Wrestling: East Brunswick’s Schleifer Battles Back to Sixth in State Finals

Mark Schleifer on the mat for the Bears in Atlantic City. Credits: Dennis Chambers, TAP into Sports

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - Having your back against the wall – or mat – is a pressure-filled situation, win and you advance or lose and your hard work is all but gone.

East Brunswick junior Mark Schleifer became accustomed to wrestling with the odds against him this weekend in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, where he fell just short in the fifth place match to Shane Metzler 3-1.

The 120-pound wrestler lost his second match of the weekend against Nicholas Raimo of Hanover Park, sending him into the wrestle-back bracket for the remainder of the tournament.

Sign Up for E-News

From there, Schleifer ripped off three straight wins before meeting Bergen Catholic's Gerard Angelo in the match for a shot at third place. Again, the junior from East Brunswick fell short.

Head coach Matt Pazinko was impressed with his ability to wrestle with his back against the wall.

"I think he had a great tournament coming back," Pazinko said. "He's been wrestling do or die for the past five matches and he's been going out there and wrestling real hard against the best competition in the state."

Entering the tournament with a 28-3 record, Schleifer equaled that loss total over the weekend. But after each loss, the wrestler didn't let the pressure surmount him.

"I don't think of it as having my back against the wall, I think of it more as an opportunity to show my wrestling abilities," Schleifer said. "I don't think it's more like feeling pressure, you have to wrestle like yourself."

Schleifer made the fifth place match an exciting one, scoring his lone point on an escape in the third period. That point eventually forced an overtime period. And just like all weekend, Schleifer was in a do-or-die situation.

Unfortunately, he did not convert the victory.

Schleifer views this weekend as a step in the right direction for his ultimate goal.

"My thought process is always to be state champion,” Schleifer said. “That's what I'm working towards next year. That's what I wanted to be this year, I didn't get there but that’s just another stepping stone for next year."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

East Brunswick

Vets4Warriors Gives Struggling Veterans a Lifeline

February 18, 2018

Fatima Aguilar’s first day on the job at Vets4Warriors was anything but normal. A military veteran who’s currently enlisted as a Second Lieutenant with the New Jersey National Guard, she found herself in a potential suicide crisis situation as soon as she hit the phones.

“I started around three and a half years ago on the overnight shift, and my very first call was a US ...

South Brunswick: Volunteer Soccer Coach Charged With Possessing And Distributing Child Pornography

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – A volunteer youth soccer coach and former Sunday school teacher is charged with possessing and distributing child pornography, officials said Thursday.

FBI agents and local law enforcement arrested Waldo Milla-Guerra, 49, at his Kendall Park home Thursday morning after executing a search warrant, officials said.

Milla-Guerra, a volunteer soccer coach with the ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

Guest Column

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The ...

Diegnan: Computer Science Now Required in New Jersey Schools

February 23, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick Diegnan to require school districts to offer course in computer science and Department of Education to adopt changes to NJ Student Learning Standards in computer science has been signed into law.


“To flourish in tomorrow’s digital economy and society, our children should be learning computer ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, March 4, 3:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

Staatskapelle Weimar

Arts & Entertainment

Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey , New Brunswick

Motown the Musical

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, April 7, 2:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

Arts & Entertainment

East Brunswick Public Library Holds South Asian Community Day of Wellness

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ— On Saturday, March 3, Cancer Support Community Central NJ Jersey (CSCCNJ) will be hosting a Day of Wellness at the East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center, ). This program is part of CSCCNJ’s South Asian outreach initiative, which is made possible by the Shri Krishna Nidhi (SKN) Foundation.

The Day of Wellness is being offered at no ...

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb (Altria, 2015)


Years later, after the tragedy, someone remembered the Dumb Supper and what had happened there. That was the cause of it, they said, because the ritual wasn't a game after all. It really was magic, but magic has rules, and she broke them. Even when they call it a 'senseless tragedy,' people always try to find a ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

EBPD: Safeguarding Students, Staff, and Residents in the Public Schools

February 20, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - The East Brunswick Police Department, in cooperation with the East Brunswick Board of Education, will be assisting the school security staff by providing police officers at our township public schools. It is the goal of the East Brunswick Police Department and the East Brunswick Board of Education to safeguard our students, staff and residents at our schools on a daily basis ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...