Roselle Park will now host Scotch Plains Jan. 19 in first attempt to gain program’s 1,000th victory; Give Scotch Plains credit for giving up its home match to accommodate the Panthers in their quest to achieve the milestone at home

Roselle Park will now wrestle Scotch Plains at home Friday (Jan. 19) at 7 p.m. according to www.roselleparknews.org.

“It was originally scheduled to take place in Scotch Plains, but the Raiders graciously accommodated the Panthers to allow the possibility to have its 1,000th win at home.

“Residents will be able to cheer from the stands as the Roselle Park wrestling team attempts to make history.”

Roselle Park produced victory No. 999 Wednesday night when the Panthers defeated Cranford 33-25.

It was the first Union County Conference-Watchung Division match of the season for Roselle Park, which improved to 1-0 in the division and 10-1 overall.

Cranford, which edged Roselle Park 187-185 Jan. 13 at Union to capture its fourth consecutive Union County Tournament championship, fell to 1-1 in the Watchung Division and 5-2 overall.

Roselle Park’s Abel Crespo came back in the third period to win a 4-3 decision over Cranford’s Kyell Roper at 160 in the match’s final bout.

Roselle Park standout junior Mark Montgomery – ranked eighth in the state at 126 – was moved up to 132 and won his match by forfeit.

Roselle Park had four county champions to Cranford’s one, but finished second in the UCT to the Cougars for the second straight season. Roselle Park last won the UCT in 2014.

Roselle Park’s four UCT champions this year include senior Matt Armamento at 120, junior Mark Montgomery at 126, senior Jon Mejia at 132 and senior Josh Mejia at 138.

 

ROSELLE PARK WRESTLING HISTORY

 

GROUP 1 STATE CHAMPIONS (2):

1982 – the first year, beat Paulsboro

1997 – tied Paulsboro, shared crown

 

GROUP 1 FINALISTS (7):

1985 – lost to Paulsboro

1988 – lost to Paulsboro

1989 – lost to Paulsboro

1991 – lost to Paulsboro

1998 – lost to Paulsboro

2002 – lost to Paulsboro

2003 – lost to Paulsboro

 

NORTH 2, GROUP 1 CHAMPIONS (18):

1980 – the first year, 1981, 1982, 1984,

1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989 1990,

1991, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003,

2010, 2014

 

CENTRAL JERSEY, GROUP 1 CHAMPIONS (4):

2004, 2008, 2009, 2011

 

UNION COUNTY TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS SINCE 1990 (11

PHOTO COURTESY OF GENE NANN – Roselle Park is led by standout 126-pound junior Mark Montgomery, who won his second UCT championship and was named the Outstanding Wrestler for the lower (106-145) weights.

):

2014, 2013, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1993, 1992

 

NJSIAA TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS (27 by 20 wrestlers):

1953 – Joe Yeats, 157

1952 – Jack Heiss, 106

1951 – Sal D’Amico, 166

1950 – Sal D’Amico, 166; Frank Capece, 134; George Fidelis, 121

(Union County had 7 of the 10 state champions in 1950.)

1948 – Norman Buick, 104

1946 – Fred Klett, 166; Cal Wacker, 134

1945 – Fred Klett, 166; Andy Fortunato, 134; Cal Wacker, 128; Joe Colicelio, 104

(Roselle Park tied its program-best record of 4 state champions in 1945.)

1944 – George Erb, heavyweight; Rick Sassman, 139; Al Buick, 128

1943 – Monroe Kahn, 146; Al Buick, 113; Robert Venturo, 104; Andy Fortunato, 95

(Roselle Park had a program-best 4 state champions in 1943.)

1942 – Robert Venturo, 95

1941 – Dan Valenti, 115; John Peters, 95

1940 – Robert Newman, heavyweight

1939 – Warren Wacker, 175; Herb Farrell 115

1936 – Herb Farrell, 95

(1936 was the 3rd year of state tournament)

 

TWO-TIME STATE CHAMPIONS:

Herb Farrell: 1936-95 and 1939-115

Robert Venturo: 1942-95 and 1943-104

Al Buick: 1943-113 and 1944-128

Andy Fortunato: 1943-95 and 1945-134

Cal Wacker: 1945-128 and 1946-134

Fred Klett: 1945-166 and 1946-166

Sal D’Amico: 1950-166 and 1951-166

 

HEAD COACHES (list to still be finalized):

T. RALPH “PUG” WILLIAMS:

Roselle Park’s first wrestling coach and the man the Roselle Park High School gymnasium is named after, Williams had a 146-43-4 record in 23 years and only one losing season. Considered “Mr. Wrestling” in New Jersey for everything he did for the sport.

ERNIE FINIZIO:

Finizio, who wrestled for Williams, had a 46-13 record in six years.

SAM APPELLO:

Appello, who also wrestled at Roselle Park, was the head coach from 1983 to 2002, leading the unbeaten 1997 squad to a share of the Group 1 state championship with Paulsboro.

JOHN RANIERI:

Ranieri, Roselle Park class of 1991 and a former Panther wrestler, was the head coach from the 2002-2003 season through the 2015-2016 campaign.

RYAN ROONEY:

Rooney is in his second season as the head coach.

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