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The Shore Conference Wrestling Tournament returns this weekend at Middletown South where some of the Shore's best will battle for an individual conference championship.

Two notable teams and a host of standout individuals are not entered in the tournament, however, with Southern Regional, ranked No. 1 in the Shore Sports Network Shore 16 team rankings, and No. 2 CBA both opting out of the tournament in favor of other events. Both teams are comprised of some of the best wrestlers in the Shore, including Southern's returning state champion Matt Henrich and returning state medalists Wyatt Stout and Hayden Hochstrasser, and CBA's three-time state medalist Alex Nini, defending SCT champion Bobby Duffy, and star freshman Paul Kenny.

Southern has not entered the SCT since 2012 so the Rams not being in this year's SCT is expected. Southern previously hosted the SCT from 2002 and 2011 when it was a dual-meet tournament and won conference championships in 1997, 1998, and 2011. The Rams will instead travel north to Mount Olive with a tri-meet between the host Marauders and High Point. Mount Olive is ranked among the top 20 in the state, was a sectional champion last season, and won the overall Group 4 title in 2022. High Point is the defending Group 2 state champion.

CBA opting out of the tournament is the latest loss of star power for the SCT. The Colts had four individual SCT champions last season when they won the team title 196.5 to 178 over second-place finisher St. John Vianney. CBA also won SCT championships in 2016 and 2022 when it was held as a dual-meet tournament. CBA will instead host the Catholic School Duals on Saturday, a high-powered dual-meet tournament featuring eight teams ranked in the top 20, five of which are ranked in the top 10. St. Joseph (Montvale) is the No. 1 seed, followed by Delbarton, St. Peter's Prep, CBA, Don Bosco Prep, Seton Hall Prep, St. Joseph (Metuchen), and St. Augustine.

In addition to Southern and CBA and their multiple standouts, Brick Memorial junior 190-pounder Harvey Ludington and Red Bank Catholic senior heavyweight did not enter the tournament. Ludington won the NJSIAA 175-pound state title as a freshman and was the 175-pound state runner-up last season. He won last season's SCT title and has been dominant to begin this season with titles at the Beast of the East and Mustang Classic. Ludington's absence is due to his match count, according to Brick Memorial head coach Mike Kiley. Ludington wrestled in six bouts at the Beast of the East and is up to 11 through Wednesday's matches. He will compete at the Escape the Rock Tournament on Jan. 13-14. The NJSIAA limits wrestlers to 30 matches before the start of the NJSIAA Team Tournament.

Portella will be taking official visits as a college football prospect, according to RBC head coach Joe Gallagher. Portella was a First Team All-Shore offense lineman this past season and was also a standout on defense to help lead the Caseys to the NJSIAA Non-Public B state championship. He currently holds Division 1 offers from Lehigh and Marist.

While this year's SCT won't be a complete showcase of Shore Conference wrestling it will still feature multiple stars. St. John Vianney junior Anthony Knox leads the way as a two-time defending state champion who is ranked No. 1 in the nation at 126 pounds and is one of the top pound-for-pound wrestlers in the country. Rumson-Fair Haven senior Hudson Skove is the defending NJSIAA 215-pound state champion. There are five returning state medalists in the tournament, as well, featuring Donovan Catholic's Kurt Wehner, Raritan's Zach Reilley, St. John Vianney's Matthew Gould and Patrick O'Keefe, and Howell's Sebastian Ortega.


2024 Shore Conference Tournament, at Middletown South



Friday, Jan. 5, 5:30 p.m.

Round of 16/wrestlebacks on five mats

Saturday, Jan. 6, 10 a.m.

Quarterfinals./wrestlebacks on five mats

Semifinals/wrestlebacks on five mats

First, third, and fifth-place matches on three mats

Complete brackets on Trackwrestling

Top four seeds at each weight


1-Michael DiBiase, Jr., Red Bank Catholic

2-Ethan Michaels, So., Colts Neck

3-Luke Johnston, Fr., Howell

4-Ricky DeLorenzo, Fr., Toms River East


1-Joey DeAngelo, Jr., Point Boro

2-Brady Klinsky, Sr., Middletown North

3-Anthony Urso, Sr., Jackson Liberty

4-Joseph Weikel, Sr., Jackson Memorial


1-Kurt Wehner, Sr., Donovan Catholic

2-Matthew Gould, So., St. John Vianney

3-Michael Napolitano, So., Brick Memorial

4-Andrew Mucciolo, Sr., Manalapan


1-Anthony Knox, Jr., St. John Vianney

2-Ryan Dubnik, Sr., Freehold Township

3-Jay Seda, Sr., Jackson Memorial

4-Kson Young, So., Brick Memorial


1-Patrick O'Keefe, Jr., St. John Vianney

2-Xavier Ortega, Jr., Howell

3-Lawrence Liss, Sr., Matawan

4-Alexander Grant, Sr., Freehold Township


1-Sebastian Ortega, Sr., Howell

2-Jake Zaltsman, Jr., St. John Vianney

3-Joe Dolci, Sr., Toms River North

4-Johnathan Espinosa, Sr., Jackson Memorial


1-Zach Reilley, Sr., Raritan

2-Sonny Amato, Fr., Rumson-Fair Haven

3-Giovanni Scafidi, Sr., Howell

4-Desmond Lenaghan, Jr., St. John Vianney


1-Donovan DiStefano, Sr., Wall

2-James Farina, Sr., Ocean

3-Alex Delaurier, Jr., Raritan

4-Cael Huxford, Sr., Jackson Memorial


1-Matthew Castelli, Sr., Middletown North

2-Jake Clayton, Fr., Point Boro

3-Jordan Ayyash, Jr., Jackson Liberty

4-JJ Machnik, Sr., Howell


1-Cole Stangle, Jr., St. John Vianney

2-Colin Palumbo, Jr., Matawan

3-Frank Romeo, Jr., Red Bank Catholic

4-Christian Cunalata, Sr., Long Branch


1-Tanner Hodgins, Fr., Howell

2-Tornick Kajaia, So., Long Branch

3-Ryan Acquisto, Sr., Point Boro

4-Trey Tallmadge, So., Brick Memorial


1-Alex Reyes, So., Holmdel

2-Conor Delaney, Jr., Rumson-Fair Haven

3-Dante Mortellite, Jr., Manchester

4-Noah Mammeri, Sr., Manasquan


1-Hudson Skove, Sr., Rumson-Fair Haven

2-Ben Szuba, Jr., Brick Memorial

3-Amir Shakhnavazov, Sr., Colts Neck

4-Dane Colfer, Sr., Howell


1-James Lynch, Jr., Toms River East

2-Sam Rock III, Sr., Donovan Catholic

3-Brody Sager, Sr., Lacey

4-Matt Smith, Jr., Rumson-Fair Haven




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