The following is from John Gigante, Program Director of the MSO Cougars Youth Wrestling Club

SOUTH ORANGE AND MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The MSO Cougars Youth Wrestling Club made a statement this year, increasing membership from 34 wrestlers to 62, and making a splash at the end-of-season tournaments.

Three of the club wrestlers qualified for the State Tournament in Trenton (Tyson Carroll, Nate Rocha, and Sean Love). Sean Love placed 5th at 70 lbs, and Nate Rocha took 6th place among 119 pound wrestlers in New Jersey. Rocha also capped a 10-1 regular season with his fifth straight county championship. Jared Van Allen and Sean Love placed 4th at the county championship tournament, while Lucas Barriger won 6th place.

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Among the club’s novice wrestlers, Oliver Kreizman won gold at both year-end novice tournaments, and Malachi Wright, Kevin Simon, and Oliver Lutz each won one gold at one of the two tournaments.

Several of the club’s wrestlers received special recognition at the year-end Awards Banquet on Sunday, March 12, including Max Gigante (Most Improved), Jude Franco (Most Coachable), Burton Alexander (Sportsmanship), Reid Ordower (Coaches Award), Oliver Kreizman (Coaches Award), Malachi Wright (Rookie of the Year), Oliver Lutz (Future Champion), Lucas Barriger (Unsung Hero), Tyson Carroll (Leadership), Jared Van Allen (Most Valuable), and Nate Rocha (Outstanding Wrestler).

The club graduates five eighth graders who will go on to wrestle for Columbia High School next year (Aiden Aronin, Devon Brown, Jonathan Feola, Nate Rocha, and Zach Sukel).

Open to residents of Maplewood-South Orange in grades 2 to 8, the MSO Cougars Youth Wrestling Club has a novice division which competes in the North Jersey Junior Wrestling League, and an Advanced Squad which competes in the Suburban Junior.

For more information, see msowrestlingclub.com.