LaFragola finished in seventh place in the state by defeating Mmichael Weiss of Parsippany Hills 4-3.

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LaFragola earned an exciting win in the first round of wrestlebacks, netting a 3-1 decision over D.J. Barrett of Lenape Valley. LaFragola won the match on a takedown with 4 seconds left in regulation.

LaFragola's next match was more exciting than he intended. He gave up a five-point lead in the last five seconds of regulation before pulling out a 9-7 decision over Middletown North's Chad Freshnock on a takedown with 29 seconds left in overtime.

LaFragola advanced to the next round of consolations with a 2-1, double-overtime win over West Orange's Christopher Morgan. LaFragola escaped in the second overtime to break a 1-1 tie.

LaFragola suffered a tough loss in the consolation quarterfinals to Joe Castellano of Secaucus. He gave up a takedown with just one second remaining in regulation during a 4-3 defeat. He can still wrestle for seventh/eighth place on Sunday.


LaFragola advanced into the pre-quarterfinals with a 5-3 decision over Dean Helstowski, of St. Peter's Prep.

LaFragola dropped into the wrestlebacks with a 7-3 loss to Mendham's Sam Button. Button used an escape and takedown in the third period to take a 5-2 lead, then held off LaFragola's late charge.

C.J. LaFragola, St. Joseph, Jr. (34-3)

Seed: Top bracket No. 5 seed.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 3-3.

LaFragola’s road to Atlantic City: Won his second District 30 title and finished second in Region 8.

Back points: LaFragola will face Dean Helstowski of St. Peter’s Prep in the prelims with the winner advancing to face top bracket No. 4 seed Sam Button of Mendham. Anybody in the top bracket here will likely have to go through two-time defending state champ Johnny Sebastian of Bergen Catholic.


Started at The Press in 1993 as an Ocean County reporter. Moved to the copy desk in 1994 until taking over as editor of At The Shore in 1995. Became deputy sports editor in 2004 and was promoted to sports editor in 2007.

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