NORTH BRUNSWICK – The 2018-19 Linwood Middle School wrestling team was lauded for its efforts on and off the mat during the North Brunswick Township Council meeting on March 18.
The six sixth graders, 10 seventh graders and 19 eighth graders are Kailash Aravindhan, Austin Chou, Timothy DeGaetano, Logan Margulies, Angelo Scaturro, Kevin Vallese, Colin Brockman, Ryan Farley, Cayden Ferlsan, Seth Francois, Andre Ham, Ka’Sem Napier, Arman Purohit, Juan Santiago II, Anthony Sosa, Adriel Velez, Justin Batts, Michael Alvarez, Brandon Castro, Kevin Contreras, Zahmir Dawud, Aly Elhomossy, Omar Elhomossy, Keith Enriquez, David Fritsche, Anthony Garcia, Greylin Heller, Anthony Hill, Chris Lewison, Jeffry Merino, Branden Moody, Eddie Ramirez, Nathaniel Rosa, Sohiel Sohiem and William Wilson.
The coaches are John Wares and Fred Urban.
According to the proclamation read in their honor, one wrestler from each weight class was invited to attend the Greater Middlesex County Middle School-Small School Tournament. Linwood had a wrestler in all 20 weight classes and had 14 medal winners who advanced them to a first place win. Those wrestlers are Ryan Farley (70 pounds) first place, Tim DeGaetano (75 pounds) second place, Kailash Aravindham (80 pounds), Anthony Sosa (85 pounds), Andre Ham (90 pounds), Michael Alvarez (95 pounds), David Fritsche (100 pounds), Omar Elhomossy (105 pounds) second place, Zahmir Dawud (110 pounds) first place, Anthony Garcia (115 pounds) second place, Nate Rosa (120 pounds) third place, William Wilson (126 pounds) second place, Brandon Castro (132 pounds) second place, Anthony Hill (138 pounds) third place, Kevin Contreras (144 pounds) second place, Jeffry Merino (150 pounds) first place, Brandon Moody (158 pounds) second place, Keith Enriquez (170 pounds) third place, Caiden Ferlsan (185 pounds), and Justin Batts (Heavyweight) first place.
On Jan. 28, first-place winners Ryan Farley, Zahmir Dawud, Jeffry Merino and Justin Batts advanced to the GMC Large School versus Small School Conference championship. The Small School teams defeated the Large School teams with a final score of 48-41. It all came down to the final match for the Small School victory: Justin Batts delivered the deciding victory with a pin, according to the proclamation. Ryan Farley and Zahmir Dawud placed second in their weight class. Both Justin Batts and Jeffry Merino were the Small School Champions for their weight class which advanced them to the Middlesex versus Monmouth championship.
On Jan. 29, Jeffry Merino took home first place and is the champion of the 150-pound weight class for Middlesex County. Justin Batts placed second for the Heavyweight class for Middlesex County. Jeffry Merino advanced to the War at the Shore Championship.
On Jan. 31, Jeffry Merino came home with the second place finish in the War at the Shore Championship – Ocean vs. Middlesex/Monmouth, according to the proclamation.
“It was truly a great season. I love these guys. We became family throughout the year, and it wasn’t even about what happened on the mat, it was about how you guys all came together,” Wares said.
Councilman Carlo Socio, who has reffed the wrestlers over the years, said, “To come to Linwood now and know that you are competitive and you win matches and win in a dramatic fashion is such a great accomplishment.”