BY AVERY PERSON
The wrestling team entered the NJSIAA Tournament as the number four seed and defeated five seed Hillsborough 30-28 in the quarterfinal round. In the semifinals, the Knights fell to the number one seed Howell 72-6, but finished as one of the top four teams in Central Jersey’s Group 5.
Junior Tyler Sagi pinned his opponents in both matches, securing all of the team’s points in the semi-finals. “The team made strides this year. Wrestling is more of a team sport than people realize.” Sagi is 31-1 this season, with the only loss coming in a preseason tournament.
Sagi, who is ranked number five in the state for the 157-pound weight class, explained that his mental approach is to challenge himself and have a purpose for each practice. “The key to my success has been keying on my technique and drilling everything, mental state and conditioning, to perfection to make sure everything is where it needs to be,” stated Sagi.
Prior to the state tournament, the Knights placed fourth in the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament on January 30 with 139 points. “We have continued to grow as a team this season,” said Head Coach John Post. “In [2019-20], we went 7-23, in a Covid shortened season. Last year, we finished 7-6. This season, we enter our last weekend of competition at 14-8.”
Senior Daniel Fishman, Freshman Jake Tenebruso, and Junior Avery Mack were selected as GMC All-Stars. “I feel good, I feel like all my hard work is paying off, and I’m seeing those results,” said Fishman, who is 22-7 so far this season.
Sophomore Logan Roman, who is ranked number eight in the state in his weight class, stated that his keys to success are wrestling year-round and traveling to find the best competition. “These tournaments have helped me to gain confidence in wrestling the best wrestlers in the country,” said Roman. “This has also taught me to be humble in accepting my wins and my losses. I have a good mindset now, and I want to have fun. All of this could never have happened without my family, my wrestling family, and my coaches. I rely on them to keep my head in the game.”
One of the team’s outstanding performers this season is Junior Danny Hennesey, who executed a 34-second pin against Perth Amboy. “I think I’ve been doing pretty good, working harder in practice and lifting more. I hope to keep working harder to get better every day,” said Hennesey.
The team mostly consists of underclassmen who will return to the team next year, so they hope to continue the upward trend following this season’s success. Post said, “We have goals to win the GMC, districts, and a state title next season.”
For now, the team will finish the regular season on February 12 at 11am at home against Hopewell Valley. Following that, the varsity starters will move on to districts, looking to qualify for regionals and states.
Posted on 2/10/22
Photos by Lors Photography