11 Shore Conference (NJ) Class B North Wrestlers to Watch for 2021
As our preview of the 2021 Shore Conference wrestling season continues, we’ll take a look at some of the top wrestlers in the Class B North Division, which features Colts Neck, Freehold, Manasquan, Matawan, Neptune, Red Bank and Wall.
Wrestlers are listed in alphabetical order.
Joe Barsky, Sr., Colts Neck, 170
If he follows the script he set for himself in the fall, Barsky is in for a big senior season. During football season he was one of the top running backs in the Shore and led the Cougars to one of their best seasons in recent years. On the mat, he is coming off a junior year where he went 24-16, placed third at both the District 22 and Region 6 Tournaments and qualified for the state tournament. Colts Neck graduated three upperweight starters from last season, all of whom were state qualifiers, including state runner-up Luke Rada, so Barsky’s presence up top will be relied upon during the team portion of the season.
David Lisk, Jr., Manasquan, 138
Lisk had a remarkable turnaround season last year, going from four wins as a freshman to 22 as a sophomore. He ended up with a 22-14 record and placed second at the District 22 Tournament.
Angelo Messina, So., Freehold, 113
The Colonials graduated one of the program’s all-time greats and their career wins leader, Nico Messina, but still have another Messina in the fold. Angelo had a great freshman season by going 30-9 winning a District 21 title, placing third at the Region 6 Tournament and reaching the third round of wrestlebacks at the state tournament. He’ll look to build upon that debut campaign and follow in his brother’s path to earn a state medal.
Brendan Newbury, Sr., Wall, 182
Part of a strong group of upperweights for the Crimson Knights, Newbury went 24-14 last season and won a District 21 title. He then placed third at the Region 6 Tournament to reach the state tournament for the first time. He will jump up one weight class from 170 to 182 this season. Newbury is committed to wrestle collegiately at Stevens Institute of Technology.
Kamrin O’Neil, Sr., Matawan, 145/152
O’Neil is a member of the Huskies’ senior class that has helped turn the program in the right direction and enters the season with 93 career wins. He has his best season in 2020 when he tied a program record for wins in a season by going 37-7. He was the runner-up at District 19 and Region 5 to reach the state tournament for the first time where he advanced to the third round of wrestlebacks. O’Neil was a district champ in 2019 and is a three-time district finalist. He is committed to wrestle collegiately at Ursinus.
David Rubin, Sr., Matawan, 120
Rubin is a four-year starter who is coming off his best season and is also closing in on 100 career victories. Last season wrestling at 113 pounds, he went 37-9 to tie a program record for wins in a season, placed second in District 19 and placed fourth at the Region 5 Tournament to qualify for the state championships. He won one match down in Atlantic City to reach the second round of wrestlebacks. He sits 13 victories away from hitting the century mark for his career. Rubin is a two-time district finalist who will look to make a return trip to the state tournament before continuing his career at Washington & Lee.
Phil Stolfa, Jr., Red Bank, 126
Stolfa was Red Bank’s wins leader as a sophomore last season and returns to anchor a Bucs team that lost seven starters to graduation, including three 20-plus match winners and two district medalists. Stolfa was 30-11 last season, placing third at the District 20 Tournament and earning a region medal with a sixth-place finish in Region 5. He is a two-time region qualifier.
Isaias Thomas-Palafox, Sr., Neptune, 285
Thomas-Palafox had a breakout junior season, going from six wins as a sophomore to 27 in 2020. He finished with a 27-12 record and placed second at the District 23 Tournament. The Shore Conference features some excellent heavyweights and Thomas-Palafox will try to make a name for himself and push toward a state tournament berth.
Logan Waller, Sr., Colts Neck, 145
Waller had a great junior season that included a Shore Conference Tournament championship and a District 22 title but his season hit a roadblock at the state tournament in a loaded 138-pound bracket and his run came to an end in the second round of wrestlebacks. It wasn’t quite a breakout season given how good he was as a sophomore but he showed that extra gear that will put him in contention for a state medal as a senior. He was 38-4 last season and won his second district title, first SCT crown and reached the Region 6 final. A Kutztown recruit, Waller is a two-time state qualifier and enters the season with 90 career victories.
Jake Whitworth, Sr., Wall
Whitworth is, unfortunately, going to miss his senior season with an injury, but we wanted to feature him here since he is a returning state medalist. He had a great junior season by going 30-5, placing third at the SCT, winning a District 21 title, placing third in Region 6 and earning a sixth-place medal at the NJSIAA Championships in a stacked 182-pound weight class. He had 93 career wins entering this season and is a three-time district champion, a region champion in 2019 and a two-time state qualifier.
Nicolas Zamaloff, Sr., Wall, 160
Zamaloff is one of Wall’s senior leaders and will continue his career at Washington & Lee. He is coming off a breakout season where he went 22-11 and was a finalist in both District 21 and Region 6 to qualify for his first state tournament.
Other returning district medalists
Michael Lyristis, Jr., Colts Neck, 113
Eli Novoselov, Jr., Colts Neck, 132
Nick Moldaver, Sr., Colts Neck, 152
Ford Zajac, Jr., Colts Neck, 170
Ray Santiago, Sr., Colts Neck, 220
Michael Connelly, So., Freehold, 126
Lee Rubin, Sr., Matawan, 126
Thomas Verdiglione, Sr., Matawan, 132/138 (2x Class S state finalist in Conn.)
Adam Coleman, Sr., Matawan, 145/152
Nate Levie, Jr., Neptune, 138 (2019)
Jack Kinsella, Sr., Wall, 126
Michael Bruno, Sr., Wall, 138
Lou Pilla, Jr., Wall, 195
Kei’sun Sanders, So., Wall, 285