Freshman Phenomenon Paul Kenny's Journey to 3rd Place

It's not every day that you see a freshman make waves in the high-pressure pool of the New Jersey Wrestling State Championships, but Paul Kenny from Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) did just that in the 113 lb. weight class.

Paul's tournament journey was a showcase of great skills who has a ton of experience competing at high-stakes event as he is a current U17 national freestyle champion. 

Paul's opening match was a display of dominance, outmaneuvering Dominick Sena with a decisive 6-3 victory. But there was no time to bask in the win, as his next challenge was right around the corner. In a gripping quarterfinal bout, Paul faced Amari Vann, a match that tested his resolve. It was a nail-biter that saw Paul narrowly clinch a win with a 4-3 decision, proving his mettle and placing him right in the quarter final spotlight.

In the quarters he met with Watchung Hills star and region champion, Anthony DiAndrea. The two had a very tough match both picking up good takedowns and and keeping the score close. Kenny everntually went on to win 6-5.

The semifinals presented a tough setback for Paul. Up against Tyeler Hagensen, Kenny battled hard in an evently contested match. He fell short with a close 4-3 defeat. However, this loss did not signify the end; it was merely a setup for more to come. In the next wrestle back round, the CBA freshman got his revene picking up a first period pin over Brady Klinsky of Middletown North. This set him up for a shot at third place. 

The match for third place was where Paul truly shined. He squared off against the talented Nathan Braun of Bergen Catholic, and what unfolded was a testament to Paul's tactical prowess.

The first period was a strategic deadlock with neither wrestler able to score. Entering the second period on the bottom, Paul executed a swift escape and followed it up with a masterful single-leg takedown, claiming two crucial points. Braun wasn't ready to hand over the win, managing an escape in the third period for one point, but Paul's defense was impenetrable. He staved off Braun's advances to secure a well-earned 3-1 victory and the third-place standing on the podium.

Paul Kenny's freshman season has been nothing short of spectacular. His performance at the state championships is a loud declaration of his arrival on the high school wrestling scene. With just one loss on the entire season, there is a lot of promise to come and it is undeniable. Congratulations on a remarkable season and an inspiring state championship performance!