Sayreville’s wrestling squad looking to continue recent success

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Sayreville High School wrestling coach Marcus Ivy talks to his team during its practice on Jan. 2. Ivy is in his eighth season as head varsity coach at Sayreville.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Sayreville High School wrestling team's Dylan Acevedo participates in team drills during practice on Jan. 2. Acevedo won the GMC 106-pound championship last season for the Bombers. STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Sayreville High School wrestling team's Ryan Bouchard participates in team drills during practice on Jan. 2. STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Sayreville High School wrestling coach Marcus Ivy talks to his team during its practice on Jan. 2. Ivy is in his eighth season as head varsity coach at Sayreville.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Sayreville High School wrestling team's Dylan Acevedo participates in team drills during practice on Jan. 2. Acevedo won the GMC 106-pound championship last season for the Bombers. STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Sayreville High School wrestling team's Ryan Bouchard participates in team drills during practice on Jan. 2. STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF

The past couple of seasons have been nothing but historic and successful for the Sayreville War Memorial High School wrestling program.

Sayreville claimed a single-season school record with 26 victories last season, while it advanced as a team to the semifinals of the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 5 tournament. The Bombers started out the season 25-0 in dual meets.

A top-heavy senior team last season, coach Marcus Ivy believes his new-look Sayreville squad can continue the success the program has enjoyed over the last few seasons.

“We have good experience and talent throughout our lineup to have success this year and for the following year,” Ivy said. “Last season we had a heavy senior class and had a lot of success. This year we have tough kids, but not a big senior class.”

Sayreville will be led by its three captains, Darren Figueroa, Dylan Acevedo and Joseph Porcaro. All three wrestlers participated in the NJSIAA Region 5 Tournament last year at Franklin High School. Each will strive to qualify for the state tournament in Atlantic City this year, which is scheduled for March 5-7. 

Acevedo had a terrific sophomore campaign last year for the Bombers, leading the team in pins with 19 and in total points scored with 146.

He went on to be crowned the 106-pound Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament champion, becoming the first non-heavyweight and non-senior wrestler from Sayreville to win a county championship in the last 10 years. Acevedo placed second at District 17 tournament at 113 pounds.

The junior will be wrestling at 113 pounds this season, but is certified to wrestle at 106 pounds.

“I am trying to continue to what I’ve been doing the last few seasons,” Acevedo said. “One thing I focused on this offseason was to find ways to better myself and I’m hoping to have better results this season.” 

Figueroa will compete in the 126-pound weight class this season for Sayreville. 

Porcaro, who finished with 27 victories last year, has gotten off to a nice start to the 2019-2020 season for Sayreville. The senior won the 220-pound weight class championship at the Old Bridge Ice Breaker Tournament that was held on Dec. 21 at Old Bridge High School.

Acevedo and Ryan Bouchard at 195 pounds, each took home gold at the tournament as well for the Bombers.

Sayreville took home second overall at the tournament by scoring 167.5 points. 

Bouchard is expected to have a great season for the Bombers, giving Sayreville a lot of strength in the higher weight classes with Porcaro and Vincent Rebak at 285 pounds.

Rebak will have some major shoes to fill in replacing Benedict Arthur, who won the GMC heavyweight championship last year for the Bombers.

Standing at 6-3 and weighing 280 pounds, Ivy believes Rebak’s size makes him a tough matchup for anyone who the junior will meet in the heavyweight division.

The Bombers will be strong at the lower weights as well this season. Senior Tristian Hidalgo at 106 and junior Jaden Johnson at 120 join Acevdeo and Figueroa to form a fearsome stretch for Sayreville at the top of its lineup.

Junior Zachary Weist at 132 pounds and sophomore Jariel Severino at 138 pounds will each step into starting roles this season for the Bombers and are both expected to make an impact.

“We’re young, but we’re tough,” Figueroa said. “Our team can do a lot of big things if we continue to put in the hard work and come out and wrestle well.”

A big goal for the squad will be to win its third GMC White Division championship in a row. Ivy believes the team is also capable of making into the state tournament again. 

Sayreville picked up two crucial division wins to begin the new year by defeating both New Brunswick and Colonia. The Bombers are currently 4-0 in GMC White Division play.

With its 33-31 victory over Marlboro on Jan. 8, Sayreville now stands at 8-3 on the season in dual meets.

Placing as a team in the top-four or top-five at the GMC County Tournament is another goal for Sayreville.

“Winning a White Division title would be a pretty cool thing to do for this team,” Ivy said. “ We think we can do it. We want to show that we’re a wrestling team with strong and tough kids that can battle with anybody.”

Follow Steven Bassin on Twitter @SBassin_Sports