By Andy Loigu
The Blue Streaks of Warren Hills lost the North 1 Group 4 section semifinal, and a chance to wrestle for the state championship, in heartbreaking fashion last week. They led going into the final bout but lost 31-27 on a pin to Indian Hills, who finished the season 18-5.
Warren Hills finished the dual meet portion of the season with a 12-8 record against one of the toughest schedules in the state.
Earlier, Warren Hills advanced by defeating Mendham 36-15 in a playoff match.
Taylan Zafis floored his 285-pound foe in 24 seconds for Warren Hills.
Matt Valli, a junior, won by tech fall, 20-5 in 5:03 at 126 pounds. He remained unbeaten at 26-0.
Zach Nauta, a junior, won by major decision, 12-2 at 138 pounds. His record stood at 15-6 after the win.
Kyle Wulff (113), Codey O’Rourke (120), Cam Nauta (145), Rashon Wade Taylor (152), Jarod Ostir in overtime (160), Anthony Roessner (170), and Brody Oberly (220) won by regular decision for the Blue Streaks.
Roessner, the Streaks’ only senior, started off the Indian Hills match with a 10-0 win by major decision. He had an 18-9 record after his victory, heading into the district tournament.
Although district, regional and state tournaments still loom on the horizon the next three weekends, as the wrestlers now shoot for individual honors and state medals, Roessner felt remorseful over the Blue Streaks’ dual meet season finishing on an unfulfilling note.
“This team had much more of a family feeling. The attitude was different from what we had my first three seasons. This was my favorite of the four teams I wrestled for here, and I’m sorry to see it end,” he said.
However, Blue Streaks’ Nation can look ahead with optimism to next season, when they will have a supremely experienced lineup, assuming that everyone keeps wrestling.
Oberly, a junior, was 14-13.
The Blue Streaks’ 106 pound freshman Cody Harrison (16-5) was taking injury time.
Wulff, a sophomore, had an 18-9 record going into sectionals competition.
Local wrestlers to watch from this point on include Hackettstown sophomore Alex Carida, who was 22-4 at 120 pounds as of last week. O’Rourke, a sophomore, was 14-7.
Hackettstown’s senior 126 pound wrestler, Joe Renne, had a 22-4 record. Belvidere 126 pounder Nick Cassidy, a junior, was 16-8.
At 145 pounds, Hackettstown senior Anthony Carida was 22-7. The Tigers’ Robert Spezza, a sophomore, was 9-6 at 160 pounds.
Belvidere senior Josh Pershpalaj was 15-9 at 170 pounds.
At 182 pounds, Hackettstown junior Kyle Connelly was 23-5. Belvidere sophomore Ryan Kokawski was 14-8.
At 195 pounds, Warren Hills senior Kurt Nemeth was 19-5.
From the Sports Chatter archives: Where are they now?
Caring is sharing.
Shannon Browne of Hackettstown (that rhymes, might make a good song title) led all Warren County girls soccer players in assists, with 20, but with the North 2 Section 2 championship on the line in November of 2010, it was her fifth goal of the season that gave the Tigers a 19-5 record and sectional title.
Browne drilled one home from downtown, into the far upper corner of the net with 28.7 seconds to play, breaking a 1-1 tie.
She went on to play at Alvernia College and graduated with a degree in marketing and management. Browne is pursuing an MBA there, while working in Alvernia’s marketing department.
Another starter and post-season all-area player on the 2010 Tiger champions was Dzenita Cifric.
She’s been a busy young lady since graduating with honors, from Suffolk University, with a degree in International Relations and Economics.
As a constituent services representative at the Massachusetts State House, she drafted proclamations that were approved by Governor Deval Patrick. Also, she has assisted constituents with the process of Mass Health, unemployment and veterans’ benefits, and transitional assistance.
Also, she works as an administrative assistant at Grassroots International, where she has designed and published graphics for their Facebook page, among a long list of other accomplishments.
Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building.