Mazor’s ailments can’t keep him down

By: Ken Weingartner
   There are many ways a baseball player can stay in shape during the offseason. Participating in wrestling probably is among the more unusual ways to do it.
   But that’s the route chosen by Monroe High senior Craig Mazor.
   Mazor, a standout on the Falcons’ diamond, is shining on the mat as well. Despite a bad back and asthma, Mazor has gone 6-4 for MHS at 140 pounds.
   "This is fun," Mazor said. "And I don’t want to let the coach (Sal Profaci) down. He’s a good guy. There’s no one else at 140, so I do it. I take it easy in practice; he saves me for matches. I heat my back before every match so I can get through it. I don’t really feel it when I’m wrestling, but afterward I feel it. It always hurts. We’ll see how it goes."
   Mazor lost his bout Tuesday night against Colonia, but had several strong efforts before it, including a win by decision against Freehold Township last week. Mazor started wrestling in the eighth grade because, he said, "I liked being able to throw people around, that kind of stuff."
   He hoped to have a strong showing at the season-opening Ewing Tournament, but missed the event with a 103-degree fever. Now, his goal is to place at the Greater Middlesex Conference and District 20 tourneys.
   "We’ll see what happens," Mazor said. "Last year I got bumped up to 145 when I weighed 135, so I didn’t do so good. I think I’m going to do well this year."
   Mazor, who plans to play college baseball at Ramapo next year, said his physical strength is his greatest asset on the mat.
   "Usually I’m stronger than everyone I wrestle," Mazor said. "But I don’t have good stamina. Because of my asthma, when I go to the third period, it’s pretty tough. I try to finish them off in the first or second period.
   "I don’t want to lose another match [before counties]; just keep winning," he added. "I want to work on different moves, I guess. I can learn different techniques and setups."
   Monroe improved to 5-5 with a 49-30 win Tuesday over Colonia. Picking up wins for the Falcons were Al Rotundo (103), Scott Bentancourt (119), Anthony "The Hook" Mancini (130), Mike Tuhy (135), John Jensen (152), Matt Horsch (171), John Urbanowicz (189), Justin Lupo (215) and heavyweight Mike Goff. Rotundo, Bentancourt, Jensen, Horsch, Urbanowicz, Lupo and Goff all won by pins.
   Lupo’s pin came in 10 seconds, and was called by Profaci, "one of the fastest pins I’ve ever seen."
   "We did well," Profaci said. "I was pretty happy. We have some holes in our lineup and I’m getting a little nervous about our upcoming matches. Justin Bauman is hurt, he did something to his elbow, and he’s a quality 112-pounder."
   In a 46-33 loss to Freehold Township, Falcon winners were Rotundo, Mancini, Tuhy, Mazor, Horsch, and Goff. All but Mazor won by pins.
   "Anthony Mancini is starting to look sharp now," Profaci said. "He’s starting to progress as the season has been going. He’s wrestling a lot better. Mike Tuhy had two big wins. He’s only in his third year wrestling and he’s 9-3."
   Monroe has matches against Metuchen, J.P. Stevens and South Brunswick before heading to the GMC Championships Feb. 6-7 at Piscataway.
   "I think we have some guys that can compete this year," Profaci said. "I think we have some guys that can place in the top four this year. We’ll see. I’m ready for them to beat somebody that we’re not supposed to beat. We’ll get a good test with the teams coming up on the schedule. That’s why I made the schedule like this just before the counties. That will be a good indication of what we can do in the counties."