BLOOMFIELD, NJ--Following a tough stretch, the Bloomfield High wrestling team seems to be back on target after wins over West Orange, Union City and Lyndhurst.
Head coach Ryan Smircich's team took a 17-4 record into a match with Millburn on Feb. 5. On Feb. 7, the team visits Hackettstown, in a 6 p.m. start and on Feb. 8, there's a home quad, starting at 10 a.m.
The Bengals also qualified for the NJSIAA sectionals, beginning on Feb. 10. The Bengals will host North Bergen, at 6 p.m. in the first round. The winner moves on to the semifinals, on Feb. 12, most likely at top-seeded Passaic County Tech, in Wayne.
In mid January, Bloomfield had run into some outstanding teams in Seton Hall Prep, West Essex and Livingston, who were also the top three teams in the Essex County Tournament. But the Bengals have responded well, since, defeating West Orange, 41-21, Union City, 57-12 and Lyndhurst, 61-15, as well as sweeping the Gray Cup, on Feb. 1 and sweeping a quad against Cliffside Park, Kearny and Orange, on Jan. 25.
"We had a nice win against West Orange, which now makes three teams we defeated this year that we hadn't beaten in over a decade, along with Clifton and Nutley," said Smircich. "We wrestled really poorly against Livingston. Hats off to their kids and coaches, who out wrestled us,"
Smircich noted the team is healthy, heading into the key part of the season.
"Our team is healthy, with Jacob Febo returning to the line-up and should be full strength when Jarred Garcia returns soon," the coach said. "D'Isaiah Larrea is having an excellent senior season."
The girls have also done an excellent job. At the Kingsway Tournament, on Feb. 1, Kira Pipkins, a freshman, continued her outstanding season by winning the tourney, at 114 pounds, and improving to 10-0 on the season.
Claire Daity finished fourth at 135 pounds while Noura Kakadendi and Giana Faura also finished fourth in their respective weight classes.