March 23, 2014 at 12:10 AM
RANDOLPH, NJ: With a list of achievements that included a division championship and a remarkable 68 tournament place-winners, Randolph Recreation Wrestling wrapped up one of the program’s most successful seasons ever by placing six wrestlers in the USAW New Jersey state championship tournament, held at the Sun Bank Center in Trenton last weekend.
Four of the six wrestlers reached the podium: 8th grader Patrick Glory and 4th grader David Turner went on to take 2nd place honors, while 6th grader Matt DeStefanis and 7th grader Christian Avelar each placed 7th in their respective weights. Kevin Charles came up just short of the medal rounds, while Michael Scalley was forced to miss the finals due to injury.
“2014 has been filled with some intense battles on the mat where we persevered, stuck together and overcame our challenges,” said program director Pat Glory. “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person's determination.”
These achievements are just the latest of the Randolph wrestling program’s very successful season. Other major accomplishments this year included:
· The first division-championship win in the Tri-County Youth Wrestling League since 2006, as well as 14 place-winners in the league championship tournament, including six wrestlers placed in the top 3.
· The Rams’ first playoff appearance in the six-county NJ Grade School Wrestling League, and the team’s best record since 2007.
· Up-and-coming Rams grabbed 11 trophies out of 18 weight classes in the NJ Future Stars league, and 31 medals in the King of the Mat league.
· An emotional high-point: defeating Roxbury in the annual Rivals Takedown Hunger meet, the Rams’ first win over the Gaels in six seasons.
Although the season is over, Randolph wrestlers are continuing to train and are already thinking about next year. Several of the middle school wrestlers meet twice a week before school for strength training, and many are continuing to hone their skills at private clubs in the area. Many will also be attending a team-training camp at Penn State as a group, to gain new skills and confidence from the 3-time NCAA championship coaching staff.
The wrestling teams are a Randolph Township recreation department traveling program. Their mission is to promote the sport among youth participants, and develop wrestlers who want to continue the sport at a progressively competitive level. The program is divided into levels by age and experience that compete in a variety of leagues to encourage skill development, respect for the sport, and increasing competitive intensity. Additional information about the program is available at www.randolphwrestling.org