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Beach, Boro to wrestle tomorrow

January 10, 2013

A great tradition will return tonight at Point Pleasant Borough High School when Point Boro and Point Beach wrestle after the longstanding rivalry in the sport took a nearly seven-year break.

The last time the two teams competed was Jan. 28, 2006, when the Point Boro rolled to a 45-11 victory over Point Beach. Back then, Point Boro boasted wrestlers like state finalist, region six and district champion Jeff Jacob in the 160-pound weight class. The Panthers also had district 23 champion Matt Nickerson [140] and finalists Skyler Engelken [171], Kyle Coleman [189], Anthony Tarantin [125], Marty Infante [215] and Gage Bongiovi [275]. Point Beach had tough wrestlers like region six champion Matt Rega [119] and district 23 finalist Aris Sotiris [171].

This year, both teams seem to be evenly matched with tough wrestlers on both sides. The Panthers’ top wrestlers are all bunched together in the lower weight classes in Ryan Harter, Dan Nobbs and Ryan Budzek. This year, Budzek won the Walter Woods Tournament and Harter placed third. Nobbs did not place in the Walter Woods tournament but reached the state finals last year in Atlantic City.

Point Beach has four Holmdel Holiday Tournament champions in John Finnerty, Tray Watkins, Tore Capriglione and Riley Kelly, along with three finalists in James Finnerty, Tim Morris and Jake Fioretti. Both Point Pleasant Borough coach Pat Brady and Point Pleasant Beach coach Jeff Bower are excited about competing in the match.

“It is exciting,” Brady said. “It is a great friendly rivalry between two towns and two great programs. They are two teams that are going to wrestle their hearts out and put it all on the line.

“Whenever the Beach wrestles the Boro, anything can happen,” Brady added. Coach Bower shared the same sentiment when talking about Point Boro. “I am just happy to have the wrestling match back,” Bower said. “These kids grow up together and it is great for them to wrestle against each other again. The match brings together the two towns. We lost the [annual] football game, which I am not happy about. I just like the rivalry. It is a big dual meet.

“They are very tough,” he added.

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