Ballyhoo Ballyhoo - The Westfield Leader

Page S-1
Thursday, January 29, 2015
New Jersey
Sports, Humor and Commentary
Cougars Top Panther Matmen in ‘Alumni Night’ Mat Rivalry
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
Alumni Night! Traditional rivalry! Packed house! The stage
was set for some outstanding
performances and they happened
in the Cranford High School wrestling team’s 36-21 victory over
Roselle Park in Cranford on January 21.
The most outstanding performance came five bouts into the
match at 145-lbs when Cougar
sophomore Mike Nigro jumped
up from the JV squad to face Josh
Gergich, one of the Panthers’
toughest wrestlers. After yielding a takedown and an escape
and trailing, 3-1, Nigro reached
deep down inside and recorded a
takedown to knot the score at
the end of two periods then added
an escape and another takedown
to claim a 6-3 victory.
“Mike Nigro would start varsity
on a lot of teams in our county.
It’s just that he’s in a spot where
we got a lot of tough kids all
crammed into a couple of weights.
I try to get him in when I can,
because he is a gamer and can
do things like that. He works
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extremely hard in the room. That
pays off in a match like tonight
when everyone in town is here to
see,” Cougar Head Coach Pat
Gorman said.
“He [Coach Gorman] told me to
stay physical. I am used to being
on the JV team and coach pulled
me up because he believed in
me,” Nigro said. “He told me, ‘I
trust you and I know that you
work hard enough. I know you
are going to win this match if you
believe that you can win this
match.’ I was on the mat. I was
coughing. I felt like I couldn’t do
it anymore then I just remembered that coach believed in me
and my teammates believed in
me and that I could push through
for them, for me and everybody
l'ennemi du journaliste
else watching.”
The match began in the 120-lb
class and Cougar Tom DiGiovanni
put six points on the scoreboard
when he turned George Perez
with an Olympic arm bar and
pinned him in 2:40 with a double
grapevine/head smother. A calculator was needed in the 126-lb
bout when Cougar Chris Scorese
amassed three takedowns, three
nearfalls and two escapes before
settling Sean Daly in 4:43 also
with a double grapevine.
The next two bouts were ones
that many wanted to watch
closely. At 132-lbs, Cougar
Vince Concina got a 4-0 jump
on Mike Figueredo with a
takedown followed by a Turk
ride to a tilt. In the third period,
Figueredo battle back with a
pair of takedowns and an es-
cape, but during that spurt,
Cincina added three escapes and
a takedown to win, 9-5.
At 138-lbs, Cougar Dave Busch
used his snaky moves to his advantage to record a takedown, a
step over reversal and another
takedown to defeat Andy
Santamaria, 6-0. After Nigro won
his bout, Cougar Brian McGovern
jumped up to 152-lbs and recorded an ankle pick takedown,
an escape and another takedown
to top Dave Forstenhausler, 5-3.
At 160-lbs, Cougar Gavin Murray
recorded three takedowns and a
standing reversal to defeat a
stubborn Joe Devito, 8-2, to give
the Cougars a 27-0 lead at the
midway point of the match.
Another highly observed bout
came at 170-lbs between PanCONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE