TRENTON – Roxbury overachieved to win its conference and sectional titles this winter.
Beating mighty Phillipsburg was another matter entirely Sunday.
The Gaels were manhandled in all phases in the state Group IV semifinals, 60-6.
“That was a rough one,” Gaels coach Jim Dolan said.
Dolan knew the deck was stacked against his team. Roxbury came in with six sectional titles but has never won a single Group championship.
P-Burg, meanwhile, has arguably the best resume of any wrestling program in New Jersey. The Stateliners have 34 sectional titles – second most in state history to Paulsboro’s 35 – and have captured 17 state Group titles.
“They’re one of the top teams in the state for a reason,” Dolan said. “They’re tough from to bottom.”
They sure were against the Gaels. P-Burg had five pins, including four in a row late in the match. They also registered a technical fall. The Stateliners overwhelmed the Gaels on their feet, outscoring Roxbury in takedowns, 26-0.
Come to think of it, they were dominant on bottom and on top as well.
“They were aggressive, they attacked, they put the pressure on us right away,” Dolan said.
The match started at 126 and P-Burg went right to work as Brian Meyer decisioned Rickey Riemers, 7-3, before Donald Agans beat Dominick LaRusso, 6-5.
It only got worse for Roxbury as P-Burg’s team points mounted in a hurry, almost like a tidal wave hitting the beach.
D.J. Wissing tecked Michael Roumes, 17-1 (3:36), before Stephen Friedman pinned RJ Day in 4:25
John Koluzny beat Tommy Miller, 7-3, before Dolan forfeited to P-Burg’s Max Elling, one of the best in the state at 160.
Dolan put returning state qualifier Craig Roumes at 170, where he lost to Jim Schuitema, 8-2.
“We’ve been moving our upper weights around,” Dolan said. “Today we went with that.”
But P-Burg didn’t cooperate.
After P-Burg’s Tim Hinkle beat Aaron Sanchez, 6-2, the Stateliners unleashed four straight pins in a row.
Robert Melise (220) pinned Todd Eckert in 4:06, Kyle Nothnagle flattened Clayton O’Leary in 3:25, Kyle Markus pinned Ryan Larrahondo in 3:15, and Tom Kosar beat Tyler Lucas in 1:39.
Phillipsburg forfeited to Roxbury’s Troy Stanich at 120 to end the match.
Dolan won’t allow the blowout match to put a damper on a Gaels season that saw them capture championships in the NJAC-National and North 1 Group IV. Roxbury considered this a rebuilding season but Dolan pieced together a team that overachieved.
“We came in this year with a lot of new guys and some freshmen,” he said. “I just told them that we hit a tremendous team but that doesn’t take away anything from what we were able to do this year. We beat some good teams all year. We had a good year overall.”
And now Dolan will get the Gaels ready for District 2, which is all day at Randolph High School Saturday.
“We’ll try and get back on track,” he said.
Phillipsburg 60, Roxbury 6
126-Brian Meyer (P) dec. Rickey Riemers , 7-3.
132-Donald Agans (P) dec. Dominick LaRusso, 6-5.
138-D.J. Wissing (P) tech. fall Michael Roumes, 17-1 (3:36).
145-Stephen Friedman (P) pin. R.J. Day, 4:25.
152-John Koluzny (P) dec. Tommy Miller, 7-3.
160-Max Elling (P) won by forfeit.
170-Jim Schuitema (P) dec. Craig Roumes, 8-2.
182-Tim Hinkle (P) dec. Justin Bacilo, 9-3.
195-Andrew Horun (P) dec. Aaron Sanchez, 6-2.
220-Robert Melise (P) pin. Todd Eckert, 4:06.
285-Kyle Nothnagle (P) pin. Clayton O’Leary, 3:25.
106-Kyle Markus (P) pin. Ryan Larrahondo, 3:15.
113-Tom Kosar (P) pin. Tyler Lucas, 1:39.
120-Troy Stanich (R ) won by forfeit.