ROSELAND, NJ — The undefeated West Essex Jr. Knights wrestling team and the Roseland Lakers basketball team were honored for their achievements in the 2018 season by the Roseland mayor and council and Roseland recreation director Michael Colitti at the May 15 borough council meeting.

The players and coaches of both teams were surrounded by their families as Mayor John Duthie presented each team with a proclamation acknowledging their individual achievements.

“Young people are the future of their community and our future is dependent upon the good physical health of our youth, the citizens of tomorrow,” said Duthie.

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The West Essex Jr. Knights were victorious in claiming the 2017-2018 Suburban Wrestling League championship for the fourth consecutive year.

“Wrestling is one of the oldest forms of combat, depicted in 15,000-year-old cave drawings in France,” said Duthie. “Wrestling was a science and a divine art for the Greeks and held a prominent place in the Olympic Games.”

Duthie read the names of each team member and also acknowledged the coaches, stating that they all made “significant contributions to the special spirit of cooperation, team competition and good sportsmanship among the team.”

Colitti explained that the wrestling program began in 1994 and that great people have been involved since the beginning.

“There’s been consistency, the kids have fun, they learn, they teach them sportsmanship and they don’t just win with their noses in the air, they really make us proud,” said Colitti. “Keep the fun going, keep learning and we’re really proud of you.”

The Roseland Lakers fifth-and sixth-grade basketball team claimed the championship of the West Essex Jr. Basketball League for the 2017-2018 season.

“Because it is continuous action and frequent scoring, basketball is one of the most popular spectator as well as participant sports in the world,” said Duthie, who acknowledged the coaches and players as he handed a trophy to each.

The coaches described this team as one of the most cohesive units they have seen in this league and commended the players and their parents for their contributions to the team’s success. They said the boys “always did what [they] asked, never complained, [were] highly motivated” and always came together to turn negatives into positives.

Colitti said will an all-star coaching staff, it would have been impossible for this team to lose. 

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