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A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains - Fanwood Thursday, December 16, 1999 Page 13


THE WEEK IN SPORTS Check it out on the website! www. goleader. com High School Sports pgs 1316


Balance, Solid Lineup Offers Success to Raider Wrestlers


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

Balance and a solid lineup may offer success to the Scotch PlainsFanwood High School wrestling team this season. The Raiders may not have the wealth of big guns like they did last year but some do remain.

“I think that we should have a solid, balanced lineup,” said Raider Head Coach Mike Artigliere. “We will fill the weight classes with average to aboveaverage wrestlers. Anytime you can do that, you should have an above average season. We don’t seem to have the big guns that we had last year.”

However, one of the shining stars may be junior Gary Cousar, who while wrestling in a very competitive 189 class last year, placed second in the districts and fourth in Region 3 to finish with a very good 207 record.

“He is our highest returning place winner and is a very talented wrestler. He will be a potent part of our lineup,” commented Artigliere.

Determined to improve upon himself, Cousar suggested, “I am shooting to take the county championship.

I have been watching my videos from last year and I made a lot of mistakes. I should have been more conditioned which is what I am going to work on this year.”

Considering his team’s outlook, Cousar said optimistically, “I think that we can be as good or maybe even better than last year. We have a lot of energy and everybody is intense.”

Two more seniors, David Loewinger and Mike

Grabel, have the potential to emerge

a s d o m i nant forces in the area. Last year, Loewinger placed third in District 12 at 114 and finished with a 197 record and Grabel placed third in the district at 145, qualified for the Region 3 tournament and posted an 189 record.

Dave Loewinger will again compete at 112 and his twin Mike, who

was 1313 last year, will occupy the 119 pound class.

“They put in time during the off season. They are in their senior year and I think that they want to finish well,” said Artigliere of the Loewingers.

“I want to win the districts this year,” commented Dave Loewinger. “I have been improving every year and this year I think that I am better.”

Last year, the Raiders came oh so close to winning the Watchung Conference and the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3 title and feel that there is still hope for this year. “Personally, I

hope to win the districts and place well in the regionals,” commented G r a b e l , who plans to wrestle at either 152 or 160. “But we have a lot of balance and I want the team to win t h e sectionals and the conference this year.”

Sophomore Lucas Francavilla, who placed second in District 12 at 105, was a Region 3 qualifier and finished with a 156 record, has grown to fill


Devil Wrestlers Have Heart; Heading in Right Direction


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

Forming a strong nucleus for a strong future seems to be what is happening with the Westfield High School wrestling team. The Blue Devils are still quite young and will take their lumps, but what is good, is that they will improve and are heading in the right direction.

Yielding several weight classes, Head Coach Glen Kurz appeared to use mirrors effectively to salvage a 77 record last year. Some of his wrestlers had stepped onto the mats for the very first time and had to learn by experience. However, that experience will pay off this season.

“We have some freshmen who are looking pretty good,” said Kurz. “Some wrestlers from last year did not come out but that’s okay because our team has a lot of heart and that will pay off.”

Blue Devil freshman Joe DeCampo is expected to wrestle 103 and sophomore

John Leonardis, a 103 pounder last year, has grown into the 119 pound class.

“John showed

a lot as a freshman placing seventh in the county. He basically did it on all heart. He works very hard in practice and he is developing his technique well. I believe that he is going to have a good

year and will place himself in the upper echelon,” said Kurz.

Junior Jim Villane has also grown and will fill in the 135 pound slot. At 125 last year, he finished with a 79 record and placed fourth in the districts.

“He has been lifting weights a lot. It may take a little while to adjust to the weight class,” said Kurz. “But his technique looks good and he has

been working hard in practice. You can’t count Jimmy Villane out of a match. He’s

going to win some matches.”

Sophomores Anthony Tomasso, Tim Caprario

and Kyle Swingle may share action at the 140

145 pound classes. Senior Tom Hanscom and sophomore Chris Gismondi are expected to shift between 152 and 160. “Chris made the Garden State Games over the summer and he looked good down there,”

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Western Union County Matmen Graduate Superstars; Have Some on the Horizon By DAVID B. CORBIN

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

Superstars Donnie DiFilippis of New Providence, Brett Vanderveer of Governor Livingston, Pat Ekstrom of Cranford, Onur Tezucar of Westfield and Jim Feeley of Scotch PlainsFanwood have graduated; however, several high school wrestlers in western Union County (WUC) could break into that glorious short list. Although Roselle Park appears, once again, to be the team to beat in the county and Union has a fine team, some WUC individuals could scar the Panthers’ pelt and slow the Farmers’ plow.

Possibly looking strongest on the WUC list could be the Indians of Rahway followed by Scotch PlainsFanwood and Cranford. The turnouts are similar to last year but some teams have found it easier to fill most of the weight classes.


The Indians have a huge turnout of 48 highly energetic wrestlers. Coach Freddie Stueber is twodeep in every weight class but has a lot of new faces. Leading the charge will be juniors Gene Ronkiewicz, Blake Jackson and Danny Garay.

“Our numbers are up. We have 48 guys on paper and I have a lot of

rookies returning from last year who I think are going to be pretty good,” said Stueber. “I am not sure how we will start out the season but I have high expectations for us later in the season.”

Stueber admitted that he has a few aces in the hole but did not exactly say where they may be hiding. He also related that rival Roselle Park will have a formidable squad and also will have some hidden cards.

“We could have a few shockers. I have a few kids who have some gimmick moves. I know that we will not do as well as last year but I am having fun with this group because they are working very hard,” said Stueber.

Adding strength to the lineup will be Jesse Campanelli and senior Al Tareeq Frazier, who placed third in District 11 at 142, in the middleweight area.

Gene Ronkiewicz (112): He was the District 11 Champ at 105 last year and finished with a 167 record. On the off season, he hit the weight room and practiced Greco Roman wrestling.

“I learned a lot of moves since last year,” said Ronkiewicz. “I know that

I will have some tough people but my goal is to win the region championship.”

Blake Jackson (119): He was a District 11 runner up, finishing with a 166 record. “I learned a lot from last year,” commented Jackson. “With age, you gain experience.”

Danny Garay (215): The eyes will be focusing on Garay and, should he make the weight class, senior Ishmael Medley of Elizabeth. Garay placed third in District 11 in a very tough 217 pound class and finished with a 235 record.

“My competition may be Medley. I lost twice to him by one point last year,” said Garay. “This could be my last year to wrestle him. So, hopefully, I can get him this year.”

that he lost went to the final note and could have been decided either way.

Brian Williams (215): Williams could surprise plenty of people this year. He has steadily improved his technique and, on the off season, hit the weight room quite successfully to improve his strength.

Governor Livingston:

The Highlanders, coached by John Mineo, were at a great disadvantage last year, having to forfeit their first two weight classes; however, this season they fill the vacancies. Although graduating superstar Brett Vanderveer and a fine wrestler in Kris Lecomte, much attention will be directed toward seniors Tim Marcantonio and Fred Williams. However, freshman Tim Vanderveer, who displays similar talent as his brother, plans to terrorize the 103 pound class.

Several Highlanders are on the verge of being good wrestlers but must this the year to prove it and make a name for themselves.

Tim Marcantonio (160):

Marcantonio, a senior, may be the premier wrestler in the county and possibly the region at 160. Last year, at 160, Marcantonio won the District 12 title, placed second in Region 3 and was defeated in the early rounds of the state tournament in Atlantic City, finishing with a 276 record.



Raider Boy Cagers Have Size; Need Cohesiveness


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

Size of any sort will not be the problem for the Scotch PlainsFanwood High School boys basketball team that will bring a squad that resembles a huge football offensive line to the courts. However, the main concern early in the season may be team speed, positioning and team synchronization.

Leading the Raider squad will be 245 pound, 6’4” senior forward Ron Jenerette and 210 pound, 6’2” senior forward Dave Herrmann. In the middle will be 235 pound, 6’9” junior Andrew Feeley backed up by 280 pound, 6’6” senior Derrick Brown. Seniors Mike Jackson and Hal Burwell, also sizable, are expected to be playing in the guard positions.

So far, the Raiders have scrimmaged Hudson Catholic and Rahway and got a mixed opinion from 13

year Raider Head Coach Willie Leonardi.

“We haven’t been playing very well. Presently we don’t seem to be cohesive. We aren’t playing with intensity,” said Leonardi. “The reason, I don’t know. Although in our scrimmages, we were playing mantoman defense because the other coaches wanted to. And we don’t play it well because of our big size. When we went to a zone, things were different.”

Further considering the slow start, Leonardi commented, “We do have a lot of young players out there and maybe that is the reason because they are sitting there trying to learn how to play.”


SPF Raider Gary Cousar 189 SPF Raider Mike Grabel 152/ 160 Blue Devil Mike Kivetz 171


Blue Devil Cagers Will Play ‘Pressure’ Ball


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

What can be expected from the Westfield High School girls basketball team this season is a high pressure style of fastpaced game. The Blue Devil girls possess plenty of team speed and intend to use it to their advantage.

Last year, plenty of attention befell the Blue Devils when many eyes watched the progress of senior Liz McKeon as she approached the 1,000 career point plateau. McKeon surpassed that mark against Morristown on February 25, 1999 when she hit for 31 points. With the graduation of McKeon and center Monique Brendel, the Blue Devils have lost

offensive fire power and have two big vacancies to fill.

Aware of the transition, first year Blue Devil Head Coach Joe Marino, who had previously been the freshman coach, has offered a solution.

“Our strategy is to play team play basketball. We are going to play pressure basketball,” said Marino. “We are not going to have one or two stars on the team. We all have to work together and put in a great team effort.”

Part of the speed belongs to senior guard Kristen Leonardis and senior center Val Griffeth, who will share the responsibilities as CoCaptains. Junior Courtney Thornton, who was


The Blue Devils are still very young and building but are heading in the right direction; however, there will still be some vacant slots. With the addition of freshman coach Lou Cerchio to Head Coach Glen Kurz’s staff, the upper weight class wrestlers will gain knowledge and toughness.

“Some of the seniors did not come out this year, but we have a strong nucleus of kids with a lot of heart,” commented Kurz.

Heading the Blue Devils are senior CoCaptains Mike Kivetz at 171 and Brian Williams at 215.

Mike Kivetz (171): Kivetz finished with a 1611 record at 173 pounds and placed third in District 11 in a very tough class. With his “Rock and Roll” style last year, several matches

Rahway Danny Garay 215 Cranford John Donofrio 152/ 160

Cranford Rob Verhoeven 140 Highlander Tim Marcantonio 160

Raider CoCaptain Ron Jenerette Raider Heavyweight Jim Feeley works for a pin at the Super Regions in Union in March 1999. Blue Devil Onur Tezucar works a cross body ride on Todd DeWitt of Johnson during the Regionals in March, 1999

PAIGE CORBETT… Senior TriCaptain of the Field Hockey team. Paige led the team with 12 goals and 14 assists. She has been selected First Team AllUnion County, First Team AllArea and was selected as a Regional AllAmerican finalist by the U. S. Field Hockey Association. The girls had a stellar season, having played in the Union County Finals and having received the top seed for the Section 2, Group 4 Tournament. Corbett is a straight A honor student with a 4.0 average.
Copyright 1999 - The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood
Covering Fanwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield, Union County, New Jersey (NJ)