Barnegat’s young wrestling squad learns by trial of fire
It’s not really a secret. The Barnegat High School wrestling team, as a whole, is learning on the fly right now. A lot of his guys have been thrown into a fire and they’re trying to figure out how to handle it.
With only two seniors and a few juniors with some sort of college experience, the Bengals had a tough hill to climb heading into the season. Add in some COVID issues during the holidays and snow during the first week of January, and it made things even more difficult.
“We’re very young and the older wrestlers we have don’t have a lot of college experience, so there’s a learning curve and it’s important for us to get as much time on the mat as possible, which has been tough for us lately,” head coach Brendan McCarthy said, after his Bengals lost a 56-24 decision to the Shore Conference’s Class B southern foe Manchester on May 13. January. children ready. But they fight. They learn on the fly and do the best they can.
No doubt, the Bengals work hard. Unfortunately, trial by fire on the wrestling mat often doesn’t look pretty, and that wasn’t the case against the Hawks.
The Bengals got off to a good start when Johnny Marfia, who was traded from Bloomfield in the offseason, rocked Aidan James and pinned in 2:49 in the 126-pound fight to put Barnegat up, 6-0 . The Hawks responded with a pin at 132 before Anthony Ryan (138) pinned Austin Mitrosky in 1:58 and Miguel Sendecki (144) pinned Joseph Goertz in 5:53 to push the Bengals to an 18-6 advantage.
But things raced against the deeper, more experienced Hawks, who pinned in four of the next five fights before accepting forfeit wins at 215 and 285 pounds, then scored two more pins at 106 and 113 to seal victory. Senior Jorge Ramos (120) ended the competition on a high for the Bengals, when he quickly beat Ryan Goertz and took a pinfall in 44 seconds.
“We try to focus on small things,” McCarthy said. “After dropping the forfeits at 215 and 285 it was impossible for us to win so it was more about chasing them and finishing as strong as possible. Our senior went there and took care of business, which is what you expect from your experienced guys.
Dropping two weight classes due to a lack of wrestlers at the top end of the roster, the Bengals sometimes have to learn to harness their aggression, McCarthy said. On several occasions against Manchester, Barnegat’s wrestlers were in good position to win their fights, but overly aggressive maneuvers backfired and ended in pins for the Hawks. These are points the Bengals need to move forward.
“I don’t want to take the aggression out of our wrestlers because we can’t teach that part,” McCarthy said. “But we talk in training about situations – when you’re down 2-1 and there are 30 seconds left, how do you fight? Tonight one of our guys, Bryan Aguilar, struggled like he was supposed to when he trailed by eight points in the third period. He got a breakout and a takedown and didn’t give up bonus points. We need some of the other guys to learn how to fight in all situations.
Against Keansburg earlier in the week, the Bengals came out of their break – the last time they struggled was Dec. 20 in a loss to Point Pleasant Borough – and cruised to a 60-18 win.
Ryan O’Cone sent Barnegat in the right direction when he pinned in 3:19 at 165 pounds and Connor Pappas added a pin in 56 seconds at 175 to give the Bengals a 12-0 lead to start. Keansburg won the next three fights – two by forfeit, at 215 and 285 – to take an 18-12 lead, but the Bengals were the recipients of five forfeits and Ramos (120), Marfia (126) and Aguilar (138) ) took care of their opponents, each scoring a pin in less than 2:20.
Over the weekend, the Bengals fell to 2-7 after a 40-28 loss to Brick, a 74-6 loss to Rumson-Fair Haven and a 41-32 loss to Donovan Catholic.
Past Southern Rolls
After starting 5-0, the Southern regional wrestling team continued their winning streak last week, knocking out Shore Conference Class A South rivals Brick, 68-9, on Jan. 11, followed by a beating 54-12 from High Point on Jan 12.
Against the Green Dragons, Nate Bischoff scored a pin in 1:04 at 157 pounds to give the Rams the initial lead, before Tyler Chase pinned in 2:51 at 165, Nolan Anderson pinned in 1:26 at 175 , Brock Lefkus pinned in 3:00 at 190, Reilly O’Boyle pinned in 1:42 at 215 and Dave Casas pinned in 53 seconds at heavyweight to give Southern a 36-0 advantage. After Sam Pari and Scottie Sari were forfeited, David Ferrante pinned in 28 seconds at 120, before Kellen Bischoff won a 6-2 decision at 132, Hayden Hochstrasser pinned in 1:24 at 138 and Nick Bennet won a 17-0 technical fall. at 144.
Against High Point the next day, Conor Collins pinned in 5:27 at 120 pounds to give the Rams the staying advantage, and Southern dumped the points from there. Wyatt Stout won a technical fall 20-5 at 126, before Matt Henrich pinned 1:27 at 138, Bennet won a major decision 9-0 at 144, Cole Velardi pinned 1 :51 to 150, Nate Bischoff pinned 1:12 to 157 and Chase pinned 3:31 to 165 to open a 42-6 lead. O’Boyle and Casas won via decision to close the contest.
On January 15, the Rams traveled to Berlin, Maryland for the 20th War on the Shore Invitational at Stephen Decatur High School and returned with the tag team title after scoring 240.5 points. Collins (120), Stout (126) Henrich (138), Bennet (145) and O’Boyle (220) won individual championships, while Velardi (152) took second and Chase (170) and Collin French (182) ended up in third place.
Fall in four fights
After picking up their only win of the season the previous week, regional wrestling team Pinelands fell to the losing side of their four matches last week – dropping a 45-19 decision to Jackson Liberty on January 12, followed by of a 52-21 loss. against Moorestown, a 46-27 loss to Audubon and a 42-40 loss to Vineland on January 15.
Against Liberty, the Wildcats received points from Mason Livio, who pinned in 1:09 at 126 pounds, Gio Rosetti, who won a major 11-3 at 144, Nick Sheridan, who won a 10-decision 5 at 157, Gavin Wagner, who won a fight 4-3 at 165, and Mateo Mena, who won the heavyweight clash, 1-0.
Sheridan won an 8-6 157 decision over Moorestown, while Mena added a pin in 1:50 at heavyweight, and Livio (126) and Jake Greenberg (132) capped Pinelands’ score with falls . Against Audubon, Sheridan and Wagner pinned, while Mena and Rosetti scored decisions, Livio won a 23-8 technical fall and Josiah Hart (120) won a major decision, 13-4, at 120 pounds .
Against the Fighting Clan, Sheridan pinned at 4:36 before Wagner pinned at 2:59, Anthony Aguanno added a major decision, 12-4, and Mena pinned at 1:40 to give Pinelands a 22 lead. -18. Vineland won the next three fights to go up, 26-22, but Livio pinned in 24 seconds at 126, Greenberg pinned in 1:23 at 132 and Mark Siino was forfeited at 138 to cap the score of the Wildcats.
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