Over Presidents’ Day Weekend, the Ida Crown Wrestling Team traveled to New Jersey to compete in the 25th Annual Henry Wittenberg National Yeshiva High School Invitational Wrestling Tournament at the Frisch School. ICJA is one of four schools to have participated in every Wittenberg since its inception. Over that span, Ida Crown has won the team title eight times and claimed sixty-seven individual championships. In doing so, Ida Crown has been the most consistently dominant team over the course of a quarter century of Wittenberg competition. While ICJA did not factor into the team race this year, finishing fifth out of twelve teams, the Aces distinguished themselves individually.
Junior Enon Gurvich became the sixty-eighth Ida Crown wrestler to become a Wittenberg championship. Working out of the third seed position in the 126 lb. weight class on Friday morning, Gurvich began his quest to the top with an efficient second period fall against Weiss of North Shore Hebrew Academy. In the quarterfinals, he needed only :27 seconds to pin JEC’s Novick. This victory set up a semi-final against Joseph Wolkoff of Kushner. At last year’s tournament, Wolkoff pinned Gurvich in the finals at 113 lbs. Gurvich endured a long Shabbos with thoughts of the impending re-match. The anticipated bout took place Sunday morning, and Gurvich prevailed with a tense 4-2 decision over his rival. In the finals, Gurvich took on Yehuda Farca of Frisch. Farca shot out to a quick takedown to take an early 2-0 lead. Gurvich escaped to make the score 2-1. With only :06 seconds left in the first period, Gurvich shot in on a quick single leg and secured a takedown at the period expired, making the score 3-2 in Gurvich’s favor. Farca earned an escape to begin the second period to tie the score, only to have Gurvich execute another takedown. With Gurvich now leading 5-3, Farca was penalized twice for illegal headlocks in his desperate efforts to reverse Gurvich. Gurvich began the third period leading 7-3. Working out of the bottom position, Gurvich fought off repeated efforts by Farca to put Gurvich on his back. Gurvich, though, was never threatened. The victory capped a wonderful season for Gurvich.
Senior Captain Ray Goltz earned a spot in the Wittenberg Tournament Hall of Fame with a second place finish at 152 pounds. This marked Goltz’s third appearance in the Wittenberg finals, and the tournament served as fine conclusion to his illustrious Ida Crown wrestling career. Senior Captain Meir Cohen at 145 pounds also finished his career with a second place trophy. It marked Cohen’s best Wittenberg result during his three year career.
Freshman Menachem Reed took second place at 106 pounds in his Wittenberg debut. Freshman Moshe Osgood claimed a third place trophy at 113 pounds. Freshman Sam Gurvich wrestled himself to a seventh place finish at 132 pounds. Two Aces placed at 138: Junior Bentzy Osgood took fifth place and Junior Moshe Lodkin took eighth place in what proved to be the toughest weight class in the tournament. Another pair of ICJA wrestlers placed at 160 pounds. Junior Ezra Landman Feigelson pinned his way to the semi-finals and finished with a well-deserved fourth place finish. Rookie phenom Sophomore Aryeh Schwartz also made it to the semi-finals before losing to the eventual champion. Schwartz finished in sixth place.
Sophomore Chuck Moscovitch took fifth place at 195 pounds. Freshman Eli Weiss finished fifth at 220 pounds.
With so many underclassmen covering so many weight classes, the Aces will set their off-season goals for an even more successful 26th Wittenberg.