Warriors top Pt. Beach in NJSIAA mat action

BY MIKE WHITE Staff Writer

With the previous meeting between the two schools locked away in its memory, the New Egypt High School wrestling team had a score to settle with Point Pleasant Beach High School.

CHRIS KELLY staff Jackson Memorial High School's Mike Mondello (l) competes in the 55-meter hurdles race during the Central Jersey Group IV state sectional meet on Feb. 8 in Toms River. CHRIS KELLY staff Jackson Memorial High School’s Mike Mondello (l) competes in the 55-meter hurdles race during the Central Jersey Group IV state sectional meet on Feb. 8 in Toms River. “Our guys were very aware that we had lost a very tough match to them last year,” Warriors coach Kevin English said. “They wanted to make sure that this time around we handled our business.”

Indeed, New Egypt looked very impressive in posting a resounding 40-27 victory over Point Beach in an NJSIAA Central Jersey Group state team tournament quarterfinal match on Feb. 9. The Warriors won eight of 14 bouts against the Garnet Gulls.

New Egypt was scheduled to meet No. 1 seed Roselle Park in the semifinals on Feb. 11.

“This was a huge accomplishment for this squad,” English said. “Moving this deep into the state tournament is a big deal. Our guys have worked incredibly hard so far this year. We have looked very good in this tournament.”

English realized, however, that it would have taken a monumental effort to knock off the No. 1 seed. Yet his squad felt no pressure entering the matchup.

“We’re excited to be wrestling them [Roselle Park] at this point in the tournament,” English said. “All the pressure is on them. In a lot of people’s eyes, we’re not even supposed to be in this match. We can go out and wrestle without being nervous.”

In the win over Point Beach, Mike Schwarze (152) and Anthony Derechio won by forfeit. At 160 pounds, Bruce Horner posted a 6-0 win over Dylan Mesanko.

“He looked very good in this match,” English said about Mesanko. “He dominated from the start and never let the match get away from him.”

Andrew Milligan (112), Kit Creager (119) and Don Hopkins (heavyweight) won their bouts by pin. Milligan stopped Taylor

Fioretti at 2:55, while Creager pinned Mike Conlon at 3:34. “Two very impressive performances,” English said. “Both guys were the superior wrestler in their respective matchups. We figured that we had the advantage in both of those contests.” It was the pin by Hopkins, however, that proved to be the pleasant surprise. English figured his grappler to be the better of the

two, but Hopkins’ pin provided the Warriors with not only extra points, but momentum as well.

“We liked his chances to win the match going in,” English said. “The pin was unexpected. His opponent was a tough matchup for him. Don wore him down and got him out of position. He made him pay for the mistake.”

Other winners for New Egypt included Anthony Wahler (135) and Alex Hinger (140).

New Egypt finished the regular season with a 15-7 mark in its dual meets.