Metuchen wrestling ends year with bright future

Staff Writer

Staff Writer

METUCHEN— The Metuchen High School wrestling team finished the 2003-04 season with a 7-9 record.

This season also marked the return of head coach Ed Angus and assistant coach Bob Ulmer after a one-year hiatus. The duo has high hopes for next season as junior Jack Barrett will lead a talented team that should make a run for a Greater Middlesex Conference Blue Division title.

Barrett will also look to make another run at an individual state title. This season the 140-pound county standout earned himself a shot to compete at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City for the NJSIAA State Wrestling Finals. Barrett finished among the top 12 grapplers in his weight division.

"Jack is on the right track," Angus said. "He definitely has the commitment and his family is very supportive in enabling him to wrestle top-notch competitors. If he learns how to finish matches a little better he will be tough to beat."

Barrett was certainly no pushover this season as he amassed a 31-6 record, setting a new, single-season school record. His 80-18 lifetime record is another school record and one that he plans to build upon. Barrett finished second in the districts and took third in the regions. He was selected to the GMC all-Blue Division team, alongside teammates John Nye and Dan Vinci.

Nye, a 135-pound senior, finished his season at 18-10. His career match record stands at 51-36.

"John was one of our team captains," Angus said. "He was the hardest worker in the practice room and he set a good example for the younger kids that we will certainly miss."

Vinci, a fellow senior, finished his final season at 16-8 and recorded several key wins for the Bulldogs.

"Dan had a great dual-meet season," Angus said. "Unfortunately he had some tough draws in the GMC Tournament and in the districts. He is a very clutch wrestler and he could always pick us up when we needed a big win."

Showing tremendous improvement was junior James Alexander. Alexander finished the year with 15 wins and nine losses.

"When I saw James wrestle when he was a freshman he needed a lot of work," Angus said. "He put in the time during the off-season, improved quite a bit, and developed an unstoppable cradle. If I can get him into the weight room, him and Jack should be our one-two punch next season."

The Bulldogs should be able to count on Alexander and Barrett to battle for a GMC Blue Division title.

"I am happy with this season’s finish," Angus said. "Our youth showed at times, but the kids never quit. We lost some close ones, but we had a good mid-season run and ended with a two-match winning streak."

Angus and company are already preparing for next year and looking to continue the current streak.

"We have football players and wrestlers hitting the weight room to prepare for next year," Angus said. "We hope to build off the success at the end of this season and compete for a title next year."