New Jersey

Men’s Wrestling Opens Season with a BANG! at Electric City Duals

SCRANTON, Pa. — The New Jersey City University men’s wrestling team kicked off its third official season in program history with an exclamation point today, Sunday, November 13, at the Electric City Duals hosted by the University of Scranton. The Gothic Knights finished second overall that day with a 4-1 record in their five games and matched last year’s overall wins in one day. In addition, senior national qualifiers and 149-pounders Jeff Johnson (Middlesex, New Jersey/Middlesex) went a perfect 4-0 that day, including three wins by fall and a technical fall.

NJCU (4-1) dropped its only match of the day to start against Alfred State College (6-0) as the Pioneers went 5-0 and took first place in the Duals. Second 125-pounder Damianlee Torres (West Orange, NJ/West Orange) went 4-1 that day – the only other Gothic Knight to have four wins – but his only loss was a high-ranking 16-14 decision over Alfred State. Johnson secured his first pin of the day against the Pioneers at 4:01 in his match and freshman Zachary Vera (Livingston, NJ/) and Jazz Bull (New Brunswick, NJ/New Brunswick) Decision wins followed at 157 and 165, respectively, to put NJCU at 13-12 at that point. Unfortunately, Alfred State reeled off four straight wins to end the match and claim the win.

Jersey City came back strong in the next game, a narrow 22-21 win over hosts Scranton (3-3). Torres started with a win in the fall, followed by a juniors decider George Rivera (Teaneck, NJ/Teaneck) on his 133-pound debut. After a decision put the Royals on the board, Johnson notched another pin to make it 15-3 at the time. Three straight wins for Scranton put the newcomer 15-15 ahead of them Farhan Khan (Carteret, NJ) scored a decision at 174lbs to make it 18-15. student in the first year Their Cercioglu (Totowa, NJ/) sealed the win with a key decision at 197 to forge a 22-15 seven-point lead. Despite the heavyweight pin for Scranton, NJCU took the win.

The Gothic Knights then made quick work of Keystone College (1-4) to best the Giants 41-6, including eight singles wins. Those that didn’t expire came from newbies Andy Beras (Bergenfield, NJ/Bergenfield) by decision at 141lbs, Johnson again by fall at 149, Vera by tech fall at 157lbs, Bull with a pin at 165 and Cercioglu by heavyweight decision.

NJCU returned to the mat for a 39-16 win over Rowan College-Gloucester County (0-5). Torres pulled off a 133lb win by the fall, followed by a pin for the freshman Anthony Monetti (Montville, NJ/Montville Parish) at 141 pounds. Three more wins by waiver paired with two more at 197, Cercioglu by decision and heavyweight from the newcomer Marcus Hebron (Middle Church, NJ/) By the fall, he managed a 23-point win over the Roadrunners.

The Gothic Knights ended their day with another narrow win, this time by just two points over SUNY Oneonta (2-3) at 29-27. Torres picked up his fourth win of the day with 125, but the Red Dragons clinched back-to-back wins to take a 9-6 lead. Johnson responded with a 16-1 win in the tech case to give NJCU an 11-9 lead again and his roster would not fall behind again. Junior Ty Bailey (Point Pleasant, NJ/Point Pleasant Boro) recorded one of his two wins that day with a pin just 17 seconds into his match at 157lbs, followed by a win by falling in 44 seconds at 165lbs from Bull. Oneonta won three of the last four games but it was Hebron with 197, who sealed it with a win by the fall to put it at 29-21 at the time.

NJCU returns for the team’s second doubles game against Ursinus College on Saturday afternoon, November 19. The Gothic Knights will travel to Collegeville, Pa. after hosting the Bears last season on November 20, 2021 at the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center (JMAC).

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