ATLANTIC CITY – Martin Cosgrove heard a standing ovation this time.
After being chased by crowd from the crowd at Boardwalk Hall when he won his first state title two years ago, Cosgrove certainly deserved the applause he received when he beat reigning state champion PJ Casale in the final Saturday night at 215 pounds.
Cosgrove became the third two-time Irish state champion, joining Taylor Walsh and Lucas Revan, who will become Cosgrove’s teammates again next season when he joins the team at the University of Pennsylvania.
Camden Catholic head coach Billy Heverley said there could be no better way to end Cosgrove’s scholastic career.
“I’m glad he got the shipment he really deserved,” Heverley said of the loud applause. “What happened in the last state final hurt him a lot. It somehow collapsed for him (winning the state title). He needed it to make the first one feel good too. ”
The greetings were not limited to fans at Boardwalk Hall, but throughout South Jersey. Fighting in the last bout of the season, Cosgrove delivered the only South Jersey crown. Since 1966, the district has not been deprived of a state title.
Before Cosgrave came out on the carpet, the South Jersey wrestlers had a score of 0-4 in the championship round.
“We also needed to get it for South Jersey,” Heverley said.
It was not surprising when the NJSIAA announced that the final 215 will be the main act – the last match of the season 2021-22. The meeting of the two state champions – who could have become two-time champions if both had fought last season – did not disappoint.
Cosgrove set the tone early with two takedowns in the first period and led 5-1 in the third period. Cosgrove, who weighed 208, was lighter than the 215-pound Casale, but he held back the debt for a 6-5 victory and a second state title.
“I know I’m capable of destroying anyone, so get out there and start the crime early by going straight,” Cosgrove said of the quick start. “I knew he was a tough opponent, I just needed to go for a few angles. He felt great, he felt all 215 (pounds). I always want to get ahead of time, continue to score points and stay in a good position to win. “
Cosgrove also wanted to enjoy the good mood from winning the title, which didn’t happen the first time. Cosgrove won the 195 title in 2020, but at the end of the bout against Dante Shuba, controversy arose when an official appointed the wrong wrestler a suspension. A correction was made, and Cosgrove won 9-7, but the crowd expressed dissatisfaction with the challenge.
The crowd’s reaction worried Cosgrove, but the two injuries will cause even more pain over the next two seasons.
First, he failed to defend his state title last spring after breaking his arm in just three fights of the season. The torn meniscus then kept him aside for almost a month this season.
“I was on the street until Jan. 3 and then just trying to get in shape,” Cosgrove said. “It was hard, but you just keep going.”
Heverley said the road to Atlantic City was not always smooth.
“We tried to put everything together all season,” said the coach. “It was as hard as it can be for a guy who’s so good. From injuries to problems getting matches for him, and then you have this crazy match where it could be two two-time state champions against each other.” .
Cosgrove finished the season 24-0, increasing his career to 104-10.
“Martin hasn’t changed a drop like a man,” Heverley said. “His attitude, diligence, modesty have always been. But in terms of fighting he’s faster than any other big boy I’ve ever seen.
Many believe that Cosgrove could be the best wrestler in the history of Camden Catholic, but the champion was not going there.
“No, no, no, I can’t say that,” Cosgrove said, laughing. “Coach (TJ Miller), Taylor (Walsh), Lucas Revano. Look at Jackson Young, who finished fifth this year, I see him as the future state champion. ”
A legendary performance
Jared Chopé of Delsea took second place in what many consider the toughest wrestling tournament in the country.
It wasn’t the hardest part for juniors up to 157 pounds. All five of his fights he struggled with a broken right arm, including in the final he lost to Harvey Ludington of Memorial Brick 5-2.
“It’s unpleasant to be second, it never happens,” said Chopé, who also had an unpleasant gleam under his left eye. “It will definitely give me a life lesson. Things in life don’t always go your way, and you just have to absorb it, survive and adapt. “
Shopp’s struggle mostly with one hand throughout the tournament has been an inspiration to many, especially to his head coach Greg Sawyer.
“It’s one of the best things I’ve participated in in 37 years of training and competition,” Sawyer said. “It simply came to our notice then. This is how you perform and why you learn from it. … Even with the results, there is still something to celebrate. “
Chopé did not disclose the severity of his injury until after the title match, but Sawyer confirmed on Friday that Chopé’s right arm was “broken” during his opening match in the tournament on Thursday.
Chopé said he was not the only one who knew the arm was broken.
“Everyone in the crowd knew it (when it happened), I heard it,” Shoppe said. “I took two minutes (injuries), grabbed all the time and recorded. … I just couldn’t take advantage of it. “
Sawyer said the injury would not be damaged by the fight, but acknowledged that there were some thoughts about Chopin’s fight enough to climb the podium before giving up.
Chopé was not going to allow that, as he had dealt with the pain by the end of the tournament.
Sawyer said that during the 48-hour period, the hand was constantly processed, as Delsea sports coach Kevin Brails also helped prepare the wrestler for the competition.
“The pain is temporary, good luck forever,” said Shoppe. “That’s what I kept telling myself.”
Chopé finished his season 40-2 and raised his career record to 99-12. One of Sawyer’s esteemed students in the Wrestling Hall, next year he will get another chance at the state title. This is an opportunity he plans to seize with two healthy hands.
Bruner took second place
Jared Bruner of Eastern has heard all about Anthony Knox of St. John Viani, his opponent in the final.
Bruner learned firsthand why Knox is considered one of the best freshmen in the country when he was defeated 7-2 in the final to 113 pounds.
Although Bruner was upset by the end result, he didn’t get lost on the path it took to get to Boardwalk Hall.
“I knew I was expecting one in a lifetime experience with the lights off for the show and thousands of people watching,” Bruner said. “I just wanted to fight better.”
Knox showed his explosiveness by scoring two takedowns and a reversal in the first two periods, never losing a team in a bout.
“I think I was a little slow with my reactions,” Bruner said. “I didn’t go to my offense and he dictated the pace, it changed the game.”
Bruner is ending his school career with a score of 111-22, which includes his first title in the region this season and three medals in a state tournament. In the fall, he will study and fight at Brown University.
“Just a great career, the progress he’s made in his four years, such an improvement has been great,” East head coach Brian Boland said.
“Mention Jared Bruner and it will be a montage of memories. From a technical point of view, his dump, his barbell, the double he hit in the semi-finals. All of these things were Jared. He will be very sad. “
Winners of public places
Wrestlers from South Jersey took many places on the podium: Kaden Naame of St. Augustine (third, 113), Max Elton of Holy Spirit (seventh, 113), Jackson Young of Camden a Catholic (fifth, 120), John Hildebrandt of Williamstown. 120), Nathan Taylor of Kingsway (third, 126), Jamar Dixon (fifth, 132), Sam Catch of Sinaminson (sixth, 132), Jackson Sickelsteel of Paulsbar (eighth, 132), Branden Polko of Paul VI (eighth, 83) , 132). Grungo (fourth, 144), Jake Zirfos of Gloucester (sixth, 144), Roman Anarato of Polsbar (eighth, 144), Jake Slotnik of St. Augustine (seventh, 150), Evan Brown of Cherokee (eighth), Juris Cammy Clarus 157) fifth, 165), Brock Zurawski of the Lower Cape May (eighth, 165), David Julian of Middle Townshin (sixth, 190), Danny DiJawakin of Delsey (eighth, 190), Petrachi House of Washington (fourth, 215) and Marcus Cape-Hebr Mae of Washington (sixth, 215) closed the medalists.
The “Excellent Wrestler” award was given to Brian Soldano of High Point. The senior won his third state title, winning the 190 crown with four pins of the first period and a major 11-2 decision in the final.
The stated number of spectators for the three-day tournament at Boardwalk Hall was 34,000.
Tom McGurk is a regional sports reporter for the Courier-Post, The Daily Journal and the Burlington County Times, covering South Jersey sports for over 30 years. If you have a sports story to tell, contact him or her at (856) 486-2420 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @McGurkSports. Help support local journalism with digital subscriptions.