ESSEX COUNTY, NJ -- The West Essex wrestling team finished a strong second in the team standings, but the Knights had more individual champions than any other school in the Essex County Tournament this weekend.
West Orange's team score of 238.5 was second only to Seton Hall Prep, which had 256, but which only had half as many first-place winners as West Essex. Six different Knights came in first in their respective weight classes.
Bardhyl Gashi (285 lbs.), Luke Dignazio (182), Alex Jones (160), Darren Jones (138), Mike Ruane (130) and Ricky Cassidy (113) all came in first for West Essex in their respective weight classes.
Gashi pinned Edwin Louis of Irvington in 1:04 in the 285-lb. final. Dignazio defeated Zachary Merlino of Seton Hall Prep, 5-3, in the 182-lb. final. The first-place bout at 160 went to Jones, who pinned Colin Morgan of West Orange in 1:20. Jones was crowned the 138-lb. champ after a 3-2 decision over Cole Carroll in the final. Ruane took the 130-lb. crown with a 9-4 win over Carl Banks of Irvington. And Cassidy won the 113-lb. championship when he defeated Gabriel Jimenez of Seton Hall Prep, 9-5.