Lyndhurst’s Weaver finishes third at 138 pounds at states

Dylan Weaver’s dream of winning an NJSIAA state wrestling championship died last Friday evening in the quarterfinal round of the 138-pound weight class at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

The Lyndhurst/North Arlington sophomore fell to the bracket’s top-seed, undefeated Joseph Aragona of Pope John, by a heartbreaking 6-4 decision. Aragona would then go on to win the state title a day later.

But the loss didn’t mean that Weaver’s season had come to an end.

The talented sophomore and son of Lyndhurst/North Arlington head coach Scot Weaver could still wrestle back in the consolation rounds and place third. It was going to take some hard work and four wins in the consolation wrestlebacks, but it could be done.

“I just pushed myself and acted like one of the best in the state,” Dylan Weaver said. “After that match (the loss to Aragona), I knew I had to come back and wrestle hard. I did what I had to do.”

That’s exactly what Weaver did, winning all four of his wrestleback matches to take home third place, becoming the first Lyndhurst wrestler since Dennis McSweeney took home second place in 2001 to earn a medal at the state tournament.

“I’m definitely happy about the way I wrestled,” Dylan Weaver said. “Coming in, I said that I wanted to be on the podium (with the other medal winners) and I did that. I just remember how it felt last year (when Weaver wrestled for Bergen Catholic) and I didn’t have anything to show for it. I wanted to peak at the right time and this was the right time. It was perfect timing.”

Scot Weaver was a little disappointed with his son’s seeding in the bracket. Even though the younger Weaver was the Region 3 champion at 138 pounds and lost only once all season, the seeding committee in Atlantic City placed Dylan as the No. 9 seed, which meant he had to face the undefeated Aragona in the quarterfinals.
“We had hoped that Dylan would have been seeded properly,” the elder Weaver said. “He wasn’t the No. 9 seed, that’s for sure. But Dylan is so positive. He didn’t let that get to him. He stepped back after the loss and won four times. He’s just a special kid. He just said that he wasn’t going to lose again and he didn’t.”

The elder Weaver pointed out that Dylan won two matches via pins and two by majority decisions and then defeated Alec Bobchin of Princeton, 8-1, to place third and earn his proper place on the podium.

“He wrestled the way a champion wrestles,” the elder Weaver said. “At the end of the day, it was a great performance. He’s still developing. As tough as he is and as aggressive as he is, he’s still learning.”
Dylan Weaver ended his sophomore year with a 29-2 record and a third place finish in the states. With two years remaining, the prospects look very promising for the remainder of his high school career.

And beyond. The elder Weaver pointed out that several college coaches and recruiters were impressed with the way Dylan wrestled back from a quarterfinal loss to a third place medal.

“I think I really opened some eyes,” Dylan Weaver said. “I wrestled the best that I could. I think I showed I have a lot of potential going forward.”
Dylan Weaver will more than likely wrestle at 145 pounds next year. By the look of things, he’s already gearing up for a run at the state title next year, much like his buddy Jacob Cardenas captured the last two years.

“I’m so happy for him,” Dylan Weaver said of the two-time state champion and close friend. “He’s like a brother to me. He dominated people. He motivates me and seeing him win like he did. It made me think I can do it as well.”

There will be one added bonus next year. Dylan’s younger brother Damian, an up-and-coming wrestler of his own, will join the Lyndhurst/North Arlington program as a freshman. Two  Weavers are always better than one. In this case, there will be three.




Dylan Weaver (left) of Lyndhurst/North Arlington poses with two-time state champion and good friend Kearny native Jacob Cardenas (right) of Bergen Catholic after both local wrestlers came away with medals at the NJSIAA state wrestling championships at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City Saturday. Photo courtesy of Damian Weaver.


Dylan Weaver hugs his father and Lyndhurst/North Arlington head coach Scot Weaver after Dylan won third place in the 138-pound bracket at the NJSIAA state championships in Atlantic City. Weaver became the first Lyndhurst wrestler to earn a medal at the state tournament since 2001. Photo courtesy of Jeff Radigan.



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Jim Hague | Observer Sports Writer

Sports Writer Jim Hague was with The Observer for 20+ years — and his name is one of the most recognizable in all of sports journalism. The St. Peter’s Prep and Marquette alum kicked off his journalism career post Marquette at the Daily Record, where he remained until 1985. Following shorts stints at two other newspapers, in September 1986, he joined the now-closed Hudson Dispatch, where he remained until 1991, when its doors were finally shut.

It was during his tenure at The Dispatch that Hague’s name and reputation as one of country’s hardest-working sports reporters grew. He won several New Jersey Press Association and North Jersey Press Club Awards in that timeframe.

In 1991, he became a columnist for The Hudson Reporter chain of newspapers — and he remains with them to this day.

In addition to his work at The Observer and The Hudson Reporter, Hague is also an Associated Press stringer, where he covers Seton Hall University men’s basketball, New York Red Bulls soccer and occasionally, New Jersey Devils hockey.

He’s also doing work at The Morristown Daily Record, the very newspaper where his journalism career began.

During his career, he also worked for Dorf Feature Services, which provided material for the Star-Ledger. While there, he covered the New York Knicks and the New Jersey Nets.

Hague is also known for his announcing work — and he’s done PA work for Rutgers Newark and NJIT.

Hague is the author of the book “Braddock: The Rise of the Cinderella Man.”