Southern Cruises to District 24 Team Title, TR South’s Owen McClave Wins Outstanding Wrestler
The balance and depth of Southern's lineup carried the Rams to the NJSIAA Group V title a week ago, and on Saturday that trait led the Rams to another team championship.
With three champions and 11 total region qualifiers, Southern captured its 17th district title and sixth straight NJSIAA District 24 title at Pine Belt Arena on the campus of Toms River North High School. Seniors Teddy Caporino and Peyton Blauvelt and junior Seon Bowker each won titles, and head coach John Stout was selected as Coach of the Year.
Southern, ranked No. 1 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10, has now had at least one district champion for 20 consecutive seasons.
Caporino won the 145-pound title with a 16-5 major decision over Donovan Catholic's Conor Panzarella. Bowker bested Lakewood's Marco Quintero 5-1 in the 160-pound final and Blauvelt pinned Toms River North's Mike DeGennaro in 1:44 to claim his second title at 170 pounds.
The Rams 224.5 points nearly doubled the scoring of second-place Lacey (113.5). Toms River South was third with 102 points, Toms River East fourth with 81 and Pinelands fifth with 76 points.
Toms River South senior Owen McClave (31-1) defeated Southern's Gianni Bennett 13-6 to win the 132-pound title, his fourth District 24 title. McClave, who was fifth in the state at 120 pounds last season, was selected as the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler. He joins B.J. Clagon as four-time district champions for Toms River South.
The Indians had a district-high four champions crowned, winning consecutive titles from 120 through 138 pounds. Junior Zach Martin defeated Lacey's Anthony Datello 4-2 at 120 and sophomore Nick Gallicchio outlasted Manchester's Chris Rodriguez, 6-5 in ultimate tiebreaker, to win the 126-pound title, his second. Sophomore Cole Corrigan (29-1) topped Southern senior Mike Racanelli 9-3 at 138 pounds for his second district title.
Manchester senior Will Farparan (32-1) won by fall over Donovan Catholic's Sal DiSalvo in 1:10 to win the 195-pound title and become the Hawks' first district champion since 2011.
Toms River East had multiple champions crowned for the first time since 2012 as junior A.J. Meyers won the 152-pound title with a 7-0 decision over Lacey's Matt Garrity and junior Kelly Conklin won at 220 pounds by pinning Central's Blaine Pisano in 58 seconds.
Central senior Darius Marrow (14-2) pinned Pinelands' Mike Frezza in 3:40 to repeat as heavyweight champion, and is the first Golden Eagles two-time champion since Nick Tenpenny in 2006 and 2007.
Pinelands junior Chris Nielsen defeated Southern senior Joe Toci 11-6 to win the 182-pound title.
Lacey freshman Hunter Gutierrez blanked Southern's Owen Kretschmer 7-0 to win at 106-pounds.
Toms River North freshman Nick Reilly won a barnburner against Lacey's Luke Moynihan, 11-10, to capture the 113-pound championship.
Wrestling 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.