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***East Orange girls finally beat Shabazz and achieved the victory in Newark National Invitational!

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***While Mount Olive & Morris Catholic are No. 1 seeds, the boys and girls MCT's are really wide open. Read "Feature Articles"

***West Essex's superior upper weights led way to ECT wrestling team title. Check out the results from all the finals in "The Buzz"

Caldwell's freshman Gerald Jones (top) gets a hold of West Orange's Victor Lopez during their 106-pound final in this past Saturday's ECT wrestling championships at the Codey Arena. Jones won 5-4 decision for county title. (Photo by Glenn Kross-glennkrossphotography.com)

Caldwell & Cedar Grove Bright Futures
Enhanced By 2015 Frosh ECT Champs
By Steve Tober
For sidelinechatte.com

WEST ORANGE- The way Caldwell coach Gary Garamella sees it, his prize 106-pounder Gerald Jones will bump up again, if need be, in order to face the terrific competition on the mats that might once again be his fellow freshman Anthony Clarizio of Cedar Grove, who dominated as a fifth seed in capturing the 113-pound title during the 41st Essex County Wrestling Tournament championships this past Saturday at the Richard J. Codey Arena.

“Gerald is not afraid to wrestle anyone; he just doesn’t care who he has to face next, and that’s the greatest attribute he has as a first-rate competitor,” said the longtime Chiefs head mat mentor. “If we have to move him up to face (Clarizio) again in the future, we’ll do it.

“Both kids are terrific, young wrestlers, and seeing the next, really talented freshman rise up is part of the fun of watching the county tournament each year.”

The second-seeded Jones (24-1), who earned a hard-fought 5-4 decision over West Orange’s top-seeded Victor Lopez for the ECT 106-pound title on Saturday, had been pinned in 6:20 vs. Clarizio (23-5) in a hard-fought, regular-season Super Essex Conference match earlier this month that was won by the Chiefs, 46-22.

Now, the talented pair of youngsters, two of a dozen freshmen who were in the 106- and 113-pound weight classes combined for the 2015 ECT, are also county champs in their first high school seasons.

“You have to have confidence going in and then you just compete at the highest level you know how,” said Clarizio, who had three pins and also won by a technical fall in the semis en route to a thoroughly convincing championship at 113 pounds. “As far as Jones is concerned, he is a great wrestler and we had a close regular-season match. To see him win a county title is a very good job by him and I look forward to seeing him do well in the future.

“If they bump him up to wrestle me then we’ll have to wrestle and it should be another great match. We both love good competition and that’s the best part of being a wrestler.”

For Jones, who had two pins among his four victories en route to a county championship, going up against county rivals in the ECT and looking ahead to three more seasons of high school wrestling after this year is a great thought to have moving forward.

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