NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - On Monday night, the Pioneers hosted the Rutherford Bulldogs for their opening state sectional match and came away with a 43-24 victory. This was the first time since 2006 that New Providence had made it to the state playoffs. Last year, the Bulldogs won the NJSIAA districts, but this year it was a different story.
The match began with a Rutherford forfeit giving the Pioneers the early lead. Immediately afterwards, at the 112 weight class, David Dinerman pinned his opponent with ease. New Providence extended its lead with an 8-2 win by Tim Terezza.
"Some of our wrestlers bumped up, and they did what they needed to do (Dinerman, Terrezza, and Smith) for the team," said fellow team member Max Sidoli.
After New Providence took a quick and commanding lead, the Bulldogs jumped right back by taking the next four matches. The 125, 130, 135, and 140 weight classes were all won by decision of points by Rutherford. Winning these four matches in a row helped the Bulldogs take an 18-15 lead over the Pioneers.
When it seemed that momentum was shifting towards the visitor's side, the Pioneers struck back with two quick pins. Daniel Umana and Hans Dassen. wrestling at the 145 and 152 classes. gave New Providence the lead, making it 27-18 in favor of the Pioneers.
Rutherford tried to make a comeback by winning the 160 and 189 weight classes, but help from New Providence's 171 pound John D'Amico shut that opportunity down with a pin. After the 189 victory for Rutherford, senior Andrew Tullo defeated his opponent by a score of 11-1 denying the Bulldogs any chance of winning.
Zach Troutman, the 285 pound junior, finished off the match by pinning his counterpart Mike Gerbasio making the final score 43-24 in favor of New Providence.
The Pioneers now move on past the state sectionals to the semi finals. Coach Brodeur, assistant coach of the New Providence wrestling team said, "Overall, the wrestlers did very well. We scored bonus points when we needed them."
What's next for New Providence? "We have Madison away in the semi finals. We hope to beat them and face Roselle Park in the finals," said Max Sidoli.