Sayreville wrestling looking to end the season strong in state team tournament

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Sayreville War Memorial High School wrestler Joseph Porcaro competes during the team's dual match against Hunterdon Central on Feb. 5. Porcaro placed third in the 220-pound weight class at the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Sayreville War Memorial High School wrestler Dennis Whitford tries to block a takedown attempt by Hunterdon Central High School's John Rieche during their match at 160 pounds on Feb. 5. The Bombers are 18-5 on the season.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Sayreville War Memorial High School wrestler Dylan Acevedo defeats Hunterdon Central High School's Alistair McManus via pin fall in their 113-pound match on Feb. 5. Acevedo is 27-1 on the season. STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Sayreville War Memorial High School wrestler Joseph Porcaro competes during the team's dual match against Hunterdon Central on Feb. 5. Porcaro placed third in the 220-pound weight class at the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Sayreville War Memorial High School wrestler Dennis Whitford tries to block a takedown attempt by Hunterdon Central High School's John Rieche during their match at 160 pounds on Feb. 5. The Bombers are 18-5 on the season.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Sayreville War Memorial High School wrestler Dylan Acevedo defeats Hunterdon Central High School's Alistair McManus via pin fall in their 113-pound match on Feb. 5. Acevedo is 27-1 on the season. STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF

The regular season has brought some great accomplishments for the Sayreville War Memorial High School wrestling team.

For the third year in a row, the Bombers finished atop the Greater Middlesex Conference White Division standings with a 7-0 division record. The team went on to place fourth at the conference tournament that was held on Jan. 31-Feb. 1 at Piscataway High School.

Monroe Township High School won the GMC tournament with 194 points. Piscataway was second with 172 points to finish ahead of the conference’s long-time dominating team, South Plainfield High School, which placed third.

Sayreville currently stands at 18-5 on the season as it heads into its regular season finale, a quad meet against host Montville High School, West Essex Regional High School and Piscataway on Feb.8.

As the team continues the program’s great success over the past few seasons, coach Marcus Ivy believes his Sayreville squad can do more, starting with its opening match that is scheduled against Franklin High School in the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 5 sectional tournament on Feb. 10.

Down two starters, Sayreville lost only by two points, 37-35, against Franklin in the dual match on Jan. 4. Ivy feels his team matches up well with Franklin and believes if his wrestlers can execute on the mat, that the Bombers will head back to the sectional semifinals for the second year in a row.

“I think we can do well and I expect us to do well,” Ivy said. “We’re going to have to execute and put the game plan into motion on the mat. We have to execute the plans and do the best we can to come out on top.”

Senior Joseph Porcaro was one of the starters who Sayreville didn’t have in its first match against Franklin.

Porcaro has been a beast in the 220-pound weight class for the Bombers this season, standing at 18-1 so far this season and took home a bronze medal at the conference tournament.

A 3-2 loss in the semifinals of the conference tournament to Middlesex High School’s Jordan Campbell is the only loss this season for Porcaro.

Fellow classmate Dylan Acevedo has been stellar this season in the 113-pound weight class for the Bombers.

Acevedo is 27-1 on the season, suffering his only loss in the semifinals of the conference tournament to South Brunswick High School’s Jackson Ratcliffe. The senior went on to finish in third place in the bracket. Acevedo won the 106-pound conference title last season.

Dealing with the flu going into the conference tournament, Acevedo felt like himself again in the team’s dual match against Hunterdon Central Regional High School on Feb. 5, picking up a pin in the match.

Acevedo thinks Sayreville has a chance to make some noise in the tournament if everyone is clicking on all cylinders.

“I really think we can beat Franklin,” Acevedo said. “We’re a really tough team. We wrestle really well against good teams. We can put up a fight in the sectional tournament.

Senior Darren Figueroa was the only Sayreville wrestler to advance to the conference tournament finals, taking home a silver medal in the 126-pound weight class. Figueroa is 19-5 on the season.

At 285 pounds, junior Vincent Rebak has been solid in the heavyweight class for the Bombers this winter, standing at 16-7 on the season and placed third at the county tournament.

Jake Wagner (145) and Dennis Whitford (160) both recorded sixth place finishes in the conference tournament for Sayreville.

Hunterdon Central, the squad that knocked Sayreville out of the sectional tournament last season in the semifinals, handed the Bombers their second straight dual meet loss with a 47-24 decision.

The Red Devils defeated Manalapan High School to win the sectional title last season en route to the Group 5 state final where the Flemington school fell to Southern Regional High School.

Ivy hopes his team can pick up some much needed momentum in the quad-meet going into its match against Franklin.

“We’re hoping it helps,” Ivy said. “We haven’t been executing well lately, so the goal is to execute against Franklin.”

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