Southern Regional Wrestling Team Grabs Control of Class A South Division

Jan 17, 2018
Photo by: Ryan Morrill

By the time Southern Regional High School wrestler Dan Gorman walked off the mat on Jan. 11, he looked as if he had just gone through a war, tired and worn from a hard-fought overtime battle.

“Whether you’re losing 4-0, or 8-0, or 14-0, you keep battling and find a way to get back in it,” said Gorman, who, after being down 4-0 against Ryan Bohringer heading into the third period, evened the bout and forced overtime, then scored a big, 7-5 victory at 152 pounds. “I knew when I looked over at our bench that we had a lot of heart out here, and that’s what inspires me. The match isn’t over until the six minutes is up, or the eight minutes, or whatever it turns out to be.”

The Rams had little trouble beating Jackson Memorial. The score ended up being a lopsided 47-7, after all. But Gorman, who had been struggling lately, epitomized the essence of this year’s squad within that eight minutes against Bohringer.

“It doesn’t matter who’s toeing the line at the center of the mat when the match starts,” he said. “Whether it’s JV Johnny or some great kid, the goal is to go out there and win, and it all comes from inside. It’s all about heart.”

At 10-1, Southern’s season is far from over, and some of the biggest tests on the schedule are yet to come. Still, every year the Jackson Memorial match is one that’s circled as a key clash. For this season, beating the Jaguars means a likely Shore Conference Class A South title.

“We got pretty hyped up for this match, and winning it means we’re winning A South,” said Sebastian Delligatti, who started the onslaught with a 4:45 pin of Kevin Hogan at 126 pounds. “I wanted to out and get six for the team, to start things right and set the tone. Tonight was all about setting the mood and winning the next one toward an A South title.”

Robert Woodcock followed with a pin of Damian Lipari in 2:40, before Matt Barnett scored a 7-2 decision over Carsten DiGiantomasso at 138 pounds, and Nick Pepe gave the Rams an 18-0 lead with a 6-4 win over Nicholas Tomasiello at 145. After Gorman’s grueling overtime win, Nick O’Connell cruised to a 17-2, technical-fall of Joe Shimonovich in 5:27, all but securing the team win.

After Jackson’s Brock Winston edged Haven Tatarek at 170 pounds, Ben LoParo scored an impressive 9-3 win over Kyle Epperly at 182, before Vin Miele registered a 7-3 win over Brad Galassi at 195, and Matt Mackanic made quick work of Logan Reese with a pin in a crisp 24 seconds. Jayden Smith won the heavyweight bout, 3-0, over Antonia Faras to give Southern a 41-3 lead.

Following a major decision for Memorial’s Vincent Scollo at 106, the Rams closed out the drubbing when Jayson Scerbo won an 8-4 decision over Luke Temple at 113 and Owen Kretschmer beat Chris McDonald, 8-2, at 120 pounds.

Two days later, the Rams scorched Central Regional, 61-9, in a contest that lasted some 40 minutes, improving to 5-0 in A South with two divisional matchups left – against Toms River North and Brick, slated for Jan. 16 and 17, respectively. But once those contests are over, the Rams will start gearing up for the bigger stuff coming in February, as they take on perennial state power South Plainfield on Jan. 20, followed by a Jan. 27 meeting with Phillipsburg inside its famed “Pit.”

Once February arrives, the Rams will turn their focus toward erasing the bad memory of last year – when they were disqualified from the NJSIAA South Jersey Group V tournament for a preseason weight-certification violation – and go after not only another sectional crown, but also the overall state title.

“We have a point to prove,” Delligatti said. “Last year doesn’t matter. We’re going back to try to win a Group V title. We believe we can do it. We have a solid lineup, and everybody does his part. We just have to improve more of our technique and get a little better each day from here, but we’re going after it.”

— David Biggy

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