2024 New Jersey Wrestlers of the Year Candidates

The New Jersey high school wrestling scene has once again showcased its depth and talent, with athletes from across the state distinguishing themselves through remarkable skill and tough competition. In a sport where every point is hard-fought and every victory a testament to hours of training, a few wrestlers have risen above the rest, not only meeting but exceeding the lofty expectations set before them. Among these standout athletes, Anthony Knox of St. John Vianney, Alessio Peretin of Delbarton, Harvey Ludington of Brick Memorial, and Ryan Burton of St. Joe's Regional have emerged as exemplars of excellence in the 2024 season. 




Anthony Knox, St. John Vianney - 120lbs: Anthony Knox has been at the top of the state the minute he stepped on the mat his freshman year. As he finishes his Junior campaign, there is no question that Knox deserves his national ranking as the #1 wrestler in his weight class. Throughout the 2023-2024 season, he showcased a series of dominant performances. The Cornell commit, is this years Beast of the East winner at 126lbs. and the 2024 120lb. NJSIAA State Champion. This year, Knox has racked up a string of victories by pin including three in under 20 seconds. He also picked up strong victories over many state placers in both the 120lb./126lb. weight class. Some of those victories include Sammy Spaulding, Dalton Weber, Kurt Wehner, and Logan Brzozowski. In the state final bout, Knox looked as dominant as ever picking up takedown after takedown to finish with a 15-8 victory. With a 34-0 record on the year, Anthony Knox has a very strong chance to become just the fifth wrestler to win 4 state titles in their high school career. 

Alessio Peretin, Delbarton - 165lbs: Alessio Peretin has solidified his reputation as a formidable wrestler with his performance during the 2023-2024 season. Competing at 165 pounds, Peretin not only secured his second consecutive state title with a commanding victory but also reached the milestone of his 100th high school wrestling win. His journey from a promising eighth-grade wrestler to a state champion speaks volumes about his development and the strength of Delbarton's wrestling program. Peretin's achievements, including his pivotal role in Delbarton's state team title victory and overall season success. This year, Peretin finished with a 39-2 record with his only losses coming from nationally ranked opponents outside of the state. However, within New Jersey he has been a force. The fellow Cornell commit has been dominant all year with over 20 wins coming by fall or technical fall. On his run to gold, he pinned his way into the semis where he then picked up a 4-1 victory heading to the finals. In the state final bout, Peretin dominated another top P4P wrestler in Jordan Chapman. Scoring takedowns at will and having perfect defense, his 12-7 victory was more than enough to claim gold. As he adds a second title under his name, Peretin looks to come back in 2025 for one more gold. 

Ryan Burton, St. Joe's Regional - 175lbs: Ryan Burton has made an indelible mark on the wrestling scene, showcasing his skill and leadership throughout the 2023-2024 season. Competing at 175 pounds for St. Joseph Montvale, Burton not only accumulated a series of impressive wins through pins and technical falls but also clinched victory in high-pressure situations, including the NJSIAA State Wrestling Championships. His decisive win over returning State Champion Louis Cerchio by a 6-4 decision in the 175lbs final at the state championships underscored his ability to perform and secure victories when it matters most. To add on to high stake matches, Burton had an impressive performance at Powerade national tournament earlier in the year where he also faced Cerchio in the semis. In fact, Burton and Cerchio met in the state finals for a third time this season and Ryan was able to complete the season sweep with another compelling victory. Aside from his rivalry with Cerchio, we have seen the Virginia Tech commit excel from every aspect from pins over state place winners, convincing wins in big duals, and a dominant run in national tournaments. Kicking off the year at Beast of the East, Burton placed first with a win over nationally ranked wrestelr Adam Waters. He placed second in the 2023 Powerade Wrestling tournament falling short (4-2) to the top wrestler in the nation but later took first at Escape the Rock with another win over Adam Waters in the finals. His year has been nothing short of amazing and we look forward to seeing him return once again. 

Harvey Ludington, Brick Memorial - 190lbs: Harvey Ludington is no stranger to being amongst the state's best as he burst onto the scene picking up a gold medal his freshman year. Despite falling short in 2022-2023, Ludington was back in 2024 with a unforgettable season. Finishing the year at 33-0, Harvey was able to reclaim a state title and bring back the gold to Brick Memorial. His performance in the state tournament was as exciting as they come. He opened up the tournament with two first-round pins to make a statement early on. He then won by technical fall in the quarterfinals and went on to win the next two rounds with 11-3 major victories. Ludington looked unstoppable as he picked up a second state title.