CBA Earns No. 1 Seed for the Shore Conference Wrestling Tournament
LITTLE SILVER -- Christian Brothers Academy has never won the Shore Conference Tournament. There's as good a chance as ever that changes in 2016.
In what figures to be one of the most competitive tournaments in the tournament's 40-year history, the SCT seeding committee selected the Colts as the top seed for the SCT by a 5-1 vote during the seeding meeting on Sunday at Red Bank Regional High School.
The seeding committee is comprised of one head coach from each of the Shore Conference's six divisions and are as follows: Matt Sirchio (Middletown North, Class A North), Rob Nucci (Raritan, Class A Central), Tom Pfister (Lacey, Class A South), Dan George (Long Branch, Class B North), Chris DeTalvo (Keansburg, Class B Central), Pat Brady (Point Boro, Class B South). Red Bank athletic director Del Dal Pra is the tournament director.
CBA, which is ranked No. 2 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 and No. 13 in the NJ.com New Jersey Top 20, has not entered the SCT in six of the last seven season. The Colts have favored the Jack Welch Duals as better preparation for the postseason, and for many years the Jack Welch Duals and the SCT final four fall on the same day. This year the Jack Welch Duals were this past weekend, although CBA did not attend the event (which was shortened to one day) because of the snowstorm that began Friday night. CBA head coach Russ Witt told Shore Sports Network early in the season the Colts would enter the Shore Conference Tournament.
Southern Regional, the No. 1 team in the SSN Top 10 and No. 12 in New Jersey, opted out of the tournament for the fifth straight season. Point Beach opted out for the second straight season.
Because the storm forced the majority of schools to close Monday, the tournament committee decided to change the tournament from a Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday format to a Thursday-Saturday format. The first three rounds will be wrestled Thursday evening at the sites of the top four seeds. The preliminary matches pitting teams seeded 13 through 20 will be at 4 p.m. with the pre-quarterfinals at 5:30 p.m. The quarterfinals are scheduled for 7 p.m.
The final four will take place on Saturday at Red Bank Regional High School with the semifinals at 3 p.m. and the championship match at 5:30 p.m.
New for this season and a hot-button issue is the NJSIAA's decision to enforce a National Federation of High Schools rule that states a wrestler must weigh in at the same weight for a multi-day dual-meet tournament. For example, a wrestler that weighs in at 132 pounds on the first day of the tournament (Thursday) would only be eligible for 132 and 138 for the entirety of the tournament.
In seeding the field, the committee used winning percentage, head-to-head results, quality wins, strength of schedule and power points. The criteria used is not based on a formula like the individual postseason tournaments, however, and is listed in no particular order.
The seeding of teams one through five were done without issue, but the seeding became more difficult starting at the No. 6 seed. Ultimately Middletown North was voted the six seed over Raritan and Brick Memorial by a 3-2-1 vote. Raritan was voted the No. 7 seed over Brick Memorial, 4-2.
Four results made seeding teams nine through 12 difficult. Point Boro, Jackson Liberty, Ocean and Colts Neck were all considered for those seeds. Brady, the B South representative, voted for Jackson Liberty ahead of his own team because the Lions defeated the Panthers 30-29 on Jan. 13. Point Boro holds a 31-30 victory over Ocean on criteria. Ocean defeated Colts Neck 45-18. Colts Neck beat Jackson Liberty 36-26. Members of the committee felt that Point Boro's win over Ocean was enough to jump the Panthers over Jackson Liberty, despite the Lions' head-to-head win, so Point Boro was voted the No. 9 seed by a 3-2-1 margin.
Liberty was slotted 10th and Ocean 11th because of its head-to-head victory over Colts Neck, which came in at No. 12.
Teams 13 through 20 were slotted with an attempt to avoid any rematches in the preliminary round. There will, however, be three rematches in the pre-quarterfinal round with Long Branch-Colts Neck, Middletown North-Ocean and Raritan-Jackson Liberty. Long Branch defeated Colts Neck 33-27 on Jan. 5. Middletown North topped Ocean 34-26 on Jan. 9. Raritan beat Jackson Liberty 39-25 on Jan. 9.
Wrestling 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.