Rutherford and Becton/Wallington teams will be looking this weekend to take home a District 15 team title at Becton High School. Both teams last week fell in the first round of their respective state sectional team tournament last week.
Rutherford, the fourth seed, dropped a heartbreaker to fifth seeded Bogota/Weehawken, 33-29, in the first round of the group 1 North 2 state tournament while fifth-seeded Becton/Wallington could not keep up with fourth-seeded Governor Livingston, 38-23, in the first round of Group 2 North 2 in Berkeley Heights. Both matches were held on Feb. 11.
Both Rutherford and Becton/Wallington have a shot in a balanced District 15 meet that starts Friday at Becton High School. Other schools in the running for the team title are Passaic Tech, Clifton and Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge. “There are four teams who could win it,” said Rutherford head coach Jeff Rehain, who missed one team. “Even Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge, you can throw them in so it will be very close.”
Rutherford came close to moving to the second round for the second year in a row, but dropped a heartbreaker, 33-29, in the Group 1 North 2 opening round in Rutherford.
Rehain said that the match could have gone either way. The Bulldogs had defeated Bogota/Weehawken earlier in the season in another close match. “We knew that it was going to be a close match,” said Rehain pointing to the fact that two of the Bogota wrestlers weighed in lighter than the first time between the two teams and in turned favored the Bucs.
The Bulldogs got off to a strong start, but Bogota caught up and in turned out that it came down to the last bout.
In a battle between Rutherford‘s Chris Soto and Bogota‘s Jonathan Profit came down to the last seconds as Soto dropped a 6-5 verdict.
Rutherford set the school record for most wins in the season with 21 after winning three matches on Saturday in a quad meet, over Barringer (54-18), Bloomfield (44-36) and Union (49-27). “If you told me last year about this year, I would say we would be average this year,” said Rehain about being surprised this season about his team’s success.
Some of the area wrestlers who will be looking for a district title are Rutherford‘s Jake Regina, David Choi and Mohamed Abdelhamid along with Becton/Wallington‘s Tyler Loughlin, Roy Forys and Nathan Bueno.