On the final Saturday of February, Anthony Casselli of Roselle Park High School captured the Region 3 wrestling championship at 135 pounds. By winning the title, the 17 y/o senior earned his way to Atlantic City to compete in the NJISAA individual wrestling championships.
On the first Saturday of March, Anthony Casselli's high school wrestling career came to an end at the State championships. While his senior season ended short of the medal platform, his senior season put the bow on a terrific career.
Tragically, on the second Saturday of March Anthony Casselli sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident that on Sunday claimed his life. At 17, a life that seemed so full of promise only two weeks earlier was over.
Stories have already been written -and more are most certainly on their way - about the circumstances under which this young man died. We in New Jersey have witnessed an unfortunate spike in the sad marriage between young drivers and serious car accidents over the past few years. And regardless of what happened on Saturday night, we will certainly see more in the months and years to come.
It is too easy to take a step back as adults of a certain age and preach to our children as to certain evils. They shall continue to do what they do not because they are bad, disrespectful or stupid. They shall continue to do what they do for the same reasons we did then what they do now when we were the age then that they are now. And in spite of events such as this most recent fatal accident, each of them shall continue to believe he or she is unbreakable and indestructible.
And we shall continue to hope and pray that ours is, knowing that all of them cannot be. And while we pray for ours, these days we pray as well for the family of Anthony Casselli.