News

 Recent News From Somerville Wrestling

Wrestling is Here!

On Monday, November 19th, Somerville Wrestling will hold its first day of tryouts. After graduating 11 seniors, The Ville looks to be a young, but promising team. Check back in a few weeks for a season preview. 

Official Schedule: https://www.skylandconferencenj.org/public/genie/380/school/19/

 

 

RECENT CHANGES

1/20: Quad @ New Providence has been changed to a 9 AM start. We will be wrestling New Providence, JP Stevens and North Plainfield. 

1/22: We have added a home match vs. Freehold Township at 7:15 PM. This event will only include Varsity Matches. 

 

We hope to see you all there and appreciate the support. Thanks!

Early Season Review

 

To start this season, The Ville wrestlers entered the Garden State Classic tournament down one starter. Still, the wrestlers came out strong, winning 11 of 13 first round matches. From there, 3 wrestlers advanced to the finals. Five wrestlers finished 4th, three finished 3rd and three finished 2nd. The Ville finished the tournament in 3rd place behind Cherry Hill West and Cranford. Next on the docket was #14 Watchung Hills Regional, Ridge and Roselle Park High School. The book end matches, WHRHS and RPHS, resulted in lopsided losses as Pioneers were, as a group, unable to put 6 solid minutes together against two very solid teams. In between the two, The Ville persevered against a very game Ridge squad. Late, hard-fought wins by Will McIntyre and Jordan Malanga followed by pins from Hamza Akel and Jake Pidgeon saw the team through to a good win. Trying to remain strong in our tournament competition, we entered the East Brunswick Bear Invitational missing two weights and three regular starters. Again, we were able to come out strong. We won 10 or 12 first round bouts. By day's end, Tanner Donato, Brock Laggini and freshman Jack See finished 2nd. Matt Patella and Jake Pidgeon finished 3rd. Gian Mena, Brayan Jimenez and Jordan Malanga finished 4th. Finally, Will McIntyre and Hamza Akel finished 5th. Again, a wealth of place-winners saw us to a good, 2nd place team finish behind sectional team Hopewell Valley. Next up, we saw Montgomery at home, under the light, and cruised to a 54-17 win. After getting snowed out against Woodbridge (match to be rescheduled) we prepared for our trip to Pennsylvania for the Zephyr Duals. A 16-team dual tournament featuring 4 top 10 teams including #8 Liberty (PA - AAA), #10 High Point (NJ), #6 Muncy (PA - AAA) and #9 Wyalusing Valley (PA - AAA). The day began with an energetic 48-22 win over host Whitehall. Next, the team suffered a lopsided loss to a very strong (and young) Liberty squad who were the eventual tournament champions. Trying to rebound, The Ville jumped out to a 30-0 lead against  8-4 Bangor, starting the match with big Jake Pidgeon (who was 3-1 on the day) pinning 12-1 Bangor senior, Thomas McKeough. Tanner Donato, Nick Chabrak and Brock Laggini (all 3-1 on the day) continued to have strong days all recording falls while Jayson Rosales received a forfeit. From there, a combination of being outmatched in spots and giving up some unexpected falls, the Pioneers' only additional team points came when Brayan Jimenez received a forfeit. Ultimately, the team lost 40-36. In our final match, for 7th place, we faced #17 Northwestern Lehigh (PA - AA). A back and fourth match began on the upswing as Tanner Donato and Nick Chabrak finished their strong day with falls. From there, the match went back and forth. The Pioneers got two more falls through the middle from Matt Patella and Brayan Jimenez (who also finished 3-1 on the day). A string of loses found the team down 34-21 going into the final three bouts. All three remaining Pioneers were up to the call. Hamza Akel, Raghava Kumar and Jake Pidgeon all recorded falls to see the Ville over this strong team, 39-34. 

We enter this week with with about two thirds of the season still in front of us. We have started the season with some noteworthy finishes and continue to grow as we approach the meat of the season. Currently 4-4, we enter this week looking at a Wednesday (1/10/18), ALUMNI NIGHT, matchup against conference and division opponent Bridgewater-Raritan. Alumni recognition will take place between 6:45-7 PM. Please come out and be recognizing for being a part of this program's illustrious history. Then, we enter the Somerset County tournament on Saturday at Hillsborough High School (9:30 AM start time). We have come through a tough stretch of our schedule with some individual and team success and look to continue to grow going forward into the middle of the season. We would like to thank our booster club and all of you for all of their support. We would not be able to continue to grow without the efforts of so many of you. We look forward to seeing you all on Wednesday Night!

2017-18 Results

(Updated 1/6/18)

Records 

(At least 5 matches)

106    Tanner Donato    9-5

113    Nick Chabrak    7-5

120    Brock Laggini    9-4

120    Jayson Rosales    3-3

126     Matt Patella    6-8

138    Gian Mena    6-8

145    Brendan Aldrich    4-9

152    Brayan Jimenez    6-9

160    Will McIntyre    4-8

170    Jordan Malanga    4-6

182    Andrew Diodato    4-5

195    Hamza Akel    8-6

195    Raghava Kumar    2-6

285    Jake Pidgeon    11-2

Tournaments

Garden State Classic

2nd Place

Brock Laggini | Matt Patella | Jordan Malanga

3rd Place

Gian Mena | Andrew Diodato | Jake Pidgeon

4th Place

Tanner Donato | Nick Chabrak | Joe Valente | Brayan Jimenez | Hamza Akel

 

Bear Invitational

2nd Place

Tanner Donato | Brock Laggini | Jack See

3rd Place

Matt Patella | Jake Pidgeon 

4th Place

Gian Mena | Brayan Jimenez | Jordan Malanga

5th Place

Will McIntyre | Hamza Akel

 

Garden State Classic Results

The Ville competed, Saturday, in the ten-team Garden State Classic at Franklin High School. Entering 13 wrestlers, the Pioneers saw 11 of those 13 push through to the Semifinal round. Quarterfinal winners included Tanner Donato (10), Nick Chabrak (9), Brock Laggini (12), Matt Patella (12), Joe Valente (12), Gian Mena (12), Brayan Jimenez (12), Jordan Malanga (11), Andrew Diodato (11), Hamza Akel (12) and Jake Pidgeon (12). In the Semifinals, the Pioneers' first winner was Brock Laggini with a Technical Fall of Cranford's Pat Kalnins, 18-2. Next up, Matt Patella took care of business with a first period fall of Barnaget's Mike DiPimpa. The pioneers got their last finalist at 170 pounds as Jordan Malanga won by fall over Freehold Borough's Logan Goldstein. All three wrestlers would go on to lose in the final round, placing 2nd. 

As a whole, the 8 wrestlers who lost in the semi's wrestled well. However, timely errors and lapses in focus made a measurable difference in at least 5 of the 8 losses. More work on basic defense and match management will prove vital for this group. Three of the losing semifinal wrestlers were able to bounce back and win a bronze medal. First, Gian Mena set a great tone for the season wrestling a physical tournament. His third place match was no exception. Gian gutted out an 8-6 victory against Cherry Hill West's Sean Tyler, a region qualifier in 16-17, using a dynamic high crotch and effective scrambling to score the victory. Next, Andrew Diodato exhibited excellent fundamental defense and hip escapes to beat a tough Verona senior, Billy Fauerbach. Finally, Jake Pidgeon bounced back from a disappointing semifinal loss by grinding Barnegat foe Peter Jennings to a second period fall. 

This group looks to gain a few more wrestlers over the coming weeks and hopefully clean up the few problem areas we identified this weekend. We will look to use this result to propel our team forward into the season. Next up, we have a big division matchup at Watchung Hills at 7PM (6PM for JV), this Wednseday night (12/20). 

JV Action 

The JV squad was lead by 3 champs, freshman Evan Wooby, Jayson Rosales and Richie Herrera at 106, 120 and 285, respectively. the Ville's lone silver medalist was freshman Jack See at 120 lbs. The pioneers also had Jake Dabrowski place 3rd and Alex Blomquist place 4th. I strong performance by the young men who are going to usher in the next era of Ville Wrestling. Well done!

 

Season Preview

Somerville Wrestling Fans, 

 
With the season around the corner, I wanted to reach out and fill you in on the outlook for the 2017-18 season. This season, we will be returning 11 seniors. Seniors will be lead by co-captains Brock Laggini, Hamza Akel & Jake Pidgeon. This is an extremely strong group of leaders who we believe are poised to lead the team through a successful season. The team will also maintain great depth with 8, 9 and 11 wrestlers represented by the junior, sophomore and freshman classes, respectively. 
 
This season we have our eyes on a Somerset County, Skyland Conference (division) and Sectional Titles. We open up in Princeton at the Garden State Classic with both JV and Varsity wrestlers competing in separate divisions. From there, we start with a bang, wrestling Watching Hills away (12/20) and Roselle Park away (12/23). Watchung Hills will likely be our toughest conference foe and Roselle Park will be one of our toughest non-conference and district opponents. It will be critical to come out firing and we are excited for the challenge. 
 
After some duals the following week, we will ship off to Whitehall, PA for a dual tournament (1/6). This will be a great opportunity for our kids to step out of their comfort zones and compete against a grinding, physical style in Pennsylvania. It will also be important for team chemistry and trust moving forward. The following week we'll compete against a tough Bridgewater-Raritan team and then back that up with the Somerset County Tournament (1/13). There is no rest of the weary! 
 
Here, we will enter into the true grind of the season. Two of the next three weekends will be spent competing in Tri-meets and Quads. Opponents include district foes Voorhees and North Hunterdon on February 3rd at the Hunterdon Central Field House.  
 
Finally, we will have arrived at the team and individual post seasons. First, on the week of February 5th we will begin our march toward a sectional title. The District 14 tournament will be held at Westfield High School on February 17th. This will be followed by Region IV and the NJSIAA State tournaments the following weekends. The most fun part of the season where all the work, success and failure come together for each young man's final product. We hope you will join us on our journey! You can find our schedule and other happenings at shswrestling.org under the calendar tab. Thank you for your past, present and future support. 
 
I look forward to a great year and will continue to update you on our progress periodically throughout the season. Have a great day! Go Ville!

 

Open Mats

8/13/17

With the season a few short months away, wrestling will be back on the mats for optional open mats on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7-8:15. We've got work to do if we are going to contend for the Somerset County Title and Conference Championship this season. These workouts will be relatively short and pretty free form. 

If you are looking to lift weights, there is open weight room hours after school. I will post the hours here, as soon as I receive them.

 

LETS GET TO WORK!

Summer Camps

All Ages: July 10-13

Due to lack of participants and construction in the school, our summer camp has been reduced to one week with all age groups. It's going to be good week of technique and good team bonding as well. If this is a conflict for you, you will be refunded your money. 

 

Updated summer schedule is added to the calendar tab (make sure you select the "summer" tab from the pull down menu). Athletes should bring sneakers and headphones with them each practice. Due to the construction, there may be practices where we have to be creative and work out outside. We will always get a workout.  

Honor Awards

I'd like to take a moment to congratulate Andrew Diodato, Jayson Rosales and Brock Laggini on their achievement of maintaining an A average in each class during the entirety of this school year. It is a great testament to these young men's work ethic to remain diligent throughout the year regardless of what sports they play, what their friends are doing, family issues or anything else going on around them. Continued development of these character traits will serve these men well in the future and we are certainly happy to have them on our team. CONGRATULATION BOYS!!!!

Wrestlers Improve at Pemberton Duals

5/22/17

Wrestlers competed yesterday in the Pemberton Duals in Pemberton, NJ. A team of 10 Pioneers went 2-3 on the day wrestling with four forfeits in a division with all club teams. Having 10 wrestlers committing their Sundays to getting matches and improving their craft is a massive step in the right direction. Beyond that, guys were getting after it, looking for scoring attacks, adjusting on the fly and coming back late in matches when they fell behind. The dedication these young men have shown by committing to the weight room and getting on the mats every week is evident in the way they competed this weekend. With a full summer of work, this team will be right where it needs to be come next December. Today's biggest performers were  Brock Laggini (5-1), Jordan Malanga (4-1) & Jake Pidgeon (3-1). 

Summer Workouts

For those wrestlers interested in getting better this offseason, please view the "Off-Season Calendar" in the calendar tab. Remember, being older is not the same as being better. You are not going to get better by accident. Success is a choice, and now is when you make that choice. 

Laggini First Team All-Area; Leeds & Pidgeon HM

The 2016-17 Courier News All-Area was announced this weekend and Somerville was represented by junior captain, Brock Laggini as the 113 First Team selection. The Ville was also represented by senior captain, Tyler Leeds and junior, big man, Jake Pidgeon. Congratulations to these young men on their accomplishment and their success this season. Click here to view the article.

Congratulations to Shayne VanNess 2X NJ State Champion

 

Congratulations Shayne! Your hard work is evident and your desire to win is palpable. I hope you carry that with you, not only into our room next season but for the rest of your life. It is contagious and will make everyone around you better. Keep working hard and keeping chasing your dreams you are your only limit. 

Laggini to AC; Leeds and Pidgeon End Strong Seasons

Junior captain, Brock Laggini punch his ticket to Atlantic City this Saturday with a strong bounce back performance, finishing 3rd at 113 pounds. On Wednesday, Brock advanced to the quarterfinals with a technical fall over Jacob Diana of Linden. Brock dismantled Diana with excellent efficiency in all positions. In his quarterfinal match on Friday night, the same efficiency Brock deployed on Wednesday night was absent. A reluctance to pull the trigger from the start and inability to adapt on the go left him dead in the water. Brock ended up dropping a decision to Luke Hoerle of Westfield 11-4. Brock would need a short memory and quick recovery in order to make his dreams of Atlantic City a reality when he returned to action the next day. An ability to bounce back is just what Brock showed starting at 9AM Saturday morning. In his first match, Brock pinned Demetri Wojciechowski of JP Stevens. Next, for a right to wrestle in Atlantic City, Brock faced a familiar foe in Colby Koshinski of Voorhees whom he defeated by a one point margin in the Region 5 tournament last season. Brock improved on last year's score, defeating Koshinski 6-2, stamping his ticked to AC. Despite already securing his place in AC, Brock was not done yet. In the Consolation Finals, Laggini defeated Alex Amato of South Plainfield 5-1, earning a bronze medal and bettering his position when the State Tournament is seeded on Monday morning. Congratulations, Brock! You are one week of hard work and a predator's mindset away from making your goals your reality. Action begins at 2:30 PM on Friday at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ. 

Senior captain, Tyler Leeds ended his season and career on Saturday, placing 6th in one of the deepest weights Region 6 had to offer. A weight that may put all four Region 4 qualifiers on the podium in Atlantic City proved to be a little too deep for Tyler. Despite a conclusion that I'm sure may leave a sour taste in Tyler's mouth, Tyler wrestled extremely well the entire weekend. For the entirety of his season and career as a Pioneer, Tyler always answered the coaches' calls to service. He was the program's lone senior this season and he will be missed greatly. There is no doubt that regardless of where he decides to attend college and whether or not he decides to wrestle, Tyler possesses all the tools and positive character traits that will lead him to a successful life going forward. Thank you, Tyler, for all the effort you have given to this program and the example you've set for those who will follow behind you!

Finally, Jake Pidgeon, or as he has come to be known, "Big Pidg", finished 5th on the weekend, just one win shy of earning a trip to AC. Jake started his region tournament on Wednesday night with a win by fall over Adam Abduelal of Colonia. On Friday, in the quarterfinals, despite wrestling tough, Jake just didn't have enough horses in the stable to outpace Alex Lagrippa of Woodbridge. Like Laggini and Leeds, Jake bounced back strong on Saturday morning when he pinned Nik Diakides of Seton Hall Prep in the second period. In the consolation semifinals, however, Big Pidg was stopped early by a hungrier, meaner Danny Patrela of Summit. While this ended his chances to compete in AC, Jake showed up ready to go for his 5th place match, which was more than his opponent did. Jake was awarded a victory by forfeit over Governor Livingston's Daniel Tomlinson. Jake's improvement is a testament to what can be done in a year and should be looked upon by his peers as a shining example of what hard work can bring you. Jake finished the season 22-11 and one watch away form AC after an 8-21 season last year and not escaping the District 18 Tournament. We look for Jake to continue his ascent and find his way onto the podium in Atlantic City next season, quite possibly at the expense of every disk in coach Flanagan's neck. Keep up the hard work, Big Pidg! The future is what you make of it. 

As always, please follow @villecoachflan for updates this weekend as Brock strives for his goal of getting on the podium in Atlantic City. 

Tough Night for Pioneers

2/24/17

All three Pioneer wrestlers fell in tonight's Region IV quarterfinals. The night's action began with Brock Laggini at 113 falling to numerous dumps and go-behinds from Westfield's Hoerle, losing by major decision. Tomorrow morning, Brock will wrestle Demetri Wojciechowski of JP Stevens. Next, Tyler Leeds was beaten 5-1 by Chris Fuschetto by a 5-1 margin in a match where he could not get his offense going, despite wrestling a solid match. Tyler will compete against Dylan Camillo of Roselle Park tomorrow morning. Finally, Jake Pidgeon competed tough against Alex Lagrippo of Woodbridge. Jake will face Nik Diakides of Seton Hall Prep tomorrow morning. 

The silver lining to tonight's disappointing performance is that each wrestler remains two wins away from Atlantic City, the same position in which they began the night. Saturday of regions is historically a day where toughness wins the day. When all skill sits on an even plane, it will be the most mentally tough and fearless wrestler that will win the day. Competition begins at 9AM at Union HS. As always, follow @villecoachflan for updates.

Pioneer Trio Advance to Region 4 Quarterfinals 

Wednesday afternoon, three Pioneers prepared for weigh-ins at Union HS for Somerville's first ever action in Region 4. All three faced a win-or-go-home scenario. After weighing in and getting good warm ups, The Ville Trio readied to put on a show. In a night that 1/3, or over 450, of the remaining wrestlers in the state would be eliminated, all three Pioneers prevailed.

First of, at 113, Brock Laggini got back to an aggressive style of wrestling and dominated Jake Diana of Linden by a 17-2 technical fall. Brock looks to continue his predatory approach in his impending Quarterfinal bout tomorrow night against fellow District 15 wrestler, from Westfield, Luke Hoerle. 

Next, Tyler Leeds, with perhaps the toughest draw of the day beat Jake Painton of South Plainfield by a 5-2 mark. Despite the close score, Tyler controlled the action and was able to neutralize Painton's exceptional top game en route to his Quarterfinal matchup with AL Johnson's Chris Fuschetto. Coaches expect more of the same, what we've gotten pretty consistently from Tyler, all year long. 

Finally, after a long break, the last Pioneer, Jake Pidgeon took the mat against Adam Abduelal of Colonia. After giving up an early headlock, and suffering a minor back injury, Jake escaped immediately and scored a takedown of his own. After the first, Pidgeon led the contest 3-2. After escaping from bottom again to start the second, Pidgeon slapped the Jaws of Life on Abduelal, throwing him to his back and scoring a fall. Jake is slated to wrestle against Alexander Lagrippa of Woodbridge in the Quarterfinals tomorrow night. 

We are very proud of these wrestlers' efforts last night and look forward to being there as they punch their tickets to Atlantic City this weekend. As always, follow @villecoachflan on Twitter for updates. Friday's action begins at 6 PM while Saturday will start promptly at 9 AM both at Union HS. 

Region 4 Brackets

 

 

Three Pioneers Advance to Region 4

Yesterday marked the end of the season for many Pioneer wrestlers as only the top 3 in each weight advance to the Region tournament. Most significantly, Hamza Akel and Jake Dabrowski narrowly missed an opportunity to move on and gain momentum to lead into next season. In a day that was lowlighted by some horrendous officiating, Gian Mena suffered an unfortunate missed call, from this coach's vantage point, that cost him a chance to wrestle on. Despite the call, which cost him 3 points, Mena handled the situation with grace. Hopefully, the situation under which his loss came yesterday, leaves sore taste in his mouth and he works hard this offseason for his one last chance at a nice post-season run next year, in his senior campaign. All of the wrestlers who did not advance should be commended for their dedication throughout the season and their commitment to learning and growing as wrestlers through this process. My hope is that each of these young men understands that not working to improve, while someone else does (and they will), has the same result as getting worse. I hope these young men build upon the investment they have made in themselves over the past 4 months, from now until next November, when no one is watching. 

As for our advancees, Brock Laggini, Tyler Leeds and Jake Pidgeon all finished in second place. Brock came out of the gates slow and continued that way throughout the entirety of the tournament. Either scared to fail or scared to succeed, Laggini lacked any type of predator instinct throughout the day, where his caution was evident to all and underwhelming to most. Coaches expect Brock to find his confidence and return to an aggressive style where he can impose his will on his Region 4 opponents instead of waiting to take their best shot. 

Tyler Leeds wrestled well, scoring a tech fall in the quarterfinals and a decision win the semifinals. In the finals, Tyler dropped a tight decision to Andrew Gappas of North Hunterdon for the second time in as many weeks. Coaches expect Tyler to make the requisite adjustments and make the third time the charm if we meet Gappas again in the Region 4 Tournament. 

Jake Pidgeon had a roller coaster of a day where he looked good in his first match, survived a pretty ugly seminfinals match against his Irvington foe and eventually lost, in the finals, a match where he wrestled well against undefeated Charles Tordik of North Hunterdon, whom he was pinned by two weeks ago. 

All three wrestlers will compete on Wednesday night at Union High School at 6 PM. This is a win or go home scenario. Those wrestlers that do win on Wednesday will enter the double elimination portion of the tournament that will take place on Friday and Saturday at Union. Look out for brackets tomorrow as the seeding meeting should conclude before early afternoon. 

District 15 Seeds

 While brackets are still unavailable, below you can find the seeds for each weight class in the District 15 Tournament. You your reference, please note, in the quarterfinal round, the matchups will be as follows, based on seeds: 1 vs. 8; 5 vs. 4; 3 vs. 6 & 7 vs. 2. The Pioneer seeds are highlighted by Laggini, Leeds and Pidgeon (2 seeds), Akel (4 seed), Malanga & Dabrowski (5 seeds) and Ammerlaan (6 seed). Two more practices until go-time!

 

 

Individual Time!

It is that time of year where we vamp up for our individual runs at glory in Atlantic City. This season, for the first time ever, Somerville will compete in District 15 in Westfield. Those wrestlers that finish in the top 3 at the District 15 Tournament will earn the right to compete at the Region 4 Tournament in Union. Place-finishers, 1-4, in the Region 4 Tournament will earn the right to compete in Atlantic City, at Boardwalk Hall, for a chance at wrestling immortality. It is now, that each wrestler can focus solely upon themselves and sharpen their weaponry as they draw closer to battle. The beauty of this process, and wrestling in general, is that the happenings of the season only matter insomuch as to inform each wrestler's seed leading into the action. It does not matter if you have 14 losses or none at all. Now, each wrestler must survive and advance. Each wrestler must find that delicate balance between calm calculation and killer instinct to maximize the opportunity at hand. Sharpen your weapons, gentlemen, battle nears. 

Ville Falls to Hopewell Valley in State Quarterfinals

2/7/17

In a match that started at a tough spot for the Pioneers, it was 7 matches before Somerville found their first win, a fall from Jake Pidgeon at 285 pounds. Despite the rough start, the upper weights for the Ville did, in fact, wrestle tough. Consistent effort and a high pace by the Ville wrestlers proved to be no match for the repetitious dose of dumps, legs and calculated leg defense by Hopewell Valley. The Pioneers' next win came in a 3-2 victory by Brock Laggini that was much more dominant than the score suggests. Brock's consistent leg attacks from neutral proved too much for a game Chris Lanciano of HV. At 120, Jayson Rosales wrestled tough in a decision loss. The final win for the Pioneers came at 132 when Tyler Leeds pinned his HV counterpart. This match concludes the team segment of the season for the Pioneers. On 2/18, Varsity wrestlers will travel to the District 15 Tournament at Westfield High School where they will compete for individual glory as the Hunt for Atlantic City begins.  

Ville Falls to #8 Hunterdon Central

On a night where Somerville was short 4 Varsity starters, we only saw two wins against a very deep Hunterdon Central team. Brock Laggini scored his 1st two points in the last 5 seconds of the match against 2016 State Qualifier, Jack Bauer (not from the show "24") to win 2-1. Tyler Leeds wrestled Peter Nace, last years top seed in Region 5 and won controlled 4-1 decision where he scored two takedowns and controlled the action. An otherwise decimated Ville lineup struggled to get wins. Another tough test this Friday at Del Val, 7 PM start time. 

Wrestlers Went 1-2 @ N. Bergen Quad

In the first match of the day, Somerville lost 49-25. Winners included Brock Laggini, Tyler Leeds, Gian Mena, Jake Pidgeon and Jake Dabrowski. Those who lost were unable to avoid bonus points leading to a wide margin. The second match of the day was Somerville vs. Montville. In a match where many Ville wrestlers stepped up, the inability of others to make weight cost the team in a 42-36 loss. Tanner Donato, Brock Laggini, Tyler Leeds, Gian Mena, Andrew Diodato, Phatcharapong Phantura and Raghava Kumar were winners for the Pioneers. In the day's final match, Somerville squeaked out a 34-33 win over Perth Amboy. Winners included Brock Laggini, Jayson Rosales, Tyler Leeds, Gian Mena, Andrew Diodato, Jake Dabrowski and Jake Pidgeon. 

Perfect on the day were, Laggini, Leeds, Mena and Diodato. 

#TheVille Trounces Hillsborough 52-26

On Wednesday night, Somerville trounced Hillsborough by a score of 52-26. Donato, Rosales, Laggini, Mena, Malanga, Diodato, Dabrowski and Pidgeon all scored 6 team points with forfeits of pins. Tyler Leeds also scored a major decision victory. Last season, we lost to Hillsborough by 17. This season we won by 26. A 43 point difference in one year makes this coach very happy. 

One 1st, Two 2nds & One 3rd Leaves Somerville 3rd at SCIAA Tournament

The day started off with Somerville going 7 for 7 in the preliminary round, advancing the entire lineup to the double elimination section of the tournament. The value of advancing through this round, from a team perspective, can not be overstated. Preliminary winners included Patella, McIntyre, Malanga, Ammerlaan, Diodato, Akel and Dabrowski. 

In the quarterfinal round, the Pioneers were only able to mustard 3 wins. Laggini won by fall, Leeds by major decision, and Pidgeon by fall. Shortly thereafter, all three wrestlers advance to the finals; Laggini by fall, Leeds by decision and Pidgeon by fall. 

Of the wrestlers who lost in the quarterfinals, 5 of 9 were able to advance to the Consolation semi-finals. In the Consolation semis, only one Pioneer emerged victorious, Hamza Akel. Hamza avenged an early season loss where he was major decisioned by his Manville foe. In the 3rd place match, Hamza avenge another early season loss, defeating Nieto of Hillsborough. A great improvement for Hamza showing he is starting to knock off some early season rust and hit his stride. 

In the finals, Jake Pidgeon started the action for the Pioneers, wrestling returning County Champ from Bridgewater-Raritan, Jake Raboy. Early in the match, Pidgeons defense was not enough for Raboy's leg attacks. However, as the match wore on, Pidgeon's handfight and leg defense proved to wear Raboy down. A late flurry by Pidgeon left the match 8-8 after regulation. In overtime, despite a surge by Pidgeon, Raboy was able to score a late takedown giving him the victory. Coaches are encouraged by Jake's improvement and trust that he will continue to improve. 

At 113, junior captain, Brock Laggini handled business against his 2016 District 18 foe, Brandon Spellman. Brock scored early and often, using great motion to attack Spellman's legs. Brock won a 5 point decision, Congratulations to Brock! 

At 132, senior captain, Tyler Leeds faced familiar foe, Rob Saum of Watchung Hills. A back and forth first period ended with Saum catching a throw to end the period giving him a 5-0 lead. Despite Tyler's much more aggressive nature throughout the remainder of the match, Saum was able to defend and protect his lead, leaving the final in Saum's favor 6-0. 

It was the efforts of the entire team, who won early in the tournament and scored advancement points for the Pioneers that left us 3rd overall as a team! Coaches are proud of the efforts of the entire team and especially congratulate Brock, Tyler, Hamza and Jake on their accomplishments. 

Pioneers Come Up Just Short on Senior Night 32-31 to Bridgewater-Raritan

The night began with a nice celebration of, first, our four dedicated statisticians, Jackie Godoy, Maria Acuna, Unique Hayes and Anissa Glenn. It goes without saying that without the help of these young ladies, the program would lack serious continuity. These stats are responsibly for scoring the match, recording the matches for the wrestlers, uploading both the scores and video as well as updating much of the content on Twitter (@villecoachflan) and on Instagram (@somervillewrestling). The coaches are sincerely grateful for your contributions and sacrifices for our program. You will be missed. Next, our lone senior wrestler, Tyler Leeds was recognized for his four years of service as a Varsity letter winner to the program. Tyler was further celebrated for his captaincy and his outstanding 98% cumulative GPA. Tyler will attend college next year, location TBD, although he has already been accepted to both University of Delaware and Rutgers University. Tyler, too, will certainly be missed. 

Once we got to the wrestling, the Pioneers were ready to scrap. Jordan Malanga started the action with a decision loss to Edward Matthewson, a Panther standout. Next, both Derek Ammerlaan and Andrew Diodato make quick work of their opponents, scoring early falls. At 182, Raghava Kumar dropped a close decision in which he could just not finish his shots against a very strong opponent. At 195, Hamza Akel lost by fall to Van Miller, giving Miller his 100th career win. Jake Dabrowski lost by fall to Jake Raboy. At heavyweight, Jake Pidgeon's inability to adapt to an athletic Allen Choy's style cost him a 3-2 decision on a questionable stall call. With the Uncle Mo (momentum) clearly on the side of Bridgewater-Raritan, Tanner Donato came out hot, forcing his will upon his opponent, scoring a fall in 1:59.5. This was a crucial moment for the Pioneers, catapulting them back into the match. At 113, Jayson Rosales, who has been stuck behind one of our captains and hasn't seen much time this year, did his job, winning a close-fought battle. At 120, Brock Laggini scored a major decision. At 126, Matt Patella put up an incredible fight against Bridgewater stud, Matt Sacco, losing by technical fall and keeping the Pioneers in the match. After Joe Valente was pinned at 132, with 2 matches remaining, The Ville was down by 7. After freshman, Will McIntyre, won a decision that was much closer on the scoreboard than it actually was, Ville trailed 32-28. The final wrestler of the night was senior captain, Tyler Leeds. While Tyler fought valiantly for bonus, he was only able to secure a decision victory against a worthy Bridgewater foe, especially considering Tyler was wrestling up 2 weight classes. With Tyler's win, it put the final score to 32-31, Bridgewater-Raritan. In a heartbreaking defeat, coaches have to step back for some perspective and realize the gap this team left at 1 point this year was 30 last year against the defending Group 5 Sectional Champs. The improvement is substantial and expansive. We are very encouraged for what the future holds. 

Follow on Instagram and Twitter as we compete in the Somerset County Tournament this Saturday.  

 

Come Support Our Seniors!!

1/10/2017

Tomorrow is senior night for Ville wrestling. While it's true, the Somerville lineup only features one senior, Tyler Leeds, he is an integral part of our team and one of our captains. We look forward to giving him the recognition he deserves. On top of that, he will be recognized tomorrow, alongside our four senior stats, Jackie Godoy, Maria Acuna, Unique Hayes and Annisa Glenn. Without these young ladies, the lives of us coaches would be substantially more difficult. Not enough can be said about what they bring to the table for our team. We look forward to recognizing and celebrating these five individuals tomorrow at 6:30PM, just prior to our match against Bridgewater-Raritan where we will look to win our third consecutive match. 

The Ville Topples Bishop Ahr 45-36

In an early Friday evening matchup, the Pioneers faced a Bishop Ahr team with 4 returning 25-win wrestlers. The match started off at 138 pounds where freshman, Will McIntyre got the ball rolling with a gutsy 8-6 win. Next up, senior captain, Tyler Leeds, wrestling up 2 weights, scored a pin for the good guys. This started a string of 4 pins for the Pioneers. In succession, Leeds, Malanga, Ammerlaan and Diodato all came through huge for Somerville. At 182, Raghava Kumar was run off when attempting to finish a throw from his knees and conceded the pin. Next, Hamza Akel ran into perhaps Bishop Ahr's best wrestler and also gave up a first period fall. At 220 and 285, our two big guys came through clutch, both scoring pins. At 106, a game Tanner Donato was caught out of position and pinned. At 113, junior captain, Brock Laggini, despite a bit of a slow start was able to also score a fall for the Pioneers. From there, we hit the meet of Bishop Ahr's lineup and gave up 3 consecutive pins to close the match. Despite the rocky finish against some very good wrestlers, the team had amassed enough of a lead to secure the win. 

Next up: Senior Night vs. Bridgewater at HOME. Set to start recognitions for Senior wrestlers and stats at 6:30. Varsity will wrestle at 7PM. 

Somerville Outlasts Montgomery 33-31

Wednesday's biggest hero, Matt Patella, scores a crucial fall at 132 pounds!

Starting the match at 220, coaches knew we were going to have to start fast and survive late against the meat of Montgomery's lineup. Start fast we did, as Jake Pidgeon scored a 11-4 decision over Niko Ipeker, who defeated Jake 8-4 last year. At 285, Jake Dabrowski fell, by fall, to returning state medalist Dylan D'Amore of Montgomery. After accepting forfeits at 106 and 113, The Ville went into the 120 pound bout with a 15-6 lead. At 120 lbs., junior captain, Brock Laggini, wrestling one weight up, faced a familiar foe in Matt Lisanti. Last year, Brock took 2 of 3 meetings and this year he added another win to the series, taking a 7-5 victory with relentless offense. Ville leads 18-6. At 126, also wrestling up, Joe Valente suffered a late fall against Emmanuel Perera in a well contested match that truly could have gone either way. Montgomery closed the gap to a 4 point Ville lead. At 132, Matt Patella, another wrestler sliding up a weight overcame a late 3 point deficit with a fall and made an immense impact on the momentum of the match. Ville leads 24-12. At 138, senior captain, Tyler Leeds kept the ball rolling after a 0-0 first period, reversed his opponent and slapped on a cradle for the fall. Ville up 30-12. At 145, Gian Mena, also up a weight, was caught by some slick trickery early in the match and despite a late onslaught, fell by a 13-8 margin. Score: 30-15, Ville. At 152, Jordan Malanga came back from injury and scored multiple timely points to squeeze out a 6-5 victory over Liam Dwyer. Ville leads 33-15. At 160, Derek Ammerlaan did his job, fighting hard against a game Kyle Marrapodi, losing 11-0. At 170, despite a late take down to send it to OT, Andrew Diodato fell by a 5-3 margin, leaving the score at 33-22, Somerville. After giving up a fall at 182, Somerville entered the last match with a 33-28 lead. Hamza Akel, facing a returning 20-win wrestler in James Smith was able to last the 6 minutes. While losing by a 12-6 score, Hamza secured the win for the Pioneers in what was a great team win!

In a match where 5 wrestlers moved up a weight to get better matchups, 2 wrestlers beat guys who they lost to last year and the team wins over a team who won a 40-16 contest last season, it would be an understatement to say the coaches are pleased with the result. That said, there is no rest for the weary, as Somerville is back in action on Friday night at 6PM against another tough Bishop Ahr team, at Bishop Ahr. 

Pope John XXIII Defeats Somerville

Somerville entered Friday's contest against Pope John thin through the middle due to injury and familial obligations. Starting at 182, Somerville and Pope John traded 6 point falls and forfeits to enter the 113 pound match with Somerville leading 18-12. Unable to find wins at some of our strongest weights, the stage was set for a lopsided Pope John victory. The Pioneers were unable to mustard a win between 106 and 152. However, in a highlight of the day, Derek Ammerlaan fought hard to earn a 11-4 decision, ending the dual meet on a high note. 

After the New Year, the Pioneers have a huge week ahead with important contests against Montgomery and Bishop Ahr on Wednesday and Friday, respectively. 

Season Records

106- Tanner Donato 2-7
113- Brock Laggini 7-2 / Jayson Rosales 1-1
120- Joe Valente 5-5
126- Matt Patella 4-3
132- Tyler Leeds 6-3
138- Gian Mena 1-8
145- Brayan Jimenez 0-1 / Bowen Prescott 2-5 / Will McIntyre 1-1
152- Jordan Malanga 1-3
160- Derek Ammerlaan 4-4
170- Andrew Diodato 0-5
182- Raghava Kumar 2-4
195- Hamza Akel 2-4
220- Jake Dabrowski 2-6 / Jake Pidgeon 6-3
285- Richie Herrera 0-0

Four Wrestlers Place at EB Bear Invitational

At he East Brunswick Bear Invitational, a 17 team contest, Somerville started off the day with 12 wrestlers slated for action. First round winners included Tanner Donato, Joe Valente, Tyler Leeds, Gian Mena, Derek Ammerlaan, Hamza Akel, and Jake Pidgeon, while Brock Laggini advanced on a bye. In the quarter finals, however, wins were harder to come by. Only three of the aforementioned Pioneers, Brock Laggini, Tyler Leeds, and Jake Pidgeon, advanced to the semi finals. Of the wrestlers who lost in the round of 8, Joe Valente was the only Pioneer able to fight his way back, with two more wins, to a 5th place finish. 

In the 113 semi final match, Brock Laggini fought off multiple early attacks by Chris Lanciano of Hopewell Valley and eventually opened up his own attacks to go on to a 7-3 victory. In the finals, Brock would face former Region 5 foe, Mitch Polito of East Brunswick. The stage was set for Brock to upend 2016 106 lb. NJ 7th place finisher. Despite a great opportunity to make a splash in the state landscape, Laggini did not find the success he was looking for. A conservative approach and an absence of his typical killer instinct led him to a 9-1 defeat. Despite this loss, Brock finished 2nd on the day and ready to move forward, correcting his mistakes. 

At 132 pounds, Tyler Leeds did not have enough offense in the semi final matchup against 2016 Region 5 4th place finisher, Alec Gleason of East Brunswick. Gleason was able to control the action on his feet and cruise to a 6-2 victory. Despite the setback, Leeds fought back strong and won by major decision, 13-1, against 2016, 25-match winner, Josh Villa of Hillsborough to earn a 3rd place finish. 

At Heavyweight, Jake Pidgeon improved upon his impressive start to his junior season all while wrestling in an East Brunswick wrestler's shoes. Despite wrestling in one of the deepest weights in the tournament, Jake made quick work of his first two opponents. Putting up a strong fight against 2016 NJ State 5th place finisher, Dylan D'Amore of Montgomery in a second period, 4-1 match, Jake was turned to his back and D'Amore's weight proved to be too much to escape for Pidgeon. In the 3rd/4th place match, Jake fell to Michael Tyle of Manville by a 9-2 decision. Despite ending on two losses, Jake finished 4th on the day and left coaches encouraged about his future, despite his inability to remember all of his equipment. 

The Ville Defeats Ridge 44-24

In a match that teetered back and forth, starting with an incredible seven pins, 4 for the Ville and 3 for Ridge, Somerville eventually gained control. The tide was completely turned when freshman Will McIntyre was able to come back to score a 6-4 OT decision in his first varsity match. From there, the Pioneers cruised to a 44-24 victory. Wrestlers will compete again at the Bears Invitational at Churchill Junior High School in East Brunswick on Wednesday, December 28. Action begins at 9:30 AM. As always, you can keep up on Instagram @somervillewrestling and on Twitter @villecoachflan. 

Somerville Goes 1-2 in W. Milford Quad

One day after our season opener, the Pioneers traveled to West Milford, New Jersey for a 6-team quad meet. Set to face Morris Knolls, Wayne Valley and Kittatinny, the Pioneers were in for some stiff competition. After winning the first match against Morris Knolls, where everyone wrestled pretty well, we faced a tough Wayne Valley team and an even better Kittatinny team. Against Wayne Valley, the highlight had to be junior Jake Pidgeon scoring a 5-1 victory over a massive Wayne Valley foe. Good position and calculated risks saw Jake to an impressive win. Against Kittatinny, despite being outmatched, junior Joe Valente continued to fight and was able to pin his opponent, despite being down 10 points at the time of the fall. Brock Laggini was the only Pioneer to go 3-0 on the day while Tyler Leeds and Joe Valente both put in nice performances as well going 2-1 on the day. 

Somerville Falls to WHRHS 41-28

Tonight the Pioneers took on the Warriors of Watchung Hills. Starting underclassmen at 13 of 14 weights, Somerville improved drastically on last year's 50-9 loss at the hands of the Warriors. The night started out at 106 and Tanner Donato started his high school career with an impressive fall in the second period. At 113, Captain, Brock Laggini weathered a second period storm and went on to win by major decision, 10-0 against his Warrior foe. After Jayson Rosales accepted a forfeit at 120, Joe Valente fought valiantly against Danny Miller (28-7 last season) avoiding the fall and giving up a technical fall. At 132, despite a lack of offense, the Pioneer's lone senior, Tyler Leeds outlasted sophomore standout Nick Ciraulo, 3-2 in double overtime. From 145-182, the Pioneers were unable to stay off their backs against a solid string of Warriors giving up 4 falls and a major decision. At 195, Hamza Akel lost a close battle, 6-2, in his first match back after being injured all last season. The Pioneers finally got back on track at 220 with an emphatic fall by junior, Jake Dabrowski and a tight, 3-2 victory by fellow junior Jake Pidgeon at 220 and 285. Despite the late surge, it was too little to late for the Pioneers. Coaches are encouraged by turning a 41 point margin in 15-16 into a 13 point margin in 16-17. There is much work to still be done, but the work ethic in the practice room has been good and we expect to continue to improve from here. 

We are back in action tomorrow at the West Milford Duels with 3 more dual meets vs. Morris Knolls, Wayne Valley and Kittatinny, in that order at 4PM, 6PM and 8PM. As always, you can keep up on twitter @villecoachflan and Instagram @somervillewrestling.

Princeton's GSC Tournament CANCELLED

It looks like we will have to wait until Wednesday to see our Pioneer wrestlers take the mat at home against Watchung Hills at 7 PM. 

  

Drill Continues to Roll for NYU

12/20/16

Evan Drill competed in two matches this weekend in the Mariner Duals, hosted by the United States Merchant Marine Academy. First, Evan won a 9-2 decision against Nate Henkle of the US Merchant Marine Academy. NYU also rolled past the USMMA by a 29-11 margin. Evan faced some tough competition in his second match against Nassau Community College, where he topped John Acerci 4-2 in a tight battle. NYU also won this contest 28-12. NYU goes into the Holiday season ranked 15th in the country and Evan continues to improve. 2017 looks to be a bright year for both the Monarchs and Evan. 

Holiday Gear Orders

First, if you have already ordered your Somerville wrestling gear, there was an issue with the shipping costs (they were calculated too high). This has been resolved and your credit card or Paypal account will be refunded the difference. 

VERY IMPORTANT: If you have yet to order your gear, please due so by THIS FRIDAY 12/9/16!!!! This guarantees your order will be processed and arrive before the Holidays. The store will closed between 12/10/16 and 12/15/16 to ensure that all orders are processed and delivered in time for the Holiday. On December 16th, the store will reopen for the remainder of the season. 

Wahba, 3rd at New Standard Invitational

12/4/16

Nick competed this weekend in the New Standard Invitational at York College. After moving up in the rankings to #3 this past week, Nick took the mat at 141 pounds on Saturday and tallied three decision victories to start the day. Despite a good start, Nick was upset in the semi-final round by Tim Ambacher (Delaware Valley) in a 9-7 decision. Rallying from the tough loss, Nick won two more matches and come home with a bronze medal on the day. 

Nick will compete again in his first dual meet action of the year, this Wednesday (12/7) on his home mat, at Ithaca. 

Somerville Bulldogs Open with a Bang

12/3/16

Somerville 8th grader, 150 lb, Ricky VanNess powers through a double and goes right for the fall

 

Somerville Middle School wrestling opened up their Central Jersey Grade School League competition at home today with a quad meet. The visiting teams included Del Val, Kenilworth and North Warren. The Bulldogs opened the day with a 66-29 thrashing of North Warren. The second match of the day came against Del Val, where it was more of the same for the Bulldogs as they scored a 60-24 victory. Finally, Somerville capped the day with a 65-19 win over a thin Kenilworth squad. An impressive start for rookie head coach and former Edison star, Sergio Garcia where his team outscored their opponents 191-72 on the day. The Bulldogs next competition will be held at Manville Middle school at 4:15 on Thursday December 8th. 

2016-2017 Wrestling Team

 

STANDING (L to R): Boss Phantura, Richie Herrera, Hamza Akel, Jake Dabrowski, Jake Pigeon, Bowen Prescott, Henry Villalba, Andrew Diodato

KNEELING (L to R): Joe Valente, Raghava Kumar, Brendan Aldrich, Will McIntyre, Derek Ammerlaan, Tyler Leeds, Gian Mena, Jordan Malanga, Justin Miller, Jayson Rosales

SITTING (L to R): Connor Wengryn, Tanner Donato, Matt Patella, Brayan Jimenez, Brock Laggini (Captain), Junior Ardila, Brandon Gonzalez, Zachi Petties-Jackson

College Update

This weekend the Pioneers only had one alum in action. Evan Drill competed at the annual Grapple at the Garden at Madison Square Garden. While NYU competed in two duals, both of which they won, Evan only wrestled against Muhlenberg University where he scored a major decision victory. NYU is scheduled to compete again on Friday, December 2 in Brookville, NY against LIU Post. 

 #6 Wahba, Drill finish 4, 5 at NYS Intercollegiate Championships

11/20/16

With the season now in its third week of competition, Somerville products, Nick Wahba and Evan Drill both sought gold in the same weight of the same tournament, Sunday. Both wrestlers entered the 141 pound division of the NYS Intercollegiate Wrestling Championships at Cornell Universityin beautiful Ithaca, NY with eyes on the top of the podium. Evan and Nick both started out with decision wins. In the second round, Nick was able to get his second win of the day over Nick Casella of Nassau Community College while Evan fell 3-2 to the eventual runner-up, Joe Russ of Binghamton University. In the first two consolation rounds, Evan was able to score a fall and a 5-3 decision. Wahba, in the semi-finals, fell to eventual champ, from Cornell, William Koll. Now meeting for the first time this year, of what could be a number of meetings, in a back and forth match, Nick Wahba was able to edge out Evan Drill with a last second escape after Drill had tied the match with a takedown just seconds earlier. In his final matches of the day, Wahba fell by a 7-3 score to J. Macololooy (Columbia), earning a 4th place finish. In the battle for 5th, Drill rebounded and capped his day with a 3-2 win over J. Arceri (Nassau Community College). 

Nick will compete again in the Spartan Invitational at York College on December 3rd. 

For Evan, NYU's next scheduled competition will take place next Sunday (11/27) at Madison Square Garden where they are set to wrestle Johns Hopkins University & Muhlenberg College

Keep up the good work, men!

Wrestling: Hours Away

11/20/16

 

With wrestling season knocking at our doorstep, I've been thinking, as I do each year, what wrestling has meant to me and the impact it has had on my life. I was reading one of Jordan Burroughs' blog posts about what wrestling has meant to him and all of the adversity he had to overcome to earn the right to learn and grow within the greatest sport in the world. Wrestling isn't great because I coach it, because I was good at it or even because I want a broader cross section of kids to try it. Wrestling is great because it so closely mimics life. Wrestling is not glamorous and neither is life. In wrestling, as in life, you work, sacrifice, push your limits, take risks and sacrifice some more, all for a chance at a fleeting moment of glory and self satisfaction, knowing that you have succeeded as a direct result of the actions you took and the sacrifices you've made. In life and in wrestling, these moments come only so often. The most important lesson that I've learned through wrestling is to make sacrifices that others don't understand to position myself such that I can succeed where everyone else dreams to. 

If you or your child is thinking about wrestling, I highly suggest reading Jordan Burroughs' Blog: Wrestling. Redefining Cool. 

As always, if you have questions about how to sign up, email me at aflanagan@somervilleschools.org. See you all on Monday!!!

Huge Night for Pioneers at Hall of Fame Induction

11/15/16

              

Last night, Somerville Wrestling had a great night celebrating four former standouts at the Somerville Hall of Fame Induction dinner. Paul Sanford, Allen VanNess, Dan Sofer and Micah Blair were all honored for their outstanding accomplishments during their respective high school careers. 

Paul Sanford '70 was a three-year varsity letter winner in wrestling and also led the team as co-captain in his senior campaign. 2X District 18 Champ, Region 18 Champ and State Finalist at 136 pounds in his senior season. He went on to wrestle at Moravian College and also spend one season as head wrestling coach for the Somerville Middle School Bulldogs. Paul was also a letter winner in tennis and cross country. 

Allen VanNess '03, was the captain of both the football and wrestling team as a senior. He was a great leader who led the wrestling team to a County and Sectional Championship that year. Allen was also named 2002 Somerset County Tournament Outstanding Wrestler. The 3-time football and 4-time wresting varsity letter winner, went on to surpass 100 career wins (109) for the first time in Somerville Wrestling history. When it was all said and done, Allen had won 4 District 18 titles, a region placement, finished 6th in the State Championship, was selected to 2 All-County teams and 2 All-Conference teams. 

Dan Soffer, Class of 2009, 4 varsity letters for the ville in wrestling. His senior year, on his way to 100 wins, Dan won 37 matches, the Somerset County Tournament, District 18 Championships, Region 5 Championship and finished 8th in the state of New Jersey at 160 pounds. Dan also went on to place 8th in the Nation High School Coaches Association's Senior National Tournament. Dan was also a letter winner for Somerville football.

The final inductee last night was Micah Blair, Class of 2010. Micah, like VanNess was a standout football player and wrestler. In football, Micah was 1st team All Conference and 3rd team All County on defense. He earned 3 varsity letters in football and 4 as a wrestler. Over his career, he amassed 103 wins (only 3 as a freshman). Micah was a 3X District 18 Champion, Region 5 Champion and ended up 4th in the state of NJ after suffering an unfortunate injury prevented him from advancing further. He was 1st team All Conference and All Area as well as the recipient of the SHS Hall of Fame Scholarship Award & Paul Robeson Youth Achievement Award winner. He went on to wrestle at Old Dominion University. 

 I would like to note to all current ville wrestlers that all four of these men played more than one sport. I doubt this is a coincidence. We would like to congratulate all four of these men for their outstanding accomplishments and contributions to our storied program. We hope to see you in the room soon. 

 

Alumni Build on Strong Start

11/15/16

This past weekend, Nick Wahba and Evan Drill built on their strong starts last weekend. Nick was able to earn a Pool C win in 141lbs class at the Journeyman Classic with a Fall, major decision and 2-0 decision in the final. Nick remains undefeated on the season and faces a tough test this weekend at the NYS Collegiate Championships at Cornell University. 

Evan Drill also continued his early success with a 3-0 finish on the day at the NY vs. PA Duels. The Violets of NYU were 4-0 on the day as well. Next week Evan will also wrestle at the NYS Collegiate Championship. I have been unable to ascertain whether or not both will face each other in this tournament comprising 33 teams. Either way, we look for both young men to continue their good starts. 

Ville Alumni Open Strong

Ithaca senior, Nick Wahba started his season in the Ithaca Open. Ranked #7 in the 141 pound class in nation by d3wrestle.com, Wahba came out strong, winning by injury default and major decision in his first two matches of his final season as a Bomber. Wahba completed his quest for gold with a tight 4-3 victory over Johnson & Wales' Joseph Ferinde. 

Ithaca Invitational

Meanwhile in another section of New York, Evan Drill set out to show at his inaugural college competition, The Monarch Invitational. Coming out strong, Evan won two lopsided contests. After receiving an injury default win in the third round, Evan was welcomed to college wrestling. While up 2, Evan took a shot, got caught and pinned, ending his hopes for gold. Despite the setback, Evan was able to wrestle back, outpacing teammate Will Crisco (5th) and beating Kyle Medrow(who knocked off 1st seeded kid) 11-2 of Wilkes University in the third place match. 

Monarch Invitational