Joe Cesari Jr.

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  • December 14, 2023
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Each year, the Ed Romance Lower Anthracite Chapter of Pennsylvania Hall of Fame intends to present a special award for a noteworthy accomplishment in the field of athletics. Last year’s recipient was Dan Ficca, upon his induction into the State Hall of Fame. This year’s award goes to Joe Cesari, Jr. of Ashland.

Joe was crowned a world champion wrestler in San Diego, Calif., after beating four wrestlers from four countries in the World Schoolboy Wrestling Championship.

Joe is an eight grader in the North Schuylkill School District and is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Cesari, Sr., 2428 Spruce St., Ashland. Joe’s father is wrestling coach at North Schuylkill High School.

In his first match of the tournament, Joe competed against Angel Noguera of Venezuala and pinned him in a short 23 seconds.

His second opponent was Osawa Koichi from Japan. He set up Koichi and took him down to his back and pinned him in a short 23 seconds.

His third opponent was Artemio Hernandez of Mexico. Joe piled up 19 points on combinations of take downs, leg wrestling, throws, cradles, and arm bars.

The fourth and final match Cesari wrestled was against a wrestler from India. Joe beat Naresh Kumar, 7-2. According to Cesari, the boy from India was strong, quick and a pure freestyle wrestler.

In the first period Cesari managed to get two takedowns while giving up one. In the second period, Joe scored two takedowns, worth two points each, because of back exposure and a stalling call for his seven points.

The tournament was run by the American Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and the International Amateur Wrestling Federation (FILA). The FILA headquarters is in Switzerland.

Next year the championships will be held in Sweden. Joe will be a defending world champion and may set out for a second title. Cesari advanced to the world championship after winning five free style tournaments.

Categories: 1979 Hall Of Fame