June 25, 2018 | ° F

Outgoing seniors leave to thunderous applause

Photo by Andrew Howard |

Senior Kellen Bradley, top, won his 149-pound bout in a 4-2 decision on Senior Night at the Barn. The four seniors were honored before the game with families at their sides.

The Rutgers wrestling team honored its four outgoing seniors with more than just one of its best wins all season.

The Scarlet Knights paid tribute to 197-pounder Lamar Brown, 165-pounder Matthew Rigoglioso, 149-pounder Kellen Bradley and 149-pounder Jack Barrett and their accompanying families with bouquets of flowers and a framed action shot of themselves for Senior Night.

Bradley, who took the mat for David Greenwald, beat Drexel's Brett McCurdy in a 4-2 decision.

"Kellen Bradley is one of those wilderness guys. He likes going fishing and hiking so he's a really tough kid," Brown said. "Kellen goes out there and he's one of the toughest guys we have. Tired or not tired he goes out there."

Rigoglioso also got the start over Gregory Zannetti, but lost in an 11-9 overtime decision.

Senior Jack Barrett was in attendance for the team's final home match after a hospitilization for an allergic reaction to medical treatment for a Staph infection.

"He doesn't know it, but he's kind of brought this whole team together," said head coach Scott Goodale. "It's unfortunate for something that tragic to happen, but Jack Barrett has brought this whole team together. Whether it's personal thoughts, or through prayer or anything he's allowed us to really understand what's important.

"To see what he's done and how hard he's fought just to get back and be back with us tonight, it's been an inspiration."

Junior heavyweight D.J. Russo enjoyed an easy night off.

Before the match even started, Drexel forfeited the heavyweight match to Rutgers due to an injury.

"I was upset, but I knew the [Drexel wrestler] was hurt," Russo said. "I understood, I just would have liked to wrestle during the final home match."

Despite the night off, Russo never doubted the team's ability to win.

"We were better than them," Russo said. "Simply put, we were better than them." 

Bill Domke

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