VOTE for the Shore Sports Network Shore Conference Wrestler of the Week – Presented by Thrive
The Shore Sports Network is back with our Wrestler of the Week feature for the 2023-2024 season, presented by Thrive Spine & Sports Rehab.
Each week, we will post the nominees for fans to vote and select one overall Shore Conference Wrestler of the Week. The nominees can include both boys and girls wrestlers. The scheduling for this week's poll is different because of the holiday break with voting running through Thursday night at 10 p.m.
In the future, the poll will be posted on Monday morning and will run through Tuesday night. Shore Sports Network will also make its own selections for overall conference wrestler of the week along with county selections from Monmouth County and Ocean County, which will be announced on Monday.
The first poll of the season encompasses all of December. Here are the nominees.
Weeks 1-2 Shore Conference Wrestler of the Week nominees (listed in alphabetical order).
Jake Clayton, Fr., Point Boro
Clayton is off to a 9-1 start with his only loss coming to Southern Regional senior Hayden Hochstrasser, who was eighth in the state at 144 pounds last season. Clayton finished third at the Robin Leff Tournament at 165 pounds after falling to Hochstrasser in the second round. He then won the TNCJ Pride Tournament at 157 pounds and earned Most Outstanding Wrestler honors by beating the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds en route to the title.
Joe Dolci, Sr., Toms River North
A two-time district champ and two-time state qualifier, Dolci has been dominant to start the season with two tournament championships. He won the Hammonton Kickoff Tournament and the Holmdel Holiday Tournament and is 9-0 with all nine wins earning bonus points, including three falls and five technical falls.
Ryan Dubnik, Sr., Freehold Township
After missing nearly all of last season with an injury, Dubnik has returned to the form that saw him reach the state tournament as a sophomore. The senior is 8-0 to start the season with a pair of tournament championships in which he defeated returning state qualifiers in the final. He won 15-14 over Matawan's Lawrence Liss to win the 132-pound title at the Ron Mazzola Tournament and won the 126-pound championship at the Walter Woods Tournament with a 9-4 victory over Jackson Memorial's Jason Seda.
Kylie Gudewitz, So., Howell
After a standout freshman season that culminated with a third-place finish at 107 pounds at the NJSIAA Tournament, Gudewitz is off to a 14-1 start in December with three big-time tournament performances. She finished second at 115 pounds at the Beast of the East tournament and then won championships at 114 pounds at both the East Brunswick Lady Bear Invitational and the Rumble in the Pines tournament. Twelve of her 13 contested victories (one by forfeit) have come by either fall or technical fall.
Matt Henrich, Sr., Southern
Henrich won the 157-pound championship at the Robin Leff Tournament and finished fourth at 152 pounds at the high-powered Powerade Tournament. Henrich won last season's NJSIAA 150-pound state championship and is committed to Virginia Tech.
Brady Klinsky, Sr., Middletown North
Klinsky was named Most Outstanding Wrestler for the lower weights when he rolled to his third Mustang Classic title in a 113-pound field that included seven returning state qualifiers. He also won the Mike Dessino Invitational 113-pound title. He is 11-1 with his only loss being to CBA's world champion freshman Paul Kenny.
Anthony Knox, Jr., St. John Vianney
Knox continued his excellent career by winning his second straight Beast of the East championship when he defeated Camden Catholic's Sammy Spaulding to win the 126-pound title. A two-time state champion, Knox is ranked No. 1 in the nation in his weight class and committed to Cornell University.
Harvey Ludington, Jr., Brick Memorial
Ludington dominated the field to win the 190-pound championship at the Beast of the East tournament and followed that up with his second title at the Brick Memorial's own Mustang Classic tournament to start the season 9-0. Ludington was the 2022 NJSIAA 175-pound state champion and was the state runner-up at 175 last season. He is committed to Arizona State University and ranked in the top five in the country at his weight class.
Ethan Michaels, So., Colts Neck
After finishing sixth at 106 pounds at last season's Region 6 Tournament, Michaels has gotten off to a 10-0 start with some major wins to begin his sophomore season. He won the 106-pound title at both the Holmdel Holiday Tournament and the TCNJ Pride Tournament and also had a match-clinching fall when the Cougars earned a 39-34 win over Ocean in a crucial Class B North match.
Alex Nini, Sr., Christian Brothers Academy
A Rutgers University commit and three-time NJSIAA state medalist, Nini placed third at 145 pounds at the prestigious Powerade Tournament. He also won the Ron Mazzola Tournament 144-pound title when he defeated Raritan's returning state fifth-place finisher (138) Zach Reilley, 8-2. He is 9-1 to start the season.
Daniela Palacios, Jr., Lakewood
The Piners handed Jackson Memorial's girls team its first dual-meet defeat ever with a 39-27 triumph on Dec. 20, and Palacios, last season's NJSIAA seventh-place finisher at 165 pounds, had a key pin to help lead Lakewood to the historic victory. Jackson had not lost a dual meet since girls wrestling became an NJSIAA sanctioned sport six years ago. Palacios also had a great December at Tournaments with second-place finishes at 190 pounds at the Besat of the East and at 185 at the Queen of the East, followed by a third-place finish at 185 at the Rumble in the Pines.
Lorenzo Portella, Sr., Red Bank Catholic
Portella has solidified his status as the Shore's top heavyweight early in the season by winning both the Robin Leff Tournament and the Mustang Classic. At the Mustang Classic, he defeated another of the Shore's top heavyweights, Donovan Catholic's returning state qualifier Sam Rock III, 5-1. Portella finished seventh in the state at heavyweight as a sophomore and is 11-0 to begin his senior season.
Thea Rowland, Jr., Middletown South
Rowland, who was fourth in the state at 145 pounds last season, won two standout tournaments in December by capturing the 145-pound title at the Queen of the East tournament at Jackson Liberty and then at Lakewood's Rumble in the Pines tournament. She is 11-0 to start the season with nine wins coming by fall, including seven in the first period.
Hudson Skove, Sr., Rumson-Fair Haven
Skove, the reigning NJSIAA 215-pound state champion, won the 215-pound title at the Sam Cali Invitational and reached the final of the Beast of the East tournament before having to medically forfeit the championship bout because of an injury. Skove is committed to Harvard and is 9-0 to begin the season.
Kurt Wehner, Sr., Donovan Catholic
Wehner won a battle of state medalists when he defeated Mount Olive senior Tyeler Hagensen, 4-2, to capture the 120-pound championship at the Mustang Classic. He also went 3-2 at the Beast of the East tournament. Wehner is Donovan Catholic's only two-time state medalist in program history and is committed to Rutgers University.