Keansburg's Sutton making up for lost time

Keansburg's Sutton making up for lost time


Keansburg's Sutton making up for lost time


Tyree Sutton could only wonder what might have been at this time a year ago.

Coming off a very good freshman season in which he became just the fourth wrestler in Keansburg’s history to win a district championship and was named the Outstanding Wrester in the District 22 Tournament, Sutton could not wrestle scholastically in the 2012-13 season because of grades.

“It was real frustrating. I didn’t go watch districts. I went and watched regions, but I wish I could have been competing,” said Sutton, a junior 195-pounder.

Sutton spent his time during the offseason wrestling as often as he could. That helped him hone his skills. He also got himself back on track academically during the 2012-13 school year.

“I got a lot of experience wrestling around the country. I wrestled like 90 matches around the country,” Sutton said. “I learned a lot.”

Keansburg coach Chris DeTalvo said that the year away from scholastic wrestling was a wake-up call for the athletic and strong Sutton.

“It was hard on him. This is where he really wants to be,” DeTalvo said. “It pushed him. He’s doing well in school now, so in the end it’s a positive right now, as long as he keeps doing what he needs to do.”

Sutton is now in position to make Keansburg wrestling history by becoming the school’s first state placewinner.

He is the second Keansburg wrestler to qualify for the state tournament. The other was heavyweight Anthony Cosentino in 2005, who was the Region VI runner-up after he won his semifinal bout against No. 1 seed Manny Navarro of Long Branch, when Navarro was disqualified for biting.

Sutton earned his bid to the state tournament by finshing third in what was one of Region VI’s toughest weight classes. He lost 3-2 to Jackson Memorial’s Ken Bradley, the eventual runner-up, in the semifinals and then won a wrestleback semifinal bout and the third-place bout by comfortable margins.

In the District 22 Tournament, Sutton lost 3-1 in double overtime to region champion Mike Oxley of Christian Brothers Academy,

Sutton (34-3) got a favorable draw in the state tournament. He will wrestle Parsippanny Hills’ Nicholas D’Uva (35-2), the No. 7 seed in the top bracket, in the preliminary round of the NJSIAA Individual Championships Friday at Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City. That round begins at 5 p.m. and will be followed by the pre-quarterfinals. D’Uva was the Region III runner-up and was a state tournament participant last year at 195.

Sutton will not have to face a region champion until the quarterfinals, should he advance that far. Sutton is 1-3 against wrestlers in the tournament.

He beat Holy Cross’ Matt Correnti, last year’s eighth-place finisher at 182, 8-7 in double overtime on Feb. 15. Correnti (37-4) is the top seed in the top bracket.

Sutton also lost to Franklin’s Ralph Normandia (37-3), last year’s third-place finisher at 220, 3-2 on Feb. 15. Normandia is the top seed in the bottom bracket. Bradley (32-2) is the No. 4 seed in the top bracket and Oxley (36-2) is the No. 3 seed in the bottom bracket.

The favorite to win the weight class might be Montgomery’s unbeaten Anthony Cassar (39-0), who has two wins over Normandia. Cassar is the only No. 8 seed in the top bracket, because this is his first appearance in the state tournament and he does not have the criteria many of the other wrestlers in the tournament have. Cassar will wrestle Correnti in a blockbuster pre-quarterfinal bout.

Sutton also has a 12-4 major decision win over Brick Memorial’s Nick Costa, the state seventh-place finisher at 182 last year and the No. 2 seed in the bottom bracket at 182, and a 6-2 win over Middletown North’s Chad Freshnock, the Region VI runner-up at 182.

The bouts against Correnti and Normandia and Oxley and Bradley indicate Sutton is in the game when it comes having a legitimate chance to be on the medal stand Sunday afternoon.

“Even though I didn’t win the region title or win districts, I feel like I can still win states. It’s wide open,” Sutton said. “Everybody is 0 and 0 on Friday.”

Sutton said getting out of regions was a big load off his mind. He can now go to Boardwalk Hall and wrestle a bit more relaxed because even though he is talented and everyone knows he has a chance to be a factor, he is still somewhat of an unknown when it comes to wrestling on the big stage of the state tournament.

“To be honest, I feel like I had the hardest region at 95,” Sutton said.

“If he wrestles his match and gets to his offense, he can make some noise down there, absolutely. He just has to wrestle his match,” DeTalvo said.

More USA TODAY High School Sports