By: David Gonzalez
Staff Writer

 

Kris Buonomo of Emerson, New Jersey is a 2010 graduate of Emerson High School and has been named team captain by the wrestling team’s Head Coach Mike Massenzio.
Buonomo, 19, wrestles in the 149-pound weight class and has been involved in the sport since the seventh grade.  His interest in wrestling began when a family friend convinced him to take part in the sport and he has been wrestling ever since.

When asked “why wrestling?”  Kris points out some of the benefits.

“You learn how to keep in shape, you’re always with a fun group of people, it builds character and prepares you for life,” said Buonomo.

    Buonomo was one match away from nationals last year. The environment leading up to nationals left a good impression on him, leading him to want to get back to that level of play again this season. However, to go to nationals, you have to make it through conferences.

The NJCAA Region 19 Division III standings are simplified into brackets for preliminary conference match ups leading to the finals.  Before the finals or medal rounds, Kris could not lose.

“That’s when I lost to a wrestler from Georgia, 4-3. If I would have won, I’d [have] gone on to a consolation round,“ Buonomo said. “I would have made it to consolations and then to nationals from there.”

    Buonomo is in his second year of wrestling at Bergen along with Gregory Mulligan, a 24-year old from Rockland County, New York. Gregory wrestles in the 184-pound weight class and majors in Political Science. They are the only two returning wrestlers from last year.
Bergen’s Wrestling Team started out with 50 members on the outset of the wrestling season in the late fall of last year.  In December, that number diminished to approximately 35 members. Since then, the count stands at around 22.

Despite the attrition, Bergen is going to kick off their season with a strong group of wrestlers.