Logan Smith the 150-pound Green Wave wrestler (top) scored a pin at 1:36 over Dylan DeSimone of Shore Regional.
By Walter O’Neill, Jr – The Green Wave wrestling team at Long Branch High School has a very elite history. They own three NJSIAA Group Titles, six NJSIAA Sectional Titles, 14 District Team Titles, three Shore Conference Tournament Titles, and 24 Divisional Titles. Individually, the program has produced nine State Champions, 35 state medalists, 39 Region Champions, 146 District Champions and one Shore Conference Champion. The most individual wins for a wrestler was in 2009, and that was 43 by Billy George.
Today, George is now in his second season as the head coach of the program. Last year, he replaced his legendary uncle, Danny George as coach. Long Branch had finished overall at 8-10, were 3-8 against Shore Conference opponents and were 1-6 in the A North Division. However, this year they look much better and stronger up and down the line.
Friday morning the Green Wave went to neighbor Shore Regional and faced the Blue Devils in a nondivisional contest. Dave Porta is in his 14th season as the Devils head coach, and has done amazing things with the program. Shore has one Sectional Title, eight Division Titles, four State medalists, four Region Champions, 30 District Champions and seven Shore Conference Tournament medalists. Last season they finished 22-10, were 13-10 in Shore Conference action and 4-1 in the B Central Division.
Long Branch won 11 matches while Shore had two wins. Following is the individual breakdown of the bouts.
106 pounds: Joshua Renna (LB) pin at :40 over Ray Brown (SR)
113 pounds: Ryan Beharry (LB) pin at 1:09 over Luke Chrysanthopouls (SR)
120 pounds: James Renna (LB) pin at 5:55 over Antonio Scalise (SR)
126 pounds: Domenic Demarzo (SR) pin at 5:21 over Matthew Munson (LB)
132 pounds: Nick Miller (LB) pin at 1:49 over Aidan O’Connell (SR)
138 pounds: Anthony Secaida Cruz (LB) win by forfeit
144 pounds: Daniel Ramirez (LB) technical fall 23-5 at 5:42 over Domenic Sciarappa (SR)
150 pounds Logan Smith (LB) pin at 1:36 over Dylan DeSimone (SR)
157 pounds: Devon Smith (LB) pin at 3:23 over Caleb Rushin (SR)
165 pounds: Cristian Cunalata (LB) 6-0 decision over Lucas White (SR)
175 pounds: Double forfeit
190 pounds: Tyler Taylor (LB) win by forfeit
215 pounds: Bashaar Ismail (SR) pin at :46 over Matheus Marco Santana (LB)
285 pounds: Mark Godsil (LB) pin at 1:07 over Xavier Moro (SR)
There was controversy at the last match of the morning. Godsil was the final wrestler for Long Branch and immediately following his pin over Moro, he jumped to his feet and put his index finger to his mouth and made the “be quiet” gesture towards the Shore Regional bench. At first the official disqualified Godsil, then retracted that decision after meeting with the coaches, and then deducted one team point, but I believe that was also overturned.
It seems that Godsil’s gesture was in response to Demarzo, who after his win, made the same gesture to the Long Branch bench and fans. However, the official stated that he did not witness Demarzo doing it. There is a new rule this year from the NJSIAA, that no taunting, no disrespectful gestures or languages will be tolerated by any wrestler. Officials reinforce this new rules with coaches and wrestlers before the match. The gestures by Demarzo and Godsil are in violation of this new rule.
A few fans we spoke with after the match said that the finger to the lips did not seem to be an obscene gesture and think the NJSIAA is getting carried away. Others, felt it is appropriate and wrestlers should just shake hands when their match is completed.