The Roselle Park wrestling team followed up its first Union County Tournament championship in 10 years – finishing ahead of second-place Brearley – by defeating Brearley for the second year in a row.
The two Union County powers clashed in Kenilworth Tuesday night, with the Panthers prevailing 39-22.
Roselle Park won seven of the 12 bouts that were contested, with Phil Woods defeating Jeff Velez 8-6 at 182. Roselle Park won by forfeit at 106.
Brearley senior Anthony Rice, who missed the UCT again with an injury, came back to the lineup and blanked Joe Fulinello 1-0 at 138. Brearley won by forfeit at 170.
Rice won UCT titles as a freshman and sophomore, but – because of injury – could not compete in the UCT last year or this season.
Roselle Park improved to 14-1, while Brearley slipped to 1-8. Roselle Park defeated Brearley last year for the first time since 2005.
Roselle Park’s only loss is a 28-24 setback at Cranford Jan. 11. Brearley’s only win is a 48-21 victory at Linden Jan. 9.
LOOKING BACK AT THE UCT
Union had its first wrestler reach the finals, senior heavyweight Kris Lewis, since Christian Alvarez lost in the 125 final in 2009.
Union’s last county champion is Pete Jacangelo, who won at 145 in 2005, defeating Marc Neuwirth of New Providence 15-2 in the final.
Tom Duffy was also a UCT champion for Union in 2005, pinning Brian Swick of Roselle Park in 5:57 in the 130 final.
Johnson had two county champions this year in sophomore Charlie Hudak at 126 and junior John Coler at 138.
They were Johnson’s first county champions since Anthony Priore won the 130 title in 2007 when he defeated Wade Baldwin of New Providence 9-1 in the final.