With black and yellow draped over almost every podium Saturday, it was obvious Glen Rock/Saddle Brook Wrestling was taking home their third consecutive District 6 title.
In a truly dominating team performance, GR/SB outscored the next closest team, Hawthorne, by a score of 214 to 136.5.
Did the team eclipse their competition? That would be an understatement.
Out of the 14 weight classes, GR/SB will be sending 12 wrestlers onto Regions next weekend in Hackensack. Yep, that’s right, 12.
When we first met the team for , their stated goal was clear; win districts. They compiled an excellent dual-match record and seemed poised to accomplish what they set out to do.
But, the team (19-2) suffered a letdown when they at the North I Group III state tournament bracket, but if anything the snub served as a motivation for the team to snatch the district title.
“We work so hard in the [practice] room. The captains are making sure everyone is working hard, the coaches are making sure the lineups are right and everybody has to stay on weight,” said junior Matt Dickman. “It takes a lot of work, but when it all comes together, this is what happens: We blow out the districts.”
The next step is to send wrestlers down to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. With 12 chances to get it done, it's hopeful that GR/SB will be represented in the finals.
“When you have 14 guys in the tournament and 12 advance it's great," said head coach Chris Fox. “I always say it's not about wins and losses, it's about how many kids we can get deep into the tournaments."
Fox has helped build the program since the two teams began their co-op in 2004. While they had to rebuild at first, winning titles is now the norm and expectations are high every season.
Those expectations were rightfully high, as this talented group showed just how much control they exerted over their opponents on Saturday.
Teamwork has been the keyword for GR/SB Wrestling.
Something that shouldn’t be overlooked is that this is a co-op between two rival schools. For them to come together and dominate is an impressive feat — just a few months ago they were battling each other on the football and soccer fields.
“They come into the room every day at 3 o’clock and they know what’s expected of them,” said Fox. "We work hard for three hours every day and it pays off."
The following wrestlers have advanced to the regional round in Hackensack:
103 - Mike Andreano - 1st place
119 - Joe Guierriero - 1st place
130 - Matt Jacobson - 2nd place
135 - Chris Jacobson - 2nd place
140 - Eric Schlett - 4th place
145 - Tyler Patasnik - 2nd place
152 - Matt Dickman - 1st place
160 - Alex Cimiluca - 2nd place
171 - Zach Hunko - 2nd place
189 - Joe Camilleri - 2nd place
215 - Kyle Bratyanski - 4th place
285 - John Guerrero - 3rd place
Other team still participating in playoff brackets for Glen Rock:
Girls Basketball (17-5)
Despite a loss to Holy Angels in the third round of the Bergen County Tournament last weekend, Glen Rock Girls Basketball remains focused on the state tournament coming up next week.
The team received the five seed and will host Manchester Regional on February 28. If they win, they will take on the winner of fourth-seeded New Milford and thirteenth-seeded Kinnelon.
If the team makes it through the first two rounds, we could see an explosive rematch with Pascack Hills in the semi-finals.
The Lady Panthers kept rolling with two wins this week in league play, defeating Lodi 49-36 and Cliffside Park 54-38.
Ice Hockey (12-8-3)
When the season started uncertainty shadowed this young team, but they powered through and came out strong in the second half.
The Panthers defeated Indian Hills 3-1 in the first round of the Big North Green Division playoffs and will advance to play Mahwah in the next round.
Mahwah has served as a benchmark of sorts for Glen Rock, as they lost 4-1 in the second meeting, but played the Thunderbirds closely in their second match, losing 4-2, which included a last second empty net goal by Mahwah.
The game will be at the Ice Vault in Wayne this coming week on either Tuesday or Wednesday.
The state bracket will also be available shortly and we’ll update the exact date as soon as the information becomes available.