2023 Shore Conference Wrestling Lowerweights to Watch
2023 Shore Conference Wrestlers to Watch
Lower weights (106-144)
Note: Wrestlers are listed in alphabetical order. Criteria is a region medal or better.
Kieran Bruen, Sr., Howell, 144
Bruen was the poster child for how a tough schedule and a great wrestling room can contribute to breakout postseason success. His 26-14 record included a second-place finish at the district tournament and a third-place finish at the Region 6 Tournament. He then won a match at the state tournament to reach the second round of wrestlebacks.
Frankie Burgio, So., Point Boro, 113
Burgio was among the Shore's best 113-pounders last season and he will return to the weight this year after going 29-7, winning a District 21 title, placing third in Region 6, and reaching the second round of wrestlebacks at the state tournament.
Connor Collins, Sr., Southern, 132
Collins is one of the Shore Conference's best pound-for-pound wrestlers and the leader of a Rams team that should once again be contenders for the Group 5 state title. The Army recruit was 37-1 last season with his lone loss coming in the state semifinals. He won district and region titles and placed third in the state at 120 pounds. After finishing second in the state as a sophomore and third last season, Collins has his sights set on the top spot on the podium at Boardwalk Hall. He is ranked 10th in the nation by Rokfin at 126 pounds.
Michael Connelly, Sr., Freehold, 138/144
Connelly was second in districts and fifth in regions and totaled a 16-14 record as a junior.
Joey DeAngelo, So., Point Boro, 106
DeAngelo is back at 106 pounds after a superb freshman season that saw him go 28-10, finish third in District 21, place fourth in Region 6, and reach the second round of wrestlebacks at the state tournament.
Vincent DePierro, Sr., Manalapan, 138
DePierro went 26-4, won a District 18 title, placed third in Region 5, and had a good run in the state tournament to reach the third round of wrestlebacks.
Michael DiBiase, So., Wall, 106
DiBiase returns to the 106-pound weight class after a freshman season in which he posted a 26-9 record, won a District 22 title, and qualified for the state tournament via a third-place finish in Region 6.
Joe Dolci, Jr., Toms River North, 138
Toms River North, unfortunately, has just six varsity wrestlers at this point and Dolci leads the way after going 24-9, winning a District 21 title and finishing fourth in Region 6 to qualify for the state tournament.
Ryan Dubnik, Jr., Freehold Township, 132
Dubnik won a district title and placed second in Region 6 to advance to the state tournament. He finished the season with a 34-5 record.
Jonathan Espinosa, Jr., Jackson Memorial, 126
Espinosa is coming off a sophomore season in which he went 26-14, won a District 24 title, and placed fourth in Region 6 to advance to the state tournament.
AJ Falcone, So., CBA, 126
Falcone had a successful freshman campaign against a tough schedule, going 20-13, finishing third in the district tournament and fifth in Region 6 at 126 pounds.
James Farina, Sr., Ocean, 144
The lone returning wrestler with individual criteria for the Spartans, Farina was 25-7 last season with third-place finishes in both District 21 and Region 6.
Justin Fearon, So., Middletown North, 132
Fearon had a sub-.500 record heading into the individual postseason before everything began to click. He ended up placing third in District 20 and fourth in Region 5 to become one of the most unlikely state qualifiers in the Shore. He'll look to pick up right where he left off to give the Lions another hammer down low.
Matt Gauthier, Jr., Lacey, 144/150
Gauthier finished second in District 25 and fifth in Region 7, totaling a 27-10 record to conclude his sophomore season.
Julian George, Sr., CBA, 144
Last season's NJ runner-up at 138 pounds, George enters the season as a state championship contender after going 37-4, winning district and region titles, and reaching the state final. George is committed to the University of Wisconsin. He enters the season with 90 career wins and is ranked No. 17/13 nationally at 138 pounds by Rokfin and FloWrestling, respectively.
Joe Giordano, Sr., Long Branch, 138
Giordano joins the Green Wave after transferring from St. John Vianney where he has two great years and one injury-shortened season. He was in top form as a junior when he went 26-10, won a district title, finished second in Region 5, and reached the fourth round of wrestlebacks to narrowly miss out on a state medal.
Ricky Gomez, Sr., Matawan, 113/120
Gomez went 29-5, finished second in District 20, and placed sixth in Region 5. He reached the state tournament as a sophomore.
Alexander Grant, Jr., Freehold Township, 126
Grant concluded his sophomore season with a 29-9 record and finished second in districts and third in Region 6.
Hayden Hochstrasser, So., Southern, 144
Hochstrasser gave Southern yet another major weapon during his freshman season and went 23-7, won a District 25 title, finished third in Region 7, and reached the second round of wrestlebacks at the state tournament.
Brady Klinsky, Jr., Middletown North, 106/113
Klinsky emerged as a contender for a state medalist last season when he went 29-8, won a District 20 title, placed third in Region 5, and reached the third round of wrestlebacks in Atlantic City at 106 pounds.
Braden Kmak, Sr., Raritan, 144/150
Kmak was 30-10 last season with a second-place finish in District 20 and a fourth-place finish in Region 4 for a Rockets team that won the Group 2 state title.
Anthony Knox, So., St. John Vianney, 120
Knox arrived in high school with plenty of hype and lived up to it by going 33-1, going undefeated in New Jersey, and securing the 113-pound NJSIAA state championship. He is ranked as the No. 27 pound-for-pound wrestler in the country by FloWrestling and ranked No. 2 in the country at 113 pounds by both Rokfin and FloWrestling.
Dezmond Lenaghan, So., Donovan Catholic, 120
Lenaghan posted a 27-6 record, finished second in districts and regions, and reached the third round of wrestlebacks at the state tournament during his freshman season.
Lucas Lipari, Sr., Jackson Memorial, 132
Lipari found individual success in the postseason after a grinding regular season, finishing 20-14, winning a district title, and placing sixth in Region 6.
Lawrence Liss, Jr., Matawan, 120/126
Liss had a breakout season as a sophomore with a 30-6 record, a District 20 title, and a third-place finish in Region 5. He advanced to the second round of wrestlebacks at the state tournament.
Mason Livio, Sr., Pinelands, 132/138
Livio reached the state tournament last season and finished up with a 31-7 record, a third-place finish in District 32, and a fourth-place finish in Region 8.
Ryan Mansueto, Sr., Raritan, 126
A key member of Raritan's 2022 Group 2 state championship team, Mansueto was 29-10 and won a District 20 championship, placed third in Region 5, and advanced to the second round of wrestlebacks at the state tournament.
Gavin Martin, So., Brick Memorial, 113
Martin went 23-16, won a district title, and finished sixth in Region 6 at 106 pounds as a freshman.
Angelo Messina, Sr., Freehold, 132/138
Messina won a district championship, finished fourth in the Region 6 Tournament, and advanced to the third round of wrestlebacks at the state tournament.
Alex Nini, Jr., CBA, 138
A two-time state medalist, Nini went 31-4, claimed district and region titles, and finished fourth in the state at 120 pounds for the top-ranked Colts. He is verbally committed to Rutgers and ranked No. 8/11 in the nation at 132 pounds by Rokfin and FloWrestling, respectively.
Michael O'Connor, So., Manasquan, 126
O'Connor went 25-12, placed fourth in the District 21 Tournament, reached the regions as an alternate, and then finished sixth to earn a medal.
Colin Oden, Sr., Middletown North, 138
One of three returning region medalists for the Lions, Oden is coming off a junior year in which he went 22-11, finished second in District 20, and placed fifth in Region 5.
Patrick O'Keefe, So., St. John Vianney, 113
O'Keefe was outstanding as a freshman in going 35-7, winning a District 17 title, claiming a Region 5 championship, and finishing as the NJ 106-pound state runner-up. He is an obvious state title contender as he moves up one weight class for his sophomore season.
Sebastian Ortega, Jr., Howell, 132
Ortega finished 25-7, won a district championship, finished third in Region 6, and reached the fourth round of wrestlebacks at the state tournament. He was a state medalist as a freshman when he finished fifth in the state at 113 pounds.
Xavier Ortega, So., Howell, 126
Like his older brother Sebastian, Xavier had an excellent debut season for the Rebels. He totaled a 35-7 record, won a district title, claimed a Region 6 championship, and reached the third round of wrestlebacks at the state tournament.
Sawyer Ostroff, Jr., Donovan Catholic, 126
Ostroff joins the Griffins as a transfer from Howell where he went 22-13, finished third in districts and second in regions, and helped the Rebels reach the Group 5 state final.
Aidan Ott, Sr., Lacey, 132/138
Ott went 27-11 last season and placed second in District 25 and fifth in Region 7.
Cole Pangborn, So., Rumson-Fair Haven, 138
As a freshman last season, Pangborn went 22-11, finished second in District 19, and placed sixth in Region 5.
Zach Reilley, Jr., Raritan, 32-5
Reilley was a hammer for the Rockets on their journey to the Group 2 state title and posted a 32-5 record with second-place finishes at both the District 20 and Region 5 tournaments. He reached the second round of wrestlebacks at the state tournament.
Tyler Russ, Jr., Colts Neck, 144
Russ went 20-7 and finished third in districts and fourth in regions to qualify for the state tournament.
Anthony Santaniello, Sr., Brick Memorial, 132
Among the top pound-for-pound wrestlers in the state, Santaniello is coming off a season in which he went 41-2, won his second district and third region titles, and finished second in the state at 132 pounds. He is a three-time state finalist who is committed to the University of Oklahoma and enters his senior season with 98 career wins. He is currently ranked No. 5 in the nation at 138 pounds by Rokfin.
Giovanni Scafidi, Jr., Howell, 138
Scafidi won some clutch bouts for the Rebels on their way to reaching the Group 5 final and just missed out on a spot on the podium in Atlantic City. He went 24-11, won a district title, and finished second in the Region 6 Tournament.
Jason Seda, Jr., Jackson Memorial, 113
The 106-pound weight class was stacked, as usual, last season and Seda was one of the Shore's best in compiling a 35-6 record, winning a District 24 title, placing second in Region 6, and reaching the second round of wrestlebacks at the state tournament.
Wyatt Stout, So., Southern, 138
Stout's fantastic freshman season saw him go 33-3, win a District 25 title, and claim a Region 7 title. An early exit in the state tournament should fuel the fire for a wrestler that is a definite candidate to earn a spot among the top eight in the state this season.
Dominic Terraciano, Jr., Keansburg, 126
Terraciano transferred from St. John Vianney to Keansburg prior to the start of the academic year and was one of the Titans' standouts on the football field. He went 20-9 last season, placed third in districts, and earned a Region 5 medal with a fifth-place finish.
Anthony Urso, Jr., Jackson Liberty, 113
Urso was among the best in a loaded 106-pound weight class in the Shore last season by going 24-6, finishing second in District 21, and placing fifth in Region 6.
Tyler Venet, Jr., CBA, 120
As a sophomore, Venet came on strong during the team and individual postseason to finish 26-10 with district and region championships at 106 pounds. He advanced to the second round of wrestlebacks a the state tournament.
Kurt Wehner, Jr., Donovan Catholic, 113
Wehner snapped a 26-year drought by finishing seventh in the state at 106 pounds last season, giving Donovan its second state medalist all-time and first since 1996. He was 22-2 with district and region titles before earning a spot on the podium at Boardwalk Hall.
Jack Zaleski, Sr., Middletown South, 132
Zaleski's name is all over the Middletown South record book after three excellent seasons, and the Rutgers recruit has a chance to make more history in his final high school season. Zaleski was fifth in the state at 106 as a freshman and fourth in NJ each of the last two seasons at 120 and 126 pounds, respectively. He went 34-7 last season, won his second district title, and claimed his second region championship. He enters this season with 89 career victories.
Jake Zaltsman, So., St. John Vianney, 126
Part of an outstanding group of sophomores for the Lancers, Zaltsman is coming off a freshman season in which he went 24-10, won a District 17 title, placed second in Region 5, and reached the second round of wrestlebacks at the state tournament.