BAYONNE, NJ -- The Bayonne wrestling team will open its 2019-2020 season by hosting the Battle At The Bay Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 9 a.m.

The Bees were 15-13 last season and have a lineup that head coach Jared Luciani believes is balanced enough to indicate the team will have a competitive season this winter.

"Our strength is that we are well rounded without too many holes in the lineup," Luciani said.

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Returning wrestlers expected to make an impact include Bavly Halaka, Keith Simon, Gerald Rovelo. Halaka had a winning record wrestling at 106 pounds last winter. Rovelo was consistently competitive at 195 pounds. And Simon, who wrestled at 220 pounds, took a 14-3 record into the District 14 tournament last March.

Luciani is looking forward to seeing how some of these promising new wrestlers to the varsity level will do this season: Abdul Ibraheem, Elias Nid-Youssef, Dan Auriemma, Kanai Martin, and Blesson Daniels. The coach is also enthusiastic about another addition--Hall of Fame Wrestling coach Leonard Smith has joined the staff this season from Pequannock in Morris County.

"Our outlook is to make the state playoffs for the fourth consecutive year," Luciani said. "We are looking to make it to the state semifinals this year."

Over the break, Bayonne will wrestle in the Patriot Invitational tournament at Secaucus before resuming the regular-season portion of its schedule Dec. 30 at Montgomery High School in western Somerset County.

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