Shore Sports Network Wrestling Top 10, 1/17/18
No movement in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 this week as eight of the ranked teams had perfect weeks while the other two suffered losses to teams ranked above them and no one else did anything to make a serious run at breaking in.
Howell, Southern and Point Boro basically locked up division titles by taking out the last remaining contender in their respective divisions. Raritan won a big nondivisional match with rival Long Branch to hold steady in the rankings while St. John Vianney had a big tournament showing ahead of its massive dual with Raritan on Wednesday.
Brick Memorial and Ocean both had undefeated weeks to keep their positions in the bottom half of the rankings.
Some big matches lie ahead this week including the aforementioned Raritan-SJV dual for the Class A Central division title as well as Point Beach vs. Shore for the B Central crown, Howell vs. South Plainfield in a state-ranked clash and Point Beach vs. Point Boro in what always produces the best atmosphere of any rivalry in the Shore.
1. Howell (17-0). Last week: No. 1
The Rebels dominated in all five of their matches this week, including a 59-6 win over Colts Neck that all but wrapped up their 13th consecutive Class A North division title. Howell also defeated Allentown, 68-6, and swept a quad with Northern Burlington (55-9), Riverside (73-6) and Robbinsville (58-9). The Rebels have a been week ahead that includes a home match against state-ranked South Plainfield. This week: Wednesday vs. Neptune; Thursday vs. South Plainfield; Friday vs. No. 8 Jackson Memorial; Saturday vs. Piscataway and Pascack Valley.
2. Raritan (13-1). Last week: No. 2
The Rockets eked out a 27-26 victory over No. 6 Long Branch and then swept a quad with Northern Highlands (69-6), Manchester Regional (66-15) and Fort Lee (66-12). Raritan will host No. 4 St. John Vianney on Wednesday in a match that will decide the Class A Central division championship. This week: Wednesday vs. No. 4 SJV; Friday at Monroe; Saturday at Red Bank with Monmouth Regional and Donovan Catholic.
3. Southern (11-1). Last week: No. 3
The Rams took complete control of Class A South by blasting No. 8 Jackson Memorial, 47-7, defeating Central, 61-9, and topping Toms River North, 28-18. Southern can officially close out the division title this week when it hosts Brick on Wednesday. The Rams also have a state-ranked showdown with South Plainfield on Saturday and a meeting with No. 5 Point Boro on Monday. This week: Wednesday vs. Brick; Saturday at South Plainfield; Monday vs. No. 5 Point Boro.
4. St. John Vianney (7-0). Last week: No. 4
The Lancers beat Matawan, 70-12, to remain unbeaten in dual meets and then finished second at the Sam Cali Memorial Invitational with two champions. Freshman Dean Peterson won the 106-pound title with a victory over state medalist Justin Bierdumpfel of Don Bosco Prep and senior Nick Caracappa captured the 170-pound championship by defeating three state qualifiers. SJV has arguably its biggest regular-season match in program history coming up with a chance to dethrone Raritan for its first division title. This week: Wednesday at No. 2 Raritan; Friday vs. Rumson-Fair Haven; Saturday at Pope John with Don Bosco Prep and Delaware Valley.
5. Point Boro (11-0). Last week: No. 5
The Panthers enjoyed a 5-0 week that featured a 35-16 victory over Lacey that gave them the inside track to the Class B South division title. Point Boro also defeated Manchester (71-3), Barnegat (60-8), Allentown (51-22) and Colts Neck (45-23) to remain unbeaten. Point Boro has its annual showdown with Point Beach this week and will also take a shot at No. 3 Southern on Monday. This week: Wednesday vs. Lakewood; Thursday vs. Donovan Catholic; Friday at Point Beach; Monday at No. 3 Southern.
6. Long Branch (11-2). Last week: No. 6
The Green Wave dropped a hard-fought match to No. 2 Raritan, 27-26, but bounced back with four straight wins in victories over Red Bank Catholic (46-6), Livingston (52-9), Kearny (67-3) and Lyndhurst (60-12). Long Branch can take another step toward securing the Class B North division title with a match against Wall this week. The Wave will also head to Moorestown for the Jack Welch Duals this weekend. This week: Wednesday vs. Wall; Friday/Saturday at Jack Welch Duals.
7. Middletown North (8-3). Last week: No. 7
The Lions’ only action of the week was at the Sam Cali Memorial Invitational where senior Nick Cofone finished second at 182 pounds and sophomore Tyler Klinsky was third at 113 to lead a fifth-place finish in the team standings. This week: Wednesday at Manasquan’ Friday vs. Middletown South; Saturday at Wayne Valley with Lenape Valley and Old Bridge.
8. Jackson Memorial (5-5). Last week: No. 8
The Jaguars went 1-1 last week, but the result that sticks the most is a lopsided 47-7 loss to Southern where not much went Jackson’s way. The Jags did defeat Toms River South, 61-11, earlier in the week. Jackson has had to deal with Injuries and some internal issues, so we’ll see if they can bounce back. Despite all of that they hold onto the No. 8 spot via their win over Brick Memorial earlier in the season. This week: Thursday at Toms River North; Friday at No. 1 Howell’ Saturday vs. Jackson Liberty, Lakewood and Central.
9. Brick Memorial (11-2). Last week: No. 9
Brick Memorial went 5-0 last week with wins over Central (51-3), Brick (48-17), Delran (41-21), Highland (41-21) and Cedar Grove (57-21). Freshman Vin Santaniello (106) continued his tremendous season by improving to 19-1 while senior Sam Williams (195) upped his record to 15-2. This week: Wednesday vs. Toms River South; Friday at Ewing; Saturday at West Deptford with Toms River East and Cinnaminson.
10. Ocean (9-4). Last week: No. 10
The Spartans had just two matches last week and were dominant in each, defeating Wall, 57-14, in a Class B North match and beating Shore, 51-12. Senior Jake Benner, last season’s 138-pound state champion, defeated Wall’s Jack Kelly, 4-2, in a marquee matchup at 145 pounds. This week: Wednesday at Toms River East; Saturday at Bridgewater-Raritan with Parsippany; Monday vs. Manalapan.
Dropped out: none
Teams to watch:
Toms River North (9-2): The Mariners had wins over Toms River East (39-24), Toms River South (57-15), Jackson Liberty (65-12), Monroe (30-28) and JFK (49-13) before dropping a 28-18 match to No. 3 Southern. North’s two losses this season are to Southern and No. 9 Brick Memorial. The Mariner can make a claim for a spot in the rankings if they can defeat No. 8 Jackson Memorial on Wednesday. They also have a huge quad on Saturday with Delsea and state-ranked Paulsboro and High Point.
Colts Neck (8-3): The Cougars posted wins over Allentown (36-30) and CBA (42-22) while dropping matches to No. 1 Howell and No. 5 Point Boro. Colts Neck’s only other loss is to state-ranked St. Peter’s Prep. A win over Manalapan, another bubble team, keeps the Cougars in the conversation should a ranked team slip up. They’ll host a quad with Freehold Township, Marlboro and Neptune on Saturday.
Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.