2015 Shore Sports Network All-Shore Wrestling Teams
Shore Sports Network is proud to unveil its 2015 All-Shore teams and season-ending award winners featuring the top performers from the 2014-2015 Shore Conference wrestling season.
The teams were selected by SSN's Bob Badders after careful analysis of this season's results, with a heavier emphasis on head-to-head wins and postseason performance.
Scroll down for bios, pictures and video clips of all the first-team All-Shore selections as well as write-ups on the second- and third-team selections.
*Coach of the Year*
SHORE SPORTS NETWORK ALL-SHORE WRESTLING TEAMS
106 - Rich Koehler, Fr., Christian Brothers Academy
Koehler burst onto the scene in his freshman year by winning titles in the District 22 and Region VI tournaments before finishing sixth in the NJSIAA Tournament. He finished the season with a 33-6 record for a Colts team that finished 19-4 and reached the NJSIAA South Jersey Non-Public A sectional final. His tremendous postseason run began when he won by 12-0 major decision over previously undefeated Howell freshman Kyle Slendorn in the Region VI semifinals. He defeated Colts Neck’s Joey King 9-2 in the Region VI final and reached the semifinals at the state tournament in Atlantic City.
113 - Sebastian Rivera, Jr., Christian Brothers Academy
A two-time, first-team All-Shore selection, Rivera captured the District 22 and Region VI titles before finishing fifth in the state tournament for the second consecutive season. He was undefeated heading into the state tournament after helping CBA finish 19-4 and advance to the final of the NJSIAA South Jersey Non-Public A Tournament. In the Region VI final, he defeated Brick Memorial’s Gianni Ghione 3-1 in overtime to claim his first region title. In the state tournament he reached the semifinals before falling to eventual champion Brandon Cray of Steinert. In the fifth-place bout he pinned Kingsway’s Trace Kinner. He concluded his junior season with a 37-2 record and is 80-13 for his career.
120 - Owen McClave, Jr., Toms River South
McClave is selected to his second straight All-Shore first team after winning his third District 24 title, second Region VI crown and earning his first state medal by placing fifth in Atlantic City. McClave defeated Wall’s Denzel Tovar 2-1 in double overtime to win the region title and advanced to the semifinals at the state tournament with a 3-1 overtime victory over Hanover Park’s Lou Raimo in the quarterfinals. He lost to eventual champion Nick Suriano from Bergen Catholic before finishing fifth. He defeated Roxbury’s Troy Stanich 7-4 in the fifth-place bout. He ended the season with a 35-2 record while helping the Indians finish 18-5, reach the semifinals of the Shore Conference Tournament and advance to the South Jersey Group IV sectional final. He will enter his senior season with a 112-10 career record.
126 - Mike Russo, Sr., Jackson Liberty
Russo concluded his outstanding career by earning his third state medal, claiming his third Region VI title and becoming just the seventh wrestler to win four District 21 championships. He defeated Toms River South freshman Cole Corrigan 5-0 in the Region VI final. He advanced to the semifinals of the state tournament for the third straight season, but fell to Hanover Park’s Anthony Cefolo 1-0 before finishing sixth. He was fourth in the state as a sophomore at 106 and third as a junior at 120. He was 40-5 this season and finished his career with a 157-12 record, his wins total second all-time in Shore Conference history behind Raritan’s Dan Seidenberg at 158. Incredibly, he lost just twice to Shore Conference opponents during his career, both during his freshman season. He will continue his career at Division I Lehigh University.
132 - Marcus Iwama, Sr., Rumson-Fair Haven
The most successful Rumson-Fair Haven wrestler in over a decade and one of the program’s all-time greats, Iwama concluded a stellar career by winning his second Region VI title and finishing eighth in the state tournament. He defeated Howell’s Anthony Gagliano 9-7 in the region final to become the program’s second two-time region champion, joining head coach Bryan Heller. He then became the Bulldogs’ first state medalist since Heller and Patrick Berger in 2003. After losing in the pre-quarterfinal round of the state tournament, Iwama won three consecutive bouts, culminating with an 11-5 decision over Bound Brook’s Nick Accetta, to secure a top-eight finish. He finished this season 35-5 and is Rumson’s all-time wins leader with a 131-17 record. He will continue his wrestling career at Williams College.
138 - Matt Russo, Sr., Jackson Liberty
The Lions senior polished off his high school career with his finest season ever. Russo captured his first District 21 title before winning his first Region VI title. He advanced to the state tournament for the third time in his career and ended the season with a 41-2 record. He was undefeated through the region tournament. In the District 21 Tournament he defeated Howell’s Kris Lindemann 5-2 in the semifinals and Jackson Memorial’s Tim Hamann 3-1 in the final. He defeated Lindemann again, 4-2, in the Region VI semifinals before topping Lacey’s Connor Garrity 4-1 in the region final. His 127-25 career record puts him second all-time on Jackson Liberty’s career wins list behind his twin brother Mike.
145 - Alec Donovan, Sr., Brick Memorial
A tireless worker and a relentless competitor on the mat, Donovan ground his way all the way through the state tournament with an incredible run that culminated with him winning the NJSIAA 145-pound state championship. He was a hammer in the middle of a formidable Brick Memorial lineup that captured the Class A South division title, the Shore Conference Tournament title and the inaugural NJSIAA Group V title while finishing No. 2 in the state as New Jersey’s top public school. He became the sixth wrestler in history to win four District 23 titles and then captured his first Region VI title with a thrilling 3-2 win over Pinelands’ Tom Poklikuha. He received a tough draw in the state tournament, but that didn’t stop him from making his way to the top of the medal stand in Atlantic City. He pinned the top seed, Delbarton’s Travis Vasquez, in the quarterfinals and defeated High Point’s Jason Gaccione 3-2 on a reversal with seven seconds left to reach the final. In the state championship bout, he edged Bound Brook’s Stephan Glasgow 1-0 to become the seventh state champion in Brick Memorial’s history. He finished the season 38-1, his only loss coming at 152 pounds, and with a career record of 128-23. His college plans are undecided with his top choice being the United States Naval Academy.
152 - Matt Wilhelm, Sr. Southern Regional
Wilhelm captured his third District 24 title and won his second Region VI title this season before battling back to finish third in the state tournament. He spent most of the season at 160 pounds before dropping down to 152 late in the regular season. At 160 he had wins over Brick Memorial’s Cliff Ruggiero and Brick’s Will Scott, who finished second and sixth in the state, respectively. He won by technical fall over Toms River East’s A.J. Meyers in the District 24 final and defeated Manalapan’a Jake Kaminsky 5-2 for his second straight region title. After losing in the state quarterfinals to eventual champion Joe Tavoso of Delbarton, Wilhelm won four straight bouts to finish third. He beat Kaminsky again, 5-3, in the fourth round of wrestlebacks before a 10-6 win over Cranford’s Gavin Murray put him in the third-place bout. He defeated Paramus’s Joe Trovato 3-1 to finish third. He finished his senior season with a 35-3 record and with an 86-21 career mark. He will attend The College of New Jersey next season.
160 - Cliff Ruggiero, Sr., Brick Memorial
One of the most dangerous wrestlers in the state, Ruggiero put together an epic postseason run on his way to finishing second in the state tournament. With an excellent judo background, Ruggiero’s throws have been feared since his freshman year, and that was never more evident than over the final month of the season. He turned it on down the stretch of the regular season as an integral part of Brick Memorial’s Class A South, Shore Conference Tournament and NJSIAA Group V championship team. He pinned Toms River South’s Antrez Clagon in the Region VI semifinals for his 100th career win, then pinned Brick’s Will Scott in the final for his first region title. In the state tournament he pinned Clearview’s Ed Lenkowski in 44 seconds to reach the semifinals, then defeated Phillipsburg’s Max Elling 5-3 to get to the championship match as one of four state finalists for Brick Memorial. He fell to DePaul’s Dave McFadden, a two-time state champ and top-five wrestler in the nation at 160 pounds, 7-2 in the state final. He finished this season with a 36-5 record and concluded his career with a 104-37 record.
170 - Brett Donner, Jr., Wall
Donner missed half of the season with a high ankle sprain, but returned to help Wall reach the South Jersey Group III final and finish 16-4. He won his third District 23 title with an amazing 13-11 overtime victory over Brick’s Kyle Wojtaszek, then won his second Region VI title by defeating Wojtaszek 5-3 in the semifinals and downing Ocean’s Zach Hertling in the championship bout. Donner was ranked top-10 nationally and undefeated entering the state tournament, but his season ended in disappointing fashion when he was pinned in the quarterfinals before having to injury default to Wojtaszek in the medal round of the state tournament. He finished his junior season with a 14-2 record and will take an 88-8 career record into his senior season.
182 - Dean Sherry, Sr., Brick
Part of an incredible senior class for the Green Dragons, Sherry went 39-1 and finished third in the state tournament to end a great career. He captured his second District 23 title before winning his second straight Region VI title. In the region final he pinned Toms River South’s Joe Salvato to remain undefeated and take his second straight region crown. His only loss of the season came in the state semifinals to eventual champion Kevin Mulligan of Bergen Catholic. After falling into the consolation bracket, Sherry ended his career in dominating fashion in winning by 15-6 major decision over West Orange’s Chris Morgan to reach the third-place bout, then majored DePaul’s Nick DePalma 12-3 to place third. He finished his career with a 112-20 record, third all-time in Brick’s history.
195 - Tyree Sutton, Sr., Keansburg
Sutton became one of the great stories in the entire state by making history on his way to earning Shore Sports Network Wrestler of the Year honors. He won his second District 22 title and then became the first Keansburg wrestler to win a region title by beating Wall’s Matt McKenzie 1-0 in the championship bout. The goal for Sutton was always to win a state title, and he did so in sensational fashion. He defeated Queen of Peace’s Jeff Velez 4-2 in overtime in the semifinals, then beat Holy Cross’s Matt Correnti, ranked third in the nation, 5-3 in overtime to win the state title. He trailed Correnti 3-1 late in the third period before securing the tying takedown with four seconds left. He took Correnti down in overtime to become the first Keansburg wrestler to ever win a state championship. The win was also the 100th of his career, making him the first Titans grappler to reach that milestone. He finished his senior season with a 41-0 record as one of just four wrestlers in New Jersey to finish the season unbeaten. His 100-14 record came in three seasons, as he did not wrestle as a sophomore. He is considering several junior colleges with the plan of transferring to a Division I school after a year.
220 - Chad Freshnock, Jr., Middletown North
Freshnock missed the first month of the season while recovering from knee surgery, but came back strong to lead the Lions to an 18-6 record and an appearance in the North Jersey Section 2, Group IV semifinals where they lost to eventual Group IV champion Phillipsburg. Freshnock was thrown into the fire right away, defeating CBA’s William Oxley 5-2 in his first bout back from injury. His only loss entering the individual postseason was to Keansburg’s Tyree Sutton, the 195-pound state champion. He defeated Oxley 3-2 to capture the District 22 title, his first, then beat Oxley 8-1 in the Region VI final to become Middletown North’s first region champ since 2004. He went 1-2 in his second trip to the state tournament, reaching the second round of wrestlebacks. Freshnock finished this year 23-3 and will take a 93-15 record into his senior season.
Hwt - Nick Rivera, So., Brick Memorial
A growing force at heavyweight, Rivera won his second District 23 title, his first Region VI title and reached the heavyweight state final before finishing second as just a sophomore. He was a crucial member of Brick Memorial’s Group V championship team that also won the Shore Conference Tournament title and the Class A South division title. He cruised to his second district title by pinning all three of his opponents inside four minutes, then won the Region VI championship by pinning Jackson Memorial’s Brody Graham. In the state tournament Rivera was one of just three sophomores to qualify, and reached the final with a 4-3 double overtime win over Sayreville’s Anthony Porcaro. In the state final he fell to the nation’s top-ranked heavyweight, Don Bosco Prep senior Zack Chakonis, 5-1. He finished the season 32-2 and has a 51-9 career record.
106 - Kyle Slendorn, Fr., Howell
Went 37-3 during his freshman season while winning the District 21 title and placing third in the Region VI Tournament. Reached the second round of wrestlebacks in the state tournament. Helped Howell capture its 10th straight Class A North division title, reach the Shore Conference Tournament semifinals and advance to the South Jersey Group V final.
113 - Gianni Ghione, So., Brick Memorial
Went 35-3 in helping the Mustangs win the Class A South division title, the Shore Conference Tournament title and the NJSIAA Group V championship. Won his first District 23 title and finished second in the Region VI Tournament to CBA’s Sebastian Rivera. He had a phenomenal state tournament in reaching the state final before falling to Steinert’s Brandon Cray, 3-1. Won by 16-5 major decision over top-seeded Alec Kelly in the state quarterfinals.
120 - Denzel Tovar, Sr., Wall
Concluded his senior season with a 34-3 record while winning his third District 23 title. He finished second in the Region VI Tournament to qualify for the state tournament for the third time in his career. Finished with a 108-24 career record.
126 - Dylan VanSickell, Jr., Christian Brothers Academy
Finished 34-3 while taking second in the District 22 Tournament and third in the Region VI Tournament. Had to injury default in his first matchup at the state tournament in a bout he was winning against Haddon Township’s Jason Groff. Helped the Colts reach the South Jersey Non-Public A final.
132 - James Knoeller, Sr., Southern Regional
Went 24-8 and won his first District 24 title. Finished third in the Region VI Tournament to advance to the state tournament for the first time. Will continue his career at Baker University.
138 - Connor Garrity, Sr., Lacey
Went 32-8 and finished second in the District 24 Tournament and second in the Region VI Tournament. Avenged a loss to Southern’s Pat Mooney from the District 24 final with a 6-4 win in the region semifinals.
145 - Tom Poklikuha, Sr., Pinelands
Finished 40-3 and placed third in the state tournament to become Pinelands' first state medalist since 2002. Won his first District 24 title and finished second in the Region VI Tournament. Lost his first bout in Atlantic City before rattling off six consecutive wins to place third. He pinned St. Peter’s Prep’s Ryan Burkert, a state runner-up in 2014, to secure a top-eight finish. In the wrestleback semifinals he defeated High Point’s Jason Gaccione 2-0 to avenge his only regular-season loss and beat Edison’s Billy Povalac 5-4 to finish third. Finished his career with a 125-28 record as Pinelands’ all-time wins leader.
152 - Jake Kaminsky, Sr., Manalapan
Went 34-3 while winning the District 21 title, finishing second in the Region VI Tournament and placing seventh in the state tournament. Two of his three losses came to Southern’s Matt Wilhelm, the region champ and third-place finisher in the state. Won by 16-3 major decision over Woodbridge’s Brian McLaughlin to secure a state medal. Concluded his career with 93 victories.
160 - Will Scott, Sr., Brick
Finished first in the District 23 Tournament, second in the Region VI Tournament and sixth in the state with a 35-6 record. Broke the state record for career technical falls and technical falls in a season. Won by technical fall in 57 seconds in the district quarterfinals. Reached the state semifinals before losing to eventual champion Dave McFadden.
170 - Kyle Wojtaszek, Sr., Brick
Became Brick’s all-time wins leader by going 42-3 and placing third in the state tournament. He finished second to Wall’s Brett Donner in the District 23 Tournament and placed third in the Region VI Tournament after falling to Donner in the semifinals. He lost 1-0 to eventual state finalist Josh Ugalde from Bound Brook in the pre-quarterfinals, but won six straight bouts in the wrestlebacks to finish third. Advanced by injury default over Donner in the medal round and pinned Holy Cross’s Kenny Long in the third-place bout. Finished with a career record of 136-30.
182 - Joe Salvato, Sr., Toms River South
Finished 34-3, won his second District 24 title and finished second in the Region VI Tournament to qualify for the state tournament for the first time. Defeated Morris Knolls junior Dean Drugac 6-4 to secure a top-eight medal on his way to finishing eighth in the state. Ended his career with a 92-15 record.
195 - Matt McKenzie, So., Wall
Went 38-4 and won the District 23 title, his first. Was unbeaten until falling in the Region VI final to eventual state champion Tyree Sutton of Keansburg. Finished sixth in the state tournament.
220 - Mike Siwiec, Sr., Toms River North
Went 32-3 in winning his first District 24 title, placing third in the Region VI Tournament and placing seventh in the state tournament. He defeated Pennsauken’s David Dow to clinch a top-eight finish and beat Paulsboro’s Niko Savaiinaea 5-1 in the seventh-place bout.
Hwt - Brody Graham, Sr., Jackson Memorial
Developed into one of the state’s top heavyweights in just three years of wrestling and finished third in the state tournament. Won his first District 21 title and finished second in the Region VI Tournament. His only losses on the season came to each state finalist, twice to Brick Memorial’s Nick Rivera and once in the state semifinals to Don Bosco Prep’s Zack Chakonis, the No.1 heavyweight in the country. Graham also helped the Jaguars claim the Central Jersey Group IV title and reach the Group IV final. Also a start on the Jaguars state championship football team, he is heading to the University of Pennsylvania to continue his career on the gridiron.
106 - Joey King, Fr., Colts Neck
Went 36-4 and finished second in the District 21 Tournament and second in the Region VI Tournament. Reached the second round of wrestlebacks at the state tournament.
113 - Jason Hernandez, Sr., Long Branch
Finished second in the District 22 Tournament to CBA’s Sebastian Rivera and battled back to placed third in the Region VI Tournament with wins over Wall’s Jack Kelly, Jackson Memorial’s Mike Spino and Howell’s Mikey Sisolak. Helped the Green Wave capture the Class B North division title and reach the Central Jersey Group III semifinals.
120 - Chris Crane, Sr., Southern Regional
Wrestled to a 26-8 record with a second-place finish in the District 24 Tournament and a third-place finish in the Region VI Tournament to qualify for the state tournament for the first time. Avenged regular-season losses to Jackson Memorial’s Fred Terranova, Howell’s Peter Dee and Toms River East’s Yoseph Borai to finish third in the region.
126 - Cole Corrigan, Fr., Toms River South
Debuted with a 30-6 record and won the District 24 title before taking second in the Region VI Tournament to three-time champion Mike Russo of Jackson Liberty. Burst onto the scene by defeating Point Boro’s Dan Nobbs in the season-opening TCNJ Pride Tournament, and defeated Nobbs again in the region quarterfinals. Won his first bout at the state tournament before being eliminated.
132 - Anthony Gagliano, Jr., Howell
Finished with a 33-8 record for the Class A North champion Rebels. Won the District 21 title with a 17-6 major decision over St. John Vianney’s Khalil Haskins and placed second in the Region VI Tournament. Reached the third round of wrestlebacks in the state tournament.
138 - Kris Lindemann, Jr., Howell
Finished third in the District 21 Tournament and third in the Region VI Tournament to qualify for the state tournament for the second season in a row. Reached the second round of wrestlebacks in the state tournament. Finished with a 25-10 record to help the Rebels win their 10th straight Class A North division title.
145 - Paul Capaldo, Sr., Middletown North
Won his first District 22 title and placed third in the Region VI Tournament. Won his first bout in the state tournament to earn his 100th career win before being eliminated in the first round of wrestlebacks. Ended his senior season with a 35-6 record and was 100-24 for his career.
152 - A.J. Meyers, So., Toms River East
In his first varsity season, Meyers went 36-8 and finished second in the District 24 Tournament and third in the Region VI Tournament. Reached the second round of wrestlebacks in the state tournament.
160 - Antrez Clagon, Sr., Toms River South
Finished 33-6 and won his second straight District 24 title. Finished third in the Region VI Tournament and reached the second round of wrestlebacks in the state tournament. Defeated Southern’s Matt Wilhelm during a regular-season dual to help the Indians to a one-point win.
170 - Zach Hertling, Sr., Ocean
Hampered by injuries over his final two high school seasons, Hertling concluded his career by winning his second District 22 title and placing second in the Region VI Tournament. He advanced to the quarterfinals of the state tournament where he was defeated by Passaic Valley’s Jala’a Darwish, then had to withdraw from the tournament because of injury. He was 31-3 this season and 113-13 for his career, and a two-time state medalist.
182 - Connor Bohringer, Sr., Jackson Memorial
Bohringer won his third District 21 title and finished third in the Region VI Tournament. His season ended in the first round of the state tournament after he suffered a broken ankle. He was 27-3 this season to help the Jaguars win the Central Jersey Group IV title and reach the Group IV final.
195 - Eric Keosseian, So., Howell
In his first season at Howell after transferring from Manasquan, Keosseian went 29-13 splitting time between 195 and 220. He finished second in the District 21 Tournament before rallying to take third in the Region VI Tournament. He reached the second round of wrestlebacks in the state tournament.
220 - William Oxley, Jr., Christian Brothers Academy
Finished 34-8 with second-place finishes in both the District 22 and Region VI Tournaments, while helping the Colts reach the South Jersey Non-Public A sectional final. Reached the third round of wrestlebacks in the state tournament, finishing one win short of a top-eight medal.
Hwt - Micah Clarke, So., St. John Vianney
Made a surprise run to the state tournament in just his second year of wrestling and finished 24-12. He was third in the District 23 Tournament and third in the Region VI Tournament.