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Metro Suburban preview

Elmwood Park seeks league repeat

By Jack Froelich

You get pretty familiar with your conference opponents when you're part of the Metro Suburban Conference. That's what having just four teams will do for you.

Common knowledge says that Fenton and Riverside-Brookfield should be the teams to beat this season. What might not be so well known is that Ridgewood first-year coach Jared McCabe also believes his team has a shot at making a run for the conference title.

Elmwood Park Tigers
Coach: Lane Stone
Last season's record: 8-15

Top returnees
285--Miguel Garcia, sr. (14-6 last year); 160--Mario Endikov, sr. (7-3); 103--Steve Nadolski, so. (14-11).

Top wrestlers lost
Wuilmar Arias (21-8); Dominic Rubino (25-7); Brandon Tillema (20-8).

Coach Lane Stone will try to replace his big three from a year ago with a new trio of sharp returnees: seniors Miguel Garcia (heavyweight) Mario Endikov (160), and sophomore Steve Nadolski at 103.
Overall, however, the young Tigers will be light on experience. The good news is some excellent building blocks for the future are being put in place. Stone thinks his squad will do well in conference, even if it doesn't end up heading off the rest of the pack.

Fenton Bison
Coach: Brian Hastings
Last year's record: 10-11 (6-0 conference)
Top returnees
140--Josh Castellano, sr. (38-5, sectional champ); 285--Francisco Ochoa, sr. (29-12); 140--Carlos Gomez, sr. (26-13); 125--Ryan Joy, jr. (19-18 F/S state qualifier); 189--Joe DiBenedetto, jr. (Greco national qualifier); 135--Vince Swartz, sr. (11 wins); 189--Benji Scuillo, sr. (11-9).

Josh Castellano leads a trio of returning sectional qualifiers that figures to be the anchor of coach Brian Hastings' squad. Castellano gets top billing by virtue of his top-12 finish in the state last year, along with a Greco-Roman national championship, according to Hastings.  He and fellow sectional qualifier Carlos Gomez will certify at 140, but could move around a bit. “We should be pretty competitive and solid throughout our lineup,” Hastings says. “Hopefully, the young men can challenge themselves and continue to improve throughout the season.”

Ridgewood Rebels
Coach: Jared McCabe
Last season's record: 8-14

Top returnees
Mario Naverette, sr. (15-13, sectional qualifier at 125); Ramon Rodgriguez, sr. (13-16 at 171); Aarek Jarzabek, jr. (10-16 at 130); Edward Walsh, jr. (9-15 at 145); Julian Divito, jr. (8-14 at 215); Rafal Dzidzic, jr. (6-5 at 140); Paul Pistolarides, jr. (1-5 at 160); Mark Carl, jr. (12-4 at 152); Mitso Anastos, jr. (2-6  at 160); Anthony Montanez, jr. (21-13 at 119).

Top newcomer
285--Marko Delic, jr. (transfer from Notre Dame).

Top wrestlers lost
140--Yanni Anastos (all-conference); 135--John Costantino (sectional qualifier); 140--Dominick Millitello.

First-year Coach Jared McCabe thinks his team’s off-season work may be a difference-maker this season. A good crop of juniors also will be a key. “We are going to be a tough team to beat this year,” McCabe says. “There were a lot of wrestlers who showed up four days a week in the summer and every Tuesday and Thursday for conditioning during the fall. We will definitely be in contention for the conference championship this year.”  

Riverside-Brookfield Bulldogs
Coach: Neil Dughetti
Last year's record: 15-6

Top returnees
103--Kegan Buttimer, soph.; 112--Erine Principe, sr; 125--Eduardo Orihelua, so.; 130--Nicko Torres, sr.; 135--Chris Russell, jr.; 140--John Rosenberg, so.; 145--John Hoadley, sr.; 152--Josh Carter, sr.; 160--Don McGregor, sr.; 171--Josh Bergmann, sr.; 189--Frank Chico, sr.; 215--Matt Regnier, sr.; 285--Bill Vermillion, sr.; Andrew Biggerstaff, sr.

Four returning sectional qualifiers (Buttimer, Torres, Russell, Regnier) form the nucleus of coach Neil Dughetti's squad. The Bulldogs should make a serious run at the conference title. All but Russell also were all-conference selections. “I am
very proud of our kids, they have been working so hard everyday,” said Dughetti, who is in his sixth year at R-B.

Predicted order of finish for conference
1, Fenton; 2, Riverside-Brookfield. 3, Ridgewood; 4, Elmwood Park.

Today's Schedule: Season Schedule