Wrestling Roundup

Southern Regional Wrestlers Win Big on Opening Weekend

Dec 20, 2017
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

After finishing eighth in New Jersey last season, Southern Regional wrestler Nick O’Connell is off to a perfect start this season, going 4-0 through his first four bouts, including a pin to seal the Rams’ first team victory.

On Dec. 15, O’Connell pinned Brick Memorial’s Dan Szuba in 3:16 to score six points at 160 pounds, as the Rams bounced the Mustangs, 31-21, and the next day cruised through three straight victories en route to capturing the 160-pound title during Southern’s Robin Leff Tournament. During his first two bouts of the tourney, the junior pinned in 1:28 and 3:37 before winning a 10-5 decision over Burlington’s Jaden Roberts.

Joining O’Connell as the only other Southern wrestler to remain undefeated after the first weekend of the season was classmate Sebastian Delligatti, who was just as dominant in four bouts at 126 pounds. In the opener against Memorial, Delligatti delivered a 7-2 decision over Mike Richardson to give the Rams a lead they didn’t relinquish. On Saturday, Delligatti opened up with a 16-0 technical fall, then pinned his next two opponents during the second period, including St. John Vianney’s Seth Rotendella in the final.

As for the rest of the Rams during the Leff Tournament, seniors Owen Kretschmer and Dan Gorman and junior Nick Pepe each placed second in their brackets, while junior John Stout and sophomore Jayson Scerbo placed third at their respective weights.

Kretschmer won his semifinals bouts, 6-0, before dropping a 7-2 decision to SJV’s Tyler Pepe, in the 120-pound final. At 138, Nick Pepe reached the championship contest with a 7-3 decision in the semifinals, before falling to Delsea’s Tim Spatola, 5-2, in the final. Gorman won a 4-3 contest in the 152-pound semifinals, then lost a 1-0 decision to Egg Harbor’s Jason Kaensig. Scerbo won his 113-pound, third-place bout via pin at 1:23, while Stout scored a 3-1 decision to take third at 170.

Against Brick Memorial, Stout started off the annual battle with the Mustangs with a 13-6 decision over Ean Mueller at 182 pounds, while J.T. Cornelius made his Southern debut at 220 pounds and knocked off Chris Mittler, 7-6, and Matt Mackanic won the heavyweight bout, 5-0, over Willie Garner. Also making their debuts with the Rams, Matt Brielmeier dealt Joe Rotondo a 7-0 loss and Robert Woodcock scored an 8-0 major decision over Ryan Andrus. Pepe won a 6-4 decision over Brian Alexander, and Gorman added to the team victory with a 4-2 decision against Bryan Wilson.

Barnegat Opens With Victory

In its opener on Dec. 15, the Barnegat wrestling team cruised to a 600-21 victory over Cedar Creek. While heavyweight Peter Jennings, 113-pounder Jaheim Anderson and 120-pounder Sean Foley each won by forfeit, 106-pounder Jacob Reinhold helped start off the Bengals’ win with a pin in 1:25. Cedar Creek won three straight bouts before Ethan Fox (145), Nick Paccione (152), Rashidi Alleyne (160), Charlie Cotton (182) and Griffin Jackstadt (220) each pinned their opponents to lock up the Bengals’ first win of the season.

Pinelands’ Mena Second at Colt Classic

At the annual Colt Classic tournament on Dec. 15, Pinelands Regional’s Jacob Mena routed his way into the 160-pound final but ran into one of the Shore Conference’s top wrestlers in the weight class and ended up in second place. Mena pinned Pascack Hills’ Adam Shawkat in 1:01 during the quarterfinals, before decking Christian Brothers Academy’s Christian Recanatini in 40 seconds during the semifinals. Unfortunately, Mena went up against Wall Township’s Rob Kanniard in the final and was pinned in 1:36.

— David Biggy


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