Wrestling performs well despite numerous injuries

Despite wrestling without four key starters, the Lions had senior co-captain Nick Vinciguerra take first and five others place in the Central Jersey Open hosted by the College on Sunday.

After being the only Lion to win his weight class at the Ithaca College Invitational last week, sixth-ranked Vinciguerra once again led the Lions with a first-place finish at 197 pounds in the senior division. He defeated Tyler Moyer of Navy Prep 12-5 in the finals to go 3-0 on the day and remain unbeaten on the young season at 7-0.

“This is Nick’s senior year,” head coach David Icenhower said. “We’re going to expect this from him all season.”

The tournament was only scored individually, not as a team, prompting Icenhower to use the weekend to further prepare his team for the rest of the season.

“The main reason we go is to have whoever’s healthy wrestle,” he said. “We get to see what we’re doing wrong and then fix it.”

But health was not in abundance for the Lions this weekend as juniors Paul Vacarro and Keith Bjorhus, sophomore Joey Galante and freshman Lenny Goduto did not wrestle in the tournament due to injury.

“They got banged up in the tournament last week,” Icenhower said. “I would hope that two, maybe three of them will be ready to go by Saturday.”

Junior Brian Dempsey said the high number of injuries on the team is effecting the team’s concentration.

“Right now the hardest thing is to get motivated in the (wrestling) room,” Dempsey said. “There’s only like 15 to 20 people in the room compared to the usual 35 or so but our coaches and captains have been doing a good job making sure we are focused on what we need to work on.”

On top of Vinciguerra’s win, the Lions also had second-place finishes from senior co-captain Sean Flynn and Dempsey.

Flynn fell 2-1 to sophomore Jason Kiessling of the University of Maryland in the 165-pound finals in the senior division. Flynn is nationally ranked seventh in his weight class and is 7-2 on the season.

Dempsey dropped a 5-2 decision to Bloomsburg University’s sophomore Brian Sellers in the finals of the 125-pound weight class. He is also ranked seventh nationally for his weight and now holds an individual record of 4-2.

“I think I wrestled okay,” Dempsey said. “It’s still early in the year so our whole team has some things we need to work on.”

Sophomore Pat Cross finished third at 184 pounds after beating his teammate, freshman James Tomczuk, with a 10-0 major decision in the battle for third place.

The Lions rounded out their place finishers when junior Joey Keagle finished sixth at 157 pounds in the senior decision after being pinned at 3:29 by senior Jesse Richmand of Franklin and Marshall University in the fifth-sixth place match.

On Saturday the Lions will travel to Ursinus College for their invitational tournament, where they will take on two of the top 15 teams in the country, Ursinus and York College.

“This should actually be the easiest of the three tournaments we’ve been in,” Icenhower said. “So I hope to win it.”