RANDOLPH, NJ- Going into the NJSIAA Region 1 Tournament, Randolph was coming in low in numbers but hopeful of being represented in the state championships. Unfortunately for the Rams, things did not go their way in the tournament.
The two Randolph representatives were fifth seeded sophomore Nick Rampone in the 120 pound weight class and seventh seeded senior Mike Syznalski in the 160 pound weight class. Rampone came in with a record of 24-14 and Syznalski came in with a record of 18-5.
While Rampone had a first-round bye, Syznalski had to earn his way into the quarterfinals and a chance at wrestle backs by defeating Robbie Toro of High Point in a 7-2 decision. However, that was the only win the Rams collected in the regional tournament.
Both wrestlers lost in the quarterfinals 5-1 and 6-0 respectively which put them at risk of early elimination going into the final day of the tournament. But, with their only chance of redemption on the line, they both lost in the first round of wrestle backs 11-1 and 5-3 respectively.
Rams coach Mike Suk stated, “All through the regional tournament our kids wrestled tough competitive bouts. Anytime you reach this level of competition it is filled with high level opponents.”
For Syznalski, it was his last and perhaps his best chance at getting to the state tournament. He started two years for the Rams and completed his best season in his high school career as a senior.
Coach Suk has high hopes of building on the progress his group made this year, explaining, “We had a very good year of growth, and the continued improvement I saw each week was very rewarding. The boys really came together as a close team, making it a fun year in all aspects. They set the stage for what could be a championship year next season.”
Suk concluded by adding, “But that depends on their work ethic in the off season.”