Bound Brook Wrestling: Welcome







     When I'm at a  high school wrestling tournament and see a Hall of Fame I always enjoy giving it a once-over for famous athletes and wrestlers. At most of these schools I notice that if a wrestler has placed in the New Jersey States he will make that school's Hall. Unfortunately, the Crusader's number of State place-winners mean that most Bound Brook wrestling State place-winners will never get inducted into the BBHS Hall of Fame. But on the flip-side, if you're a Bound Brook wrestler and inducted into our Hall of Fame, you must be pretty darn special.


       Andrew Flanagan clearly meets that 'darn special' criteria and he will be installed in the Bound Brook High School Athletic Hall of Fame on October 7th of this year. The resume clearly shows he is deserving:


      -Two time New Jersey State Wrestling Champion

      -Four time New Jersey State Place-winner

      -One time New Jersey State wins record holder (148)

      -1st Team All Rookie NCAA Wrestling Team

      -EIWA Champion

      -NCAA Top 12

      -Graduate Harvard University

      -Head Coach Somerville H.S. wrestling. 


       Okay, we won't hold that last one against him. If you would like to attend Andrew's induction and most likely be part of the most people ever to see one person inducted, you can contact Alan Beatty and Nancy Yuzick for tickets. If his induction speech is anything like his wrestling, it will be amazing.


       CONGRATULATIONS ANDREW, you are quite frankly so deserving of this honor and we are always proud of you.... except for that one match against Henning from Wisconsin.   






        The Bound Brook wrestling program has a long and proud history which includes 25 State Champions, numerous All Americans and even a World level medalist. However, the best can never rest and the program is defined by those who cross new thresholds. Mekhi Lewis and Nestor Taffur are two of those former Bound Brook wrestler's who refuse to rest on their past accomplishments and hence why Nestor won his second World level medal two weeks ago at the Pan Am Games and Mekhi just qualified to represent the United States at the Junior World Freestyle Championships in Trnava, Slovakia in September.


       As you may or may not know Nestor is the starting 74 Kg., wrestler for the Colombian National Team and two weeks ago he traveled to Lima, Peru to compete in the Pan American Freestyle Championships. His tournament started with two tech fall wins against Victor Hernandez of Mexico and then  Yorfi Santana of the Domenican Republic. That put him in the semi-finals against Cuba's Livan Azcuy who proved to be a little to much for Nest defeating him by tech fall. That left him in the Bronze medal match against Canada's Jevon Balfour who Nest defeated 8-6 for the Bronze medal. His medal ensured that he is eligible to compete in the compete in the Senior World Championships in Budapest, Hungary in October.


        Also, wrestling 74 Kg. and joining Nest on the World team level is Mekhi Lewis who before three weeks ago didn't compete in a freestyle tournament since taking second in the New Jersey Cadet State Championships in freshman year in high school. However, that placement meant he could train at the Lehigh Valley RTC under the amazing tuteledge of Jeff Buxton, Pat Santoro, John Hughes and Brad Dillon the last two years of high school. Mek took advantage  that opportnity and it helped pay some dividends this past weekend at the Junior World Team Trials in Rochester, Minnesota where in high school he wrestled at the Clash.  After a disapponting second freestyle tournamet three weeks ago, Mek had a phenomenal weekend.


        Mek started had to first wrestle in a challenge tournament to earn a spot in the wrestle-off for the USA World team. This tournament started against Hayden Hastings of the University of Wyoming whom he beat by a 8-6 victory. That left him in a semi-finals match against the third ranked high school senior and Cadet Freestyle World level medalist Travis Wittlake. Despite Wittlake's extensive freestyle experience, Mek's year of training at Virginia Tech showed it's amazing results as he defeated Wittlake 8-1. He then had another top three high school recruit and current University of Iowa starter Alex Marinelli who at one point this past wrestling season was the number one ranked 165 pounder after pinning NCAA Champ Vincenzo Joseph in a dual meet. But, no worries in the finals match Mek was a rock and his takedown defense just plain uncanny as he proved to be the Bull, against an opponent they call 'the Bull.' In the end he won 8-5 and earned a spot in the best two out of three series to earn a spot on the World team.


       The obstacle in Mek's way of making the USA World team was another University of Iowa wrestler Jerimiah Moody. Mek lost to Moody three weeks ago at his first college level freestyle tournament after getting out to a six point lead.  This time however, Mek made his adjustments in style and teched Moody twice to earn his spot on the team.


       Congrats to both Mek and Nestor you make your former school, coaches and present fans all very proud to be a part of Bound Brook wrestling! 






        Joe Casey and Jervey Sistrunk allowed the Bound Brook Crusader wrestling program to extend the State place-winner streak to a even 20 years on Sunday when they each took third in the NJSIAA Individual State Championships. They are the Crusaders 40th and 41st place-winners during this period.


       Owning four of those placements is Joe Casey who in his senior year had his best finish yet after placing seventh his first two years and sixth last season.  Joe started his tournament in what would be the quickest match of the weekend when he pinned Wayne Scott of Penns Grove in 13 seconds. Then in his second match on Friday he defeated Owen Smith of New Providence by technical fall in 2:15. On Saturday he won a rematch of his Region final when he defeated Scott Dupont of Holmdel 6-3. On Saturday night he faced Brian Meyer of Phillipsburg and got out to a 3-0 lead late in the second period but he couldn't close the deal and lost 7-5 in sudden victory overtime. That put Joe into the losers bracket where he defeated George Worthy of Paulsboro by 6-3 score to end up in the third place match where he defeated Lavinsky Collins of Ewing 3-1. Joe will take his success story to Rider University next year and he will be sorely missed in the Bound Brook program as he always had a great attitude which gave him success. Way to go Joe and Good Luck.


        Equally Joe's impressive accomplishment was Bound Brook's 41st place winner in the last 20 years as Jervey Sistrunk placed third in the 285 pound classification. Only a junior this was Jervey's second trip to the States and he finished the tournament with a impressive 7-1 record. JJ started the tournament with a 10-5 decision over Ryan Smith of Kinnelon. He then lost his only match of the tournament when he fell to eventual runner-up Kody Wood on the power of awfully reffed match by a local ref by a  3-2 overtime score. That placed JJ in the loser's  bracket where he pinned Marcus Estevez of Franklin and then defeated John High of Bergen Catholic in tie-breaker 2-1. He then won another overtime match when he defeated Brian Sidle of St. Joe's Montvale 3-2 and then finally won by regular decision late Saturday night when he beat Kevin Cerruti of Long Branch 5-3. On Sunday morning he defeated Lamar Price of Sterling by fall in :26 which meant he would wrestle Manville senior Mike Tyle by my count for the 12th time in three years and won by a 3-1 score to place third. Eight matches is a long journey to third, but JJ just seemed to get better as the tournament went on. The State Champ this year lives about 20 miles down the road, so JJ knows what he has to do if he wants to win a State title next season.


Here are the final records: 


 106 Brandon Bowles 17-12 (Season Terminated)
113 Diatou Sane 3-9 (Season Terminated)
120 Xavier Pena 18-8 (Season Terminated)
      Nick Mandato 1-0 (Season Terminated)
126 Justin Ibarra 4-24 (Season Terminated)
132 Mike Meola 21-14 (Season Terminated)
138 Mark Venson 9-8 (Season Terminated)
      Andres Escobar 0-1 (Season Terminated)
145 Blake Johnson 4-20 (Season Terminated)
      Carlos Ugalde 20-9 (Season Terminated)
152 Joe Casey 34-1 (Career Concluded)
       Gotink Amigon 0-6 (Season Terminated)
160 Jahman McNeil 17-19 (Season Terminated)
170 No Wrestler
182 David Ugalde 27-12 (Season Terminated)
      Jon Alonso 1-2 (Season Terminated)
195 Joe Defazio 11-20 (Season Terminated)
220 No wrestler

285 Jervey Sistrunk  39-5 (Season Terminated) 




Joe gets OW 


       The Bound Brook high school wrestling team's history at Region 5 has been nothing but monumental for the last twenty years where they have averaged over two Champions a year. That tradition continued on Saturday as Joe Casey won his fourth Region title and the Outstanding Wrestler award while JJ Sistrunk won his first Region, in large part because of the help of a former Bound Brook heavywieght who never won his own title.


      I don't know how many four time  Champs there are in the history of Region 5 but the Crusader wrestling program now owns three of them as Joe Casey joined Andrew Campolattano and Mekhi Lewis with that heady accomplishment. The Coaches of Region 5 recognized this exellence as they awarded Joe the Outstanding Wrestler award. It was the second consecutive year that a Crusader won this once elusive prize. Joe breezed to his title as he started the tournament with a pin in the quarters of Joe Colon of South River . In the semi-finals he faced Steven O'Campo of West Windsor-Plainsboro South who owned a bawdy 32-1 record on the year, but he disposed of him in a minute. Then  in the finals he completely controlled Scott DuPont of Holmdel winning by a 7-1 score and amassing 5 minutes of riding time. One goal left Joe, one goal left.


       Joining Joe on the victory stand was Jervey Sistrunk as he defeated his nemisis Mike Tyle of Manville in overtime by a 2-1 score, after scoring a rideout in his portion of the O.T. This rideout was of no coincidence in denying Manville a Region champ in the same time that the Crusaders have had 42 as Jervey was given a huge assist and advice by former BB heavy Ken Taffur. Big Ken as some would call him has been coming into practice showing JJ how he would control close matches and JJ employed that exact strategy to win his first Region title. Seldom is there better to witness as a coach then a alumnus taking a personal interest and investment in the success of a current Crusader athlete. 


       In fact, this pattern repeats itself on a daily basis as Tyler Awtry has made sure to be Joe's workout partner and Rob Murray comes in on his one good leg and works out the light weights. It truly honors the coaches when their athletes return to help out.


       Other good news coming from Flemington is that Mark Venson continued his promising off season as he won two matches on Saturday to place fourth  and will be making the trip to Atlantic City.


       Two other Crusaders who didn't qualify were David Ugalde who placed sixth and Xavier Pena who placed fifth. I guess he'll have to weight until next year.


        Here are the updated records or in this case final records:






       The Bound Brook wrestling team finished a disappointing second place in the District 18 tournament on Saturday as only seven Crusader wrestlers qualified for the Region 5 wrestling tournament. The lone bright spots for the team were the three Champions Mark Venson, Joe Casey and David Ugalde. Each has a interesting story belonging to their titles.


       First up is Mark Venson who was seeded 7th because of his low match count this year defeated the second, third and first seeds on the way to his first District Championship. In the finals Mark defeated Somerset County Champion Matt Lisanti of Montgomery in overtime for his title.  Mark placed fourth last year.


       One of Bound Brook's  County Champs David Ugalde compounded his success by winning his first District Championship like Venson in overtime. David has had a great season after compling a total of three Varsity wins his first two years of high school. He will be making his first trip to Region 5 on Friday night.


        Three was not enough for Joe Casey who won his fourth District Championship by dominating the previously undefeated and Region 5 runner-up Joe Hatcher of Piscataway by a 13-1 score.  He was voted Oustanding Wrestler of the tournament for his dominance and became only the sixth wrestler in the history of Bound Brook to win four District titles. He will try to gain even rarer air next week when he attempts to become only the third Bound Brook wrestler to win four Region titles. Put your money on Joe.


        Other wrestlers who placed in the tournament included two freshman Region qualifiers as Brandon Bowles took second at 106 and Jahman McNeil took thrid at 160. Other Runner-ups included Xavier Pena and JJ Sistrunk while Mike Meola and Carlos Ugalde placed fourth.


       It is the first time in six years the team didn't win a District team title but that will change this off-season. I promise. 



         The Crusaders defeated Manville 49-21 tonight at BBHS and now advance to the Section finals for the seventh consecutive year. They will wrestle at Roselle Park on Friday in the Central Jersey Section Championship. If they win that match they would wrestle in the group finals on Sunday, if they lose that match they will wrestle three matches at Toms River North against the host, Toms River East and Wall on Saturday at 9 am.


          Back to the match as unfortunately Manville was hard hit by the flu tonight as both Shane Demeter and Mike Tyle were missing. However, that does not diminish the effort by the Crusaders which were spurred on by the return of Carlos Ugalde who had a thrilling one point victory over Gavin Potts. 


        Another great effort was had by two freshman in Mike Meola and Jahman McNeil. Mike faced off against senior RJ Thompson son of former Crusader wrestler Ray Thompson and delivered a first period pin. The Mustangs forfieted to Joe Casey to allow senior wrestler Steven Garcia to wrestle Jahman and it didn't work out as Jahman scored a second period fall. Props to these freshman who went out to win! More of our wrestlers need that mindset. 


         Finally, in a profile in courage Joe Defazio was badly hurt with four seconds to go in his match, but still got up and finished the match before going to the hospital. Damn, that's dedication!


       Here is the box score from my memory and I'll update it later:


106: Brandon Bowles (BB) p.  Chris Moore (M)
113: Ethan Burlew (M) wb Forfeit
120: Xavier Pena (BB) wb Forfeit
126: Shane Lallkisson (M) d. Justin Ibarra (BB) 9-2
132: Mike Meola (BB) p. RJ Thompson (M)
138: Mark Venson (BB) p. Alan Rainz (M)
145: Jack Lombardino (M) d. Blake Johnson (BB)
152: Carlos Ugalde (BB) d. Gavin Potts (M)  6-5
160: Bro Casey (BB) wb Forfeit
170: Jahman McNeil (BB) p. Steven Garcia (M)
182: David Ugalde (BB) md. Kyle Budd (M)
195: Alex Abarca (M) d. Joe Defazio (BB)
220: Matthew Rogalski (M) wb Forfeit
285: Jervey Sistrunk (BB) wb Forfeit
Records: Bound Brook 11-9 Manville 13-5 
106: Dean Savercool (WP) over Brandon Bowles (BB) (Fall 4:59)
113: Diatou Sane (BB) over (WP) (For.)
120: Xavier Pena (BB) over Spencer Hugo (WP) (Fall 1:08)
126: Zach Szesko (WP) over Justin Ibarra (BB) (Dec 7-4)
132: Mike Meola (BB) over (WP) (For.)
138: Mark Venson (BB) over (WP) (For.)
145: Blake Johnson (BB) over Jason Hill (WP) (Dec 6-0)
152: Nicholas Graessle (WP) over Gotenk Amigon (BB) (Fall 4:40)
160: Jahman McNeil (BB) over Michael Goodwin (WP) (Fall 1:11)
170: Joe Casey (BB) over Corey Ficchi (WP) (Fall 0:49)
182: David Ugalde (BB) over Zach Rossow (WP) (Fall 1:37)
195: Double Forfeit
220: Jonathan Geroldi (WP) over Joseph DeFazio (BB) (Dec 3-2)
285: Jervey Sistrunk (BB) over (WP) (For.)
106: Connor Robinson (NOHU) over Brandon Bowles (BBH) (MD 8-0)
113: Frank Diesso (NOHU) over (BBH) (For.)
120: Drew Doscher (NOHU) over (BBH) (For.)
126: Evan Klimas (NOHU) over Justin Ibarra (BBH) (Fall 3:40)
132: Mike Meola (BBH) over Luke Hanlon (NOHU) (Dec 5-2)
138: Andrew Gapas (NOHU) over Mark Venson (BBH) (Fall 3:11)
145: Michael Wilson (NOHU) over Blake Johnson (BBH) (TF 15-0 4:57)
152: Joe Casey (BBH) over Tucker Kirchberger (NOHU) (MD 13-2)
160: William Hughes (NOHU) over (BBH) (For.)
170: John Spies (NOHU) over (BBH) (For.)
182: Nathaniel Fossett (NOHU) over David Ugalde (BBH) (Dec 5-1)
195: Ian Gaburo (NOHU) over Joseph DeFazio (BBH) (SV-1 3-1)
220: Francis Vitelli (NOHU) over (BBH) (For.)
285: Jervey Sistrunk (BBH) over Lorenzo Becerril (NOHU) (MD 13-3)
106: Brandon Bowles (BBH) over (DVR) (For.)
113: Stephen Em (DVR) over (BBH) (For.)
120: Xavier Pena (BBH) over Corey Crater (DVR) (Fall 3:42)
126: Tommy Schlittler (DVR) over (BBH) (For.)
132: AJ DeRosa (DVR) over Justin Ibarra (BBH) (Fall 0:41)
138: Mike Meola (BBH) over Chase Christie (DVR) (Fall 1:12)
145: Gage Crater (DVR) over Blake Johnson (BBH) (Fall 3:21)
152: Jahman McNeil (BBH) over Anthony DeRosa (DVR) (Dec 5-0)
160: Joseph Desapio (DVR) over Amigon Gotenk (BBH) (TF 15-0 2:46)
170: Joe Casey (BBH) over (DVR) (For.)
182: Shawne Ramsby (DVR) over David Ugalde (BBH) (Dec 6-0)
195: Eli Kalfaian (DVR) over (BBH) (For.)
220: Karl Burke (DVR) over Joseph DeFazio (BBH) (Dec 6-5)
285: Jervey Sistrunk (BBH) over (DVR) (For.)
106: Brandon Bowles (BB) over Evan Glynos (M) (Dec 4-0)
113: Michael Glynos (M) over Diatou Sane (BB) (Fall 0:46)
120: JT Lumley (M) over Xavier Pena (BB) (Fall 3:37)
126: Ronald McCoy (M) over Justin Ibarra (BB) (Dec 7-2)
132: Mike Meola (BB) over Jack Thornton (M) (Fall 2:55)
138: Connor Brown (BB) over (M) (For.)
145: Christopher Tenenbaum (M) over Blake Johnson (BB) (Fall 2:51)
152: Jahman McNeil (BB) over Coles Griffis (M) (Fall 2:21)
160: Joe Casey (BB) over Matthew Menendez (M) (Fall 0:41)
170: Robert Damerjian (M) over (BB) (For.)
182: David Ugalde (BB) over (M) (For.)
195: Emre Kahyaoglu (M) over (BB) (For.)
220: Joseph DeFazio (BB) over (M) (For.)
285: Jervey Sistrunk (BB) over (M) (For.)
106: Brandon Bowles (BB) over Jason Klemm (HS) (Fall 1:21)
113: Luke Spotts (HS) over (BB) (For.)
120: Xavier Pena (BB) over Kevin Mason (HS) (Fall 1:34)
126: Dominic Sacco (HS) over (BB) (For.)
132: Kolin Driscoll (HS) over Justin Ibarra (BB) (MD 12-4)
138: Mike Meola (BB) over Zach Long (HS) (Fall 1:44)
145: Blake Johnson (BB) over Patrick Newman (HS) (Dec 2-1)
152: Conner Boal (HS) over Jahman McNeil (BB) (Fall 1:07)
160: Joe Casey (BB) over Tim Fitzpatrick (HS) (Dec 7-4)
170: Double Forfeit
182: Michael Waszen (HS) over (BB) (For.)
195: Kurt Driscoll (HS) over David Ugalde (BB) (MD 14-5)
220: Joseph DeFazio (BB) over Joe McCauley (HS) (Fall 0:42)
285: Jervey Sistrunk (BB) over Dimitris Pali (HS) (Dec 1-0)
106: Nicholas Nardone (D) over Brandon Bowles (BB) (Fall 1:59)
113: Anthony Clark (D) over Diatou Sane (BB) (Fall 0:27)
120: Alex Strashinsky (D) over Xavier Pena (BB) (Dec 5-2)
126: Patrick Glory (D) over Justin Ibarra (BB) (Fall 1:51)
132: John Cumming (D) over Connor Brown (BB) (Fall 0:59)
138: Mike Meola (BB) over Matthew Casiero (D) (Fall 1:28)
145: Travis Tavoso (D) over Sophie Hector (BB) (Fall 0:37)
152: Vincent Andreano (D) over Amigon Gotenk (BB) (Fall 0:17)
160: Kieran Calvetti (D) over Jahman McNeil (BB) (Fall 1:39)
170: Joe Casey (BB) over AJ Lonski (D) (TB-1 3-2)
182: Cole Kreshpane (D) over (BB) (For.)
195: David Ugalde (BB) over Nick Ramsey (D) (Fall 4:46)
220: Trey Zgombic (D) over Joseph DeFazio (BB) (Fall 3:23)
285: Jervey Sistrunk (BB) over Liam Gray (D) (Fall 1:28)
106: Brandon Bowles (BB) over Marco Evola (D) (Fall 0:32)
113: Mark Harrison (D) over Jeremy Lamberty (BB) (Dec 2-1)
120: Xavier Pena (BB) over Nick Eastburn (D) (Fall 0:46)
126: Zach Zuckerman (D) over Justin Ibarra (BB) (Dec 7-0)
132: Eren Ibas (D) over Mike Meola (BB) (MD 10-2)
138: Bryan Miraglia (D) over (BB) (For.)
145: Malachi McNeil-Ways (D) over Blake Johnson (BB) (Fall 1:45)
152: Randy Savage (D) over Amigon Gotenk (BB) (Fall 3:12)
160: Berkant Haliloglu (D) over Jahman McNeil (BB) (Dec 5-0)
170: Joe Casey (BB) over (D) (For.)
182: David Ugalde (BB) over SEAN Theis (D) (Fall 3:12)
195: Zach Bohn (D) over Joseph DeFazio (BB) (Fall 3:33)
220: Burak Ozbay (D) over (BB) (For.)
285: Jervey Sistrunk (BB) over (D) (For.)
106: Jeremy Lamberty (BB) over Joey Smith (HC) (Fall 0:13)
113: Chase Mullarkey (HC) over Brandon Bowles (BB) (Fall 0:00)
120: Xavier Pena (BB) over Jake Rottkamp (HC) (Fall 1:09)
126: Justin Ibarra (BB) over (HC) (For.)
132: Connor Brown (BB) over (HC) (For.)
138: Mike Meola (BB) over (HC) (M. For.)
145: Blake Johnson (BB) over (HC) (For.)
152: Tj Pawlicki (HC) over Amigon Gotenk (BB) (Fall 0:56)
160: Colin Turnbull (HC) over Jahman McNeil (BB) (Dec 8-4)
170: Joe Casey (BB) over Sam Stokes (HC) (Fall 0:25)
182: David Ugalde (BB) over Jason Howe (HC) (MD 11-3)
195: David Luthke (HC) over Jonathan Marcos Alonso (BB) (Fall 1:01)
220: Joseph DeFazio (BB) over Kyle Chandler (HC) (Fall 3:25)
285: Jervey Sistrunk (BB) over (HC) (For.)
106: Brandon Bowles (BB) over Josh Rich (V) (MD 9-0)
113: Colby Koshinski (V) over Diatou Sane (BB) (Fall 0:40)
120: Xavier Pena (BB) over Aidan Taylor (V) (MD 14-4)
126: Justin Ibarra (BB) over (V) (For.)
132: Mike Meola (BB) over Joe Swiston (V) (MD 10-0)
138: Blake Johnson (BB) over Will Peterson (V) (Dec 8-7)
145: Carlos Ugalde (BB) over Garrett Loescher (V) (Dec 7-3)
152: Jahman McNeil (BB) over Jacob Baytoff (V) (Dec 2-1)
160: Joe Casey (BB) over Brad Kalinchak (V) (Fall 1:07)
170: Zach Tong (V) over (BB) (For.)
182: David Ugalde (BB) over Matt Brandner (V) (Dec 5-3)
195: Scott Fernandes (V) over (BB) (For.)
220: Sam Huff (V) over Joseph DeFazio (BB) (Fall 0:31)
285: Lewis Fernandes (V) over Jervey Sistrunk (BB) (Dec 2-0)
106: Logan Maczko (PHIL) over Brandon Bowles (BB) (Dec 6-2)
113: Cullen Day (PHIL) over (BB) (For.)
120: Jason Tino (PHIL) over (BB) (For.)
126: Luke Hardin (PHIL) over Justin Ibarra (BB) (Fall 2:51)
132: Mike Meola (BB) over Brenden Fox (PHIL) (Fall 3:26)
138: Kyle Tino (PHIL) over Connor Brown (BB) (Fa