|VIDEO: Emerson/Park Ridge storms back to defeat Jefferson|
Emerson/Park Ridge recently won a landmark victory for their legendary head coach. And in its first match in the wrestling team state tournament, the Cavos took a step toward what they hope will be a groundbreaking triumph.
Down 24-0 after the first four bouts of the night, Emerson/Park Ridge stormed back for a 48-28 triumph over Jefferson. The top-seeded Cavos recorded five pins in the match, wrestled at Park Ridge High School.
Stan Woods, who has led the EPR co-op team since it was formed, won his 700th match as a head coach over the weekend. Woods, who is in his 49th year overall as a coach including his days running the Emerson program before the co-op formed, is the first New Jersey wrestling coach to reach that milestone.
But in all his years, Woods has never had a team win a state title. This group appears capable of doing so, but the North 1, Group II sectional semifinal did not start well. Three Jefferson pins and a forfeit put the fourth-seeded visitors well ahead.
Cole Benfatti, Avery Sheruda and Mason Godfrey had the falls for the Falcons (13-8).
The Emerson/Park Ridge strength in the middle weights proved decisive. Gabe Robles, Sam Schneider, Michael DiBella, Jordan Giacomelli and Josh Lewis had pins for the Cavos. Luke Mazzeo scored a technical fall and Paco Robles received a forfeit win.
Now 20-2, Emerson/Park Ridge will host #2 seed High Point in the sectional finals. While EPR may have its eyes on a state title, just winning the section crown will be hard enough; High Point has a history of spoiling the party for Bergen County teams.
For sports video highlights of this New Jersey state tournament high school wrestling match, click play in the box at left.