Of course, there was the quest to become the state’s second four-time NJSIAA tournament champion. But would that crowning, essentially, be an effortless parade down wrestling’s Broadway?
Sure, reneging on a commitment to play football at Rutgers provided some mid-season drama. But could Campolattano find a way to enthrall the fans while attaining what he dreamed of most? That fourth state championship.
There was the time when Campolattano seemed bored or just frustrated. He edged Mitch Seigel of Marlboro, 5-3, in the 215-pound bout at the All-Star Invitational on Jan. 30. Seigel did go on to place seventh in the state tournament at 215.
In retrospect, the Seigel bout was the only time Campolattano seemed like anyone else wrestling in the gym. It also proved to be a stepping-off point, if you will, to a ferocious finishing flurry that capped one of, if not the best, scholastic wrestling careers in New Jersey history.
“All you need to do with Andrew is challenge him,” said former Bound Brook wrestler Andrew Flanagan, himself a two-time state champion. “You just have to put something in front of him and watch him eat it up.”
The dull match with Seigel seemed to light a fire under Campolattano that such a performance was not going to be enough. His finish had to be memorable.