Middleweights steer Monroe past South Brunswick on the wrestling mat

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Monroe High School wrestler Chris Fanelli takes down South Brunswick'sVincent Jairdullo during their match at 160 on Jan. 15. Monroe defeated South Brunswick, 52-45, to improve to 7-3 on the season.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Monroe High School wrestler Anthony Motard takes down South Brunswick's Michael Kurilla during their 120 pound match on Jan. 15. Monroe defeat South Brunswick, 52-45, to improve to 7-3 on the season.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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South Brunswick High School wrestler Nick Jairdullo looks to pin Monroe High School's Justin Cholula-Conde during their 182 pound match on Jan. 15. South Brunswick is 6-6 on the season.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Monroe High School wrestler Anthony Proface pins Armaan Khatri during their 145 pound match on Jan. 15.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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South Brunswick High School wrestler Adrian Gaspar and Monroe High School's Jayton Otlowski lock up during their 132 pound match on Jan. 15. STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Monroe High School wrestler Chris Fanelli takes down South Brunswick'sVincent Jairdullo during their match at 160 on Jan. 15. Monroe defeated South Brunswick, 52-45, to improve to 7-3 on the season.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Monroe High School wrestler Anthony Motard takes down South Brunswick's Michael Kurilla during their 120 pound match on Jan. 15. Monroe defeat South Brunswick, 52-45, to improve to 7-3 on the season.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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South Brunswick High School wrestler Nick Jairdullo looks to pin Monroe High School's Justin Cholula-Conde during their 182 pound match on Jan. 15. South Brunswick is 6-6 on the season.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Monroe High School wrestler Anthony Proface pins Armaan Khatri during their 145 pound match on Jan. 15.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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South Brunswick High School wrestler Adrian Gaspar and Monroe High School's Jayton Otlowski lock up during their 132 pound match on Jan. 15. STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF

Monroe Township High School has showed off its muscles  to remain undefeated on the wrestling mat

Monroe flexed it strength and skills on the road against South Brunswick High School on Jan. 15 to stay undefeated in Greater Middlesex Conference Red Division wrestling.

Five consecutive pins from 138-170 pound weight classes resulted in the Falcons posting a 52-25 victory over South Brunswick.

That victory moved Monroe to  4-0 in the Red Division standings and 7-3 overall on the season. South Brunswick slipped to 6-6 overall and 1-3 in the GMC Red Division this winter.

“We’re very tough in the middle of our lineup,” said Monroe coach Joe Eurell. “That’s where our bonus power comes from. Our middleweights are gamers. They always come out attacking and bring the same intensity to each match.”

South Brunswick coach Bobby Januska has been presently surprised by the success and the progress his team has made this season.

The Vikings are on pace to win the most dual meets they’ve had since the 2012-2013 season. South Brunswick went 16-13 that winter and have only had one season since back in 2014-2015, when  the Vikings won more than 10 dual meets.

“We’re right there near the top echelon of teams in the conference and that’s where we should be,” Januska. “We’re hoping to have 10 to 12 wins by the end of the next two weeks. I’m happy about that, but not satisfied. I want to see the guys get more hungry and strive for more success.”

Joseph Fiordaliso (138), Anthony Profaci (145), Ian McCabe (152), Chris Fanelli (160) and Anthony Ceras (170) each won by a fall to spark that surge by Monroe during the victory over South Brunswick.

Fiordaliso started off the streak with a pin at 1:05 over Vishnu Kumar to extend the Monroe lead to 16-4.

“It’s always good to start building momentum for your team,” Fiordaliso said. “We really capitalized on it.”

After not qualifying for the state tournament last season, the senior has been working hard to gain a trip to Atlantic City. The state tournament will be wrestled on March 5-7 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

McCabe recorded his pin when he scored a  quick takedown on South Brunswick’s Cooper Fitzgerald and then cradled him for a pin in 26 seconds to put the Falcons up 28-4.

The senior is looking to make his second trip to the state tournament in March and has a goal of placing this season.He had qualified for  the state tournament as a sophomore.

“Everyone is shooting to be a state champion,” McCabe said. “I’m just trying to take things one match and one step at a time.”

Fanelli made a picture perfect takedown like form tackle and to pin South Brunswick’s Vincent Jairdullo 37 seconds into the second period, while Ceras recorded a 32-second fall over Matthew Carlson to extend the Monroe lead to 40-4.

Monroe’s Nico Sta Ana and South Brunswick’s AJ Anderson-Thomas had a good battle in the 195 pound match, with Sta Ana scoring a pin in the final minute of the third period to help Monroe build  a 46-10 lead.

Reece Craven also earned a pin at 126 pounds for the Falcons in the match.

Anthony Motard, a 120-pounder, got Monroe off to a great start to the meet, winning the first match of the night with a major decision, 15-2.

Monroe knows that it must receive a balanced effort from all 14 wrestlers in a chance to win a Central Jersey, Group 5 state sectional title. Monroe fell to Manalapan High School in the semifinals of the Central Jersey, Group 5 state sectional tournament last year.

According to the latest power point rankings for the state, Monroe is third in Central Jersey, Group 5, while Manalapan is No. 2. Hunterdon Central Regional High School is on the top of the power points in Central Jersey, Group 5.

“Anytime you get into the playoffs, anything can happen,” Eurell said .”It really comes down to which team brings its best on that night. We’re definitely looking forward to trying to improve on our performance from last year. There’s a lot of areas still we need to work on.”

In the match against Monroe, South Brunswick received pins from Nick Jairdullo (182), Akil Murugan (285) and Jackson Ratcliffe (113).

Before Murugan’s victory in the heavyweight bout, teammate Giuseppe Favaloro outdueled Monroe’s Jack Richards for a 8-2 decision victory at 220 pounds.

Adrian Gaspar (132) roared to a major decision 14-5 victory in his match to get the Vikings on the board in the dual meet.

South Brunswick is ninth in power points in the Central Jersey, Group 5 field.

“We’re trying to build a culture where we’re able to compete every year,” Januska said. “Our seniors have stepped up this year. We want to make sectionals. If we can limit bonus points and get bonus points, it will make a big difference in our matches the rest of the season.”

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