BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ— The Gov. Livingston varsity wrestling team dominated over Union on Friday night during their last home match of the season and senior night, 45-33.
With the win, GL improves to 8-8.
Senior wrestlers Chris Bottone, Ben Collins, Chris Garrigan, Turner Haddad, Matt Hoy, Mike Perrotta, Anthony Santigate, and Dan Tomlinson, and senior managers, Michelle Haramoto, Steph Rhodes, and Caitlin Sergio, were recognized prior to the match, along with their families.
Turner Haddad and Dan Tomlinson, two veterans on the GL squad, have seen the benefits of wrestling pay off for their careers as Highlanders. A win on senior night, in their last home match, was a milestone in the athletes’ time at GL.
“I feel that I have progressed tremendously over the four years I have been here," said Haddad. "Our coaches are great and help make everyone get better every year. Wrestling has taught me a lot, but the most important thing would have to be how to be mentally tough. It may seem easy watching a match but in your head it is a mental battle.”
Pins by sophomore David Vill (120), Matt Hoy (132), Anthony Santigate (138), sophomore James Snyder (145), and Turner Haddad (195), a win by decision for Dan Tomlinson (285), and two Union forfeits allowed GL to take home a win in honor of their seniors.
“Wrestling has taught me the values of hard work and discipline,” said Tomlinson, “It’s always good to win, but since it was our last match ever at home, it was extra special.”
In the 120 pound weight class, sophomore David Vill took little time to get his opponent on his back. Just 1:36 into the battle, Vill had 6 points under his belt to start the night off right for the Highlanders. Union responded quickly in the next matchup, as Chris Garrigan (126) fell to his opponent with one second left in the 2nd period.
Though the score was tied, senior Matt Hoy’s match began a string of pins for the GL team. Hoy (132), Anthony Santigate (138), and James Snyder (145) followed in each other’s footsteps; the three pins allowed GL to pull to a 24-6 lead, which the Highlanders would keep for the rest of the night.
Following Union pins against freshman Joe Scalora (152) and junior Matt Perez-Santalla (160), Union started to close in on GL. A forfeit in the 170 pound weight class, however, gave GL an additional 6 points—letting the Highlanders to keep their lead through a GL forfeit in the 182 pound weight class. GL was up 30-24 going into the upper divisions.
Turner Haddad (195) came out guns blazing in order to keep his team ahead, as by the end of the first period, he was up 10 points. Refusing to accept just a win by decision, Haddad had his opponent’s shoulders against the mat with 1:19 left in the second period; Haddad handed GL another 6 points on his senior night, moving one step closer to 100 wins.
A struggle in the 220 pound weight class marked a loss on part of the Highlanders. Sophomore Damon Ippolito lost to his opponent by decision, 5-1. Senior Dan Tomlinson (285), however, regained those points given to Union. By the end of the third period, multiple takedowns allowed Tomlinson to take home a win by decision, 10-3.
Though GL’s Harrison Kelly ’20 was pinned by his Union opponent in the 106 pound division, a Union forfeit in the 113 class allowed GL to walk off the mat victorious for their seniors, 45-33.
Next, GL will wrestle at Westfield (11-7) on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 5 p.m.