2015-2016 Class B North Wrestling Preview
Teams listed in alphabetical order
Head coach: Brett Jankos, fourth season.
Career record: 37-41.
2014-2015 record: 15-9.
Assistant coaches: John Post, Cole Cameron.
NJSIAA section: Central Jersey Group IV.
Returning starters: Joey King, So., 113 (36-4, 2nd D21, 2nd R6); Dyon Womack, So., 120 (20-11); Dominick Esposito, Jr., 126 (20-12 in 2014); Ben Sammarco, Jr., 132 (12-6); Steven Kramer, Jr., 128 (19-11); Nick Cilea, Jr., 145 (13-17); Liam Hoagland, So., 152 (25-9); Garrett Thesing, Jr., 160 (10-19); A.J. Royle, So., 170 (2-12); Dylan Valente, Sr., 182 (2-14); Pat McAteer, Sr., 195 (24-6, 3rd D21); Steven Barsky, Jr., 220 (19-7, 3rd D21).
Key newcomers: Jerry Lieshi, So., 106 (1-2); Anthony Lombardo, So., 120; Sam Christopher, Jr., 132; Colin Campbell, Fr., 132; Liam Hughes, Fr., 138; Michael Jannucci, Fr., 160; Anthony Galason, So., 170 (1-1); Rob Giuliano, So., 170; Sean Kim, Fr., 195.
Duals to watch: Jan. 2 vs. Neptune/Ocean/Red Bank Catholic; Jan. 5 vs. Long Branch; Jan. 16 at Shore with Red Bank and Wall. Jan. 20 at Manalapan; Jan. 30 at Brick with Manasquan and Marlboro.
Tournaments: TCNJ Pride Tournament, Dec. 19.
All of the talk in Class B North revolves round the trio of Wall, Long Branch and Ocean, but Colts Neck has quietly built a very solid team that could threaten to crash the party.
The Cougars bring back 12 starters from last season's team that finished 15-9 and qualified for the state tournament, and with just two of them being seniors Colts Neck has a great combination of youth, talent and experience.
Sophomore Joey King is the top returner after a fantastic freshman season where he went 36-4 and qualified for the state tournament with a second-place finish in the region tournament. King is one of the top lightweights in the Shore and, at 113 pounds, anchors a lower half of Colts Neck's lineup that also features four other double-digit winners. Dyon Womack also had a very good freshman year with 20 wins, and will be up a weight at 120 pounds. Juniors Ben Sammarco at 132, Steven Kramer at 138 and Nick Cilea each picked up at least 12 wins and should be in line for even more this season. The return of junior Dominick Esposito bolsters an already tough bottom half. Esposito was 20-12 as a freshman before missing last season. He'll be at 126 pounds.
The top half of the lineup has 25-bout winner Liam Hoagland, a sophomore, at 152 pounds and 10-bout winner Garrett Thesing, a junior, at 160. Senior Pat McAteer is at 195 after going 24-6 and reaching the region tournament, and junior Steven Barsky is at 220 off a 19-win season and a third-place district finish.
Colts Neck will be able to put an experienced varsity wrestler at every weight, and its lowerweights look like they are going to pack a serious punch. If a few guys step up in the middle and upperweights the Cougars could be a surprise contender for the division title and have strong showing in the individual postseason.
Head coach: Danny George, 26th season.
Career record: 350 wins.
2014-2015 record: 20-5.
Assistant coaches: Joey Keagle, John Jasio.
NJSIAA section: Central Jersey Group IV.
Returning starters: T.J. Conlon, Sr., 132 (16-11); Danny Rios, Sr., 138 (15-8); Danny Mullan, Sr., 145 (20-13); Mike Shohet, Sr., 152 (25-13, 2nd D22); Lamont Reid, Sr., 170 (29-8, 3rd D22); Peter Wersinger, So., 182 (13-19); Hunter Marhan, Jr., 195 (10-12); Joey Jasio, Sr., 220 (28-5, 3rd D22); John Tomlinson, Sr., Hwt. (18-6, 1st D22).
Key newcomers: Rey Guzman, Fr., 106; Steven Pabon, Fr., 106; Chris Dean, So., 113 (34-7, 2nd D23 at Shore Regional); Christian Gonzalez, So., 113; Joel Astacio, So., 120 (2-0); Nick Luhn, So., 126 (1-0); Isaac Shohet, So., 126; Luke Arnold, Fr., 145; Alex Acevedo, Sr., 170; Justin Navarro, Jr., 170; Daniel Santos-Silva, So., 182; Hunter Metzler, Fr., Hwt.
Duals to watch: Jan. 5 at Colts Neck; Jan. 9 at Red Bank Catholic with Wall; Jan. 13 vs. Raritan; Jan. 20 vs. Ocean.
Tournaments: Neptune Classic, Dec. 19; Hawk Classic, Dec. 28.
With nine returning starters and a promising group of underclassmen ready to step in, Long Branch will once again be among the Shore Conference's top teams and a contender for division, conference, sectional, group and district championships in 2016.
The Green Wave bring back four 20-bout winners, five more that won 10 or more bouts and added Shore Regional transfer Chris Dean to give them a balanced and experienced group. Dean was 34-7 last year as a freshman at Shore, placing second in the District 23 Tournament at 106 pounds. He will be up a weight at 113 this season. At 106, 120 and 126, Long Branch will have first-time starters, but from 132 up the Green Wave have a formidable lineup.
Seniors T.J. Conlon, Danny Rios, Danny Mullan and Mike Shohet give Long Branch a very strong run from 132 to 152. Senior Vincent Vacarro gets his chance to be the full-time starter at 160 after wrestling in 13 bouts last season. Senior Lamont Reid is at 170 after a 29-win season and a district medal, and sophomore Peter Wersinger could be in for a breakout season at 182 after flashing plenty of potential as a freshman. Junior Hunter Marhan won 10 bouts as a sophomore and will be at 195 pounds.
Long Branch has two of the best big-men in the Shore with seniors Joey Jasio and John Tomlinson at heavyweight. Jasio was 28-5 last season with a third-place district finish, while Tomlinson won a district title and went 18-6.
Like rival Raritan, Long Branch is a reliable team that opponents know will always battle in every weight and field a lineup with few, if any, holes. The talent and experience on the roster paints a very good picture for the Green Wave, and they will be ready come February with duals against division foes Wall and Ocean, the annual match with Raritan and the Jack Welch Duals. Long Branch has won at least a share of four straight division titles.
Head coach: Tim Jobes, 14th season.
2014-2015 record: 7-15.
Assistant coach: Tim Beaton
NJSIAA section: Central Jersey Group IV.
Returning starters: Jamal Meyers-Smith, Sr., 106 (5-9); Chase Fairbanks, So., 152 (5-1); Terrence Sartor, Sr., 182/195 (5-10); Nick Faber, Jr., 182/195 (18-10); Dayvon Lawrence, Sr., 220 (14-11); Zach Youngberg, Sr., Hwt. (15-13, 3rd D23).
Key newcomers: Robert Roberson, Fr., 106; Ronaldo Jimenez, Sr., 113; Emmanuel Hernandez, Jr., 126; Mickenna Church, Fr., 132; Wilby Alfred, Fr., 138; Kevin Clohossey, Fr., 145; Erick Chavez, Sr., 170; Kaseem Curtis, Sr., 220/Hwt. (1-1).
Duals to watch: Jan. 2 at Colts Neck with Ocean and Red Bank Catholic; Jan. 21 vs. Red Bank; Jan. 30 vs. Monmouth; Feb. 2 at Lakewood.
Tournaments: Neptune Classic, Dec. 19; Holmdel Holiday Tournament, Dec. 29.
Junior Nick Faber and seniors Dayvon Lawrence and Zach Youngberg form the nucleus of the Scarlet Fliers' lineup to give Neptune a strong upperweight presence while they break in several new starters.
Youngberg won 15 bouts last season and finished third in the district tournament at heavyweight. Lawrence won 14 bouts last season and will be at 220, while Faber impressed during his sophomore season with 18 wins. The coaching staff expects big things out of Faber after a stellar offseason training regimen.
Sophomore Chase Fairbanks will be under the radar, but the Fliers expect double-digit wins from him at 152 pounds after he went 5-1 in an injury-shortened freshman season. The strength and physical maturity of a senior wrestling at 106 is always a factor, and Neptune hopes that will be the case for Jamal Meyers-Smith.
How Neptune will fare from 106 through 145 is a bit of a mystery given the amount of first-year starters. The top half will be where Neptune is strongest, and will look to push those wrestlers into the region tournament.
Head coach: Cippy Apicelli, fifth season.
Career record: 72-29.
2014-2015 record: 16-11.
Assistant coaches: Jeff Siciliano, Danny Lopes, Brandon Sheenan; Volunteers: Tom Rant, Jeff Severino, Steve Lopes, Joey Falco, Garry Falco.
NJSIAA section: Central Jersey Group III.
Returning starters: Adam Manzo, So., 106 (8-14); Dave Tieto, Sr., 120 (27-11, 3rd D22); Joey Benner, Sr., 126 (12-6 in 2014); Gerell Cox, Sr., 126 (15-11); Jake Benner, So., 132 (29-6, 1st D22); Chris Donnelly, Sr., 138 (10-17, 3rd D22); Jeff Andre, Sr., 145 (16-19); Mike Dilute, Sr., 160 (10-17); Esteban Bernard, Jr., 170 (10-7); T.J. Saldutti, Sr., 182 (29-9, 2nd D22); Tyler Thompson, Sr., 195 (10-9 in 2014); Clayton Oates, Jr., 220 (9-20); Brian Olesen, Sr., Hwt. (22-13, 2nd D22).
Key newcomers: Will Tisony, Fr., 106; Pat Tracey, Sr., 152 (9-9 at Long Branch).
Duals to watch: Dec. 30 vs. Point Boro; Jan. 6 vs. Howell; Jan. 9 at Middletown North with Roxbury and Hopewell Valley; Jan. 13 vs. Wall; Jan. 16 at Hunterdon Central with Southern and Bishop Ahr; Jan. 20 at Long Branch; Feb. 6 vs. Raritan.
Tournaments: Mahwah Thunderbird Individual, Dec. 19; Mustang Classic, Dec. 28.
After a down year by Ocean's standards, the Spartans are ready to assume their usual place among the Shore Conference's top 10 teams and make a run at multiple championships.
Nearly the entire team returns, so obviously the expectations are high. The Spartans will field a team that includes four wrestlers that won over 20 bouts, including two 29-win wrestlers, plus five others who won 10 or more bouts. The projected lineup features senior district medalist Dave Tieto at 120 and standout sophomore Jake Benner, a district champ as a freshman, at 132. Senior Chris Donnelly won a district medal despite a sub-.500 record and will look to flip those results this season wrestling at 138 pounds. Senior Jeff Andre completes the stretch from 106 to 145.
Senior Pat Tracey is back at Ocean after a year at Long Branch, and will start at 152 pounds. Senior Mike Dilusto and junior Esteban Bernard are both returning starters and will be at 160 and 170 pounds, respectively. Senior T.J. Saldutti, who tied for the team-high in wins with 29 and earned a district medal, is at 182 pounds. Senior Tyler Thompson, the Spartans' star running back, missed last season with a broken leg suffered during football, but is back to start at 195 pounds. Junior Clayton Oates is at 220 and senior Brian Olesen returns as the starter at heavyweight after going 22-13 and reaching the district final.
If everyone stays healthy and on weight, Ocean will contend with Long Branch and Wall for the division title, and will be in the mix to take home the District 22 team title and make a run at the Central Jersey Group III championship.
RED BANK CATHOLIC
Head coach: Joe Gallagher, ninth season.
Career record: 73-84.
2014-2015 record: 8-13.
Assistant coaches: Andre LaMura, Vinny Belleran.
NJSIAA section: South Jersey, Non-Public A.
Returning starters: Brandon Bennett, So., 126/132 (3-16); Ethan Byrne, Jr., 132/138 (18-7); Jace Fanelli, So., 145/152 (0-14); Chris Lamb, Sr., 145/152 (11-11).
Key newcomers: Chris Durnien, Fr., 106; Nicholas Mullaney, Fr., 106; Andrew Lennert, Fr., 113/120; Leonard Meer, Fr., 120/126; John Columbia, Fr., 145/152; Brendan Larkin, Jr., 152/160 (2-1); Steven Cimelewski, Fr., 170; Joe Vocaturo, Sr., 182/195; Christian Pritzlaff, So., 195/220; Michael Pasterchick, Sr., 195/220; Alex Sargasso, Jr., Hwt.
Duals to watch: Dec. 22 vs. Rumson-Fair Haven; Jan. 13 at Red Bank; Jan. 20 at Holmdel; Jan. 23 vs. Donovan Catholic; Jan. 30 vs. Shore (quad at Lakewood).
Tournaments: Old Bridge Icebreaker, Dec. 19; Clayton Clipper Classic, Dec. 26.
Junior Ethan Byrne leads a cast of four returning starters as the Caseys will break in several freshman and sophomores into the starting lineup after being hit hard by graduation.
Injuries took their toll last season, as well, so there isn't much experience either for RBC. Byrne is the returning wins leader after an 18-7 season and stands as the team's best shot at a district medal. He will wrestle at 132 and 138 pounds. Senior Chris Lamb won 11 bouts last year and will be at 145 and 152. Sophomores Brandon Bennett at 126/132 and Jace Fanelli at 145/152 also have extensive varsity experience from last season.
Sophomore Zach Bair is one to watch at 170/182 after going 6-5 in limited action as a freshman. Senior Dylan Murphy, a football standout, also returns to the team after missing last season. He had 12 wins as a sophomore, and will wrestle at 195 pounds.
Head coach: Scott Ferris, 16th season.
Career record: 148-185.
2014-2015 record: 11-10.
Assistant coaches: Paul Sobko, Shane Bigelow.
NJSIAA section: Central Jersey Group III.
Returning starters: Finn Smith, So., 113 (12-18); Luke Devine, So., 113 (11-18); Adel Soliman, Sr., 126 (14-11); Sam Goldweig, So., 138 (13-11); Jack McMahon, Sr., 145 (26-6, 2nd D22); Tom Hinz, Sr., 152 (26-6, 3rd D22); John Doherty, Sr., 170 (18-15); Phil Bonnani, Sr., Hwt. (10-11).
Key newcomers: Ray Elcano, So., 106; Alex Perigrano, So., 106 (0-1); Nain Cardosa, Sr., 120; Cole Punzi, Sr., 132; Moises Aguilar, Jr., 138 (0-2). Guillermo Mundo, Jr., 160 (0-4); Alfredo Sanchez-Sibrian, Sr., 160; Ben Riegelman, Jr., 182; Joel Sibrian, Jr., 195.
Duals to watch: Jan. 6 at Rumson-Fair Haven; Jan. 13 vs. Red Bank Catholic; Jan. 16 at Shore with Colts Neck and Wall; Jan. 21 at Neptune.
Tournaments: Edison Tournament, Dec. 19; Buc Classic, Jan. 9.
Seniors Jack McMahon and Tom Hinz lead a Bucs team that brings back eight starters and seeks to improve on last season's 11-10 dual record.
McMahon and Hinz each went 26-6 last season and reached the region tournament, and they will anchor the lineup from their spots at 145 and 152, respectively. Down low, sophomores Finn Smith and Luke Devine each won double-digit bouts last season, and although both are slotted at 113, it's likely one moves up to 120. Junior Sean Murphy is back after missing last season and will compete at 126 pounds with senior Adel Soliman, who went 14-11 as a junior. Sophomore Sam Goldweig (13 wins) at 138 pounds leads in to McMahon at 145.
Seniors John Doherty (18-15) and Phil Bonnano (10-11) lead the upperweights from their spots at 170 and heavyweight, respectively.
Head coach: Brian Fischer, eighth season.
Career record: 90-58.
2014-2015 record: 16-4.
Assistant coaches: Dave Bender Jr., Paul Zambito; Volunteers: Nick DeLisa, Tyler Venice, Chris Cappella, Mike Tancredi, Dave Bender Sr.
NJSIAA section: South Jersey Group III.
Returning starters: Jack Kelly, So., 120 (26-10, 2nd D23); Joe Demuner, Sr., 126 (23-11, 3rd D23); Nick Wagner, Jr., 132 (29-7, 2nd D23, 4th R6); Chad McClelland, Jr., 152/160 (6-0 [injured]; 1st D23 in 2014); Josh Glantzman, Sr., 152/160 (29-6, 2nd D23, 4th R6); Brett Donner, Sr., 170 (14-2, 1st D23, 1st R6 [3rd in NJ in 2014]); Matt McKenzie, Jr., 195 (38-4, 1st D23, 2nd R6, 6th NJ); Shane Davis, Jr., 220 (13-14); Darryl Valme, Jr., Hwt. (8-15).
Key newcomers: Theo McGowan, Fr., 106; Mike Rocha, Fr., 113; Alex Cortez, Jr., 138 (1-4 at Neptune); Rob Kanniard, Fr., 145.
Duals to watch: Jan. 9 at Red Bank Catholic with Long Branch; Jan. 13 at Ocean; Jan. 20 at St. John Vianney; Feb. 3 at Raritan.
Tournaments: Colt Classic, Dec. 19; Mustang Classic, Dec. 28; Elizabeth Minutemen Tournament, Jan. 2.
With nine returning starters that include two state medalists, four region medalists and seven district place-winners, plus an infusion of some talented freshmen, this has the chance to be the best season in the history of Wall's wrestling program.
There is talent and experience up and down the line, staring with the devastating combo of senior Brett Donner and junior Matt McKenzie. Donner, who is committed to Rutgers and ranked No. 14 in the country by InterMat, is a three-time District 23 champ and a two-time Region VI champion. An ankle injury kept him out until late last season, and, after he got caught and pinned in the state quarterfinals, another injury in the wrestlebacks derailed his chance at a second medal. He is back healthy to start the season and on a mission to claim a state title. He also has a chance to become just the sixth four-time District 23 champion. McKenzie was a monster last season in going 38-4, winning a district title, reaching the region finals and finishing sixth in the state tournament as a sophomore. The two are hammers in every sense of the word.
The power doesn't end there for Wall. The upper half of the lineup can be dominant with junior Chad McClelland and senior Josh Glantzman at either 152 or 160 leading into Donner at 170. McClelland was a district champion as a freshman, but injuries limited him to just six bouts (6-0) last year. Glantzman went 29-6 and narrowly missed making into the state tournament with a fourth-place finish in the region tournament at 152 pounds. Senior Max Von Suskill wrestled in just eight bouts after sitting the required 30 days after transferring from Red Bank Catholic, and he can be an important piece with 15-win potential at 182. McKenzie is at 195, followed juniors Shane Davis (13 wins) at 220 and Daryl Valme (8-15) at heavyweight.
The first two spots in the lineup will be occupied by freshmen Theo McGowan and Mike Rocha at 106 and 113, respectively. Talented sophomore Jack Kelly went 26-10 and finished second at districts, and will be at 120. Senior district medalist and 23-bout winner Joe Demuner is at 126 and junior Nick Wagner is at 132. Wagner went 29-7 as a sophomore with a second-place finish in the district tournament and a fourth-place finish at regions. He is a prime candidate to have a huge year and reach the state tournament. Sophomore Josiah Schucht wrestled in 14 bouts as a freshman and will compete for the 138-pound spot with junior Alex Cortez, a Neptune transfer. Rounding out the lineup at 145 is freshman Rob Kanniard, who enters with a lot of promise as an intermediate tri-county champion.
Injuries crushed Wall last season, but the Crimson Knights were still able to finish second in B North and reach the South Jersey Group III final. If they stay healthy and on weight, this will be a scary team that can be the No. 1 team in the Shore and win a group championship. There are also multiple contenders to place in the individual state tournament. With Wall's balance, it also has a great chance to claim just its second district team title and end Brick Memorial's five-year run.