There was a legend in Pascack Valley's gym on Thursday night.
Stan Woods, New Jersey's all-time winningest wrestling coach, and his Emerson/Park Ridge team travelled to Hillsdale to take on the Indians.
Emerson came out on top 58-10. The team victories came from decisions from Robbie Natelli (9-4) and Junior Nolan Shields (6-3) while Matt Beyer claimed the team's lone major decision (14-1).
Towards the end of the match, Beyer really tried to get a takedown on Emerson's Ian Maltzan, but Maltzan stood strong long enough that Beyer just couldn't edge him for a 15 point lead. The 15 point lead would have resulted in Beyer's second technical fall victory in as many nights.
The toughest task was likely the select two that had to face Logan and Luke Mazzeo on the Emerson Cavaliers. Logan Mazzeo pinned Sophomore Jake Averna (1.24) and Luke Mazzeo pinned James Allmers (0.24).
It was most likely a tough pill for these PV wrestlers to swallow losing this badly, but the team had some words on the night that could have passed a more positive message:
"Well, I feel like we all went out there and tried our hardest, but it's a tough team," Beyer said. "And they have been tough for the past bunch of years. So it was a tough match going into it. We all just wrestled looking for the best but we came up short."
Nolan Shields, who also emerged victorious, had a positive outlook.
"We fought hard. We definitely have a couple things to work on," Nolan Shields started. "They're a tough team and everything. We are definitely getting better."
When asked to compare their performance of their first two matches, coach Tom Gallione expressed that Emerson was tougher and more prepared then Pequannock. Beyer mentioned that the energy levels were different.
"Well for one thing, the team's a lot tougher," Gallione said. "Emerson is returning Group Overall State Champs with four or five kids returning from that lineup. Tougher team, more well-balanced. We made a few mistakes but they are things that we can learn from moving forward."
"Last night there was a lot more energy because everybody's getting on a roll and a lot of guys were winning. And tonight we didn't have that as much. I think it's one of those things we have to work on," Beyer added.
After the first two matches, the Indians obviously have the whole rest of the season to play. Matt and Gallione were asked of what they can take from these first two matches to the rest of the season.
"I think we got to wrestle with using a little bit of the way we wrestled both nights. Tonight we wrestled hard, we fought against the guys even though they were much tougher, " Matt explained with confidence.
"That's why they scheduled these two tough matches early," Gallione started his explanation with. "I want to challenge these guys on this team; the juniors, the guys returning. We're going to take a lot from them. They battled no matter what the score was last night. And there's a lot of fine tuning things we have to take and move forward. Now we wrestle these guys again in the counties, maybe in the regions. Now we know some of the tendencies, some of the stuff they want to do as we work forward in the season."