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Toms River East is young but improving on wrestling mat


Toms River High School East may field a young wrestling lineup, but the Raiders displayed plenty of growth when they recently took down a town rival.

Toms River East gained the bragging rights in this young season when it scored a 54-24 victory over visiting Toms River South on Jan. 4.

Toms River East’s veteran coach, Warren Reid, was pleased with his young squad.

“We are going to take some lumps. Some teams are just better than us right now. Against Toms River South, II thought we could compete. The win tonight (Jan. 4)  motivates our guys. I think it helps them mentally and physically,” Reid said

Toms River East received victories against the visiting Indians from freshman Joe McCullough at 113 pounds, senior Saul Monico at 120, sophomore Eddie Totten at 126, sophomore Mike Conklin at 132, senior Alexander Gorlin  at 138, sophomore James Racanelli at 152, senior Cesar Serrano at 195, freshman Thomas Pravata at 220 and junior Diego Leoner at 285.

Reid still seeks improvement from his Raiders.

“The strength in our lineup looks down below. In the upper weights, we look a little weak. We have to improve on that. I want our guys to move a little a better. We just have to break them out of bad habits,” Reid said.

Conklin, who placed third in Region 7 at 120 pounds last season, is optimistic.

“I did everything I could and got six for the team. I want to keep perfecting my moves going forward this season. I think this year’s team is doing pretty good,” Conklin said.

Winning bouts for Toms River South were junior Justin Murray at 106, senior Riley Cheong at 145, senior Ryan Laycock at 160, senior Dom Spedaliere at 170 and senior Tim Yuro at 182.

Toms River South coach Ron Laycock said experience will be key this winter.

“We really only have a couple wrestlers on our team, who I would classify as club wrestlers and wrestlers first. We are just inexperienced. This team is giving effort and learining, which make me happy. We just have to keep working and getting better,” Laycock said.

He said his team’s strength will be the middle weights.

“I wrestled good tonight. I’m just trying to push myself the best that I can. I definitely want to get on the podium this year without a doubt. I want to continue to improve on my stamina. I just need to keep working out everyday,” Cheong said.

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