 99lbers (NY has a 99lb weight class) in the state and having won the War at the Shore at a higher weight than Nick. Rodriquez this season is now ranked number 1 in NYS and just won the prestigious Eastern States Wrestling Classic.
Nick followed this up with a great performance at the Journeymen Wrestling Invitational Tournament. Again, undersized for the weight class (103) Nick was able to win the bracket dominating two NHSCA Middle School All-Americans, a NYS Place Finisher and several High School NY varsity athletes.
Apex is looking forward to seeing Nick travel and compete as part of the Apex family when he joins the high school team full time this spring. Keep up the great work Nick!
Next Weeks Profile: Johnathan Tropea
8 Apex Wrestlers Place at Tulsa Nationals
Out of the dozen wrestlers who made the trek with Coach Erik out to Tulsa 8 managed to place.
Leading the way in the 8U 61lb bracket was Ivan Garcia. A NY State Champion Ivan has been a regular on the national cicruit for two years now and pulled All-American honors once again by placing 5th at this years event. Look for Ivan to place even higher ar Reno Worlds and War at the Shore.
Josh Gobencion, from Edison, took second in the competitive 61lb weight class in the 10U division. Also competing in the 10U division was long time Apex member Mike O’Malley who also took second.
The 12U division saw four Apex wrestlers place. Taking second at 88lbs Andrew Merola showed his consistency by making it to the finals in Tulsa for the second time this year. In their first trip out to Tulsa, Paramus teammates, Dominick Mandarino and Kyle Cochran both placed. Dom took 5th in the 92lb weight class and Kyle took 4th in the 96lb weight class. Sean O’Malley, Mike’s older brother, battled in the ultra tough 160lb weight class and came away with a 5th place finish.
Nick Suriano took 1st in the 15U 95lb weight class.
Congratulations to all of the wrestlers who make the trip out to Tulsa. Keep up the hard work!
Apex Youth Wrestlers Earn National Recognition
Two young Apex wrestlers have earned national rankings due to their consistency in events like Tulsa Nationals, Reno and War at the Shore:
January: youth National World of Wrestling Rankings
8U 49lbs: Joe Manno ranked #2nd in the country!
8U 61lbs: Joe Cangro ranked #2nd in the country!