BLOOMFIELD, NJ-- The Bloomfield High boys' wrestling team opened the 2019-2020 season with a pair of tournaments. The Bengals opened on Dec. 21, at the Kearny Holiday Tournament, then competed a week later, at the Patriot Tournament, in Secaucus.
Bloomfield's third-year head coach, Ryan Smircich will lead his team into a very busy schedule, following the New Year's holiday. The Bengals will host a quad meet, on Jan. 4, at the Pit, against Secaucus, Montclair and Clifton, starting at 9 a.m. On Jan. 8, the team visits Nutley in what should be an intense atmosphere, starting at 7 p.m. On Jan. 10, Bloomfield is home to face Caldwell, at 6 p.m.
Smircich has been pleased with what he's seen from his squad so far this year.
"The kids are working hard," said Smircich. "We're still putting together our lineup for dual matches. Opening with a few tournaments was actually a good thing. We have a real busy schedule, starting in January, and we want the kids to be healthy, and so far, that's been the case."
In the Kearny Tournament, the Bengals received solid efforts from Zachary Andruchowitz, who won the 182-pound championship, with a 7-1 decision in the title bout. Alex Soja, Jarred Garcia and Gerald VanBaelen had good tourneys for Bloomfield, as each finished third at 152, 170 and 120 pounds respectively. D'Isaiah Larrea took fourth place at 138 pounds.
At the tourney in Secuacus, the Bengals had two wrestlers earn gold. Juan Millan won a pair of major decisions to get to the 113-pound championship bout. In the final, he won a hard-fought, 6-4 decision. Dillon Jennings pinned his way to the 195-pound title. Jennings, a junior won his first two bouts by first period falls, then pinned midway through the second period to capture the title.
Ernesto McRae of Bloomfield finished third at 120 pounds, with a pin in the third place bout.
"It was a good start," said Smircich of the two December tournaments. "We're looking forward to some good days of hard practice before New Year's, then getting back into the swing of school and a lot of matches after the holiday."