Lions Mat Men Set to Host District 22 Tournament This Weekend

Natalie DiBrita, Writer

On Saturday, February 22nd, the Middletown High School North’s Wrestling Program will be hosting The District XXII Tournament for the second year in a row.  According to the NJSIAA.org website, the District Tournament is “a 3-round qualifying, tournament that is the first part of the Individual State Wrestling Championship held at 32 locations throughout NJ. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers in each weight class advance to the regions, the next tournament of the championships”.

The Lions are the defending champions and are looking to win back to back titles. The wrestlers first match will begin at 9:30 AM with the hope of starting the final round at 3:30 PM.   The Lions will have the following wrestlers competing in the District XXII Tournament this year:  Colin Oden, Tyler Klinsky, Fred Luchs, Thomas O’ Keefe, Jack Butler, Richie Wall, Chris McCarthy, Eddie Farrell, Grant Heller, Jake Jankowski, Gabe Lubrano, Andrew Kanski, Nico Cerbo and Shane Doyle. Unfortunately due to injury, Jack Lopez will be unable to wrestle for Districts.

Fred Luchs just captured the schools’s All Time record for pins with 72.  Three year District XXII Champion Tyler Klinsky will be competing in hopes to obtain his fourth consecutive title. If Klinsky is able to do this, it will only be the third time in school history behind Middletown High School North Hall of Famers Mike Florio, Jr (1993-1996) and John Hockin (1997-2000). Tyler has the opportunity to be a part of a legendary club, but it does not define what he has meant to the orange and black.  According to Head Coach Matt Sirchio, who has had a front row seat to Tyler’s success, knows how much Klinsky has meant to the Middletown High School North Wrestling program over the past four years. “Tyler exemplifies what Middletown North wrestling is all about. He leads by example, on and off the mat. He has been on a very special run and the goal is to finish with a title in Atlantic City.” Sirchio is aware of the extra attention his program is getting this week because of Klinsky, but has not lost focus that the program’s success has been a total team effort.

Tyler Klinsky will be looking to capture his 4th District 22 Title this weekend. Photo via www.app.com

Despite seven starters graduating and multiple injuries, the Lions had many role-players step up.  Sirchio credits the hard work the guys have put in over the past three seasons and that each Lion has come up with significant victory allowing them to win the Shore Conference B-North Division crown. This is the Lions fourth overall division title in the last five years all under Coach Sirchio. The other impressive statistic is that this is only the second time in school history that the Lions have eclipsed 20 team wins in a season. Coach Sirchio and his coaching staff have done a fine job continuing to compete year after year finishing in the Shore Conference ranked in the top 10 for six of the past seven seasons.

Good job men and good luck this weekend at the District XXII Tournament.