NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – The Governor Livingston Highlanders won 12 of 14 matches and earned five pins en route to a 65-9 victory over the New Providence Pioneers on Wednesday night in New Providence.
The meet started with 103 pounders Adriel Lazaro of the Pioneers and Jon Mele of the Highlanders. Mele quickly earned a takedown in the match and pinned Lazaro 47 seconds into the first round, as the Highlanders jumped to a quick 6-0 lead.
After a Pioneer forfeit at the 112 pound weight class, Tim Terrezza of the Pioneers took on Anthony DeFranco of the Highlanders in the 125 pound weight class. Terrezza was probably the odds on favorite going into the match, but DeFranco looked like the better wrestler in the first round. He earned two points with a take down and jumped out to a 2-0 lead after 2:00 minutes.
“I thought Anthony wrestled extremely well. (He was) aggressive on his feet,” Highlander’s Head Coach Rick Lacano said.
DeFranco earned two points in the second round with a reversal and another two in the third round with another takedown. He won the match 6-1 to give the Highlanders a 15-0 lead.
In the 130 pound weight class Ryan Hoy of the Highlanders wrestled a solid three rounds. He got a take down in the first and second round and had a reversal in the third round to earn a 6-0 victory. The 130 pound weight class saw Dan Smith of the Pioneers do battle with Jeremey Klein of the Highlanders. The bout proved to be one of the few bright spots for the Pioneers. Smith won the match by a score of 9-3 to make the score 18-3.
The next bout saw Joe Ciarrocca of the Pioneers face off with Mike Stepien of the Highlanders at the 135 pound weight class. Stepien quickly went on the offense, taking down Ciarrocca early in the first round. He earned four near falls before pinning his opponent with a cross body move. That gave the Highlanders a 24-3 advantage.
“We’ve been wrestling pretty well. In this kind of environment, there’s a rivalry,” Coach Lacano said. “Right now were very pleased with what we’re getting out of everybody. It’s really a good effort.”
At the 140 pound weight class, Jeff SanFilippo of the Pioneers was pinned by TJ Nicholson of the Highlanders in the second round with a quarter nelson move. 152 pounder, Bryan Sobol of the Highlanders also earned a pin with an inside cradle pin at the 42 second mark of the first round, as the Highlanders jumped out to a 42-3 lead.
The 160 pound matchup was between Vincent Sidoli of the Pioneers and Pat Eichner of the Highlanders. Eichner earned several takedowns and near falls in the bout, claiming a 16-1 victory. At the 171 pound mark Shane Haddad of the Highlanders earned a pin just 16 seconds into the first round with a cradle. The Pioneers were forced to forfeit at the 189 pound weight class.
In one of the more exciting matchups of the night Stephen Bremer of the Pioneers took on Matt O’Sullivan of the Highlanders. O’Sullivan earned the first points of the match with a takedown, but Bremer quickly came back and earned a near fall with an inside cradle move in the second round. Bremer had the lead and control of his opponent in the third round, but O’Sullivan earned a reversal and pinned Bremer late in the round to get the victory, giving his team a 65-3 lead.
“We try to focus on improvement more than outcome,” Coach Lacano said. "Perception is reality. I really like the way we’re competing,” he continued.
Zach Troutman of the Pioneers earned a pin fall over Tony Manganiello of the Highlanders with an inside cradle move at the 38 seconds into the first round.
Both the Highlanders and the Pioneers will next travel to Union to participate in the Union Catholic Wrestling Tournament. That tournament is on Saturday January 22nd and it starts at 9 a.m.