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Bridgewater Recreation Wrestling
Bridgewater, New Jersey


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04/23/02 - Wrestlers Celebrate.

The Bridgewater Recreation Wrestling Team celebrated the conclusion of another successful season with a pizza party on April 23, 2002.  The following awards were presented in recognition of individual achievements during the 2001-2002 season:

2001-2002 Bridgewater Recreation Wrestling

Season Dual Meet Record 8-8
Season Dual Meet Record 5-1
Rookie of the Year Joey Vega Dominic Diaz
Most Improved Wrestler Nick Brandofino Mike Fischer
Outstanding Wrestler Wayne Hampton Mike Nobrega
Most Valuable Wrestler

Jon Friedman

Micah Weinflash
Most Takedowns Wayne Hampton (21)
Russell Barbee (14)
Nick Brandofino (14)
Joey Vega (14)
Eric Van Houten (6)
Most Reversals Wayne Hampton (10)
Dustin Smith (10)
Mike Nobrega (5)
Dylan Reilly (5)
Jon Roche (5)
Most Pins Wayne Hampton (11)
Nick Brandofino (8)
Mike Nobrega (3)
Fastest Pin Wayne Hampton (0:12)
KJ O'Sullivan (0:13)
Joey Vega (0:19)
Willie Collins (0:13)
Mike Fischer (0:20)
Most Team Points (excluding Forfeit Wins) Wayne Hampton (84)
Jon Friedman (58)
Nick Brandofino (56)
Mike Nobrega (18)
Erik Meade (17)
Most Wins Wayne Hampton (16)
Jon Friedman (14)
Micah Weinflash (4)

A special thanks to Irene D'Ovidio and Ulla Meade for all their fine work in coordinating and making arrangements for the party.

03/17/02 - Post-Season Wrestling Action Begins With Metuchen Grapplers Novice Tournament - All Six Competitors From Bridgewater Win Placefinishes.

The 20th Annual Metuchen Grapplers Novice Tournament was conducted at Metuchen High School today.  Six wrestlers from Bridgewater competed and all six finished within the top four of their respective division/weight class.

Placefinishes:  1st Place - Peter Machala, 2nd Place - Nolan Meade, 3rd Place - Matt Polanco and Eric Van Houten, 4th Place - Patrick Ronk and Dominic Diaz.  Congratulations!

And special thanks to Coach Diaz and Coach Machala for coaching our wrestlers throughout the day.

03/03/02 - Season Finale . . . Wrestlers Win Honors at Central Jersey League Tournament: Wayne Hampton 92-lb. league champ, Joey Vega 2nd at 52-lbs., three others place 3rd, and several place in JV division.

31 of our wrestlers participated in today's Central Jersey League tournament conducted at David Brearly High School in Kenilworth competing against 16 other teams of wrestlers for honors in their respective weight classes.  In the varsity finals "wrestled under the light", Wayne Hampton closed another chapter in his wrestling record book by winning the league title at 92-lbs. with a 2:46 fall over Matt Loffa of Kenilworth, finishing 19-0 this season in league competition.  And rookie first year wrestler Joey Vega had a good day also, taking 2nd at 52-lbs. and finishing 15-5 in league matches this season.  Three wrestlers from Bridgewater took home 3rd place honors in the varsity tournament - Erik Willis at 79-lbs., Jon Friedman at 87-lbs., and Andrew Hampton at 112-lbs.  In addition, heavyweight wrestler Matt Fernandez won a 6th place medal. 

In the junior varsity tournament, Willie Collins won 2nd place at 87-lbs., Dylan Reilly and Brian Robbins placed 3rd at 52-lbs. and 87-lbs. respectively, and Peter Machala took 4th at 112-lbs.

Great job T E A M !

Today's tournament brings our team season to a close.  Our boys had a good season . . . they worked hard, they learned a lot, they competed well, and they had fun.  Hopefully next year we can continue to keep our momentum alive and build on what we accomplished this season.

In the meanwhile, there are plenty of opportunities in the off-season for wrestlers to keep their flame lit . . . off-season tournaments, wrestling camp, and club events are just a few worthy of mention.  We will continue to maintain this site during the off-season and offer some practical suggestions of activities and events that will supplement their personal development with the sport. 

02/27/02 - Central Jersey Team Conclude Dual Meet Season Losing a Close One to Hillsborough, 40-35.

What was heralded to be the match-up of season was wrestled tonight.  Hillsborough came to town and it came down to the final bout of the evening before either team could proclaim victory.  Of the 16 bouts wrestled, both teams split the wins at eight each.  The end result - Hillsborough 40, Bridgewater 35.

"Hillsborough's pins are what cost us the match," explained coach Boemio after the meet.  They had five pin wins to our two pin wins."

And this season was most certainly a season filled with a number of close dual meets.  First it was Middlesex, then it was North Hunterdon followed by Voorhees, and now  Hillsborough - four close meets that could have just as easily gone the other way.

Among the most exciting bouts of the evening . . . 

70-pounder Russell Barbee losing 4-0 in the start of the 3rd period was able to come back with a reversal and 2-point near fall to extend his bout into a sudden death overtime period.  In overtime, Russell secured a takedown to win 6-4. 

And Matt D'Ovidio, wrestling at 95-lbs., losing 5-0 halfway through the 3rd period, skillfully came back with takedown and 3-point near fall to bring his bout into overtime.  In overtime, Matt secured the takedown and went on to pin his opponent 14 seconds into the period. 

These bouts alone were well worth the cost of admission.

Other winners for Bridgewater were Joey Vega at 50-lbs. with a 6-4 decision win, Erik Willis at 80-lbs. with a 5-3 decision win, Jon Friedman at 85-lbs. with a 10-1 major decision win, Mike Fischer at 90-lbs. with a forfeit win, Wayne Hampton at 102-lbs. with a fall in 2:32, and Andrew Hampton at 110-lbs. with an 11-0 major decision win.

The Central Jersey Team finished their dual meet season with a 500 record - eight wins and eight losses.  The season will conclude with the Central Jersey League Tournament in Kenilworth on Sunday.  Regular starting members on the Panther Central Jersey Team will wrestle in the varsity tournament and all other wrestlers on the Bridgewater Rec. Team will compete in the "B" division tournament.

02/24/02 - Raritan Valley Wrestlers Gain Individual Honors at League Tournament in Hillsborough.

Congratulations to all 22 of our Raritan Valley wrestlers for a fine performance at the league tournament today.  The team wrestled hard and well . . . win or lose, individually and collectively as team, we have progressed far along this season.  

Placefinishers for Bridgewater were:

           2nd PLACE

           3rd PLACE

           4th PLACE

45 lbs. - Dominic Diaz 50 lbs. - Dylan Reilly 95 lbs. - Brian Robbins
60 lbs. - Micah Weinflash 60 lbs. - Erik Meade
85 lbs. - Mike Fischer
90 lbs. - Mike Nobrega

Way to go T E A M ! 

02/16/02 - Raritan Valley Wrestlers Conclude Dual Meet Season Losing to Hillsborough, 60-19.

When your team is beaten and you know that you were beaten by a better team, I suppose it's a bit easier to accept than if you were beaten by a weaker team.  That appears to be the case today as our Raritan Valley wrestlers lost to Hillsborough by a score of 60-19.

The Panthers only had four winners at today's match with Hillsborough - Micah Weinflash with a 9-0 major decision win at 60-lbs., Bryan DeAbrantes with a win by fall in 2:53 at 67-lbs., Mike Fischer with a 7-6 decision win at 85-lbs., and Peter Machala with a forfeit win at 105-lbs.

"We would grade our team performance a 'C' today.  We didn't wrestle at our best nor did we wrestle at our worst.  Some bouts were wrestled well and some were wrestled not so well.  At a point in the season when we should be wrestling at our peak, our performance was just average," was the general consensus of the coaching staff as they provided feedback to team members and parents after today's meet.  "Next Sunday is the league tournament which will give many of our wrestlers the opportunity to rewrestle those that they might have faced previously in dual meets.  If they lost to them early on in the season, maybe this time they've improved enough to beat them.  That's the greatest advantage of the league tournament - it will provides us with a forum to show how well our boys have improved during the course of the season."

The Raritan Valley League Tournament will be held at Hillsborough High School next Sunday, February 24th.  Wrestling will begin at 8:30 a.m.  All varsity and subvarsity wrestlers will compete.

02/13/02 - Two Evenly Matched Teams, One Winner - Bridgewater Central Jersey Wrestlers Fall Victim to Voorhees, 38-34.

It was frustrating night at Voorhees for our Panther Team as they wrestled their way through their lineup with Voorhees, wrestling some tough bouts en route, but they just couldn't chalk up enough points for the win.  Of the 14 bouts wrestled, Bridgewater won 8 and Voorhees won 6, but the forfeit at 60-lbs. and pin losses in the final seconds of two matches is what cost Bridgewater the meet.

"There were some really good bouts wrestled this evening and all of our wrestlers gave their best", explained Coach Hampton, "and for the first time, those bouts that came down wrestling overtime periods were won in our favor."  Hampton was speaking of the 85-lb. bout won by Jon Friedman and the 95-lb. bout won by Matt D'Ovidio.  "Jon and Matt both put forth 110% effort to pull-in those wins."

Winning by pin for the Panthers was KJ O'Sullivan at 53-lbs., Nick Brandofino at 63-lbs., and Erik Willis at 77-lbs.  Other winners from Bridgewater were Joe Vega with 6-2 decision at 50-lbs., Jon Friedman with a 4-2 OT decision at 85-lbs., Wayne Hampton with an 11-0 major decision at 90-lbs., Matt D'Ovidio with a 7-5 OT decision at 95-lbs., and Andrew Hampton with a 7-0 decision at 100-lbs.

The Panther Central Jersey Team will wrestle their last meet of season on Monday, Feb. 25th, at home against neighboring town rival Hillsborough.  Both Hillsborough and Bridgewater match up evenly, so it should be another exciting action-packed evening of good wrestling for both squads.

02/10/02 - Panther Wrestling Teams Win Big at Piscataway Tournament Taking Home 21 Placefinishes.

28 wrestlers from our Bridgewater Team traveled to Piscataway today to participate in their 6th Grade & Under Wrestling Tournament and 21 returned home with metals recognizing their accomplishment of placing in the top four within their respective weight class.  Participating teams included Bridgewater, East Brunswick, North Brunswick, Metuchen, Monroe, Piscataway, Sayreville, and South River.  The team scored 26 pins for the day.  Although the tournament did not feature competition for a team title, Bridgewater and Piscataway surely would have been contenders for such a title if there were one.

Placefinishers for Bridgewater were:

50 lbs. - Joey Vega 47 lbs. - Dominic Diaz 48 lbs. - Nolan Meade 70 lbs. - Eric Van Houten
52 lbs. - Dylan Reilly 56 lbs. - KJ O'Sullivan 57 lbs. - Tom Goodberlet 72 lbs. - Dustin Smith
54 lbs. - Tom Barletta 61 lbs. - Erik Meade 70 lbs. - Russell Barbee 80 lbs. - Jon Roche
76 lbs. - Brett Hoppel 63 lbs. - Nick Brandofino 100 lbs. - Brian Robbins 91 lbs. - Mike Nobrega
84 lbs. - Jon Friedman 86 lbs. - Mike Fischer 113 lbs. - Matt Fernandez
97 lbs. - Matt D'Ovidio
113 lbs. - Andrew Hampton

Congratulations team! 

02/09/02 - Bridgewater Wrestlers Back On Track with Wins over Somerville, Union, and Del. Valley.

Two Panther teams, three dual meets, one day . . . boy what a busy day it was!  Our boys wrestled well . . . they won! . . . the first win of the season for our Raritan Valley Team and two more victories to lock in a winning season for our Central Jersey Team.

Our Raritan Valley Team defeated Somerville in their home court, 54-37.  Winning by fall was Dominic Diaz at 45-lbs., Dylan Reilly at 53-lbs., Erik Meade at 63-lbs., Jon Roche at 80-lbs., Mike Nobrega at 90-lbs., and Willie Collins at 95-lbs.  Eric Van Houten and Brian Robbins won by decision, 11-4 and 6-2 respectively.  In addition, Andy Goodberlet and Peter Machala both won by forfeit.

Our Central Jersey Team hosted a tri-meet today with Union and Delaware Valley.  They pounced on Union 60-32, and later came back after Union and Del. Valley wrestled to crush  Del. Valley 56-20.  Winning against Union was Joe Vega (fall 0:19), KJ O'Sullivan (fall 0:44), Nick Brandofino (fall 2:33), Russell Barbee (fall 2:55), Dustin Smith (injury default 2:00), Erik Willis (forfeit), Jon Friedman (forfeit), Matt D'Ovidio (forfeit), Wayne Hampton (fall 0:12), and Andrew Hampton (forfeit).  Winning their matches against Del. Valley was Joe Vega (decision 4-3), Tom Barletta (forfeit), Nick Brandofino (decision 8-1), Tyler Barbee (forfeit), Russell Barbee (forfeit), Dustin Smith (forfeit), Erik Willis (fall 0:42), Brett Hoppel (forfeit), Jon Friedman (tech fall 17-0), Matt D'Ovidio (decision 11-4), and Wayne Hampton (fall 0:16).

The next match for the Central Jersey Team will an away meet at Voorhees on Wednesday.  The next match for the Raritan Valley Team will be an away match at Hillsborough on Saturday.  All of our rec. wrestlers will be wrestling in the Piscataway 6th Grade & Under Tournament tomorrow.   

02/04/02 - Another Close One Gets Away From Central Jersey Wrestlers - North Hunterdon 42 Bridgewater 36.

North Hunterdon paid a visit to Bridgewater this evening and the two teams wrestled a close contest, but Bridgewater's Central Jersey Team just couldn't rack up the points and as result ended up falling to North Hunterdon by a score of 42-36.  

"Both teams knew in advance that it was going to be a close contest but the match-ups just didn't work in our favor.  We got hammered in the lower weights and we just didn't have enough strength to retaliate in the upper weights," explained Panther Head Coach Wayne Hampton.  "In addition to this frustration, we also placed in a situation where we had to give away six points in the heavyweight  bout because we learned minutes before weigh-ins that our normal starter was home sick and we didn't have the opportunity to arrange for our  back-up heavyweight to be available for the meet.  We also juggled our team lineup a bit in an effort to play into our strengths -  maybe it worked to our advantage, then again maybe it didn't; I just don't know for certain."

Winning for the Panther Team was Nick Brandofino by fall at 60-lbs., Erik Willis by fall at 77-lbs., Brett Hoppel by decision at 80-lbs., Jon Friedman by fall at 85-lbs., Matt D'Ovidio by fall at 95-lbs., Wayne Hampton by decision at 102-lbs, and Andrew Hampton by forfeit at 110-lbs.  Tonight's defeat brings Bridgewater's Central Jersey Team record to 6-6.

The next match for the Central Jersey Team will a tri-meet at home on Saturday with Del. Valley and Union.   

02/03/02 - Bridgewater Wrestlers Compete in Kenilworth Tournament; Erik Meade, Dominic Diaz, and Bryan DeAbrantes all Place in Top Four.

Nine wrestlers from Panther Wrestling Team wrestled in the Kenilworth Pee Wee/Bantam Tournament today and four of the nine returned home as placefinishers within their respective age division and weight class.  Individual competitors from Bridgewater were Matt Alicea, Tom Barletta, Bryan Debrantes, Dominic Diaz, Erik Meade, Nolan Meade, Matt Polanco, Dylan Reilly, and Patrick Ronk.  Unlike the Middlesex Novice Tournament of two weeks ago, this tournament was open to all wrestlers regardless of experience level and most of our wrestlers can attest to the difference in the caliber of competition that they experienced.

Erik Meade won 2nd place in the Bantam Division 62-lb. weight class, Dominic Diaz placed 3rd in the Pee Wee 47-lb. class, and Bryan DeAbrantes placed 4th in the Bantam 67-lb. class.  Congratulations guys . . . win or loss, there is no better way to improve than by practical on-the-mat experience.


Dominic Diaz on his way to a 3rd place finish in today's Pee Wee/Bantam Tournament at Kenilworth.

02/02/02 - Raritan Valley Wrestlers Fall to Manville in Close Match
45-36.  Team Continues to Show Promise.

Bridgewater's Raritan Valley Wrestling Team visited Manville today and wrestled a close contest that came down to the heavyweight bout before a winner could be determined.  In the sixteen bouts comprising the meet, Bridgewater won seven and Manville won nine.  Winning by fall for the Panthers was Nolan Meade at 50-lbs., Erik Meade at 63-lbs., Mike Fischer at 85-lbs., and Willie Collins at 90-lbs.  Decision wins were earned by Micah Weinflash at 60-lbs. and Brian Robbins at 105-lbs.  Peter Machala at 105-lbs. won by forfeit.

In speaking with the team after the match, Coach Boemio expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the match.  "We wrestled hard and our boys are showing good form.  Sure it's nice to win but winning isn't everything; what counts most is that our boys are gaining experience and maturing in the sport.  And unlike five out of the other six teams in the league, we (along with Hillsborough) wrestle our second team where everyone else wrestles their first team.  Developing a secondary team of wrestlers who will ultimately assume first team starting positions in the next year or two is a strategy that has worked quite well for us in the past and most certainly will continue to ensure our success in the future."

The Panther's Raritan Valley Team will wrestle their next match at Somerville on Saturday, 2/9/02.

01/26/02 - Raritan Valley Team Wrestle Tough but Come Up Short Against Bound Brook.  Central Jersey Team Win 2 Lose 1 at Middlesex Quad.

Our Raritan Valley Team traveled to Bound Brook today for their third meet of the season, wrestled hard, but lost by a score of 60-21.

"We looking better and wrestling much better than we were at the beginning of the season, and although we lost, there was certainly plenty of good wrestling," explained Coach Diaz at the conclusion of the meet.

Winning by pin for the Panthers were Dylan Reilly at 53-lbs. with a fall in 2:44 and Mike Nobrega at 95-lbs. with a fall in 0:44.  Decision winners were Matt Palanco at 57-lbs. by a score of 8-1, Micah Weinflash at 60-lbs. by a score of 9-2, and Eric Van Houten (returning after a 1-week injury leave) at 73-lbs. by a score of 7-0.

The Raritan Valley Team's next match will be on Saturday, 2/2/02, at Manville.

Our Central Jersey Team wrestled a quad meet in Middlesex today against the host team as well as Westfield and Cranford.  The team's first match was against Middlesex where the Panthers lost 37-35.

"I knew it would be a close match and it was.  We lost by two points in a really tight contest that could have just as easily gone the other way if it were rewrestled with the exact same matchups as before.  One 3-point decision was lost in overtime and another 3-point decision was lost by technical violations.  It's a shame but hopefully now our wrestlers appreciate how each team member's contributions come together in driving whether our team wins or loses," explained Coach Hampton.

After losing to Middlesex, the team charged back, defeating Westfield 52-30 and defeating Cranford 44-36.  Those wrestlers winning all three bouts for the day were 50-pounder Joe Vega, 53-pounder KJ O'Sullivan, 77-pounder Brett Hoppel, 85-pounder Jon Friedman, 90-pounder Wayne Hampton, and 110-pounder Andrew Hampton.  2-bout winners were Nick Brandofino at 63-lbs. and Matt D'Ovidio at 95-lbs.  The team's record now stands at six wins and five losses.  Their next match will at home on Monday, 2/4/02, against North Hunterdon.

01/24/02 - Central Jersey Team Bounces Back After Tuesday's Loss, Defeating Berkeley Heights 60-22.

Wrestlers on our Central Jersey Team wasted no time in returning to their ways tonight as they defeated Berkeley Heights at home by a score of 60-22.

"We made a few minor revisions to our lineup to accommodate Berkeley Height's request to level the playing field.  Specifically we matched some of our stronger wrestlers so that they would accept forfeits and bumped kids up a weight class to get a better match.  By doing so we were also able to give some of our Raritan Valley wrestlers a match," explained Coach Hampton after the conclusion of wrestling.

Winning by fall for the Panthers was Dustin Smith at 73-lbs., Brett Hoppel at 85-lbs., Jonathan Friedman at 90-lbs., and Wayne Hampton at 95-lbs.  Decision wins were earned by Russell Barbee at 70-lbs. and Jonathan Roche at 80-lbs.  Forfeit wins were received by Nick Brandofino at 63-lbs., Tyler Barbee at 67-lbs., Erik Willis at 77-lbs., Matt D'Ovidio at 102-lbs., and Andrew Hampton at 110-lbs.

Tonight's victory brings our record in the Central Jersey League to 4-4.  On Saturday the team will travel to Middlesex for a Quad Meet with the host team, Cranford and Westfield.  Up for grabs is the opportunity for the team to come home with three more wins.

01/22/02 - Kenilworth Bulldozes Over Our Central Jersey Team 61-15.

Our Central Jersey wrestlers experienced defeat for the fourth time this season as they fell to Kenilworth 61-15 in Kenilworth this evening.

"We did what could with we had, wrestled a full team and juggled the lineup a bit, but we just couldn't stop them," explained Coach Hampton, "Kenilworth wrestled tough.  Many of their wrestlers practice year-round at The Edge Wrestling Club which is located right in their hometown and that certainly contributes to making them as good as they are.  In fact, two of our wrestlers competed against the common Kenilworth opponents that they wrestled last year.  Last year our boys dominated matches with these opponents.  This year, the tables turned, and these same opponents dominated our wrestlers.  It isn't the case that our kids got worse, but rather it's that their kids got significantly better."

Tonight's victory brings Kenilworth's record up to 9-0.  In February they will wrestle South Plainfield and the winner will most probably claim the league championship.  Winning for the Panthers this evening were Joe Vega at 50-lbs. with a 2-0 decision, Jon Friedman at 85-lbs. with a fall in 2:45, and Wayne Hampton at 90-lbs. with a fall in 0:26.  Both Jon's and Wayne's opponents were previously undefeated for the season in their respective weight classes.

The next match for the team will be on Thursday evening.  They will play host to Berkeley Heights, which will be the first home meet for the team this season.   

01/20/02 - Panther Wrestlers Compete in Middlesex Novice Tournament and Take Home 10 Placefinishes.

Sixteen members of the Bridgewater Recreation Wrestling Team competed today in the Middlesex Novice Tournament.  Each participant wrestled at least two matches and most of those who placed in the top four wrestled three matches.  Competition was conducted as a modified double elimination tournament and weight classes for the most part were grouped with eight wrestlers of similar ages who were close to one another in weight.

Members of the Bridgewater Rec. Team wrestled a total of 43 bouts and won 24 of them, 18 by pin.

Panther Placefinishers were:

1st Place - Peter Machala, Dylan Reilly, and Dustin Smith

2nd Place - Thomas Goodberlet

3rd Place - Mike Liccardi and Mike Nobrega

4th Place - Willie Collins, Dominic Diaz, Derek Mac Math, and Erik Meade

The following wrestlers from our Bridgewater Rec. Team participated: Matt Alicea, Charles Bono, Willie Collins, Dominic Diaz, Andy Goodberlet, Tom Goodberlet, Mike Liccardi, Derek Mac Math, Peter Machala, Erik Meade, Nolan Meade, Mike Nobrega, Matt Polanco, Dylan Reilly, Dustin Smith, and Asim Zaman.

Win or loss, all of our wrestlers wrestled their best and picked up some valuable mat time.  Great job guys!

Click here to see pictures of our wrestlers in action.

01/19/02 - Raritan Valley Wrestlers Succumbed by Branchburg 45-39.  Central Jersey Team Beat North Plainfield 58-30 but Fall to Roselle Park 48-33.

There was plenty of wrestling action at the recreation level today.  Our Raritan Team wrestled a home meet with Branchburg and our Central Jersey Team traveled to Roselle Park for a tri-meet with the host team and North Plainfield.

Branchburg blew our doors off when our Raritan Valley Team wrestled them last year.  This year it was a close match that came down to the heavyweight bout before a winner could be proclaimed.   In the 17-bout contest, Bridgewater took eight wins and Branchburg won nine.  Winning matches for the Panthers were Dylan Reilly at 53-lbs. with a come-from-behind 6-2 decision win, Bryan DeAbrantes at 67-lbs. with a 8-6 decision win, Vince DiPaola at 70-lbs. with a 5-4 decision win, Jon Roche at 80-lbs. with a fall in 1:35, Mike Fischer at 85-lbs. with a fall in 0:20, Willie Collins at 90-lbs. with a forfeit win, Mike Nobrega at 95-lbs. with a fall in 0:29, and Brian Robbins at 100-lbs. with a forfeit win.  The crucial bout was at 77-lbs. where Eric Van Houten injured his leg during the second period of his scoreless bout and was forced to default the match.  Eric has since had it checked out by medical personnel and should back with us in a week.  Hang in there Eric - when you're ready, we need you back in our lineup!

Things didn't go quite as expected as our Central Jersey Team wrestled Roselle Park.  After a super start by winning the first three bouts by fall, the wins didn't come as easy as Bridgewater lost the next seven bouts - one by forfeit, five by decision, and one by pin.  The last six bouts of the meet were split three each - two pins & a decision win for Bridgewater, and two pins & a forfeit win for Roselle Park. The final score was 48-33.  "There were just too many close matches where we lost by a point or two," explained Coach Hampton, "then figure in the 12 points we gave up in forfeit wins.  After losing we pulled the team together for a quick team meeting prior to our match with North Plainfield."

And boy, there must have been a lot of motivation instilled into the team during that meeting!  Bridgewater returned fired up and took their loss out on North Plainfield, defeating them unmercifully by a score of 58-30.

The team had 12 pin wins for the day, five in the Roselle Park match and seven in North Plainfield match.  Roselle Park and North Plainfield collectively scored six falls against Bridgewater wrestlers.  Double winners for the day were Joseph Vega at 50-lbs. with two pin wins, KJ O'Sullivan at 53-lbs. with two pins, Tom Barletta at 57-lbs. with two pin wins, Jon Friedman at 85-lbs. with a pin win and a major decision, Wayne Hampton at 90-lbs. with two pin wins, and Andrew Hampton at 110-lbs. with a decision win and a forfeit win.  In addition, Nick Brandofino, Russell Barbee, and Dustin Smith each scored falls over their respective opponents from North Plainfield.

Next week:  The Raritan Valley Team travels to Bound Brook on Saturday for a dual meet.  The Central Jersey Team travels to Kenilworth for a dual meet on Tuesday evening, wrestles Berkeley Heights at home on Thursday evening, and travels to Middlesex on Saturday for quad meet with the host team + Cranford & Westfield.

01/15/02 - Central Jersey Team Taken Back by South Plainfield, 49-15.

The Panthers' Central Jersey Team traveled to South Plainfield this evening, wrestled tough, and gave South Plainfield their best shot in an effort to de-throne the returning Central Jersey Midget Wrestling League champions.  Despite their best efforts, the team lost 49-15.

"Sure we're disappointed," remarked Coach Hampton.  "We forfeited three weight classes and we lost a couple of bouts that could easily have gone the other way in our favor.  But for the most part, we can proudly say that our boys wrestled tough and that they didn't give up.  In fact, we gave away only one pin win during the entire match."

Winning their matches for the Panthers were Dustin Smith at 73-lbs. with a 13-2 major decision, Brett Hoppel at 80-lbs. with a 3-2 decision, Jon Friedman at 85-lbs. with a 5-0 decision win over state placewinner Mike Wagner, and Wayne Hampton at 90-lbs. with a 19-2 technical fall in the 3rd period.  

Looking ahead to the next scheduled event, our Central Jersey squad intends to bring home two wins as they travel to Roselle Park on Saturday for a tri-meet with Roselle Park and North Plainfield.

01/12/02 - Central Jersey Wrestlers Fall to Flemington 56-21.  Raritan Valley Wrestlers Evenly Split Bouts with Flemington JV's.

Both teams traveled to Flemington today to wrestle their midget team.  Our Central Jersey Team was dealt their first defeat of the season winning only four bouts out of the 16 wrestled.

"Flemington wrestled well and were much more aggressive than our kids.  There were a few bouts that could have easily gone the other way in our favor, but even taking these bouts into account, we were still beat.  Believe me, it's tough for team to make a comeback when you're down 23-0 after the first four bouts" explained Coach Hampton.

Winning their matches for the Panthers were Nick Brandofino at 63-lbs. with a fall in 0:57, Erik Willis at 77-lbs. with a fall in 2:58, Brett Hoppel at 80-lbs. with a close 3-2 decision, and Wayne Hampton at 90-lbs. with a fall in 2:42.  One of the best bouts of the day was the exhibition bout that Wayne wrestled at the end of the meet, defeating 7th grader Pat Strizki who wrestles for Flemington's Grade School Team by a score of 9-2.

Our Raritan Valley Team wrestled with junior varsity members of Flemington's team.  Team scores were not kept, however, the number of wins and losses was evenly split between both teams.  Coach Diaz remarked that he was pleased with how well the boys applied the various skills that were emphasized at practice this week and was impressed by the number of attempts our wrestlers made in working for falls.

Our Central Jersey Team will travel on Tuesday to wrestle South Plainfield.  The next match for our Raritan Valley Team will be Saturday, January 19th, at home, against Branchburg.

01/06/02 - Central Jersey Team Opens Season with Impressive Wins over Scotch Plains-Fanwood and Watchung Hills.

You just don't know what to expect when you walk into your season opener.  We traveled to Scotch Plains today to wrestle Scotch Plains-Fanwood and Watchung Hills, and boy, did we look good!  We beat Scotch Plains-Fanwood 46-30 and Watchung Hills 57-28.  Of the 21 bouts wrestled, we won 14 -- 10 by pin and four by decision.  Among the double winners for the day were 1st year wrestler Joe Vega at 58-lbs. with a pin and decision wins, Nick Brandofino at 63-lbs. with a pair of pin wins, Dustin Smith at 73-lbs. with a pin and decision wins, Erik Willis at 77-lbs. with a pair of pin wins, and Wayne Hampton at 90-lbs. with a pin and decision wins. 

Scotch Plains-Fanwood did a great job hosting the tri-meet.  Opportunity was provided to our Raritan Valley wrestlers to pick up some valuable mat time by wrestling exhibition matches with "B" Team wrestlers from both Scotch Plains-Fanwood and Watchung Hills.

We hope that the sweet smell of victory and momentum established today carries with us as we prepare to wrestle Flemington on Saturday.

01/05/02 - Raritan Valley Team Wrestles Well but Loses Season Opener to Franklin 42-27.

It was a morning of good wrestling at Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School today.  Franklin came to town with a much-improved team over last year and defeated us 42-27.  Are we disappointed? - Absolutely not!  We wrestled really well but came up short on several key matches.  Nolan Meade started us off with a decision win at 50-lbs.  Then Dylan Reilly and 1st-year Matthew Polanco lost close bouts at 53-lbs. and 57-lbs., 8-6 and 6-5, respectively.  Micah Weinflash scored our sole pin win, pinning his opponent at 60-lbs. in 1:32.  Other victories for Panthers came from Erik Meade (16-0 technical fall at 63-lbs.), Eric Van Houten (9-1 major decision at 73-lbs), Asim Zaman (16-1 technical fall at 77-lbs.), and Jon Roche (11-2 major decision at 80-lbs.).  The most exciting match of the day was at 85-lbs. where Mike Nobrega wrestled extremely good bout against one of the tougher kids from Franklin, losing 12-10 in sudden death overtime.

There is something to be said about wrestling poorly and losing and wrestling good and losing.  Today we wrestled good and lost.  In fact, we looked better than Coach Hampton & Coach Boemio thought we would.  All we need to do now is learn from our mistakes, hone up our skills, and be ready to bounce back for our next meet.

12/31/01 - Season Schedules are Finalized!

The 2001-02 wrestling schedules for both our Central Jersey and Raritan Valley Teams have been finalized.  Our Central Jersey Team will wrestle 16 dual meets beginning with a tri-meet with Scotch Plains and Watchung Hills on Sunday, January 6th.  Our Raritan Valley Team will wrestle 7 dual meets and will open their season with a home meet against Franklin on Saturday,  January 5th.  We are presently conducting wrestle-offs to determine the starting lineup on both teams.  Click here to view our Central Jersey and Raritan Valley schedules.

Wrestlers on both teams will compete in the Piscataway Tournament on February 10th and the CJMWL tournament on March 3rd.  1st and 2nd year wrestlers are also encouraged to enter and participate in Middlesex Novice Tournament on January 20th and the Kenilworth Pee Wee/Bantam Tournament on February 3rd.  Entry forms will be handed out once practices resume in January.

12/30/01 - Bridgewater Wrestlers Participate in Weekend Tournaments at Middlesex & Belvidere.

Eight wrestlers from Bridgewater participated in the Middlesex Tournament today.  Those participating were Matt D'Ovidio, Vincent DiPaola, Jonathan Friedman, Andrew Hampton, Wayne Hampton, Drew Ives, Mike Nobrega, and Jonathan Roche.  

The Middlesex Tournament has the reputation of being one of the toughest tournaments in the state.  Although most of our wrestlers lost in the early rounds, they all wrestled hard and gave their best.  For many of them it was their first true-fledged experience wrestling in a highly competitive tournament.

Wayne Hampton was our only place finisher for the day, placing 2nd in the Junior 95-lb. weight class.  Way to go Wayne!

On the previous day (Saturday, December 29th), Andrew and Wayne Hampton competed in the Belvidere Tournament.  Andrew placed 1st in the Junior 119-lb. class and Wayne placed 1st in the Junior 95-lb. class.  Congratulations guys!

12/16/01 - Hopatcong Team Duals.

We formed a team comprising of middle school and our rec. league more experienced wrestlers and traveled to Hopatcong for the Team Duals.  16 teams participated.  We knew that the level of competition would be above us but we went into the tournament with the expectation that we would wrestle hard and pick up some valuable mat experience.  In our first match, we wrestled Mt. Olive and won 59-51.  Then we wrestled a strong Wallkill Valley team and lost 69-48.  In our final dual meet of day, we wrestled an evenly matched Hopatcong  team and came up on the short end, 61-47.  Several of our wrestlers went undefeated for the day - Wayne Hampton at 94 lbs., Dan Liss at 98/109 lbs., and Drew Ives at 109/116 lbs.  Pin wins were earned by Joseph Vega (1), Thomas Barletta (1), Jonathan Friedman (1), Wayne Hampton (2), Dan Liss (1), and Adam Friedman (1).  Click here to see the bout scores.

12/12/01 - Scrimmage with Piscataway.

We traveled to Piscataway this evening for a very well run team scrimmage.  Wrestlers were paired up based on age, weight, and experience, and every wrestler from both teams had the opportunity to wrestle one or more bouts.  Individual matches were conducted on two mats under normal dual meet conditions with officials, scorers, timekeepers, et. al.  Team score was not kept.  Our boys wrestled well given the fact that they have only been practicing for 2-1/2 weeks.  Several complements were passed as to how good our new wrestlers are coming along.  The scrimmage meet went a long way to building our boys' confidence and providing them a taste of the excitement in store in our upcoming season.




Web site was last updated on:  05/02/02

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