A 14-4 record, and what should be a good performance at the Passaic County Tournament, highlighted the Wayne Valley wrestling team’s final run toward the end of the regular season.
Coach Todd Schroeder’s team is headed to the county championships, on Jan. 26. The team will host St. Joseph of Montvale, on Jan. 30 and will close out the regular season on Feb. 1, at home, against Passaic. The Indians will then prepare for the state sectional tournament, which begins on Feb. 4. Wayne Valley could be seeded as high as second in North 1, Group 4, which would give them a first round home bout and, with a win, a home match in the sectional semifinals two days later.
Wayne Valley has put together a 14-4 record so far this wrestling season, as well as there tournament crowns. (Click on photo for larger image)
The Indians last won a sectional championship in 2014. Wayne Valley put itself in good position for this year’s sectionals with wins against Passaic Tech, 40-28, on Jan. 23, as well as sweeping a quad, on Jan. 19, versus Morris Knolls, Whippany Park and Randolph.
“We’re wrestling well,” said Schroeder, who in addition to 14 wins, has guided Valley to three tournament championships. “We’re getting healthy and looking forward to the county tournament and the sections.
Wayne Valley had fallen behind PCT by a 28-0 margin through the first five bouts, four of which were won by fall. The match began at 113 pounds.
“We lost the toss, so the matchups early on favored PCT, and they have some real good wrestlers, especially in the lower weights,” said Schroeder. “I figured we’d have to battle back at the upper weights, where we’re pretty good, but it was a bigger margin because we gave up too many bonus points.”
Wayne Valley began the comeback at 145 pounds when Matt Jimenez won by decision and Elijah Lugo, who bumped up to 152 pounds, followed with a win, also by decision, making it 28-6.
Pins by Nick Duncan (160) and Reid Colella (170) narrowed PCT’s lead to 28-18 and Dan Murphy prevailed by major decision at 182 pounds to cut the deficit to 28-22. One of the biggest wins for Valley was at 182 pounds when Selim Maksut pinned his opponent in 1:49 to tie the match at 28.
“Selim did a good job,” said Schroeder. “He’s been working hard to get back in the lineup after an illness, and that win was really important.”
Nick Trani gave Wayne Valley the lead for good, 34-28, with a pin at 220 pounds and the Indians heavyweight, Jordan Botero, secured the team win with a hard-fought 3-2 decision. Attila Valy wrapped it up for Valley with a victory at 106 pounds.