From the MSO Cougar Youth Wrestling Club:
Youth wrestling in Maplewood and South Orange continues to grow, with the MSO Cougar Wrestling Club increasing its membership from under 30 wrestlers in 2013 to over 75 wrestlers this year. The club also reached new heights of success in competitions state-wide.
Three of the club’s wrestlers qualified to wrestle among the best in New Jersey at USA Wrestling’s Kids State Championships in Trenton: Tyson Carroll, Oliver Kreizman, and Sean Love. In addition, Sean capped a 10-1 regular season in the Essex County league with a 2nd place finish in the league’s year-end tournament, while Tyson went 9-1 and took 4th place in the county tournament. Three other MSO wrestlers placed in the county tournament: Jared Van Allen and Reid Ordower both took home bronze medals, and Max Gigante placed fourth.
The club’s novice wrestlers compete in the North Jersey Junior Wrestling League (NJJWL), which features two year-end tournaments: a Novice Tournament limited to first and second year wrestlers only, and an Open Tournament in which wrestlers of any experience level may compete. Second-year wrestler Jude Franco won gold at the Open Tournament, and first-year wrestler Lucas Campos won silver at both the Open and Novice Tournaments. Teammates Van Angorn and Rafael Griffiths each won silver at one of the two tournaments.
Several of the club’s wrestlers received special recognition at the season-ending Awards Banquet on Sunday, March 11, including Rookie-of-the-Year Lucas Campos, Future Champions Oliver Lutz, Oliver Kreizman, and Jude Franco, Iron Man Levi Schiffer, Unsung Hero Tristan Tapia-Villamil, and Outstanding Wrestler Sean Love. Other award winners include Lucas Barriger (Leadership), Reid Ordower (Most Improved), Sam Eyler (Coaches Award), Van Angorn (Most Coachable), Rafael Griffiths (Sportsmanship), Jack Brandt and Park Choy (Perfect Attendance). In addition, the club honored team captain Tyson Carroll with the Defillippis Award, a rare honor given only every few years to a graduating 8th grader who has exemplified superior skill, character, leadership and sportsmanship over the course of several seasons.
The two captains of the MSO Middle School Team graduate this year (Lucas Barriger & Tyson Carroll) to compete for CHS under new head coach Mike Freedman. MSO coaches announced new captains for next year to lead the team toward continued success: Derek Mingmongkol, Brady Williamson, and Max Gigante.
Open to residents of Maplewood and South Orange in grades 1-8, the MSO Cougar Youth Wrestling Club seeks to teach the world’s oldest sport in a fun environment. In keeping with the core values of our Two Towns, the club prides itself as an inclusive organization open to all with an emphasis on healthy competition, sportsmanship, respect and teamwork. For more information, see msowrestlingclub.com.