PARAMUS, N.J. — What the Paramus High School wrestlers who qualified for the individual state tournament will face on the mat this weekend can't match what they overcame this season.
Concussions, dislocations, tears and broken bones kept the Group 3 runner-up from having a fully-healthy lineup since December, when the team placed 10th at the prestigious Beast of the East Tournament.
Kyle Kaiser (4th in 106), Ryan Freeman (6th in 132) and Kyle Cochran (fourth at 160) helped the team make school history in placing at the Beast for the first time.
This weekend the team will do it again, with a record seven wrestlers compete in he NJSIAA individual state tournament at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Only Bergen Catholic (10), Delbarton (eight) and Cranford (eight) will have more wrestlers there.
“The kids never gave up,” Coach Chris Falato said. “They believed in themselves and they wrestled hard for each other.”
The season was a roller-coaster for senior Nick Ciambrone. He lost to teammate Joe Cappone in a wrestle-off and nearly quit the team soon after.
His parents, teammates and coaches urged him to stick with it.Ciambrone — who hadn’t been a starter since freshman year — is glad he did.
“It’s, like, a miracle,” said Ciambrone, who took third at last weekend’s Region 2 Tournament. “If I didn’t make it to states, the temptation to wrestle in college would’ve been annoying. I would’ve felt the need to prove myself.
“Now that I proved myself I don’t feel the temptation to wrestle in college.”
Ciambrone’s region tournament victory is one of Falato’s cherished moments in his 10 years of coaching.
“He’s come a long way,” the coach said. “He’ll be in the Paramus Hall of Fame with the other Paramus place winners for the rest of his life.”
Senior Alex Sebahie is making his fourth trip to Boardwalk Hall, despite dislocating his shoulder during his Region 2 semifinal bout.
“He’s a warrior,” Chris said. “If anyone can do it, it’s Sebahie.”
Anthony Locicero contributed to this story.
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