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

South Plainfield

Obituaries

South Plainfield – John T. Felz, Jr., 71, passed away at his home on Thursday, June 14, ...
Read more

Letters to the Editor

South Plainfield Special Athletes Have Great Showing in This Year's State Games

June 22, 2018

Tyler is one of many athletes from South Plainfield who competed in this year's State Games, held at the college of New Jersey. This was Tyler's third year competing, but the first year where Tyler won a gold medal in, in both the long jump and mini javelin. We are proud of all the athletes who represented South Plainfield and the coaching staff.

Community Happenings

Mayor, Council Proclaim 'Amateur Radio Week’ in the Borough of South Plainfield

June 22, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ- At a June 18 meeting, South Plainfield Mayor Matt Anesh and the Borough Council proclaimed June 17 through June 23 as ‘Amateur Radio Week’ and asked all residents to extend their appreciation and respect to the community’s  amateur radio operators.

South Plainfield Amateur Radio Club (SPARC) will be participating in the American Radio Relay ...

South Plainfield Elks Honor Students of the Month

June 18, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - On Tuesday, June 12, the South Plainfield Elks honored the winners of the Grant School Character Education Monthly Pillars.  The students and their families were treated to a pasta dinner cooked and served by the Elks Youth Activities Committee and the students were given Junior Citizen of the Month Certificates.

The winners were as follows: 

Caring – ...

Holy Savior Academy’s Championship Cheerleaders Seek Funds for New Equipment

June 18, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The Holy Savior Academy Cheerleading Squad has kicked off a fundraiser to generate $5,500 for the purchase of much-needed equipment, such as new tumble mats, sound equipment, and more for the award-winning squad.

“The group of twelve girls range from 1st through 4th grades,” said parent Marybeth Parache, who is heading up efforts to raise funds.  ...

Wrestling Ring Presentation

June 20, 2018

The South Plainfield High School Wrestling Team,  who have earned the title of “Three Peat Champs”,  received their State rings on Sunday, June 10, 2018.  Presentation of the rings an plaques were given by SPHS Wrestling Coach Pavlack an assistant coaches.   Funding  for the rings were donated by the South Plainfield Wrestling Club,  who has been one of ...

Inclusive Playground Ribbon Cutting Tonight - June 20

Nixle Alert - Official ribbon cutting at 6:30 om tonight to open inclusive playground at Willow Park.  All are invited to attend, A special storytime will follow.

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_0261cd4c5700fd63e54b_spb-4937_newsletter_june_24

Sun, June 24, 1:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Southern Maryland Blue ...

Carousel_image_ba23f8d0d41677854e89_spb-4937_newsletter_june_26

Tue, June 26, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. New Britain Bees Baseball ...

Carousel_image_5b249c4a7e6808d9d7bb_spb-4937_newsletter_june_27

Wed, June 27, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. New Britain Bees Baseball ...

Carousel_image_295f5001319d0d50ecf4_spb-4937_newsletter_june_28

Thu, June 28, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. New Britain Bees Baseball ...

Carousel_image_294da35e9b80010760c4_spb-4962_newsletter_july_6

Fri, July 6, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Road Warriors vs. Somerset Patriots

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink Sports

Columns

Weinberg, Diegnan Bill to Establish University-Based Consortium on Media Innovation Advances

TRENTON –A bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Patrick Diegnan that would establish a state university-based consortium to advance research in the field of media and technology was passed from the Senate Higher Education Committee today.

“The state’s traditional newspaper market has been upended by changes in ...

South Plainfield and SP BOE Working Together to Strengthen School Security

South Plainfield, NJ - On Monday evening the Borough Council hired two new police officers. These hiring’s will allow two additional police officers to be stationed at South Plainfield Public Schools and will supplement the already strong security measures enacted by the Board of Education and the South Plainfield Police.

The hired officers are part of an interlocal agreement ...

Bookmarks

The South Plainfield Public Library will be open this Sunday, June 24 from 1:30 PM – 5 PM.  This is the last Sunday the library will be open until September.  During July and August, the library will be closed on Sundays, but the rest of the hours during the week will remain the same.

Come join us Monday, June 25 at 6:30 PM for Monday Night Movies.  The selection this week ...

Suburban Woman’s Club Ends Its Year with a Big Banquet

Our country has a long and rich history of service clubs contributing to the growth of their communities but there have been signs in the past two decades that interest in these groups is waning.  Not so at Suburban Woman’s Club of South Plainfield.  Thanks to the efforts of Membership Chair Grace Bertucci, this past year seven new members joined this relatively small group of ...

Press Releases

SPARC RECEIVES PROCLAMATION & GETS READY FOR ARRL ANNUAL FIELD DAY

June 22, 2018

SPARC RECEIVES PROCLAMATION & GETS READY FOR ARRL ANNUAL FIELD DAY

The Borough of South Plainfield has issued the South Plainfield Amateur Radio Club(SPARC) a Proclamation at Borough Hall, on June 18,2018 at 7 PM.

The Proclamation is honoring the annual ARRL Amateur Radio Week, June 18th through June 24th and the amateur radio operators nationwide for their public service to the ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...