NEHS wrestlers post two one-sided wins; AHS prepares for MCT

By: Kyle Moylan
   After a string of exhausting, down-to-the-last-weight-class matches, the New Egypt High School wrestling team welcomed the opportunity to beat up on some opponents this past week.
   On Wednesday, January 21, New Egypt defeated Medford Tech, 65-14. Three days later, New Egypt defeated Bordentown, 70-12.
   "The previous week was mentally taxing," noted New Egypt Coach Adam Angelozzi. "I don’t know how long a team can keep up like that and lose close matches. It was nice after a week like that to dominate a couple of opponents."
   Against Medford Tech, Johnny Law (171), Martin Morfin (215), Noel Larios (103), Jimmy Morton (119), Chris Springer (135), Dan Murray (140) and Lee Hopkins (160) all won by forfeit. Rosario DiGangi (189), Craig Morton (112) and Mike Schmidt (125) won by pin. Skeeter Cook (152) also won by technical fall.
   Against Bordentown, Morfin (215), Nick Markee (275) and Larios (103) won by forfeit. Craig Morton (112) and Jimmy Morton (119) followed with technical falls. Schmidt (125), Kyle Ford (130), Springer (135), Dan Gold (145), Skeeter Cook (152), Hopkins (160) and Law (171) won via pin.
   The two wins improved New Egypt to 6-2 on the year.
   "We had a good week," Angelozzi noted. "It got us back on track."
   With their pair of wins each this past week, Hopkins, Law, Morfin and Springer each have at least 12 wins this year.
   According to Angelozzi, Morfin and Law are seniors and have just steadily improved over the years as wrestler.
   Springer started to wrestle well at the end of last season and has carried over his success with a lot of hard work.
   Hopkins, a junior who is back after missing a year with a leg injury, might have his best shot to put on a show at the districts and regionals this year.
   Hopkins will wrestle the tournaments at 160 pounds. Because he is so talented at football and could draw some Division I attention in that sport, Angelozzi doesn’t believe it’s fair to ask him to drop below 189 pounds next year.
   "He’s one of the best athletes the school has ever had, but he does put on weight easily," Angelozzi said. "We won’t ask him to cut weight at all next year."
   Weather permitting, New Egypt was scheduled to face Maple Shade last night. New Egypt will be at Burlington City for a match 11 a.m. Saturday. The big match this week, however, is unquestionably the Maple Shade one.
   Coming into the match, both teams were 3-0 in the Freedom Division.
   "Without any upsets in the future, this should be for the conference championship," Angelozzi noted.
   Next Wednesday, New Egypt will host Bishop Eustace in a 7 p.m. start.

   While forfeits and lack of inexperience have made it hard for the team to win, Allentown’s individual wrestlers have a chance to shine this weekend in the Mercer County Tournament, which will be held Friday and Saturday at Trenton High School.
   The area coaches are scheduled to meet tonight to seed the top wrestlers in each weight class. While Coach Robert Mussari will make a case for a few guys, Sean Mulligan (103 pounds) figures to be Allentown’s best chance at a seeded wrestler.
   Mulligan is 13-5 and one of those losses was a disqualification against a wrestler he was beating.
   "Sean should definitely get a good seed," Mussari said.
   This past Saturday, Mulligan pinned Notre Dame’s Robert Diletto. Mulligan also managed a 15-0 technical fall against Hightstown’s Ethan Lippman.
   In the team results, Notre Dame defeated Allentown, 54-22. Hightstown defeated Allentown, 57-18. On Wednesday, January 21, West Windsor South defeated Allentown, 53-16. Allentown is 1-10 on the year.
   Derek Bachmann, 130 pounds, had a very productive week for Allentown, winning all three of his matches. Bachmann pinned West Windsor’s Evan Callahan and Notre Dame’s William Bickel. He also managed a 20-8 win over Erik Crawford. Bachmann is 9-6.
   "The kid is coming on," Mussari noted. "He might surprise some people."
   Derek Bachmann and Kyle Bachmann, his twin brother, are both freshman. Kyle pinned West Windsor South’s Matt Charette, but lost his matches on Saturday. Of course, the setbacks were to two of the top wrestlers in the county – including Hightstown’s Brandan Tyers, the favorite to win the MCT at 125 pounds this weekend.
   "The Bachmann twins are both really doing well," Mussari said.
   Matt Schottlander has suffered some setbacks recently, but is 9-9 on the year and could rebound at 119. Pat Pate, at 112, had a win against West Windsor and could also make an impact.
   Bruce Allen, 171 pounds, is 8-8. This past week, he won all three of his matches. Included in that was a pin over Hightstown’s Kenny Amponsa.
   "Bruce Allen is a kid that can make some waves," noted Mussari. "He’s lost some close matches and has looked really good at some times."
   Allentown’s other win this past week came when Matt Valnoski won by an 11-3 decision over Hightstown’s Adam Gonzalez.
   "The kids are working hard and getting better," Mussari said. "If you look at the matches, now we’re getting into the third period or now we’re scoring. We’d love to be winning, but as the coach of a young team, you can’t look at it that way. We just have to keep improving.
   "We’re not winning, but we’re young and improving. With the forfeits, we’re also behind before we ever step on the scale. We’re going to keep working hard and build this program. Next year we will start to win some of those matches."
   NOTES: Allentown was scheduled to face Ewing last night. This Wednesday, Allentown will host West Windsor North in a 6:30 p.m. start.