Award-Winning Coach and Six Bergen Wrestlers Head to Nationals
By Mel Fabrikant Friday, February 22, 2013, 02:58 AM EST
Led by former Bergen Community College national champion – and newly minted district 11 “man of the year” – head coach Mike Massenzio as well as 2012 NJCAA Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame Inductee Assistant Coach Ed Kochakji, and six Bergen Community College wrestlers will travel to Des Moines, Iowa this week to compete in the National Junior College Athletic Association Men’s Wrestling National Championship.
Krzysztof Kucab (174 lbs.), of Garfield, who finished second in the district 11 tournament and Chris Lantz (125 lbs.), of Bloomfield, who placed third, will vie for national titles once again – both qualified for last year’s tournament as well.
Meanwhile, district 11 fourth-place finishers Nick Barone (197 lbs.), of Westwood, Matthew Jacobson (141 lbs.), of Saddle Brook, and Jeff Rottingen (133 lbs.), of Ramsey, will make their national tournament debuts. Fellow first-time qualifier Christian Rohn (184 lbs.), of Ridgewood, earned a wild card berth in the national tournament.
Head coach Massenzio, a two-time state high school wrestling champion, placed second in the NJCAA’s 2003 tournament before capturing the tournament crown one year later. The head coach also has competed professionally in mixed martial arts circuits such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship. As district 11 man of the year, Massenzio is eligible to become the NJCAA’s nationwide honoree; the winner will be announced at the national tournament.
Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu) based in Paramus is a public two-year coeducational college, enrolling more than 17,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip J. Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields.