Hit hard by graduation, the Roselle Park wrestling team might not have had as successful of a season as it had last year when it went 24-2 and won a sectional state championship.
However, the Panthers were able to produce as many region champions as the best team in Union County this year – Westfield.
Winning titles for Roselle Park were seniors Gabriel Leo at 113 and Mark Montgomery at 132, both first-time winners.
Capturing crowns for Westfield, which finished second to five-peat champion Cranford in the Union County Tournament, but then defeated Cranford 51-18 at home a week later, had repeat Region 4 champions in juniors Luke Hoerle and CJ Composto.
Union County’s other Region 4 champion was New Providence senior Joselph Delia, who was the 160-pound winner.
Region 4 was held at Union High School three days in a row, beginning last Thursday, continuing Friday and concluding Saturday.
The NJSIAA Tournament at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall is the same three-day format this week, beginning today, continuing tomorrow and concluding with the championship matches Saturday afternoon.
For the first time in a while the “states” as they are more commonly referred to will not conclude on a Sunday.
Leo defeated Brearley sophomore Patrick Phillips 3-2 in the 113 final. The first four times the two tangled Phillips won each match by decision. The fourth win was by a 5-1 score in this year’s 113 final at the UCT.
This time Leo was able to get a takedown and come away with a hard-fought one-point victory.
Montgomery defeated Travis Jones of Philipsburg 6-4 in the 132 final of District 13 at Phillipsburg. Last weekend Montgomery topped Jones 12-5 in the 132 final of Region 4 at Union. Montgomery was fourth at 126 in last year’s Region 4 competition at Union.
FROM REGION 4 AT UNION
113: Gabriel Leo, Roselle Park
120: Luke Hoerle, Westfield
126: CJ Composto, Westfield
132: Mark Montgomery, Roselle Park
160: Joseph Delia, New Prov.
113: Patrick Phillips, Brearley
126: Eddie Hummel, Roselle Park
145: Rhise Royster, Rahway
182: Tim MIller, Westfield
195: Sebastian Iakouchevitch, ALJ
220: Joshua Darisme, Rahway
106: Kaelan Francois, Rahway
113: Brandon Bowles, S. Plains
145: Elvin Guerrero, Roselle Park
152: AJ Bencivenga, Cranford
160: Alex Dorce, Linden
113: Quinn Gimblette, Westfield
120: Chris Dalmau, Rahway
145: Conor Halpin, Cranford
182: Michael Afolabi, Linden
195: Shimei Page, Rahway
HWT: Nadeem ElMahroukey, NP