SNAPSHOT 2021-22: Men’s National Wrestling Championships in First Full Season
JERSEY CITY, NJ – The University of New Jersey City men’s wrestling team hits the mat for the 2021-22 campaign starting Sunday, November 7 at the Rutgers Scarlet Knight Quad in Piscataway, NJ The Gothic Knights, led by head coach of third year Harry turner, will be making their first full season in NJCU history, as last year’s inaugural season was cut short.
“We are delighted and excited to have a full competitive season this year with the addition of our Gothic Knight fans,” said Turner. “It’s great for the team to have that kind of support in JMAC, and it’s great for the sport of wrestling as a whole. Our fans should be looking for this all-New Jersey product list that has roots in our city and hungry for We have a lot of local talent and we are excited to show what wrestling is like in New Jersey. “
The Knights will be counting on many of their newcomers to make an instant impact on the mat. First-year student Andre Ruiz (Little Ferry, NJ / Ridgefield Park), a transfer from the nationally ranked Johnson and Wales University will seek to have an early impact at 133 pounds. Ruiz is the all-time winning leader at Ridgefield Park High School with an overall record of 140-27 and placed ninth at the NJ State Championships as a senior.
Junior Enrique Cuevas (New Brunswick, NJ / New Brunswick) is a transfer from Middlesex County College and Springfield Technical Community College and he could see the weather immediately this season. Cuevas will wrestle in the 133-pound division and look to make an impact for the Gothic Knights.
First-year student Seth Rotondella (Keansburg, NJ / Saint John Vianney) from Saint John High School VIanney wrestled at the same club as the current NJCU assistant coach Jason ecklof. The 141-pounder was a four-year-old captain and two-time vice district champion. West Orange, NJ, product and 125 pounds will also look to make an impact Damienlee Torres (West Orange, NJ / West Orange). The rookie has placed three times at the NJ State Regionals, placed second at the district championships and third at the counties.
Senior Kyle Hillermeier (Howell, NJ / Canton Freehold) will be a remarkable element in leading the Gothic Knights to playoff success. Hillermeier had an outstanding junior campaign, amassing a 4-2 record at 197 pounds, including one fall and one tech fall. The senior finished last season qualifying for the second round of 16 at the National Wrestling Coaching Association (NWCA) National Championships. Junior Jeff Johnson (Middlesex, NJ / Middlesex), who is a transfer from NCAA Division I from Scared Heart University and Rutgers University, will also be a major leader this season after cutting his 2020-21 season short with injury. Johnson went 1-1 before his season was cut short. This year he will compete at 157 and 165 pounds for the Green & Gold.
“I am delighted to see our leadership with Kyle and Jeff as captains this season,” said Turner. “With their age, experience and leadership style, I think he will fit in perfectly with our talented group of newcomers that we have here.”
They are joined by the 165-pound juniors Matthew Armamento (Kenilworth, NJ / Roselle Park) as the last tri-captain.
Second year George Rivera (Teaneck, NJ / Teaneck) will be an important piece for the Gothic Knights in the 2021 lineup. He has won over 100 matches at Teaneck High School and has also competed in the Sparta Cup in PR. The 125-pounder picked up a victory before its season was cut short. Ty Bailey (Point Pleasant, NJ / Point Pleasant Boro) is another hungry sophomore looking to gain momentum from his work last season on the mat. Bailey, at 165 and 174 pounds, amassed a 4-4 record for NJCU as a freshman, winning three games in the fall. Bailey reached the first round of eight at the NWCA National Championships.
The Gothic Knights only graduated one key grappler last season – Rob cleary at 149 lbs. Clearly, a transfer from Division I Rider University and Rutgers University – beat the Castleton University Spartans’ Logan Dubuque in a 13-8 decision on Friday, Jan.30, to put NJCU on the board with their first three double match points in the history of the program.
The Edison, New Jersey native has joined the Knights coaching staff for the 2021-22 season as a graduate assistant coach.
As reported, the Gothic Knights will finally hit the mat on Sunday, November 7 at Piscataway for the Rutgers Scarlet Knight Quad against a trio of Division I enemies. NJCU takes on host Rutgers University at 10:00 am. Their game against the Scarlet Knights will be available live on the Big 10 Plus network. Then they will face Binghamton University at 11:30 am. After the game against the Bearcats, the Green & Gold will finish the quad with a game against Cleveland State University at 1:00 p.m.