SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School hosted the District 16 wrestling tournament this weekend and did not disappoint the hometown crowd. In fact, the Raiders had their best showing in years, with six athletes making it to the finals and the third-place rounds. Four Scotch Plains wrestlers finished the tournament in second place: Brandon Bowles, Robert Lerner, Anthony Robinson, and Larry Shoyoye. For their accomplishments, this fearsome foursome have been named this week's Joint Motion Physical Therapy Athletes of the Week."
Brandon Bowles (126 lbs.)
Bowles, a junior, continued right where he left off last season as one of our strongest wrestlers in the program.
"His work ethic is one of the best I have seen in my nine years at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School. He is constantly asking questions, reflecting, adjusting, and improving his wrestling skills," said varsity coach Marc Fabiano. "With no fear, Brandon wrestled anyone, whether they were undefeated or even if they were up at the next weight class. Brandon never questioned the decision, and did whatever he could to help the team.
Brandon entered the District tournament in the toughest 126 lb. weight class in the state. Brandon, Larry Melchondia, and Sean Reindero were all State Qualifiers last season who won matches at states (Sean is also ranked 4th in the state, and Larry was ranked earlier this year). Brandon really showed his quickness and explosiveness throughout the tournament, especially in the semifinal round when he upset Melchondia, the 2nd seed, 4-3.
"Brandon was aggressive in taking shots and believing in his abilities. He continued this effort in the finals, but unfortunately lost and placed second (against Reindero)," Fabiano said.
Anthony Robinson (152 lbs.)
Coach March Fabiano describes Anthony Robinson as "a wrestler that I could always count on this season." As a sophomore, in a very difficult weight class, Anthony battled through injuries to have a very successful campaign with over 25 wins and over 15 pins.
"Anthony will leave everything he has on the mat for every match. He is another wrestler who has improved tremendously throughout the season," Fabiano said. "His explosiveness makes him a very dangerous to wrestle against in the any position. This was very evident in the District tournament when Anthony upset the 2nd seed, Aidan Cunningham from Seton Hall Prep. He trusted his attacks and scored multiple takedowns."
In the finals, Anthony continued to show his mental toughness and strength.
"He was one point away from upsetting the top seed, Conor Vill from Governour Livingston. Anthony lost to Vill, 5-0, earlier in the season, so this match really showed Anthony and everyone else, how much potential he has."
Larry Shoyoye (195 lbs.)
Junior Larry Shoyoye was one of the key contributors to the Raiders' overall success this season.
"With over 30 wins and 23 of them pins, it shows Larry's relentlessness, and willingness to do his all for the team. He had an unbelievable run in the District tournament, placing second overall in the 195 lb. weight class," Fabiano said. "A huge moment for Larry was in the semifinal round when he was losing 7-0 in the 2nd period and came back with a huge pin to win the match."
Robert Lerner (220 lbs.)
A first-year varsity wrestler and only a sophomore, Lerner has over 30 victories with more than 20 of them coming via pins.
"Robert was a wrestler this year who was willing to wrestle anyone at anytime throughout the year, and what makes him standout is how is constantly continued to improve throughout the season," Fabiano said. "Robert had a tremendous run in the District tournament placing second in a very difficult weight class. He showed the wrestling community his potential for the years to come."
Joint Motion Physical Therapy is located across the street from the Stage House Tavern and shares a free, handicap accessible parking lot with the Scotch Plains Public Library. Joint Motion can be reached for an appointment by phone 908-322-3202, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also learn more at www.facebook.com/JointMotionPT.
Joint Motion Physical Therapy
373 Park Ave.
Scotch Plains, NJ 07076
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