District Tournament Wrestling Roundup

Southern Regional Wrestlers Snatch Second Straight NJSIAA District 29 Crown

Feb 21, 2018
Courtesy of: Southern Regional athletics The Southern Regional wrestling team enjoyed gathering around head coach John Stout and the NJSIAA District 29 trophy after the Rams scored 241.5 points to win the team title on Feb. 17.

The Southern Regional wrestling team is 2-for-2 in the NJSIAA District 29 tournament. On Feb. 17, the Rams scored 241.5 points to claim the team title for a second straight season, after being moved to the district during the state athletic association’s realignment of New Jersey’s eight regions in 2016. Kingsway, which Southern defeated to win the South Jersey Group V team crown several weeks ago, finished second with 213 points. For the previous 15 seasons, Southern dominated District 24. In its history, Southern has won 20 district team championships.

In capturing another team banner for the Southern gymnasium, the Rams delivered 12 wrestlers to the Region VIII tourney, including several district champs – senior Matt Barnett and juniors Nick Pepe and John Stout. Seniors Dan Gorman and Matt Mackanic, juniors Sebastian Delligatti and Nick O’Connell, and freshman  Matt Brielmeier were runners-up, while senior Owen Kretschmer and sophomore Robert Woodcock, Ben LoParo and Jayden Smith each finished in third place.

Barnett (16-2) started the title parade by pinning his way through the 132-pound bracket. He pinned Cedar Creek’s Austin Alcantara in 22 seconds during the quarterfinals, before pressing Schalick’s Frank Castellini in 3:01 during the semis, and finishing off an awesome title run in the final with a 1:26 pin against Woodstown’s Giovanni Chiesa.

Meanwhile, Pepe (22-8) pinned Schalick’s Thomas Cardona in the semifinals in 3:05, before scoring a 9-6 decision over Woodstown’s Brian Berry in the 145-pound championship bout. Stout (10-4) knocked off Woodstown’s Robert Parkell with a 10-2 major decision in the 170-pound semifinals, then snagged the crown with a 7-4 victory over Kingsway’s Colin Wexler.

Brielmeier (21-12) reached the final with a pin in 1:14 of Woodstown’s Ryan Struss, then lost in the 106-pound title match, 7-3, against Kingsway’s Anthony Rosano. Delligatti (24-8) won a 4-0 decision over Washington Township’s Tom Cole, before being upended by Kingsway’s Finnegan McFadden, 8-5, in the 126-pound title bout.

O’Connell (21-3) pinned Conner Boal of Holy Spirit in 5:39 of the 152-pound semifinals, but Woodstown’s Cody Wolf defeated O’Connell with a 12-10, overtime victory in the final. Mackanic (25-3) used a 4-2 win over Schalick’s Tyree Newman to reach the 220-pound championship contest, but was pinned in 4:38 by Washington Township’s Daimere Wilson-Turner.

To place third in the district, Kretschmer (17-14) ousted Ocean City’s Louie Williams with a pin in 2:15, while Woodcock (21-4) knocked off Schalick’s Zachary Walker-Coulter with a 15-0 technical fall, LoParo (10-5) won a 9-8 decision over Holy Spirit’s Kurt Driscoll, and Smith (9-9) needed just 30 seconds to pin Kingsway’s Jaylen Shanklin.

Elsewhere on Feb. 17, Pinelands Regional ended up sending three wrestlers to the region tourney, as seniors Brennan Richardson and Jacob Mena grabbed runner-up spots in District 31, and junior Evan Burton placed third. Meanwhile, Barnegat senior Sean Foley and junior Charlie Cotton each took second place in their respective weight classes during the District 32 tournament.

Richardson (22-9) pinned Overbrook’s Malachi Whitfield in 4:46 during the 152-pound semifinals before getting pinned in 1:40 by Mainland’s Antonio Yeoman in the final. Mena reached the 160-pound championship by winning a 5-0 decision over Pennsville’s Abdel Alqutawna, then was pinned in 5:55 by Timber Creek’s Peyton Jones. Burton won his 195-pound consolation bout, 6-4, against Absegami’s Luke Wescoat.

Foley (31-3) knocked off St. Augustine’s Gianni Danza, 4-1, in the 113-pound semifinals, but fell short of the district crown in a 5-2 loss to Clayton-Glassboro’s Jaden Hinton. As the third-seeded wrestler at 182, Cotton scored an impressive 4-2 victory over second-seeded Kal-El Corbitt of Oakcrest in the semifinals, but lost in the final, 7-2, to St. Augustine’s Mike Misita, the top seed.

The Region VIII tournament was scheduled to begin Wednesday, Feb. 21, at Egg Harbor Township High School with first-round bouts and continues on Friday, Feb. 23, with the quarterfinals starting at 5:30 p.m. On Saturday, the semifinals get underway at 10 a.m., followed by the wrestleback quarterfinals and semifinals, fifth-place, third-place and championship bouts. The top four wrestlers in each weight class advance to Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall for the state championships, set for March 2-4.

— David Biggy


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