By Christine Houghton
Before the wrestling team began its 2018 season, the team competed in a public event preseason match against each other in the Blue/Gold Intersquad on Oct. 26 to determine the team’s starting wrestlers.
The team split into groups of blue and gold and picked starting favorites and underdogs. Members of the same weight class faced off against each other with a mix of close and landslide victories. Some categories were only decided after an extra match.
Landslide victories included sophomore Jake Giordano at 133 pounds and freshman Tom Marretta at 285 pounds who won 13-3 and 5-1 respectively.
The match yielded several shutout wins, starting with junior Dan Kilroy at 184 pounds and senior Alex Mirabella at 197 pounds, who both scored eight points for their respective teams. Freshman Jon Borgognoni, weighing in at 165 pounds, delivered the match’s first and only pin for a 6-0 shutout.
Close matches included sophomore Ryan Manahan’s 6-5 win, who weighs in at 125 pounds, freshman Robert Dinger at 141 pounds taking his set 8-6, senior Ryan Budzek winning 6-3 at 149 pounds and sophomore Thomas Anderson edging out a 5-4 win in the 174 category.
Sophomore Matthew Surich, weighing in at 157 pounds, was able to take his set 3-1 and, next to Borgognoni’s lone pin, was a last second takedown in an extra period by freshman Nick Cofone for a 3-1 victory also in the 165-pound category.
The underclassmen presence on the team was prevalent in this match with eight out of 11 current starters being underclassmen and half of those being freshmen. The College’s incoming freshman class made up a large amount of the team’s dominant wrestlers, many of whom placed in states several times during their high school careers.
The Intersquad match ended with a 26-23 win by the gold team. The “underdogs” of the match came back from a 17-point deficit and solidified their spots on the Lions’ starting roster.
To officially begin the 2018 season, the team traveled to King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania to compete in the Ned McGinley Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 3. The team took third out of the sixteen teams involved.
Four Lions wrestlers made it to the finals for their weight class with two wrestlers taking home titles.
Giordano started his day off with a pin against his opponent out of York College for his first win. He followed this win with a 13-2 landslide victory, a 2-1 win in the quarter-finals, a 9-4 semifinals win and finally a 4-1 championship victory for the 133-pound title.
Earning the other title for the Lions, Kilroy pinned all four of his opponents in the first two rounds of competition, quarter-finals and semifinals to advance to the final round. He took the 174-pound title with a 8-1 victory in the championship round.
Battling into the final rounds, junior Dan Ortega, weighing in at 125 pounds, and Budzek, at 149 pounds, went 3-1 and 5-1 on the day respectively.
The team will travel on Friday, Nov. 9 to Hoboken, New Jersey for a 7 p.m. dual meet at Stevens Institute of Technology.