Valcarce winding down prolific career at LCM

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When Rocky Ciccozzi was asked about the contributions Zack Valcarce has made to the wrestling program at Lower Cape May Regional High School over the last four years, the head coach’s eyes lit up.

“What an awesome kid,” Ciccozzi said. “You couldn’t ask for a better kid, both in wrestling and in the classroom. He’s been great for us.”

Like the rest of the Caper Tiger seniors, Valcarce is in the twilight of his career. Just a week remains in the regular season, with the district tournament and – for those who perform well – the region and state tournaments to follow.

Valcarce entered Wednesday’s match against Cedar Creek one win short of becoming the fourth Caper Tiger wrestler to amass 100 career victories. The others are Billy Damiana, Chaz Lear and Josh Dickinson.

“It’s nice to represent the school,” Valcarce said, after winning the clinching bout in Lower’s 41-24 win over Ocean City Monday night. “And it shows that the hard work I put in over my career has paid off.”

Most of Valcarce’s matches as a senior have come at 120 pounds. He is a two-time runner-up at the District Tournament and as a sophomore also advanced out of the region tournament and into the state championships. His final run at the postseason comes in a couple of weeks.

“I’m gearing up hard for it now,” Valcarce said. “This is the last time I can go on a playoff run. I want to make it to states again and hopefully place this time.”

Valcarce, who carries a 3.2 grade point average academically, hopes to wrestle at the college level at Rider or Gannon universities.

“He’s been in district finals twice and he’ll go out and wrestle anybody we ask him to go up against,” Ciccozzi said. “He’s wrestled tough all year and I expect him to be even tougher in the postseason.”

Valcarce took a career mark of 99-27 into Wednesday’s match with Cedar Creek.

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