SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Wednesday was a night for a celebration for South Plainfield High School and its wrestling team.
The Tigers’ (18-5) home match against Greater Middlesex Red Division rival Old Bridge (12-3) was also the team’s Senior Night. Before the match, South Plainfield honored its nine seniors and the seniors’ parents in a ceremony. Despite the celebration the team was all business on the mat. In front of a packed crowd the Tigers dominated Old Bridge, 45-18.
Fresh off winning their seventh straight GMC title four days ago, the Tigers were able to take control of the match from the very beginning. After 132-pound Sophomore Kyle Bythell got the first six points for South Plainfield in the form of a forfeit, junior 138-pounder Dan Hedden came out and pinned Old Bridge’s T.J. Angstadt in under two minutes. A major decision win from senior Frank Ferraro at 145 pounds put the Tigers up, 16-0.
“It’s a testament to the seniors and what they’ve done for four years, and on top of that it’s also a win in the Red division,” said assistant coach John Foscolo. “It’s something we want to do every year and to do it and win a conference title in the same week says a lot about this team.”
Ferraro wasn’t the only senior to perform well on their night of praise. 160-pounder Jordan Handwerger gave South Plainfield another six points after he got himself a first period pin over Old Bridge’s Akuamoah Fosuhene. Dakota Paul got three points for the Tigers in his match at 220 pounds, Standout Ryan Walsh capped off the night for the Tigers when he pinned Luigi Luppino at 120 pounds.
“They had a couple of studs and I thought we battled them well,” said Foscolo. “I like seeing the seniors come out and wrestle hard. I like seeing Walsh get the pin. Up and down the lineup we’ve been wrestling well.”
The regular season comes to an end next week and the Tigers are excited for what lies ahead. The team says their upcoming matches will help them get ready for the upcoming postseason.
“Our schedules preparing them (for the postseason),” said Foscola. “We do all these things so when the postseason comes our guys are battle tested and they’re gonna grind through the week. When the time comes hopefully we’ll get another group title.”