United States of America, Brazil and Japan

St. Marys Varsity Wrestling

January 18, 2007

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Mike Trasso, top, of St. Mary on his way to pinning Jim Ryan of Hasbrouck Heights/WoodRidge. Thursday, January 18, 2007

By DARREN COOPER

STAFF WRITER

RUTHERFORD -- Pete Ruiz heard the boos, he just used them as fuel.

"I was pretty gassed there at the end," said Ruiz. "I am just so happy."

Ruiz, a Wood-Ridge resident, overcame Joe DeQuinzio with a late reversal to help St. Mary, No. 1 in The Records Top 25, to a 36-27 victory over Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge on Wednesday night.

Ruiz, a freshman, trailed DeQuinzio, 4-1, after the first period and was locked in a tight grip late in the third period when he was able to get around DeQuinzio for the decisive points. He punctuated his victory with a leap of joy.

"It feels so good," said Ruiz, who heard boos from the Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge faithful. "I know a lot of guys on that team. I know just about everyone, but when I made the decision to come to St. Mary, a lot of them stopped talking to me."

Gaels coach Scott Weaver said he was proud of his young 119-pounder.

"He stayed cool out there," said Weaver.

After trailing, 12-9, after the first four matches, the Gaels won four bouts in a row, including a wild match at 135 pounds where both Jim Ryan of Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge and Mike Trasso were on their backs when the ref called a pin.Trasso was leading, 14-1, at the time, but no one was sure just who won the pinfall until the referee raised Trassos hand.

"He never showed who won and they started jumping up and down like they had won States," said Weaver, who received a penalty point after the bout. "I was scared he was going to give it to them, which would have been a shame since his shoulders were never down." "It was the right call," said Aviators coach Mike Scuilla. "One hundred percent right call."

In one of the most highly anticipated bouts, Gaels 160-pounder Juan Vega improved to 17-1 with a 12-5 decision over Marc Peck.

"I have never wrestled him before and I am glad to beat him by seven points," said Vega. "That could be my region final, and I know I can do better."

The No. 4 Aviators (6-3) started strong as they got a pin from heavyweight Tyler Blake in the first match, but they never could establish the momentum.

"When that happened, I thought we were ready to go," said Scuilla, referring to the early pin. "But what can you say? They are a very talented team. We were sloppy in some spots."

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