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The Ridgewood wrestling team found itself at the opposite end of a familiar position Wednesday night.
The Rebels took a 24-0 lead over St. Viator before even wrestling a match, winning four consecutive matches via forfeit.
Ridgewood coach Jordan McCabe decided it was time to bring up the program's freshmen to fill out the roster earlier in the week, and that decision — along with strong matches wrestled by the program's experienced, talented core — resulted in a 62-12 win over St. Viator.
“This week, we bumped the freshmen up,” McCabe said. “Usually we bump the freshmen up right away, but we have enough freshmen to have a freshman team so we decided that we were going to hold up to get them to like the sport. A couple of freshmen were picking up a lot of wins, so we were like, 'It's time.' They gave us a good lead coming in.”
Five of Ridgewood's freshmen won their matches via forfeit, but Ridgewood freshman Vince Scaletta (195 pounds) won his first varsity match. McCabe said he has high expectations for Scaletta, forecasting his future to resemble the career arcs of three upperclassmen who dominated their matches.
Junior Sam Karim (138) and seniors Dylan Kaczmarczyk (132) and Joe Perez (145) each earned convincing wins. Kaczmarczyk's win by 10-6 decision gave Ridgewood a 30-0 lead, and pins earned by Karim and Perez – at 4:55 and 3:06, respectively – helped secure the team's first victory of the season.
“I think it made us feel more positive about our whole team,” said Perez, regarding the team's first team win of the season.