Sports

RU Wrestling Declaws Northwestern, 28-6

Highlights of Rutgers wrestling's win over Northwestern Credits: RVision (Rutgers)
Rutgers wrestling head coach Scott Goodale post match press conference after win over Northwester Credits: RVision
6568ab40440909da8ea0_IMG_4926.JPG
Rutgers wrestler Dylan Painton on Senior Day at the RAC Credits: Chris Nalwasky
ac8d21ad67542c97a050_IMG_4923.JPG
96ced72e17f76f3dabb4_IMG_4938.JPG
4a5f962f4054c8537d5d_IMG_4943.JPG
f9c572aa23d30772463a_IMG_4949.JPG
671914c687b8dc678ba9_IMG_4952.JPG
6568ab40440909da8ea0_IMG_4926.JPG

PISCATAWAY -- Rain, sleet, and snow couldn’t keep passionate fans away from the Rutgers Athletic Center Sunday afternoon as the No. 13 Rutgers Scarlet Knights wrestling team locked horns with the Northwestern Wildcats in a Big Ten Conference battle on Senior Day.

Six grapplers - Phil Bakuckas, Kenny Theobold, Josh Patrick, Sean McCabe, Anthony Pafumi, and South Plainfield native Dylan Painton - were honored for their hard work and dedication to the university and program prior to the last home dual meet of the season. No. 14 Theobold and Bakuckas came out on top in their 149 and 174-pound bouts respectively, helping the Scarlet Knights de-claw the Wildcats, 28-6, in front of 2,527.

With the victory, Rutgers (12-4) finished their Big Ten regular season slate with a 6-3 record. The six wins are the most since joining the conference in the 2014-15 season. They also finished undefeated at home (6-0), including 5-0 at the RAC.

Sign Up for E-News

“Good dual. It’s a good way to finish, 6-0 at home. We obviously like wrestling here,” Rutgers head coach Scott Goodale said. “Overall I thought we wrestled well and we were super aggressive. I thought we wrestled really hard. We were extremely good on top and got out when we needed to get out. It was a good day. ...Tremendous appreciation for the senior class.”

Bakaukus, who lost his starting spot to Jordan Pagano earlier this season who is 23-7 and now ranked No. 19 by Intermat, got the nod and had one last shot to get a win in Piscataway.

The Hammonton, N.J. native went on a mission and completed the objective, crushing Braxton Cody by way of a rare first period technical fall, 16-0, earning three four-point near falls, one two-point near fall, and one takedown in the process. Bakuckas raised both arms circling all the way around to the crowd. When he stepped off the mat, he was met by a hug from Goodale.

“It’s been a crazy ride for me so it felt really good to go out there and put on for everyone in the crowd for one last time,” Bakuckas said. “It’s been an emotional ride for me this year, but I’m happy I got that one and it’s been an honor to represent this university and do what I came here to do.

“I just kept telling myself to push through (when he was replaced by Pagano). I’ve never been a quitter in my life. My family has been there for me. It's been tough, but I got through it. I'm proud. I hold my head high. I'm going to finish strong and continue to keep pushing myself everyday.”

Rutgers took the first five bouts of the day, leading 17-(-1) at the break after Northwestern’s Ben Sullivan was flagged for flagrant misconduct in the loss to 6-2 loss to No. 18 John Van Brill at 157 pounds which resulted in a point being taken away for the Wildcats.

Rutgers’ 125-pounder Brandon Paetzell started things off by getting revenge over Anthony Rubinetti, 4-2, who topped the true freshman at Midlands. Then, the South Plainfield tandem at 133 and 141 pounds of DelVecchio and No. 5 Anthony Ashnault upped the tally to 11-0 as the two Tigers won by decision and tech fall respectively. DelVecchio (17-10, 7-5), who is 4-5 since the new year and is coming off a loss at Ohio State, is starting to find his aggression and groove.

“Yeah, I kind of felt that,” Goodale said of DelVecchio’s aggressiveness which led to an 11-4 win. “I tapped (assistant coach John) Leonardis on the thigh and said, ‘He’s really starting to come along here late,’ That’s what you want. He’s in this conference where the (top five of seven) guys in the country are all from the Big Ten. He’s been up against the best guys, but you can see he’s starting to wrestle better and he’s bounced back from bad losses. He’s got to put his foot on the gas and continue to go. It was a good win for Scotty and he’s definitely starting to wrestle a lot better.”

Theobold picked up a 9-3 win as well sending his farewells to the RAC crowd. Nicholas Gravina (No. 13) shutout Mitch Sliga 4-0 at 184 pounds, and Razohnn Gross topped Conan Jennings 3-2 in the first tiebreaker period for the other two wins for the home team.

“It’s a big a honor,” said Theobold on the significance of going unblemished at home, “all of our teammates did what they had to do. To go undefeated at home, have an amazing crowd and atmosphere at the RAC it is emotional. I’m happy with the way it ended at least for the dual season.”

For this senior class, who were recruited to grapple in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA), it’s been a journey. Since joining the Big Ten, they’ve seen their conference record go from 2-7, to 5-4, and now 6-3. And as they say, that’s progress for a team that is building towards being a national power and ranked in the top 10 year in and year out.

“My freshman year we wrestled at the Barn (College Avenue Gym) in front of a couple hundred fans," Bakuckas said, "and then my senior year we are are wrestling in the football stadium with 16,000. You can see where this is program is going and it’s going in the right direction. Everyone is working hard every single day. (Assistant coach) Donny (Pritzlaff) was obviously a great pickup for our team. This team is only going to go up from here.”

Next up for Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights will participate in the 2017 NWCA National Duals Championships Series. Goodale said he is “90 percent” sure his team will face No. 11 Lehigh. Last year, Rutgers bested Lehigh at the RAC in the 2016 NWCA National Duals, 18-15, that came down to a heavyweight showdown where Billy Smith came out on top.


The NWCA will inform the host schools of their opponent by 11 p.m. tonight (Feb. 12).

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Piscataway

TapInto Welcomes Letters to the Editor, Guidelines for Submission Listed

PISCATAWAY, NJ - Letters to the Editor are a time-honored tradition in the newspaper industry and now that so much of news has moved online, the letters explaining a personal point of view have moved with it.

While many of our letters come during election time, TapInto invites letters year round. The main rules are to include a full name, phone number, email and snail mail address. TapInto ...

To Our Current and Future Representatives

July 17, 2018

To Our Current and Future Representatives - Wherever They May Be:

We can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. 

We cannot fall prey to fear, ignorance and anger when we  have been historically driven by freedom and justice. 

We must have the courage and will to fight hate, bigotry and prejudice. 

We must not wake up to what we hoped was a bad dream and ...

Residents Praise Middlesex County's Stand Against ICE Detentions

July 22, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Days after federal authorities blasted Middlesex County for releasing undocumented immigrants from the county jail, residents praised the freeholder board for taking a stand against what they called illegal efforts to detain people.

"Middlesex County is simply upholding the law by refusing to detain people who judges have determined are eligible for release. To do ...

Obituaries

Hillsborough, NJ - Gina (Francoisa) Salamon, 90, died Monday, July 9, 2018 at Bridgeway Care Center ...
Read more
Piscataway – Michael John Doherty, 73, passed away Saturday June 16, 2018 in Las Vegas, ...
Read more

Rockin In The Park

July 21, 2018

Rockin In The Park "Rockin The Park" Family Fun Day will be on August 19th at Springwood Park in Asbury Park at 12pm. This event will host food, fun and family activities. Music will be provided by DJ Smooth, DJ Hands Up and DJ KJBEST1.

We would like to thank the two organizations assisted in sponsoring this event, The Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce and the College Achieved Charter ...

The Somerset Patriots And 9-1-1 On FOX Are Looking For Hero First Responders

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset Patriots and 9-1-1 On FOX are asking for Hero First Responder nominations from the community.

Nominate a first responder to be recognized on the field during the pre-game ceremony and throw out a ceremonial first pitch at the Saturday, August 4th Somerset Patriots game against the New Britain Bees at TD Bank Ballpark. Three first responders will be chosen ...

Piscataway Library Accepting Diaper Donations Now Through July 31st

The Piscataway Public Library is helping the Central Jersey Diaper Bank collect diaper donations through the month of July. 

New or open packs of disposable baby diapers (all sizes) and wipes are needed.

Look for the blue bins at either Kennedy or Westergard to donate!

Rutgers-Newark Athletic Field Renamed to Honor Frederick Douglass

Newark, NJ – Long before Rutgers University-Newark created an athletic field on University Avenue, the abolitionist Frederick Douglass delivered an address in 1849 at a church that once stood there.

Rutgers Board of Governors approved a resolution to rename the field in honor of the time Douglass spent here. The field will now be called the Frederick Douglass ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, July 23, 10:00 AM

NJ Convention and Exposition Center, Edison

82nd Annual Garden State Cat Show & Expo

Giving Back Other

Wed, July 25, 7:00 PM

Washington Park, Dunellen

Free Music in the Park | Princesa - Pop / Latin

Arts & Entertainment

Wed, August 1, 7:00 PM

Washington Park, Dunellen

Free Music in the Park | Rockabilly Roadhouse

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_a2c4ddef7ed6c72e648e_17crowd1

Thu, August 2, 4:00 PM

Milt Campbell Fields, Plainfield

Music in the Park @ Milt Campbell Field - Free ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_91aa9ce1ab4480bb4bda_rockin2

Sun, August 19

Springwood Park, Asbury Park

Rockin In The Park

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink Giving Back

Mayors Push for Law Permitting Driver's License for Immigrants

July 22, 2018

PERTH AMBOY, NJ - Five mayors from northern and central New Jersey today called for passage of a state law permitting immigrants to get driver's licenses even if they are undocumented, saying it boosts public safety as well as the economy.

"This is important for every resident for a better life and a better life for the state of New Jersey," said Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda ...

N.J. Teen Reflects On His Experience At The Extreme Mustang Makeover in Kentucky

July 22, 2018

LEXINGTON, Ky. —James Duffey, 18, and his American Mustang, "Star Spangled Dunes," accomplished their goals for the 2018 Extreme Mustang Makeover.

The event was held at the Kentucky Horse Park in late June with the competing horses going to new homes at the conclusion.

Duffey competed last year in the youth division with a younger horse. The youth only do groundwork with ...

Would Shedding

How much wood wouldn’t a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck woodn’t?

 

Enough already.  

 

I get it.  It is an easy mistake to make, misusing would and wouldn’t.  It happens to me all the time.

 

“Honey, when I said I didn’t see any reason why I would go to the ballet, I meant to say I couldn’t see ...