The Rumson-Fair Haven Jr. Bulldog Wrestling Team recently completed an unblemished 6-0 regular season in the Jersey Shore Junior Wrestling League (JSJWL) B-Liberty Division.
"This group of eighth graders has led the younger boys by example, showing them the benefit of hard work," Head Coach Tom Skove, of Rumson, said. "They are my assistant coaches in the wrestling room. We're going to miss them next year, but they have instilled in our younger wrestlers the passion and desire that they have exhibited over the last several years."
By defeating the BYAA 2 Gators, the Jr. Bulldogs won the Division Championship and will move up to the B-Patriot Division for the 2013-14 season.
The Gators came into the match a perfect 4-0 and were anxious to dash the championship hopes of the Jr. Bulldogs.
But the Bulldogs came out of the gate strong, as the lightweights won five of six matches. Jonathan Lauria (Rumson — second grade) started it off with an 11-9 victory at 52 lbs. and was followed by Nick Costello (Fair Haven — second grade) and Shay Addison (Fair Haven — third grade) who both recorded pins.
Miles Skove (Rumson — fifth grade) held the momentum with a thrilling 4-2 overtime victory at 72 lbs. The middle weights followed suit, as Doug Duprey (Rumson — fifth grade) won at 90 lbs., Liam Horan (Fair Haven — fifth grade) recorded a major decision at 95 lbs and Nick Addison (Fair Haven — sixth grade) had a convincing victory at 100 lbs.
Jamie Laughinghouse (Fair Haven — eighth grade), Theo Addison (Fair Haven — eighth grade) and John Robinson (Rumson — eighth grade) all pinned their opponents, while Jack Fontanella topped the day off with a major decision at heavyweight to secure a 59-36 win for the Bulldogs.
The Jr. Bulldogs have had strong leadership in Jamie Laughinghouse (13-0), Theo Addison (11-0), Leo Ross (3-2) and John Robinson (12-1).
Following the lead of the eighth graders, the fifth through seventh graders, including Dylan Avino (5-2), Jack Fontanella (8-4), Nick Addison (7-4), Liam Horan (8-3), Doug Duprey (6-5) and Miles Skove (8-3) have developed nicely, and are now well equipped to lead the program in the future, Skove said.
The youngest Jr. Bulldog wrestlers have also been making their mark. On Jan. 27, the Jr. Bulldogs traveled to Toms River to compete in the first ever NJ Novice Wrestling Association (NJNWA) Novice State Championship Qualifier.
Eight of the Jr. Bulldogs placed either first, second or third, earning the right to compete in the NJNWA Novice State Championship Tournament, to be held on Sunday, Feb. 10 at Madison High School.
The qualifying wrestlers are as follows: 1st Place, Thomas Blewett; 2nd Place, Hudson Skove, Luke Pangborn, Max Dawson, and Dante Miranda; 3rd Place, Cole Pangborn, Nicky Costello and Aiden Terlecki.
The Jr. Bulldog Wrestling Club is a non-profit organization whose goal is to promote the sport of wrestling in the towns of Rumson and Fair Haven. The organization has been in existence since the 1970s, but was not active for a number of years prior to 2006.
In 2006, Andy Scheffer of Rumson restarted the program, which is now led by Tom Skove, of Rumson, and John Horan, of Fair Haven.
Find out more about this growing organization by going to the Web site at www.rfhjuniorbulldogwrestling.com.
The Jr. Bulldogs will be hosting the JSJWL B Division Team Championship at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 10 at Rumson Country Day School.
Theo Addison securing a pin at a recent JSJWL wrestling match. Theo is 11-0 on the season.