Quality trio carries Metuchen wrestlers



Nick Zaneto, in his seventh season as coach of the Metuchen High School wrestling team, admits this year will not be unlike those past seasons that found the Bulldogs struggling against opponents with more experience.

However, three quality performers will ensure Metuchen achieves a degree of success and will lead the way for future teams.

Senior Kevin Coleman (152 pounds) finished 32-5 a year ago, won a district title and placed fourth in the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) tourney. Based on early season results, Coleman has served notice he will be among the top conference wrestlers in his class. Coleman captured first place in the Bear Invitational, which was staged Dec. 29 and 30 at East Brunswick High School and was voted the tournament’s outstanding wrestler for upper weights.

His teammates, juniors Anthony and Joe Maloney, also won first place medals by winning the 195-pound and 285-pound classes, respectively. Anthony was 14-9 last year while Joe finished 19-7 and placed seventh in the conference tournament.

Metuchen’s challenge is to overcome inexperience since most wrestlers who enter the program have not wrestled before. The borough does not sponsor a recreation team nor is the sport available in the middle school. As a result, wrestlers learn “on the job.”

“We need to gain experience in every match,” Zaneto said. “Some wrestlers are still learning the sport, so every second counts in practice. I believe our program is making strides and we have a lot of wrestlers who are going to get better as the year goes on.”

The rest of the lineup looks like this: 106, Arun Chezian (freshman); 113, Michael Navarez (freshman); 120, Chris Little (sophomore); 126, Chris Kwok (sophomore); 132, Tom Annarumma (junior); 138, Ben Pincus (sophomore); and 145, Keaton Weidmaier (sophomore).

Also, at 160, Derek Shapiro (sophomore); 170, Bob Murphy (sophomore); 182, Jeff Serratelli (junior); and heavyweight, Joel Gil (junior).


The Edison High School boys and girls basketball teams are off to slow starts with 2- 4 and 1-2 records, respectively. The two victories by the boys have come against New Brunswick and Mater Dei high schools. The girls registered their lone win over Perth Amboy.

Coach Charlie Mohr will look for his team to improve its record as the Eagles embark on a schedule that features games against White Division opponents. On Jan. 6, Edison visited a strong Colonia High School and followed it two days later with a game at South Plainfield High School. The Eagles land home for a game on Jan. 10 with Old Bridge High School and then visit crosstown rival J.P. Stevens High School on Jan. 13.

While the scoring has been balanced, no starter has been able to average in double figures. Al Newcombe is the top scorer with 8.3 points per game; Justin Turner is next with 7.3, followed by John Zanfordino at 7, Brandon Radd, 6.7, and Ishmael Treadwell, 6.2.

Although the girls have one win, the losses have come against arguably the two best teams in the GMC, East Brunswick and Piscataway High School. The Eagles have the opportunity to improve their record with visits to South Brunswick High School on Jan. 6, South Plainfield on Jan. 10, and Woodbridge High School on Jan. 13. They host Old Bridge on Jan. 15.

Edison has received a solid effort from Natalie Udoye, who has averaged 19 points per game. The next three leading scorers are Maggie Johnson (8), Ashley Hunt (7.6) and Bianca Newsom (6.6).


The J.P. Stevens girls basketball team is off to a 3-2 start as it enters the new year looking to be competitive in the White Division.

Coached by Amy Bonk, in her third season, the Hawks have victories against South River High School, North Brunswick Township High School and the Wardlaw-Hartridge School.

Stevens opened 2015 at New Brunswick on Jan. 6 and hosted Sayreville War Memorial High School on Jan. 8. The next game is at Colonia on Jan. 10, and is followed by a visit to Bishop George Ahr High School on Jan. 13.

Leading the way in scoring is Molly Yelencsics, who has deposited 52 points. Kathy Tong has scored 42 points and Rebecca DiSerio has 39 points.

The Stevens boys compete in the Red Division, which features some of the best teams in the GMC.

The Hawks have beaten South River and South Plainfield, and opened the new year by hosting New Brunswick, then visited Sayreville two days later.

The schedule continues with a home game against Perth Amboy on Jan. 11 and the home game with Edison.

Alex Corrigan (101 points), Nick Dooley (90 points) and Mike Lionikis (66 points), have been the leading scorers.


Considering the major graduation losses suffered by defending overall state champion St. Joseph High School of Metuchen and the demanding schedule, it was inevitable the Falcons would finally lose to a New Jersey team. St. Joe’s (5-1) fell to Red Bank Regional High School in the finals of the Buc Tournament during the holiday break.

Not since the Tournament of Champions title game in 2013 have the Falcons lost an in-state game. The Falcons have already registered Red Division victories against South Brunswick and Piscataway and are serious threats to win the division and repeat as GMC Tournament champions.

They visited Old Bridge on Jan. 5, and played at East Brunswick two days later. The road schedule continues on Jan. 13 at North Brunswick and Jan. 15 at Perth Amboy.

The only returning starter, Breein Tyree, leads in scoring with 80 points through six games, followed by Branislav Vujadinovic, who has deposited 72 points. Marcus Ashamole, the team’s leading rebounder, has tallied 64 points.