BROCKPORT, NY – The Rutgers University wrestling team opened the 2004-05 season with an eighth-place showing at the SUNY Brockport/Oklahoma Gold Showcase Classic. The Scarlet Knights finished with 52.0 points in the 11-school tournament, one point behind Buffalo.
Junior Gene Zannetti (Edison, NJ) looked impressive in his first match of the season. The 157-pound grappler, who red-shirted last season, reached the finals of the championship bracket with three victories. He tech falled Andy Boice of Brockport in 5:10, then decisioned Brock Wittmeyer off Penn, 7-3 before advancing to the finals with a 9-6 decision over Cleveland’s Marcus Effner. He nearly won the weight-class’ title, dropping a close 9-8 decision to 20th-ranked Charles Jones of Oklahoma to finish second.
Senior Chris Ressa (Andover, NJ) advanced to the finals of the consolation bracket in his first competition at 184 pounds. He finished the day with four victories – one in the championship bracket and three in wrestlebacks. Ressa fell to 13th-ranked Justin Dyer of Oklahoma, 6-3, in the consolation finals, finishing fourth in the weight class.
Sophomore Dan Hilt (Manalapan, NJ) bounced back from a first-round elimination in the championship bracket, advancing to the finals of the 125-pound consolation draw with four straight victories over Thang Tran Army, Joe Wornoff of Cleveland and Fernando Martinez of Army and Nathan Costello of Ohio. Hilt dropped a close 7-5 decision to Drew Opfer of Kent State, ranked 11th in the country, in the finals to place fourth.
Freshman Andrew Cardella (Baldwin, NY) also rebounded from an early loss with two victories – his first two collegiate wins – to reach the quarterfinals of wrestlebacks in the 133-pound weight class. He was finally eliminated by Tony Severo in the quarterfinal round.
Senior John Foscolo (South Plainfield, NJ) scored a pin in his first match of the season before losing to the eventual weight-class champion, Joel Flaggert of Oklahoma, ranked 20th nationally, in the second round of the championship bracket at 197 pounds.
The Scarlet Knights return to action next Saturday at the Navy Classic in Annapolis, MD. Action is set to get underway at 9 a.m.