Ramapo secures its state playoff spot

Gino Gorga pinned at 144 for Ramapo, which swept the first eight bouts of the night on the way to a 48-18 win on the road at Northern Valley/Demarest.

DEMAREST – Needing a win to secure its spot in the North 1, Group 3 state sectional tournament, it could have been a stressful night for the Ramapo wrestling team as it went on the road to take on fellow state tournament hopeful Northern Valley/Demarest.

But after Demarest student Mickenna Biggins knocked out a beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, it was all Ramapo as the Green Raiders swept the first eight matches of the night, coasted a 48-18 victory and sewed up their spot in the state tournament.

“This was a big match for state sectionals, we needed to win by a good amount to maximize our power points,” said Ramapo head coach Bill DeMauro. “The 120 match, the opening match tonight, was a big one. Their kid beat us last week, but then our kid [Jacob Guzman] came out and won tonight and that really got us going.”

Guzman posted a 12-4 win to pick up a bonus team point and then CJ Anzaldo and Joey Fulco secured back-to-back pins, both early in the second period, to increase the Ramapo spread to 16-0 through three bouts.

“I like to keep the pace high. I like to set the pace and try to make the other guy tired. In the second period I just tried to work my stuff on top and get the pin and I got him with the cross face- cradle,” said Fulco, Ramapo’s 132-pounder. “We kind of got off to a slow start as a team but now we are starting to get our stuff together and we are starting to pack teams up and I think that could show out during the states.”

Nick DeLorenzo (9-2 at 138), Gino Gorga (tech fall at 144), Brandon Causilias, Jason Sansone (7-0 at 157) and Adam Werminski (pin in 5:00) all won in succession to make it a 36-0 Ramapo lead through the first eight matches.

Demarest's Casey Davis needed just 21 seconds to secure her pin at 106.

“I knew I was wrestling a good kid [Demarest’s Liam Osder] and when we got on the matt I was like, ‘Okay, this kid really is tough.’ Tying up with him was tough, getting shots on him was tough, but I had to keep my composure and try to get some turns in. There were some scrambles. I almost got laid out on my back, I fought off and it was fun” said Causilias, a sophomore who posted a 9-3 victory at 150 pounds. “This team is great to be a part of. As a freshman last year going into the states was the best part. We lost in the second round to Sparta, but hopefully we can use that this year, a little motivation to go farther.”

Demarest got off the schneid at 175 pounds when Joel Kim scored a takedown at the buzzer to post a 7-5 victory. Wyatt Jacobs (190) and Jonah Smith (215) both pinned in the second period for Ramapo’s final 12 points of the night before Demarest swept the final three bouts.

Casey Smith was the most impressive in that stretch as she needed just 21 seconds to pin at 106. Her win was bookended by Luke LaPira’s second period pin at 285 and Alec Murado’s 8-5 decision in the 113-pound nightcap.

Demarest fell to 10-9 on the season while Ramapo upped its record to 9-7 as it built some momentum heading into the final week of the regular season.

Joey Fulco pinned at 132 for Ramapo, which improved to 9-7 on the season.

“It was a good night for our kids. We had the good run early and then we found a couple of wins where maybe we weren’t expecting. Wyatt Jacobs at 190 and Adam Werminski at 165, those were too big ones for us to us,” DeMauro, a Ramapo alum who is in his second season as the Raiders’ head coach. “It’s good to know that we are going back to the state tournament. We had some early losses where we were up and then wound up losing the match, but we have clawed back. We are young, we had only two seniors in the lineup tonight [Logan Goldsmith and Jacobs]. Otherwise it is all juniors, sophomores and freshmen. We are you and we are getting stronger.”

The future is bright and the immediate future might be pretty good as well.

“I feel like we are sleeper, to be honest,” said Fulco. “I feel like we can surprise some people because we have some weapons on our team that I feel like can come through in the states.”