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The Lancer Ledger

The Student News Site of Lakeland Regional High School

The Lancer Ledger

The Student News Site of Lakeland Regional High School

The Lancer Ledger

Lakeland Wrestling: A Season That Made History

Courtesy of Lakeland Wrestling
Lakeland wrestling after winning the schools first ever Passaic County championship.

In a season with high expectations, the Lakeland Lancer wrestling team rose to them. The Lancers finished with a record of 14-5, including team victories in the Passaic County Tournament and the District 2 Tournament for the 2024 winter season.

Before even wrestling a match, the Lancers made school history. For the first time in Lakeland Lancers wrestling history, the team traveled to wrestle a national tournament across state lines. In December, the Lancers traveled to the University of Delaware to wrestle at the Beast of the East tournament. Freshman Chase Severs, senior Jack Bergmann, junior Anthony Nyhuis, junior Ryan Langenmayr, junior Christopher Gallagher, senior Sean Walker, and senior Cooper Struble all competed in one of the toughest tournaments in high school wrestling. While none of the team placed, many won important matches, and gained valuable tournament experience for later in the season.

After a 63-9 rout of Fair Lawn, the Lancers competed in another national tournament, this time at the Sam Cali Memorial Tournament at Fairleigh Dickinson, Madison campus. The Lancers saw two wrestlers, Bergmann and Walker, make the semifinals. The Lancers finished with Bergmann winning the schools first ever Sami Cali tournament championship, with Walker taking sixth and Struble taking fourth.

Moving into dual season, the boys started the new year off strong with a 48-25 win over Paramus, and a huge 45-31 win over league rival Wayne Hills. At Ramsey duals, the Lancers received their first setback of the season, losing to a very tough Sparta team 40-35. Despite the initial loss, the Lancers recovered, beating Ramsey 54-27 and Butler 38-35 on a last second pin by Severs. Severs credited this match to be his favorite of the year. The Lancers moved into a huge match against Passaic Valley, with the winner most likely claiming the league title. Unfortunately, the Lancers lost the match, but the Passaic County Tournament followed, and the Lancers saw their fortune changed.

After taking second as a team in the county two years in a row, losing to PCTI in 2022 and Clifton in 2023, the Lancers came out on top in 2024 in a unique way. Individually, the Lancers experienced incredible success: the team had five county finalists and two county champions. Bergmann and Langenmayr won the county championship; Severs, Walker, and Struble took second place; and Nyhuis took fourth place. Because of this overall team success, the Lancers tied the Passaic Valley Hornets for the team title. After taking second two years in a row, the Lancers won the teams first ever Passaic County Championship in school history.

Coach Cervino credits this as his favorite moment of the season, saying, “My favorite moment of the season was seeing all the hard work payoff with the County Championship. There was no better feeling than being able to share it with the wrestlers and the coaches.”

After experiencing the high of winning the county, the Lancers had to refocus and get back to work to prepare for the postseason. After winning a close match over Wayne Valley with a walkoff pin by Struble, the Lancers readied their attention to their rivals, the West Milford Highlanders. On top of that, the Lancers were slated to wrestle the Highlanders twice in five days, one being a league match and one being for the team state sectionals. While the Lancers lost the league match, the sectional match was the one that really mattered in their eyes. After losing just four days prior, the Lancers stepped up and destroyed the Highlanders 52-30. It was the first time the Lancers had won any type of team state match in over 10 years. While the Lancers lost to the eventual North Jersey Group 2 champions in the Jefferson Falcons in the following match, the win against West Milford still left a good taste in the Lancers’ mouth moving into the individual part of the season.

After winning the final three matches of the season, the Lancers had finally made it to the individual part of the season with the District 2 tournament at River Dell High School. After taking second place in the district as a team two years in a row, the Lancers were once again hungry for a championship. With five district champions, one second place finisher, and one third place finisher, the Lancers won their first district team tournament since 1990. Champions included Bergmann, Langenmayr, senior Christian Battle, Walker, and Struble. Severs took second and Gallagher took third to help the Lancers squeak out the team victory over Westwood.

Moving on to regionals, the Lancers packed a serious punch with seven wrestlers moving on; every wrestler made it to the second day of the tournament, and the team also was represented by three region finalists. Bergmann became the team’s first Regional Champion since Colton Chalkey in 2008, and Langenmayr and Walker took second place, respectively. This allowed for Bergmann, Langenmayr, and Walker all to qualify to wrestle in the individual state championships in Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

No one describes the atmosphere of states better than Coach Cervino. He said, “There’s nothing quite like being at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City for the Individual State Tournament. It’s one of the most iconic venues in New Jersey, the fact that the Beatles & Bruce Springsteen have played there validates it. It’s also the place where the best wrestlers in the state of New Jersey meet for the final 3 days of the season to determine the best of the best! Don’t know if it’s the bright lights, or the 8 mats or the 13,000 fans that make it so special. But if you know, you know!”

The environment was exactly how Coach Cervino described it, and the three Lakeland Qualifiers made the most of their experience. Bergmann and Walker both won two matches and were a part of the top 16 in the state, and Langenmayr won three matches and was a part of the top 12 in the state. Overall, it was one of the most successful state trips in Lakeland team history.

While the Lancers will lose four key starters seniors, Bergmann, Battle, Walker, and Struble, the Lancers still retain many important pieces for next season. The Lancers will bring back three region qualifiers, Severs, Langenmayr, and Gallgher, and will also bring back former county finalist and 20 match winner Nyhuis. While some backups will need to step up, the Lancers will still have enough firepower to contend next season.

The Lancers cemented their legacy by establishing themselves as one of the best Lakeland wrestling teams ever, making plenty of history along the way.

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About the Contributor
Sean Walker
Sean Walker, Staff Writer
Sean is a senior at LRHS and this is his first year writing for the Lancer Ledger. He is excited to be taking Journalism 1 because it will allow him to write about things he's passionate about, such as sports, history, and entertainment. At LRHS, Walker participates in wrestling, football, and track and field, and is a member of the National Honors Society. Overall, Walker looks forward to strengthening his writing through the field of journalism this year.

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