MORRIS TOWNSHIP, NJ – This past weekend, the full attention of the Morris County wrestling world was on the high school county tournament held at Mount Olive.
Under significantly less fanfare, the Frelinghuysen Middle School wrestling squad showed Morristown may be a factor up there in a few years.
With 176 team points, FMS rolled to the Greater Morris County Middle School Wrestling Tournament (GMMCT) title, outpacing runner up Mount Olive by 37 points. A total of 13 schools, including East Hanover (129.5 team points), West Essex (121.5 team points), Central Middle School (105 team points), Memorial (74.5 team points), Roxbury (72.5), Kinnelon (69 team points), Ridgedale (68 team points), Valleyview (63 team points), Pequannock (45 team points), Brooklawn (42 team points) and Dover (2 team points) participated in the event.
Of the fourteen weight classes, Morristown had 11 grapplers place in the top four in their bracket, including one championship from Aidan Watson a 139 pounds.
Mason Gervasio (72 lbs), Connor Watson at 107, Adam Jackson in the 125-pound bracket, and Dylan Cornejo in the 165-pound competition all took runner up honors for Frelinghuysen. Shane O’Neill, Robert Crofford, Colin Smith and Luke Chilson took third place honors in the 97, 102, and 118 pound classes over the weekend. Connor Joel (92 lbs) and Bruno Diaz (149 lbs) took fourth.
"Our team worked hard from the beginning of the season until the end of the season", said FMS wrestling coach Bryan Manahan.  "We had a little fun along the journey.   I think that most important lesson that wrestling in this program gives our kids is that working hard each and everyday always pays off.  You may not win every match but you will improve not only on the mats but as a person".
"I feel great that the kids had an opportunity to win another championship", Manahan continued.  "There was a lot of time dedicated to these athletes by many coaches and parents.  This was the first year that FMS hosted the tournament and without the help of numerous volunteers, led by Doug Watson, Adam Jackson, Simone Jackson, and Janine Chilson, there would not have been a tournament this year. Having all of our efforts combine for a County Championship feels pretty satisfying".
There are 13 eighth graders on the current FMS team. "Next year we have a nice group of athletes coming back", continued Manahan.  "We will try to have another successful season".