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Wall Knights Wrestling Club

Wall Knights Wrestling Club

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Jan, 2024

The 2024 Wall Takedown Pediatric Cancer Tournament was a Huge Success

On Sunday January 14, 2024, The Wall Knights Wrestling Club and Wall Wrestling Booster Club hosted the annual Wall Takedown Pediatric Cancer Tournament at Wall Township High School.   This event is a fundraiser that supports the Wall Township wrestling programs to include the recreational wrestling program known as the Wall Knights Wrestling Club and the Wall High School wrestling team.   Over 50% of the proceeds from the tournament are donated to local charities with the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation being the recipient of approximately $13,000.00 while a smaller donation will be made to the Alayna Jayne Foundation in the amount of $1,000.00.   

There were so many people that played enormous roles ensuring that everything ran smoothly prior to, during, and after the event.   Most notably, The Wall Wrestling Booster Club president, Dave McClelland, and vice-president, Jason Zamaloff, who were largely responsible for the overall operations on the day of the tournament as well as assisting with the tournament setup.    In addition, Wall Knights Wrestling Club Administrators, Ray Boulard and Frank Kuhl played a large role in promoting the tournament, ordering banners and awards, coordinating the set-up and acquiring sponsors.  Frank Kuhl and Ray Boulard assist the fundraising committee consisting of Dan Alba and Carla Forbes with acquiring corporate sponsorships for the Tournament.  This event is something that has become a Wall Wrestling Tradition and the entire Wall Wrestling Booster Club, parents of wrestlers on the Wall High School team, Wall Intermediate School Wrestling parents, recreational program wrestling parents, as well as parents from former wrestlers in Wall join in to volunteer their time for a tremendous cause.   The Wall Wrestling Community considers themselves a family and the day of the Wall Takedown Pediatric Cancer Tournament is always a day where everyone works together for a tremendous cause.  

The success of the tournament is also largely due to the corporate sponsors who generously donate towards the costs associated with running the tournament.   Many of the sponsors continue to support the event year after year and Wall Wrestling is extremely appreciative of the sponsors unwavering commitment and support.   This year’s sponsors included: Platinum Sponsors (D'Arcy Johnson and Day Lawyers, Monmouth Executive Airport, Final Turn Racing Stables, Turnstile Coffee Roasters, and Coastal General Contracting, Inc.), Food Sponsors (The Interrante Family), Referee Sponsors (Belmar Tiki Boat), Mat Sponsors( Expert Demolition Management, LLC, Wall Township PBA, Creative Financial Group, Dynasplint Systems, Top Line Appliance Center, and F45 Training), General Corporate Sponsors (Manasquan PBA, Impact Martial Arts, Triumph Wrestling Club, Shore Thing Wrestling Club, Landmark Athletics and Fitness, Underground Strength Gym, Mazzeo Builders, NAV Rehab Chiropractic, Y.E.S. Contractors, Floors by the Shore, The Passion Group, The Handy Dog Handy Man, “Getting the Win” Children’s Book, and Pasquale’s Pizzeria in Wall).

The tournament has become known as one of the area tournaments that has the best selections of food options thanks to the generosity and expertise of the Interrante Family.  Charlie Interrante (Co-owner of area restaurants to include Bond Street Bar and Capitoline Italian Restaurant in Asbury Park) and his wife, Nicole Interrante, have dedicated their time to the needs of the tournament, while generously donating most of the the delicious food options for the concessions stand for the past three years that the Wall Wrestling Booster Club has hosted the tournament.   Charlie and Nicole Interrante are also the parents of three Wall Wrestlers to include Dominick Interrante (graduated 2023 after wrestling for 4 years at Wall HS), James Interrante (Currently wrestling for Wall High School), and Brayden Interrante (Currently wrestling with the Wall Knights Wrestling Club).

In addition to the assistance from parents, The Wall High School Crimson Knights Wrestling team volunteers a great deal of their time to run the tables at the tournament with scorekeeping and running the clocks.   Wall High School Head Coach, Brian Fischer, and Assistant Coach, Jason Nase, also helped to orchestrate the team’s involvement with setting up for the tournament and then cleaning up at the completion.   The tournament staff was also filled with members from the Wall High School and Wall Intermediate School’s National Honor Societies making the tournament an amazing community event to which so many groups played a part. 

The Wall Takedown Pediatric Cancer Tournament was started in 2019, in which the idea for the tournament format had come about to honor a resident of Wall, Grace Philhower, who had suffered from Pediatric Cancer but was in remission.   The name, Wall Takedown Pediatric Cancer Tournament, was decided upon by Wall Wrestling Booster Club and Wall Knights Wrestling Club Administrators.   Wall Knights Wrestling Club Administrators had spoken the first year with Grace's father, Rob Philhower, while advising him of the intent to donate to the family to help them through any difficulties associated with costs of treatment.  Rob Philhower had in turn advised that due to Grace being in remission, he would rather see a donation in Grace's name benefit Jason's Dreams for Kids Foundation which had been supportive to Grace throughout her battle.  Since the first year of the tournament, the tournament proceeds have lead to the Wall Wrestling Booster Club donating approximately $60,000.00 over five years to charitable organizations that benefit children and their families who are faced with pediatric cancer.  

This year during the presentation of the check to the Emanuel Cancer Foundation, ECF brought a special guest to help accept the donation.  Braedon Treharne came to the tournament with his dad, David Treharne.  Braedon is one of the ECF Kids that the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation has helped.   David had advised that he and Braedon would now in turn do anything to help the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation for all the wonderful things they do for the children and families affected by Pediatric Cancer.  

The tournament has consistently hit its goal of 600 wrestlers the past several years the tournament has been run.  This year there were 603 wrestlers (Grades K-8) competing from numerous programs throughout the Jersey Shore as well as wrestlers and programs from all over the state of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.  The event kicked off with the first matches just after 9:00 am and the wrestling continued until completion at approx. 5:30 pm.  

The tournament has proven to be very competitive over the years with state level competitors as well as standouts in the Jersey Shore competing.  Wall Knights Wrestling Club Administrator, Frank Kuhl had stated “It is amazing to see the support from other wrestling programs who year after year come back to the tournament.  It always reminds us that regardless how intense the competition or rivalries in the sport of wrestling, we all make each other better and are proud to use wrestling as a platform to bring awareness and support to families who are facing battles far more important than wrestling.” 

Due to the continued success of the Wall Takedown Pediatric Cancer Tournament, The Wall Wrestling Booster Club and the Wall Knights Wrestling Club is planning to continue the annual tradition of hosting the event in the years to come.


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