Red Bank Catholic senior Steve Cmielewski, the No. 14 seed at 220 pounds, piled up a big lead in his first round match before pinning third-seeded Zach Lewis of Emerson/Park Ridge in 4:16 to reach the quarterfinals. It was Cmielewski’s second pin of the day after he won by fall in 28 seconds over Lacey’s Vin Ceglie in the prelims.
“We had a game plan,” Cmielewski said. “I knew I was the underdog and that’s what I like. I brought it to him.
Cmielewski entered the tournament with a 39-3 record, his three losses coming to Point Boro’s Billy Borowskky (twice) and Bordentown/Florence’s Jajuan Hayes. The common theme in all three defeats was that Cmielewski was tentative.
“Here’s a kid who works so hard in football and wrestling that sometimes you worry he puts too much pressure on himself, and win that comes ‘I can’t lose’,” said RBC head coach Joe Gallagher. “He lost to two very good wrestlers this year and we looked at the commonality and he wasn’t aggressive. He was wrestling not to lose instead of wrestling to win. We felt if we go and shoot we win. We told him don’t walk out of here saying, ‘What if’.”
“I just did what they told me,” Cmielewski said. “Right when the whistle blew I went after him.”
Cmielewski will wrestle Garfield’s Michael Filieri (38-2) in the quarterfinals.