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  2009- 2010 Articles  
Borshoff Graduates:
Four Student-Athletes Featured in InterMat Wrestling Poll
American University Website
November 18, 2009
Penfield Dual:
Penfield wrestlers top Pittsford in battle of undefeateds
Penfield Post
December 20, 2009
Monroe County Tournament:
Pittsford's C.J. Howard wins Monroe County wrestling title
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
January 24, 2010
State Qualifier Tournament:
Wayne's DiGravio makes states with former style
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
February 14, 2010
Pittsford's C.J. Howard wins Monroe County wrestling title
James Johnson . Staff writer . January 24, 2010


WEBSTER - C.J. Howard has made a habit of beating state tournament-caliber wrestlers this season.

Howard, a senior at Pittsford Mendon, added a fourth former state qualifier to his tally on Saturday when he defeated Greece Olympia junior Joe Bonaldi, 8-4, in the 135-pound final of the Monroe County Championships at Webster Schroeder.

CJ Howard
Pittsford's C.J. Howard tightens his hold on Greece Olympia's Joe Bonaldi during their 135-pound Monroe County title bout Saturday night. Howard won, 8-4. (SCOTT ELLMAN)
"It was a big one," Howard said after his 164th varsity win. "Last year didn't end up the way that I wanted. I set my goal on going back to states, and (Bonaldi) was there, too. I was pretty excited when I beat him by that much."

Howard, a two-time state qualifier, never trailed in the match on his way to his third league title. He earned the all-important first takedown, bumped his lead to 3-1 with an escape in the second period and spent a large chunk of the third clamped on to Bonaldi during the Olympia wrestler's escape attempts.

"He's tough on his feet," Howard said. "Fortunately, I am too. He was tough to hold down."

Howard plans to be just tough, period, if he can make it back to the state championships.

As a sophomore, Howard finished sixth among the Division I 103-pound wrestlers at states. Last season at 125, he had two losses faster than you can say tough draw.

"I had a three-time qualifier in the first round," Howard said. "There were kids who weren't as good as I was, seeded higher than me. I also wrestled a state runner-up.

"I was winning that match, and I got caught in a five-point move and lost. It didn't go as planned. As long as I finish first or second at SuperSectionals (Section V's state meet qualifier), I should be good to go."

Howard, whose initials stand for Christopher John, defeated a pair of past state qualifiers from Section III (Syracuse-region) during the South Jefferson Spartan Duals last weekend. He also has a victory over another state qualifier from Section IV (Binghamton-region) this season.

"He usually doesn't produce back-to-back poor performances," Pittsford coach Jason Bovenzi said of the 91-average student. "Sometimes a kid will feel sick and will use that as an excuse. He's not going to back out of the lineup, or say take me out."

No other team has taken Spencerport out of the top spot in the team standings of this tournament in 20 years. The Rangers were crowned Monroe County league champions with 266 points. Penfield (185.5) and Pittsford (146.5) were next.

Penfield was just 10 points behind Spencerport before the semifinals, but Enzo Zagari (215), Paul Morabito (145) and Joe Inzana (160) went on to win their weight classes.

"We want that top spot and everyone is working hard to get it," Penfield 189-pounder Brandon Contreras said. "(Spencerport) is unbelievable, all of their wrestlers are very tough."

Contreras, who pinned Spencerport's Brad Englert to win the 189 division, was named the most outstanding heavyweight after his first league title. Howard was given the award for lightweights.

Webster Schroeder senior Tanya Kusse was acknowledged as the first girl believed to have earned all-league honors at this meet. She finished sixth in the 119 division.

Victor got its first Monroe County league champion, 152-pounder Adam Willman, who is 39-1 this season.

JAMESJ@DemocratandChronicle.com
   
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