By Connor Smith
The Lions continued their hot start on Wednesday, Nov. 19, with a 34-12 victory over King’s College and followed it up on Saturday, Nov. 21, by beating Gloucester (44-3), Middlesex (53-6) and Camden (40-9) county colleges en route to a quad match sweep.
The wrestling team now sports an undefeated 5-0 record, along with a top six ranking in the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III poll.
“We just thrive off of each other,” senior Doug Hamann said. “We love seeing each other do well.”
The College fell to an early deficit against King’s College before sophomores James Goldschmidt (133) and Ryan Budzek (141) put the Lions ahead by scoring a decision and a 2:33 pin, respectively.
The Monarchs battled back by scoring a 4:55 pin at 149, but the College followed it up by dominating the next five bouts, which included two major decisions, two pins and a technical fall.
Senior Antonio Mancella got the streak started by scoring a major decision at 157 to put the College in the driver’s seat. Junior Nick Herring kept the momentum going with an impressive victory by technical fall at 165.
“We just gave our Lion Strong award to Nick,” coach Joseph Galante said. “The award honors character and dedication.”
The Lions kept on rolling as senior Joe Paton scored a major decision at 174. Junior Dan Wojtaszek had a dominating 1:21 pin at 184, and sophomore Constantine Rissiotos made it back-to-back pins with a 2:55 victory by fall at 197. The final score was 34-12, in favor of the College.
The team put an exclamation point on their impressive start by routing Gloucester, Middlesex and Camden county colleges by 30 points or more.
“This is a great tool for us because we have 40 prospective student athletes competing from local community colleges,” Galante said. “These are guys that are going to be looking to come to a four year institution. If we can capture some of this talent — academically and athletically — the College would benefit greatly.”
The Lions certainly impressed many with their strong wrestling mentalities.
“These guys make you want to be better,” said Hamann, who went 3-0 by fall, major decision and forfeit during the quad match. “I just do the best I can every day.”
The College scored seven pins on the day, amidst a sea of major decisions and forfeits.
“We’re focused on continuing to train and be healthy,” Galante said. “That’s getting it done on the mat and leading to victories.”
The Lions look ahead to the New Standard Invitational hosted by York College on Saturday, Dec. 5, where the wrestling team will once again have a chance to prove themselves against some of the nation’s best.