TRENTON – Bound Brook’s 41-18 triumph over Paulsboro in the NJSIAA Group I final Sunday night was the kind of domination the Red Raiders’ usually made opponents suffer through while winning a state-record 28 titles.
For the second straight year, it was the Crusaders who delivere the domination over Paulsboro in the state final. Like in last year’s, 46-16 victory, Bound Brook (21-5) won 10 of 14 bouts against a team that came in at 25-0.
Freshman 106-pounder Joe Casey’s 6-2 win over Nick Duca at Sun National Bank Center gave the Crusaders a insurmountable 35-12 insurmountable lead. But the celebrating didn’t begin in earnest until after sophomores Anthony Lopez (113) and Tyler McIntosh (126) captured 3-1 decisions. Lopez beat Anthony Duca, avenging a loss by fall to Duca last season and McIntosh beat Mike Morina in the last bout.
“I think this match was really special because of kids like Tyler, kids like Anthony Lopez got those big wins, those are the studs, between the Ducas and Morina’s we took three out of four, and you know those kids are tough,” said coach Shaun Cleary, who’s been at the helm of of the state titles.
“I knew Paulsboro was tough, but we didn’t have many common opponents, but I know we wrestle a really tough schedule, and I know our kids and when we get after it I don’t’ think we can be beat,” added Cleary. “:We got after it for the most part, we were aggressive.”
Anthony King of Paulsboro, right, wrestles Andrew Gombas of Bound Brook in the 170lb bout at the Group I State Team Wrestling Championship, Sunday, February 15, 2015, at the Sun Bank Arena in Trenton, NJ.
Lopez got after it.
“He’s made the kind of improvement that you need to keep this going,” said senior 132-pounder Nick Accetta, one of five who have been part of all four championships.
Accetta, Andrew Gombas (170), Josh Ugalde (182), Aaron Saavedra (195) and Ryan Galdamez (285) all were part of the clubs that beat Hanover Park twice and Paulsboro twice for the titles. Senior 152-pounder Sean Glasgow came over from East Brunswick High after his sophomore year and has been a force in two state titles. The five other seniors have contributed to four Somerset County and three District 18 tournament titles and now another state championship against one of the true dynasties of the sport.
“I can’t believe it’s over, every single team I’ve been part of has had a great group guys who have pulled together as a team and it feels good,” said Gombas, who won a decision. “Everyone wrestled tough today and that’s what we needed to do to have a convincing win.
“We are expected to win and when you win it feels that much better,” said Gombas.
Ugalde followed Gombas’ victory with a first-period fall. The pin was his third in state group finals. He had a 1-0 victory as a freshman in the 40-24 victory over Hanover Park. Saavedra then won by fall in 1:22 to give Bound Brook a 32-3 lead.
“A lot of people felt this would be a close match, we had a mission, fourth straight Group I title, it’ s awesome, its heart warming,” said Ugalde. “The goal has always been No. 1 in the state of New Jersey whether it’s beating Bergen Catholic, beating St. Peter, not beating BC is tough, but that’s in the past and we enjoy this and what’s been accomplished.”
Ridge and Bound Brook are the only Somerset County schools to win a state group title. Ridge won the state Group II title in 1986.