North Bergen honors wrestling state champs, qualifiers, and placeholders

Proclamations and certificates were presented to champions and qualifiers

The township honored wrestling stand-outs at the March 23 Board of Commissioners meeting. Photos by Art Schwartz.

Parents, coaches, and officials gathered to watch as local champions and qualifiers of recent major wrestling tournaments were honored with proclamations and certificates at the most recent meeting of the North Bergen Board of Commissioners and Mayor Nicholas Sacco.

“The hard work that these student athletes put in to reach their goals cannot be overstated,” said Sacco. “They should be extremely proud of their accomplishments because the Township of North Bergen certainly is, and I look forward to seeing what else they achieve in the years to come.”

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Pace is two-time state champ

Headlining the program was two-time state champion Amanda Pace, who received a proclamation from the mayor and Board of Commissioners for her first place finish at the NJSIAA/Rothman Orthopaedics State Wrestling Championships at Phillipsburg High School on February 20. This was the high school senior’s second state title win in addition to being a four-time state finalist and three-time regional champion.

Sacco read the proclamation honoring Pace aloud. According to the proclamation, Pace has been wrestling since 2010, starting with the North Bergen Recreation Department. “Amanda Pace has been committed to wrestling since 2010,” Sacco said, reading the proclamation aloud.

Pace was honored with a proclamation from the township.

During her elementary school years from 2010 to 2018, she integrated with boys. That was, until girls wrestling became an official sport in New Jersey her freshman year of high school.

Since then, she has dominated the sport, now bringing home her second state title to North Bergen. “This is quite an accomplishment, and I’m very proud of you,” Sacco said after reading the proclamation, noting Pace had a scholarship to Centenary University.

Other champs honored

Other honorees included State Champions Luis Rabelo and Robert Rodriguez for their first place finishes at the 2022 USAW-NJ Kids Scholastic State Championship, as well as high school junior Joshua Palacio for his 2nd place finish at the NJSIAA/Rothman Orthopaedics State Wrestling Championships.

A number of other students were also recognized for their performances including: Josiah Berrera, who took 8th place for the Junior 128 pounds weight class; Ivan Briones, a who took 6th place for the Novice 145 pounds weight class; Ryan Rodriguez, who took 6th place for the Novice 90 pounds weight class; and Alysa Patel, who took 3rd place for the 14U 79 pounds weight class.

Other talented wrestlers were honored by the Mayor and Board of Commissioners as well.

State qualifiers who were also honored included: Gianni Belluardo, for the Novice 60 pounds weight class; Ronnie Rodriguez for the Junior 100 pounds weight class; George Tamar for the Junior 128 pounds weight class; Julian Contreras for the Intermediate 152 pounds weight class; David Vazquez for the Intermediate 105 pounds weight class; Alfredo Bermudez for the Intermediate 190 pounds weight class; and Nathanial Hernandez for the Intermediate 75 pounds weight class.

Other dignitaries in attendance were School Superintendent George Solter, High School wrestling coach Jerry Maietta, and Elementary wrestling coaches Angel Quinones, Rob Rodriguez, and Lou Rabelo.

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