When Point Boro meets Point Beach in any sport, you can guarantee that there will be rowdy fans ready to cheer on their respective side. For many years, residents of both the Beach and the Boro gathered for an annual Thanksgiving day football game.
With the football game now gone, the wrestling rivalry between the two crosstown schools has formally become the hottest ticket in town. This year was no different, as some fans waited close to four hours for their opportunity to witness this special wrestling tradition.
The Panthers came into the match ranked fifth in the Shore Conference and showed their resiliency in a 57-6 victory.
The match started at 126 pounds where Point Boro was able to get off to a fast start. Sophomore Jake Magley defeated Point Beach’s Mike Duffy via a 9-3 decision.
The Garnet Gulls, however, would win the 132-pound bout to even the score at 3-3. In that bout, Jesse Bowers defeated Point Boro’s Luke Schumatti by decision 8-2. From there, the Panthers would go on to win 11 of the next 12 bouts.
At 138 pounds, it was Ty Bailey who gave Point Boro a 6-3 lead as he edged Point Beach Senior Jude Lovgren in a 1-0 decision. That bout was a rematch of last season’s 126-pound bout where Bailey also defeated Lovgren by a score of 5-4.
From there, Point Boro would go on to take a 20-6 lead in the match. Spencer Robinson won by a 15-0 tech fall over Danny Savage at 145 pounds, Francis Marshall won by a 19-8 major decision over Jimmy Sherlock, and John Mctaggart won by a 16-1 tech fall over Jason Sherlock at 160 pounds.
It was a statement win for Marshall who was wrestling in his first Boro Vs. Beach match after transferring to Point Boro this season. Last season, while wrestling for Manasquan, Marshall won by decision over Sherlock to qualify for the state tournament.
“The atmosphere is like nothing else,” Marshall explained.
“To come out and wrestle in front of both of these crowds and see the support that they give to the sport of wrestling is great to see,” Marshall added.
In regards to his match vs Sherlock, Francis knew that if he trusted in his skills, he would come out victorious once again.
“Last year we had a couple of close matches but this year I knew my work in the offseason and my work ethic in the practice room would make a difference,” Francis explained.
Point Beach would grab another win at 170 pounds when Jared Hoeler won an 8-4 decision over Ryan Sansone. However, Dylan Ippolito would then win a close 5-4 decision at 182 pounds to swing the momentum back into Point Boro’s favor. It was that match which got things started for the Panthers as they won seven straight bouts from 182-120. In that stretch, Billy Borowsky, Gabe Fattizzi, Anthony Bonavito, Nick Torree, and Ben Sabo each won by fall. Bonavito’s victory put him at 18-0 on the season as he remains undefeated.
“I told Dylan that it would be huge for him to get us started and for him to get the victory at 182 in order to propel our upper weights,” Gabe Fattizi explained. For Fattizzi, it was a bit of a nostalgic moment as he pinned in his first Beach-Boro match as well as his last. “It was great to come here tonight because we were able to change their home gym into our house really quickly,” Fattizii explained.
For Point Boro, Freshmen Nick Torree and Jack Bailey were each able to perform on the big stage. Torree pinned Point Beach’s Kip Lovgren at 4:10 in the bout and Bailey won by an 8-0 major decision over Riley Simon.
“I told the freshman that experiencing the Boro-Beach match for the first time would be the best experience for them,” Gabe Fattizi explained.
“This was such a great experience,” Nick Torree said. “To come out and get the win with my team is the best thing that I could ask for. I knew I had to take a chance down 3-2 in my match and to be able to take a shot and put him on his back was great,” Torree explained.
For Jack Bailey, it was the Point Boro string of pins that helped him feel calm going into his bout. “I was expecting to come up in a close match. However, those pins really helped seal our victory at that point. I was able to feel calm going into my match,” Bailey explained.
With Point Boro aiming for its first sectional title since 2007 and a big match coming up against Southern, Freshman Jack Bailey and Nick Torree will continue to be important components of this team.
“I am always looking forward to these big matches,” Bailey said. “It’s always exciting to wrestle in front of a crowd and I am certainly looking forward to some more big matches this season,” Bailey mentioned.
Point Boro will take the trip down to Manahawkin on Monday where they will take on Southern Regional. The match could go a long way in further cementing their status among the elite programs in the Shore Conference.