Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

NJ Stars Have Fueled Rutgers' Ascension

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

NJ Stars Have Fueled Rutgers' Ascension

Article excerpt

The Rutgers wrestling program does not work in anonymity, and hasn't for quite some time.

Under 11th-year head coach Scott Goodale, the Scarlet Knights, who resume their Big Ten schedule on Sunday afternoon at the RAC against Ohio State, have expectations. Those expectations range from inside their own wrestling room, to those of a growing fan base. So, when a pair of December dual meets against Lock Haven, Goodale's alma mater, and national power Iowa ended in losses, it wasn't just a blip on the radar.

"We came into the season with expectations, and maybe it was overblown," said Goodale, a Jackson Memorial graduate who later coached the school's highly successful wrestling team until 2007 when he took over at Rutgers. "We have good guys in our program who wrestle at a really high level, but we really haven't lived up to those expectations from a win-loss perspective. We lost to Lock Haven, we let a really good opportunity against Iowa slip away, so from wins and losses, it has been frustrating. There has certainly been progress, but we will be better as we move along."

Progress has been made over the course of a decade, and it has been made with Goodale, no stranger to New Jersey high school wrestling, aggressively recruiting his own state.

Of the 10 wrestlers that saw the mat on Dec. 8 against the seventh-ranked Hawkeyes, nine went to high school in the Garden State. Of those nine, two, Wall graduate Brett Donner and Toms River East alum Richie Lewis, are Shore Conference products. A third, Nick Suriano, is a New Jersey legend, having gone 159-0 in becoming just the fourth four-time state champion in history at Bergen Catholic. The 125-pounder is 9-0 on the season and is ranked second nationally in his weight class according InterMat.

"First and foremost, we want the best kids in New Jersey to stay home," Goodale said. "To do that, we needed to have excitement, we needed to wrestle in front of fans, build our program, build our name, put ourselves out there to keep the best in New Jersey home. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.