Barnegat Leader Winter Sports Preview

Barnegat Wrestler Sean Foley Begins Another Run at Atlantic City

Dec 15, 2017
Photo by: David Biggy Barnegat senior wrestler Sean Foley

Coming off his fourth-place finish in the NJSIAA Region VIII wrestling tournament last February, Barnegat’s Sean Foley was pleased with how his season turned out, given the fact he was headed to the NJSIAA Championships in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall for the first time. But at the same time, he recognized he still had improvements to make if he was going to reach the medals podium.

“No matter what happens in Atlantic City, this is great experience for me and I’m looking forward to building on that experience going into next season,” said Foley, then a junior. “I know this is going to make me a better wrestler for when I’m a senior.”

Well, Foley’s a senior now, and without question he’s the highlight wrestler on a Barnegat squad still trying to build into a prominent force within the Shore Conference Class B South division. Of course, second-year coach Ken MacIver’s intent is to get the Bengals moving in that direction this season. Foley’s going to lead the way.

“Our biggest goal this season is to fill all the weight classes and advance more wrestlers to the region tournament,” MacIver said.

That’s easier said than done for the Bengals, who didn’t graduate many wrestlers but still seem to be a bit light at the middle weights. Still, Foley is the locomotive of the Barnegat train. He is expected to have another fantastic season after going 31-8 a year ago, en route to a second-place finish in the District 32 tourney and just missing the third spot in Region VIII. Foley is on pace to become Barnegat’s first 100-career-win wrestler, as he starts the season with 78.

But the rest of the lineup is where the Bengals, a 5-18 squad last season, must rise this season if their intention is to be a division-title contender. It will begin with returning juniors Charlie Cotton, Peter Jennings and Joe Lauer. Cotton, who was 17-11 a year ago, likely will wrestle in the 182 weight class, while Jennings, who was 15-12 last winter, and Lauer, who was 11-13, will likely fill the roles at 220 and heavyweight.

From there, the Bengals bring sophomore wrestlers who received lots of experience last year as freshmen. Among them are Mike DiPianta (126), who was 11-13 last year; Jacob Reinhold (106), who went 7-19; and Mason Bayer (138), who ended up 5-11. Sophomore Griffin Jackstadt (220/285) and Rashidi Alleyne (172) saw limited time a year ago, but this season will figure more prominently within the starting lineup. Newcomer Steve Jennings likely will fill a role at 182 or 195.

— David Biggy

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