2017 Shore Sports Network All-Shore Wrestling Teams
Shore Sports Network is proud to unveil its 2017 All-Shore teams and season-ending award winners featuring the top performers from the 2017 Shore Conference wrestling season.
The All-Shore teams, along with the wrestler and coach of the year, were selected by Managing Editor Bob Badders.
Scroll down for bios and pictures of all the first-team All-Shore selections as well as write-ups on the second- and third-team selections.
106 — Hunter Gutierrez, So., Lacey
Gutierrez placed fifth in the state tournament to become Lacey’s first all-state wrestler since 2012, setting the program single-season record for wins with a 42-2 record. He won 19 bouts by fall and three by technical fall. Gutierrez won the Region 7 championship with a 4-0 win over Holy Cross’s Chase Mullarkey and captured the District 27 title by defeating Haddon Township’s Mike Martinak, 10-6. In the state tournament Gutierrez reached the quarterfinals before falling to the eventual third-place finisher, Bergen Catholic’s Nick Kayal. Gutierrez pinned nationally-ranked Fair Lawn freshman Dylan Cedeno to clinch a state medal and won by forfeit over CBA’s Nick Schutzenhofer to finish fifth. He also claimed titles at the TCNJ Pride Tournament and Collingswood Holiday Tournament. He will take a 75-8 record into next season.
113 — Richie Koehler, Jr., Christian Brothers Academy
Koehler finished the season 40-3 and reached the fourth round of wrestlebacks in the state tournament, falling one win short of earning a second career all-state finish. He had 22 pins, three technical falls and three major decisions. Koehler won his second career district championship by pinning Shore’s Matt Klemser in the District 24 final. He then claimed his second Region 6 title in his third finals appearance, edging Colts Neck’s Joey King, 4-3, in the final. Koehler was also the champion at the Colt Classic and the Collingswood Holiday Tournament. A three-time state qualifier and a two-time, first-team All-Shore selection, Koehler will take a 98-15 record into his senior season.
120 — Darby Diedrich, So., Howell
A breakout sophomore season saw Diedrich win his first region title and place seventh in the state tournament, while also helping Howell win the NJSIAA Group V title for the program’s first state title along with the Class A North division title and Shore Conference Tournament to finish No. 1 in the Shore. He won by fall in 20 of his victories Diedrich to go with three technical falls and five major decisions. Diedrich captured his second district title by downing Robbinsville’s Logan Fox, 7-1, in the District 22 final. In the Region 6 final Diedrich beat Fox again, this time by fall in the second period. At the state tournament Diedrich clinched all-state status by defeating Hunterdon Central’s Hunter Graf, 6-3, thanks to a five-point move on a throw late in the match. He pinned St. Peter’s Prep’s Michael Kelly with another throw to finish seventh. Diedrich also won titles at Paulsboro’s John and Betty Vogeding Tournament and the Chase Life Invitational in Florida. He will carry a 77-14 record into his junior season.
126 — Kyle Slendorn, Jr., Howell
Slendorn made a fantastic run to the state final as the No. 7 seed where he finished second after a 10-6 loss to Hanover Park’s Nick Raimo. Along the way Slendorn defeated two-time state medalist Shane Metzler, 5-4, in the quarterfinals and avenged his only regular-season defeat by topping Paulsboro’s Anthony Duca, 5-2, in the semifinals. Slendorn finished 42-2 to tie the program single-season record for wins and recorded 24 falls, one technical fall and four major decisions. He won his third district title by pinning Northern Burlington’s Dion Young in the District 22 final and claiming his first region title with a 9-0 major decision over Ocean’s Alex Poniros in the Region 6 final. He also finished first at the Chase Life Invitational in Florida. His contributions helped the Rebels finish No. 1 Shore, win the Class A North division title, the Shore Conference Tournament and their first NJSIAA Group V state championship. Slendorn will take a 116-13 record into his senior season.
132 — Gianni Ghione, Sr., Brick Memorial
A standout career in the green and gold concluded with Ghione finishing third in the state tournament for his third state medal. He pinned Pope John’s Robert Garcia in 1:31 in his final high school bout to place top three for the second time in his career. Ghione was second in the state as a sophomore at 113 pounds and fourth at 120 pounds as a junior. He finished the season 38-1 for a career record of 134-15, recording 23 pins and four major decisions while receiving six forfeits. Ghione was a three-time district champ and four-time finalist and also a three-time Region 6 champ and four-time finalist. He won the District 21 title with a pin of Manalapan’s Alex Baran and claimed the Region 6 crown by pinning Howell’s Dan Esposito. He was selected as the Region 6 Tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler. Ghione’s lone loss of the season came in the state semifinals, 3-2, to New Milford’s John Burger, but he rallied with wins over Parsippany’s P.J. Gohn and Garcia to take third. Ghione also finished first at the TCNJ Pride Tournament and the Mustang Classic, and in the latter defeated eventual 132-pound state champion Quinn Kinner. He will continue his career at the Division I level at the University of Pennsylvania.
138 — Jake Benner, Jr., Ocean
The Shore Sports Network Wrestler of the Year, Benner was the co-Most Outstanding Wrestler at the state tournament where he won the 138-pound NJSIAA state title in epic fashion by hitting a five-point move in the third period to stun Bergen Catholic’s Gerard Angelo, 7-6. He set the program record for wins in a season by going 42-1, recording a Shore Conference-leading 29 pins plus three major decisions. His run to the state title included a 3-1 win over Don Bosco Prep’s Evan DeLuise in the quarterfinals and a pin in 1:54 over Cranford’s Tom DiGiovanni in the semifinals. He won his third district title by pinning Monmouth’s Tyler Flynn in the District 24 final. He dominated at the Region 6 Tournament to win his first title, pinning Wall’s Nick Wagner in 3:15. Benner also won the Kearny Holiday Tournament and the Mustang Classic. He verbally committed to Rutgers University following the season and will enter his season year with a 107-10 career record.
145 — Nick O’Connell, So., Southern
O’Connell finished eighth in the state tournament for his first all-state finish, winning by major decision over Robbinsville’s Garrett Bilgrav in the fourth round of wrestlebacks to clinch a state medal. He won his first district title by defeating Washington Township’s Evan Fisler, 5-4, in the District 29 final. He placed fourth at the Region 8 Tournament to qualify for the state tournament. He reached the state quarterfinals where he fell to eventual state champion Nick Palumbo, 7-3. O’Connell also finished sixth at the prestigious Escape the Rock Tournament. He finished the season with a 34-9 record that included seven pins, one technical fall and nine major decisions.
152 — Rob Kanniard, So., Wall
After a standout freshman campaign where he qualified for the state tournament, Kanniard announced his presence as one of the state’s best sophomores with district and region championships and a fourth-place finish in Atlantic City, finishing with a 40-3 record. Kanniard reached the state semifinals before falling to eventual champ Stephan Glasgow, then beat Holy Cross’s Avery Dinardi with a late takedown to reach the consolation final where he lost to Hasbrouck Heights’ Michael O’Malley. Kanniard won his second district title when he pinned Manasquan’s Francis Marshall in the District 23 final, then captured his first region title with an 11-4 victory over Manalapan’s Ronny Ghaida in the Region 6 championship. He also finished first at the Colt Classic and Mustang Classic. Kanniard was a bonus-point machine with 18 pins, seven technical falls and five major decisions. He will bring a 74-9 record into his junior season.
160 — Andrew Meyers, Sr., Toms River East
Meyers finished the season 33-3 and placed fifth at the state tournament to finish his career as a two-time all-state wrestler. Meyers also won the District 26 title for his second district championship and finished third in the Region 7 Tournament. He recorded 10 pins, one technical fall and four major decisions. Meyers advanced to the state quarterfinals where he was defeated by Bergen Catholic’s Chris Foca, then won 8-1 over Timber Creek’s Blaine Shade to clinch a state medal. He won 7-6 in double overtime over Buena’s Jake Maxwell to finish fifth. He won the District 26 crown with a 5-3 overtime win over Paulsboro’s Santino Morina. Meyers was a three-time state qualifier, including finishing second at 152 pounds as a junior. He amassed a 105-13 record and will continue his wrestling career at Columbia University.
170 — Nick Caracappa, Jr., St. John Vianney
Caracappa won his first district and region titles while reaching the fourth round of wrestlebacks in the state tournament. He finished the season 35-6 with 10 pins, one technical fall and five major decisions. Two of his losses were to state champion Billy Janzer. Caracappa won by fall in 1:55 over Edison’s Robert Firestone in the District 19 final and defeated Matawan’s Derrick Wiley, 5-4, to win the Region 5 championship. He finished one win short of a state medal when he lost 3-2 to Delbarton’s Cole Kreshpane in the fourth round of wrestlebacks. He will enter his senior season with a 78-24 career record.
182 — Tom Anderson, Sr., Middletown North
As the Lions’ profile in the Shore Conference grew so did Anderson’s. He went from a solid 20-plus bout winner as a freshman and sophomore to a state medalist as a senior, closing out his career with a win to finish fifth at the state tournament. Anderson went 40-7 with 24 pins and two major decisions to help the Lions reach the Shore Conference Tournament final four and the NJSIAA North 2, Group IV sectional final, while also winning the Class B North division title. Anderson was second in the District 17 Tournament and third in the Region 5 Tournament with both losses coming to Hunterdon Central’s Michael Iodice. Anderson would get his revenge at the state tournament, winning five straight consolation bouts after losing in the preliminary round and eventual scoring a 7-3 win over Iodice to take fifth. His 114 career wins are third all-time for Middletown North. He will continue his career at The College of New Jersey.
195 — Matt McKenzie, Sr., Wall
McKenzie closed out one of the best careers in Crimson Knights program history by claiming his third state medal with a seventh-place finish in Atlantic City, winning his first region title and taking home his third District 23 championship. He pinned Freehold’s Liam Tibbett in 1:15 in the district final and defeated Neptune’s Nick Faber, 4-2, in the Region 6 championship bout. McKenzie also won titles at the Colt Classic, Mustang Classic and Minutemen Classic. He became the first four-time Mustang Classic champion with a 12-5 win over Delsea’s Tommy Maxwell. He reached the quarterfinals at the state tournament before losing in double overtime to eventual runner-up Michael Taulane. He defeated Voorhees’s Lewis Fernandes, 2-1, to clinch his third straight all-state finish and beat Maxwell, 3-1, to finish seventh. McKenzie finished the season 39-2 with 17 pins, six technical falls and three major decisions. He is Wall’s all-time wins leader with a 145-14 record and tied for 10th in wins in Shore Conference history. He has received interest from Division I programs Rider, Bloomsburg and Clarion.
220 — Eric Keosseian, Sr., Howell
2017 was a dream season for the Rebels and Keosseian was front and center from start to finish. Keosseian became Howell’s third state champion in program history when he pinned Don Bosco Prep’s Peter Acciardi early in the second period to become Howell’s third state champion and first since Joey Langel in 2008. He finished the season with a 42-2 record, tying the program record for wins in a season. Among his victories were 22 wins by fall, two technical falls and four major decisions. He helped Howell to a banner season as the Rebels won the Class A North division title, the Shore Conference Tournament and, for the first time, an NJSIAA state title. It was Keosseian’s last-second takedown to win 4-3 over Victor Lacombe that fueled Howell’s 28-27 win over Hunterdon Central in the Group V final. That win also avenged Keosseian’s only loss in New Jersey, as Lacombe won 5-1 when the Red Devils beat the Rebels during the regular season. Keosseian’s only other loss was to Florida 3A state champ Chei Hill (South Dade) in the finals of the Chase Life Invitational. Keosseian won his second district championship when he defeated Northern Burlington’s Chris Ratti, 7-1, in the District 22 final and claimed his second Region 6 title by pinning Bordentown’s Jajuan Hayes in 1:26. He also won Paulsboro’s John and Betty Vogeding Tournament. A two-time state medalist and three state state qualifier, Keosseian’s 133 career wins are second all-time at Howell. He will continue his career at Army West Point.
Hwt — Nick Rivera, Sr., Brick Memorial
Rivera did not lose a bout in his final season but did not compete in the state tournament due to a concussion. Before that, Rivera captured his fourth district title and became the first wrestler in Shore Conference history to win three region titles at heavyweight. He pinned Colts Neck’s Vinnie Gargiulo in 59 seconds to win the District 21 title and won by 8-0 major decision over Gargiulo in the Region 6 final. Rivera also placed first at the TCNJ Pride Tournament and Mustang Classic. He finished the season 33-0 with 24 pins and concluded his career with a 112-11 career record.
106 — Nick Schutzenhofer, Sr., Christian Brothers Academy
Schutzenhofer reached the state tournament for the first time and placed sixth. He clinched a state medal with a 4-2 overtime victory over Collingswood’s Andrew Clark in the fourth round of wrestlebacks. He also captured his second district title by winning District 22 and won his first Region 6 championship. Additionally, Schutzenhofer was the champ at the Colt Classic and the Collingswood Tournament. Went 40-5 this season and won 80 bouts as a two-year varsity starter.
113 — Joey King, Jr., Colts Neck
King finished the season with a 37-5 record and qualified for the state tournament, coming within one win of a state medal. He won the District 21 Tournament for the first time and finished second at the Region 6 Tournament. He also placed first at the TCNJ Pride Tournament. Will enter his senior season with a 104 career wins, which is 17 away from Colts Neck’s all-time record.
120 — Jaleel Gopaul, Jr., Matawan
Gopaul went 29-5 and placed second at the District 20 Tournament and sixth at the Region 5 Tournament. Also finished second at the East Brunswick Bear Invitational. He is 61-22 for his career.
126 — Nick Boggiano, Fr., Toms River North
Boggiano had a fantastic freshman season in going 32-7 and qualifying for the state tournament. He won the District 28 title and placed third at the Region 7 Tournament. He also won titles at the Colt Classic and Hawk Classic.
132 — Russell Benson, Jr., Raritan
Benson won his second district title and his first region championship while finishing 38-3. He won the District 20 championship and claimed the Region 5 title to qualify for the state tournament for the second time. He finished one win from a state medal, falling in the fourth round of wrestlebacks. Also won the Hawk Classic. Helped Raritan finish No. 2 in the Shore, win the Class A Central division title and reach the Shore Conference Tournament final and the Central Jersey Group II final. Will enter his senior year with 99 career victories.
138 — Nick Wagner, Sr., Wall
Wagner went 33-7 and reached the third round of wrestlebacks at the state tournament. He won the District 23 title for his second district championship and placed second at the Region 6 Tournament to eventual state champion Jake Benner. He also won the Colt Classic and Elizabeth Minutemen Classic. Finished his career with a 92-24 record.
145 — Cole Corrigan, Jr., Toms River South
Corrigan went 35-2 with his only losses coming at the state tournament, but after finishing seventh as a sophomore he fell one win short of a second state medal when he lost to Monroe’s Nicky Lombard in the fourth round of wrestlebacks. Corrigan won the District 28 championship for his third district title and won the Region 7 title for the first time. He also won he Elizabeth Minutemen Tournament at 152 where he beat Wall’s Rob Kanniard, 3-2, and was the Lenape Valley Tournament champion. He will enter his senior season with a 101-12 career record.
152 — Scott Dupont, Jr., Holmdel
Dupont set a program record for wins in a season by going 39-6 and became the Hornets’ first state qualifier since 1984 by finishing third in Region 5. His only loss at regions came in the semifinals to eventual state champion Stephan Glasgow. Dupont won the District 20 title and also captured titles at the Holmdel Holiday Tournament and Ewing Blue Devil Classic. He will enter his senior season with 104 wins, 18 away from the program record.
160 — Matt Garrity, Sr., Lacey
Garrity finished 34-6 and came within one win of a state medal in Atlantic City. He won his first district title by claiming the District 27 crown and finished second in the Region 7 Tournament. He defeated Toms River East’s Andrew Meyers, 3-2, in the region semifinals. Garrity also won the Collingswood Holiday Tournament. He concluded his career with a 110-30 record.
170 — Shane Reitsma, Fr., Howell
Reitsma went 41-2 while winning the District 22 and Region 6 championships and reaching the fourth round of wrestlebacks in the state tournament. He also took titles at Paulsboro’s John and Betty Vogeding Tournament and the Chase Life Invitational. His efforts helped the Rebels win the Class A North division title, Shore Conference Tournament, NJSIAA Group V state championship and finish No. 1 in the Shore.
182 — Chris Nielsen, Sr., Pinelands
Nielsen went 35-4 and finished eighth at the state tournament. He defeated JFK-Iselin’s Sean Aston in the fourth round of wrestlebacks to clinch an all-state finish. Nielsen became Pinelands’ first region champion since 2002 when he defeated Delsea’s Vince Degeorge, 4-2, in the Region 8 final. He also defeated Degeorge to win the District 31 championship, his second career district title. Nielsen also won the Colt Classic and finished second to state finalist Sam Wustefeld at the Holmdel Holiday Tournament. His 107 career wins are third all-time at Pinelands.
195 — Theo Addison, Sr., Rumson-Fair Haven
Addison went 35-5 and reached the state tournament as the Region 5 runner-up. He also placed second at the District 19 Tournament. He won the Buc Classic and the Holmdel Holiday Tournament. He owns a head-to-head win over Neptune’s Nick Faber. Addison concludes his career with a 91 victories.
220 — Steven Giannios, Jr., St. John Vianney
Giannios finished the season with a 34-7 record, winning the District 19 title, finishing third in Region 5 and reaching the state tournament. He also finished first at the Mustang Classic and Bob Dougherty Tournament. He will enter his senior season with 76 victories.
Hwt — Vinny Gargiulo, Sr., Colts Neck
Gargiulo went 22-11 and was the runner-up at both the District 21 Tournament and the Region 6 Tournament, losing both times to Brick Memorial’s Nick Rivera. He also finished second to Rivera at the TCNJ Pride Tournament.
106 — Nico Messina, Fr., Freehold
Messina led the Colonials with a 34-4 record and became Freehold’s first state qualifier since 2010. He finished second in Region 6 as the Colonials’ first region finalist since 2004, and won the District 23 championship. He also won the Holmdel Holiday Tournament.
113 — Nick Reilly, So., Toms River North
Reilly went 29-9 and won his second district championship by placing first in District 28. He placed sixth at the Region 7 Tournament. Also won the Hawk Classic. Reilly has a 60-17 record heading into his junior season.
120 — Al Desantis, Fr., Shore
Desantis went 39-7 and became the Blue Devils’ first state qualifier since 2010 in his impressive freshman campaign. He was second in District 24 and fourth in Region 6, and also won titles at the Buc Classic, Holmdel Holiday Tournament and Pine Barrens Classic.
126 — Luke Moynihan, Jr., Lacey
Moynihan finished his junior season with a 33-9 record and reached the state tournament. He finished second in the District 27 Tournament and placed fourth in Region 7. Also won titles at the TCNJ Pride Tournament and the Collingswood Holiday Tournament. He will enter his senior season with a 98-21 record.
132 — Matt McGowan, Sr., Jackson Memorial
McGowan went 34-6 and qualified for the state tournament for the second time in his career. He was second in District 25 and third in Region 7. He led the Shore Conference with 11 technical falls. His efforts helped Jackson claim the Central Jersey Group IV sectional title for the third straight season. McGowan finishes his career with 94 victories and will continue his career at the United States Coast Guard Academy.
138 — Luke Gauthier, Jr., Lacey
Gauthier went 33-8 and reached the state tournament after placing second in the Region 7 Tournament. He was also the District 27 runner-up. He was defeated in both finals by West Deptford’s Dylan Fischer. He handed Donovan Catholic’s Cristiaan Dailey his first loss of the season in the Region 7 semifinals. Gauthier’s career record stands at 86-21.
145 — Jack Kelly, Jr., Wall
Kelly went 30-5 this season and reached the second round of wrestlebacks at the state tournament. He won his first district title by capturing the District 23 championship and placed second at the Region 6 Tournament to qualify for the state tournament for the first time. Also won the Colt Classic and took second at the Mustang Classic. He will take an 82-25 record into his senior season.
152 — Ronny Ghaida, Sr., Manalapan
Ghaida finished 35-6 and reached the state tournament as the Region 6 runner-up. He won his second district championship by winning the District 21 title. He also won the Walter Woods Tournament and the Nottingham Invitational, and concludes his career with 88 victories.
160 — Nick Cofone, Jr., Middletown North
Cofone enjoyed a breakout season by going 33-7 and qualifying for the state tournament where he was one win away from a state medal. Cofone won his first district title by taking the District 17 crown and finished third in Region 5, losing only to eventual state champion Mekhi Lewis in the semifinals. He also won the Marauder Invitational and placed third at the Mustang Classic where his only loss was to state champion Billy Janzer. He will enter his senior season with 66 career victories.
170 — Jake Staklinski, Sr., Manalapan
Staklinski went 35-8 and reached the state tournament with a second-place finish in the Region 6 Tournament. He won his first district title to help the Braves win the District 21 team title, their first since 1997. He ends his career with 77 wins in three years as a varsity starter.
182 — Dean Helstowski, Sr., Brick
Helstowski won his first district (27) and region (7) titles while going 29-5 to lead the Dragons in wins. He qualified for the state tournament for the third time in his career, won a region medal for the third time and claimed a fourth district medal. He also won the Hawk Classic for the third time. Helstowski concludes his career with 96 victories.
195 — Nick Faber, Sr., Neptune
Faber reached the state tournament via a second-place finish in Region 6 and finished the season with a 27-4 record. He came within one win of a state medal by reaching the fourth round of wrestlebacks. Faber won the District 22 title and also the Neptune Classic. He finishes his career with 73 victories.
220 — Ethan Wolf, Jr., Raritan
Wolf went 29-7 and won his first district title by winning the District 20 championship. He finished fifth at the Region 5 Tournament. His efforts helped Raritan finish No. 2 in the Shore, win the Class A Central division title and reach the final of the Shore Conference Tournament and NJSIAA Central Jersey Group II tournament. He will enter his senior season with 46 victories in two years as a varsity starter.
Hwt — Kevin Cerruti, So., Long Branch
No one in the Shore made more of his second chance than Cerruti, who finished fourth in District 23 but was granted entry to the Region 6 Tournament after the district third-place finisher withdrew. Cerruti then went on to place third at regions to qualify for the state tournament. He went 2-1 against Point Boro’s Anthony Bonavito, including a 3-2 win in the Region 6 consolation final. He finished the season with a 20-18 record
Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.