Holmdel looking to build better wrestling program Young squad has several wrestlers off to fast starts

first_imgStaff Writer Holmdel looking to build better wrestling program Young squad has several wrestlers off to fast starts FARRAH MAFFAI Colts Neck’s Mike DeCorso and Holmdel’s Edward McGees wrestle for the ball in front of Holmdel’s Steven McGuckin and Colts Neck’s Guliano Cristino during a game at Colts Neck on Thursday. Colts Neck won the game, 46-37. In what new coach John Christopher termed a “building season,” the Holmdel High School wrestling team is starting several underclassmen as Christopher looks to build a more competitive program. As a result of its inexperience, the Hornets are off to a 1-3 start, with the victory coming against St. Rose. Still, several Holmdel grapplers are off to good starts. Senior Matt Welbourn is 4-0 at 119 pounds in the early going, after recording a fine 20-12 mark, a year that included a second-place finish in the District 21 tourney. Junior Doug Langer, a .500 wrestler a year ago, is off to a 3-0 start at 145 pounds. Other fast-starting Hornets include 171-pound senior Chris Terry, who is 3-1 as he seeks to better last year’s 17 wins; 135-pound senior Scott Sherman, 3-1, after winning eight times last year; and 140-pound junior Phil Gardner is 3-1. Most of the other Hornets have won at least once, but Holmdel is at a disadvantage, having to forfeit three weight classes, 103, 189 and heavyweight. Other members of the team include: juniors Wes Bayard (112), Matt Colby (152) and Ken Warn (171); sophomores Doug Bergen (130), Paul Plaskonka (152) and Michael Mariolis (171); and freshmen Jeremy Langer (112), Ryan Lambertson (125) and Paul Martinez (215). According to Christopher, the team should get stronger as the season progresses, and the younger guys pick up some experience on the mats. “We’re doing the best we can, and we’re looking to get better with each match,” Christopher said. “Right now we’re looking at trying to get as many of our guys as possible into the regional tournament.” The coach noted that the future looks bright in Holmdel for wrestling. He credited former coach Dan Mullan with creating a youth program last year. Now, with Christopher’s help the program has been expanded to two days a week. “It’s great to introduce kids to wrestling at an early age,” Christopher said. “They have a lot of fun and get to learn a great sport. Hopefully, they’ll be wrestling for us someday.” But for now, Christopher is intent on improving his current squad of wrestlers with hopes of seeing several of them wrestle well into the postseason. The Hornets will take on Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft, on Saturday in what promised to be another solid early-season test. CBA burst onto the wrestling scene last year with its most successful season in recent years and look strong once again this time around. Holmdel will participate in the Christmas Tournament this week, before taking a break for the holiday recess. Once they return to school, they will travel to face an improving Colts Neck team on Jan. 5, before hosting Monmouth Regional on Jan. 9. By Warren Rappleyea last_img read more