As a profitable head wrestling coach with a decade of expertise, Michael Carbone, who resurrected the game final season at St. Joseph Excessive Faculty following a 26-year hiatus, would usually eschew ethical victories.


But, because the caretaker of a fledgling program, Carbone discovered himself pointing to the scoreboard following his crew’s 48-33 loss at New Brunswick with a message for his grapplers on Monday evening.

“I mentioned, ‘Guys, have a look at that scoreboard,’” Carbone recalled. “That’s a 15-point match towards a crew that’s obtained numerous actually skilled seniors. (New Brunswick head coach) Ben (Ostner) has performed an ideal job over there. You went on the market and also you battled. I used to be pleased with the struggle you place collectively.”

Final season, St. Joseph misplaced to reigning Larger Middlesex Convention White Division champion Sayreville, division runner-up New Brunswick and third-place Woodbridge by a mixed 173 factors, or a mean of 57.7 factors per twin.

This yr, the Falcons misplaced to these three faculties, all of who commencement impacted, by a complete of 52 factors, or a mean of 17.Three factors per twin.


“The aim this season was to be extra aggressive in matches, so we’re making progress,” mentioned Carbone, noting the forfeiture of 5 – 6 weight lessons positioned his crew to routinely yield 60 or extra factors “prefer it was our job” a yr in the past.

St. Joseph, nonetheless, has rather more to have fun in its second season than mere ethical victories that basically quantity, on common, to 40.Four-point enchancment per defeat to the division’s three prime returning groups.

Along with successful its first division twin since bringing the game again to life at St. Joseph by avenging final season’s loss to John F. Kennedy, the Falcons have additionally avenged 4 different defeats from a yr in the past.


Because of this, the Falcons, who’ve gained 5 of eight duals, have already matched their victory whole from final season once they completed with a 5-15 document.

“After the loss to Woodbridge, I walked into the locker room, and mentioned, ‘Guys, hear. I don’t like ethical victories, however you understand how onerous it’s to attempt to make up 54 factors,’” Carbone mentioned, referring to final season’s 66-12 loss to the Barrons, which St. Joseph remodeled right into a 43-28 setback this yr.


“It’s virtually inconceivable to make that up in a single yr’s time, however you bought it right down to 15 factors. You competed and wrestled onerous and did the whole lot we wanted to do on the mat.

“Proper now,” Carbone continued, “I’ve no alternative however to simply accept ethical victories. I went into this job understanding that I needed to change my mindset. In yr three you must see vital enchancment from our crew.”

The Falcons are nonetheless forfeiting a mean of two weight lessons per twin. They routinely weigh in only one wrestler within the 132- via 160-pound weight lessons, and are basically with no 138- and 152-pounder. With two 160-pounders and two 182-pounders, Carbone can cowl a part of the lineup by bumping up.


St. Joseph boasts practically two dozen wrestlers in this system, all of who seem like dedicated this season.

The success of subsequent yr, nonetheless, is based upon the offseason dedication within the weight room and to summer season competitors.

“This yr we’re beginning to piece some issues collectively,” Carbone mentioned. “The fellows that did return from final season are doing a great job. They’ve all improved. We’re nonetheless making an attempt to determine a tradition with how onerous we’re going to observe and what we’re going to do. For lots of freshmen and sophomores on the crew, it’s a complete new mindset.”

Carbone mentioned he’s hopeful symbiotic relationship with head soccer coach and longtime pal Wealthy Hilliard will proceed to gravitate extra gridiron gamers to the mats, resembling heavyweight Gianni Principato (9-Four) and 220-pounder Kyle Flood (5-Three), two of 9 Falcons with a successful document, in addition to Chris Wylde, one other soccer participant, who has been competing at 182 and 195 kilos.


This system’s flagship wrestler stays Anthony Bistani, an incumbent area qualifier and convention match placewinner who sports activities a 10-Three document after going 23-7 a yr in the past.

Newcomers resembling Giovanni Alejandro (11-2 at 106) and Watchung Hills switch David Rosenfarb (10-Four at 120) are additionally making names for themselves, together with freshmen Wealthy Davis (Eight-5) and Vincent Genna (11-Three) within the decrease weights.

Mike Cansfield (9-Four), who by no means wrestled earlier than coming into St. Joseph, exemplifies most of the uncooked grapplers in Carbone’s program.  


“I want we had some extra expertise,” Carbone mentioned of his newcomers, “however we’re bettering with guys which have by no means actually wrestled earlier than and mentioned, ‘I need to be part of this.’”

Carbone hopes those that have dedicated to this system will quickly be celebrating greater than ethical victories.

For now, the veteran mentor, will take these type of wins.


Greg Tufaro is a national award-winning sports writer for For limitless entry to his reporting, please subscribe or activate your digital account at present.