MADISON, NJ - The stakes are raised at the regions and so is the talent level of wrestlers. The Madison wrestling team understands that all too well right now. The Dodgers sent two wrestlers to the first half of Region 3-4 at Union High School and both lost and were eliminated Saturday.
Sean Narayan (113) was pinned in 2:54 by Seton Hall Prep's eventual champion Joseph Sciarrone in the first round.
At 138, Madison teammate Jayson Candelario was right in the match with St. Peter's Prep's Jonathan Fuller before getting pinned in 5:35.
Both Madison wrestlers fared well in defeat.
"Narayan went after (Sciarrone), took a couple of shots and was down 2-1 after one," Madison coach Mike Goodwin said. "The Seton Hall kid was better on his feet, he had the bar and the half and stacked Ryan over his head. Sean didn't play defense, he kept going after him. He did what you should do. Our thinking was, 'Whatever you do, go after him.' He tried, but he didn't have enough to win."
Candelario, meanwhile, fell behind 5-0 early but then reversed Fuller with a cradle for three backs to tie the match. He couldn't maintain his hold, however, and Fuller soon reversed Candelario.
"It was 5-5 and Jay had the chance to stick him, but he didn't have the right grip in there," Goodwin said. "He had an opportunity. You only get a shot here or there at the regions and you have to take advantage."
The season didn't end for Narayan or Candelario. Both will compete for the Dodgers this week in dual matches against Hopatcong, Whippany Park and Hanover Park. Two more Dodgers will compete in the regions Sunday.
At 160, Connor Gilfallin will face top-seeded Dylan Weaver of Lyndhurst in the morning session.
At 195, Julian Moszcynski will meet Cranford's fifth-seeded Shane Kantermann in the afternoon session.
"Connor doesn't care who he is wrestling," Goodwin said. "He has wanted the opportunity and it'll be good for him. Julian, if he sticks to a basic gameplan, he can do something. If he just tries to roll around, that'll be where he gets in trouble."