Alumni from Kittatinny and Newton put on a great show, with the visiting Cougars pulling out an 18-12 victory in the bi-annual event before a packed house at Henry Boresch Memorial Gymnasium.
The evening featured quite a few former stars from both programs on and off the mat, including New Jersey state champion Will Livingston and former state finalist Mike Weber of Kittatinny. Two-time Newton state champ Andy Iliff, who won titles No. 81 and 82 for the storied program, sat this one out, but Kevin Churchill, a two-time state placewinner and the Braves' all-time wins leader was on hand for this one.
Churchill, who finished his fine high school career with 151 wins, competed in the marquee bout of the night, dropping a 6-1 decision to Mike Gummerson, a former state placewinner who sealed the victory for the visitors in the finale. Gummerson is now an assistant on John Gill's staff, while Churchill is assisting his father, Jeff, at Wallkill Valley.
In another good matchup, former Kittatinny standout Mike Mabel battled Newton state placewinner Austin Alpaugh to a 0-0 draw, one of three bouts that went to a 30-second overtime. Period lengths in regulation were one minute, 30 seconds, 30 seconds.
A real crowd-pleaser was the second bout of the night as Newton's Teddy Sibblies Jr. pulled off a 5-2 win over two-time state qualifier Nik Lasso, now an assistant coach for the Braves. Sibblies, whose father Ted was a state runner-up in 1989 and is also a coach for the Braves, was the big hero in Newton's sectional final win over Kittatinny in 2010.
Livingston, a state champ in 2006 and 145-12 overall, had little trouble in a 7-0 win over Nick Sucameli to give Kittatinny a 6-3 lead. Newton rallied to win three of the next four bouts, including Rich Quayle's 7-0 win over David Iler and Mike Walker's 4-1 win over Chris Caldarella. Adam Schlereth, who graduated this past spring, scored a 2-0 win to give the Braves a 12-6 edge.
But Kittatinny won three of the final four, including a big 2-0 win by former Region 1 champion Mike Del Mauro over Adam Armstrong that set up Gummerson's match-sealing victory. In between, Weber battled to a 0-0 draw with Brendan Ryan in a good matchup between longtime friends.
Among the notable spectators were former Kittatinny greats Steve Dalling and Roman Fleszar, both two-time state champs and Region 1 Hall of Fame members. Dale Kobler, a Newton state champ in 1946 and '47 and former coach who started the program at Pope John, was in attendance, as well as Braves state champion Gary Markowski ('68). The son of Bob McKeeby, the only three-time state champ for the Braves, winning titles from 1940-42, and state runner-up William Decker ('54) were also on hand. And of course, Gill, who is entering his 37th season as Kittatinny's head coach with a career mark of 533-164-5.
Newton head coach Eric Bollette, a state placewinner for Kittatinny, did not wrestle due to injury and worked the scoreboard clock.
KITTATINNY 18, NEWTON 12
Hobie Wanamaker, K, d. Niko Grello, 4-0.
Teddy Sibblies Jr., N, d. Nik Lasso, 5-2.
Eric Schuffenhauer, K, p. Bill VonHolten, 1:45.
Vincenzo Sebastiano, N, d. Greg Metzgar, 4-2.
David Sylvester, K, drew with Jake Stark, 4-4.
Mike Grace, K, d. Nicholas Molteni, 2-1.
Will Livingston, K, d. Nick Sucameli, 7-0.
Rich Quayle, N, d. David Iler, 7-0.
Mike Mabel, K, drew with Austin Alpaugh, 0-0.
Mike Walker, N, d. Chris Caldarella, 4-1.
Adam Schlereth, N, d. Dan Sylvester, 2-0.
Clarke Moynihan, K, p. Michael Larsen, 1:57.
Mike Weber, K, drew with Brendan Ryan, 0-0.
Mike Del Mauro, K, d. Adam Armstrong, 2-0.
Mike Gummerson, K, d. Kevin Churchill, 6-1.
Officials -- Frank Leitner and Bob Melillo
Note -- Matches in bold were between one school and did not count toward the team scoring.