“We didn’t wrestle up to our capabilities,” said Prep head wrestling coach Brian Innis. “It was a close match going into the final three bouts and we didn’t do it.”
But then the Marauders collectively bounced back a week later and captured their 10th straight Hudson County Duals championship.
“To win our 10th county championship was really special,” Innis said. “It was a team experience. All of the kids who didn’t even wrestle were going nuts. It was a great moment. I think that motivated the kids going to practice this week, getting ready for the Districts. They were excited.”
The Marauders also had another motivating factor. Among the teams in the newly reconstructed district configurations in District 13 at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School was none other than Seton Hall Prep. The District 13 tournament offered the Marauders a chance to gain a little slice of revenge.
“I think that really motivated the kids going into practice,” Innis said. “We knew we had a ton of talent. It was time for them to step it up. After the loss to Seton Hall Prep, we knew we had to come back strong.”
That’s exactly what the Marauders did, collecting a little bit of redemption against Seton Hall in the process. The Marauders captured the team title by a final margin of 204-190 over the Pirates. The Marauders crowned six individual champions, namely freshman Patrick Adams (106 pounds), freshman Sean Rendeiro (113), senior captain and state-ranked standout Mike Kelly (126), junior James Cruz (170), junior Niccolo Colucci (182) and senior Zach Lewis (220).
“I think this was something that was in the back of everyone’s minds,” Innis said. “Every kid was itchy to get right back on the mats. It was an awesome team effort. Having Seton Hall there gave us the additional motivating factor.”
Innis gave a synopsis about his six district champs.
“Adams has a great record for a freshman,” Innis said. “Having him do so well as a freshman is very big. The same for Rendeiro. They drill together every day and it helps them get better.”
Kelly, who was The Hudson Reporter Athlete of the Week last month, is one of the top wrestlers in his weight class in the state. He’s now won three District championships, one in the old District 16 configuration and two in the new District 13.
“He’s on a mission right now,” Innis said.
Cruz won the District 13 title last year and repeated this year.
“He’s a junior captain on the team,” Innis said. “He does nothing but put his work in. He wrestles all year round.”
Colucci is the younger brother of Chris, who won the state championship at 220 pounds in 2015 and currently wrestles at Lehigh University. It’s the second straight District championship for Colucci.
“He wrestles like a Colucci,” Innis said. “He cut down from 195 to 182. He moves well and is training at a higher pace.”
Lewis wrestled most of the year at 195 pounds, but decided to move up despite the weight difference.
“He feels more comfortable at 220,” Innis said. “He might be giving up 30 pounds, but he’s making up for it.”
Another freshman Nathaniel Camiscoli was the runner-up at 132 pounds…
For the first time in almost a decade, Secaucus crowned two District 12 champions in 120-pounder Alex Leon and 170-pounder Robinson Reyes. Both impressive wrestlers own 32-3 records this season.
“Leon is only a sophomore,” said Secaucus head wrestling coach Ed Roesing. “He’s a good kid who works hard and trains hard. He’s been wrestling real well.”
Reyes is a senior who was a runner-up at the District 12 for the past two years.
“I kept reminding him about second place,” Roesing said of Reyes, who formerly wrestled for North Bergen. “He worked hard to overcome that.”
The Patriots also had Derek Fernandez (runner-up) and Adam Badarelli (third place) move on to Region 3 this weekend.
“It’s big for us,” Roesing said. “I’ve been preaching to these kids how tough it is to win a District championship. If they keep wrestling this way, anything can happen.”…
North Bergen freshman Justin Cantor not only won the District 12 title at 132 pounds with a pin, but he was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the entire district. Not a bad honor for a freshman with an obvious bright future.
Cantor, who will be featured in next week’s editions, joined several of his teammates who finished third in the highly competitive district to move on to the regions. Darren Dwyer (106), Ken Ramos (113), Yousef Salem (126), Sean Andrade (145), Ray Urquiza (160), Deonte Ferrer (170), Stephano Velorio (220) and Nicholas Huntt (heavyweight) all advanced by finishing third…
The NJSIAA Group indoor track championships were held at the Bennett Center in Toms River last weekend and some local athletes came away with gold medals.
McNair Academic’s brilliant runner Fahd Nasser won the 3,200-meter gold medal in Group I, hitting the finish line in a school record 9:25.88. It’s the ninth fastest time in New Jersey state history. Nasser also finished second in the 1,600-meter run in Group I. Nasser became only the fourth McNair track athlete to win a Group gold medal, joining former Reporter Female Athlete of the Year Leslie Njoku as well as Kevin Ratigan and Haig Rickerby. So the hits keep happening for the sensational Nasser…
Memorial’s Francis Martingale won the gold medal in the 1,600-meter run in Group IV, crossing the line in a sizzling 4:18.80.
Marcus Bagley of St. Peter’s Prep won the Non-Public A gold medal in the 400-meter dash in 50.34 seconds. Jessica Wisowaty of St. Dominic Academy took home gold in the Non-Public B girls’ high jump by clearing a career-best 5-2 and Hudson Catholic’s Yasmeen McDonald won the shot put in Non-Public B with a throw of 31-3…
Hudson Reporter Boys’ High School Basketball Top Five: 1. Hudson Catholic (19-4). 2. St. Peter’s Prep (20-4). 3. Lincoln (17-6). 4. Union City (19-6). 5. North Bergen (17-7)…
Hudson Reporter Girls’ High School Basketball Top Five: 1. Secaucus (23-1). 2. Lincoln (19-2). 3. Hudson Catholic (20-3). 4. Marist (13-8). 5. Weehawken (19-5). – Jim Hague.