Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Wrestling: Ten best shots at medals in Atlantic City

Here is a look at the 10 wrestlers (cheated again, it's actually 11) from the Open Mike area who have the best chances at capturing a medal this weekend in the 82nd New Jersey State Wrestling Championships at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

In all, there are 27 qualifiers (down one from last year) among Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex schools.

Joe Renne (34-6), Hackettstown -- The junior made a believer out of folks at Region 1 by storming his way to the finals, where he became the Tigers' 13th champion with an impressive 7-2 win over West Morris' Dylan Luciano, avenging an 8-7 loss in the District 1 finals. A strong 120-pounder, Renne benefited from wrestling at 126 most of the season. In winning the Region 1 title, the No. 5 seed knocked off the Nos. 4, 1 and 2 seeds. Renne will face Edison's Robert Cleary in the pre-quarters, with the winner sure to face two-time state champ Nick Suriano of Bergen Catholic. Just form comparison sake, Luciano scored a technical fall win over Cleary on Dec. 27.

Career mark: 91-26.
Previous state appearances: None.

Ryan Pomrinca (36-0), North Hunterdon -- The senior captured his third District 17 and his second Region 5 title at 126 pounds, and now he is seeking a third state medal after placing seventh as a freshman and third as a junior. After reaching the semifinals at this weight last season, Pomrinca, who beat Monroe's Sal Profaci, 2-1 in overtime for the bronze, is bidding to become the Lions' 13th state champ and their first since Ricky Frondorf went back-to-back in 2002-03. As the No. 2 seed in the bottom bracket, Pomrica is likely heading for a quarterfinal showdown with DePaul's Matt Noble, a Region 1 champion, and seventh-place finisher two years ago. The last finalist for North Hunterdon was heavyweight Jack Delia (2010-11).

Career mark: 151-12.
Previous state appearances: Seventh at 113 in 2012, quarterfinals at 120 in '13, third at 126 in '14.

Dom Gallo (22-4), High Point -- After finishing third in a very tough class at Region 1, the senior earned his second straight trip to AC. Gallo has an extremely tough road in the upper half of the draw at 126, where he opens against Clifton's Kareem Askew. A win there would set up a match against two-time placewinner Peter Lipari of Bergen Catholic. Gallo dropped a 3-2 decision to Mike Russo of St. Peter's Prep in last year's pre-quarters.

Career mark: 104-28.
Previous state appearances: Pre-quarterfinals in 2014.

Max Nauta (30-6), Warren Hills -- The Blue Streaks senior is hoping the fourth time will be the charm after being shut out on the medal stand in three previous trips to AC. The four-time Region 1 finalist and two-time champ is as deadly as they come on the mat, with tremendous hips and a knack for wiggling his way out of trouble. Nauta, the No. 5 seed in the upper bracket at 132 and three wins shy of becoming the school's all-time leader, has twice finished one round shy of placing -- at 106 in 2012 and at 113 in '13. He reached the quarters two years ago, but was bounced in the opening round at this weight last season.

Career mark: 122-27.
Previous state appearances: Pre-quarterfinals in 2012, quarterfinals in '13 and preliminaries in '14.

Jared Kobis (30-0), High Point -- The talented junior could be a bracket buster in the upper half of the draw at 138. With no prior appearances, Kobis sits in the No. 8 spot awaiting the winner of the prelim between JT Beirne of Scotch Plains and Dylan James of Robbinsville. With a win, Kobis will likely see two-time state runner-up Kyle Bierdumpfel of Don Bosco in the quarters. Kobis is healthy and feeling confident heading to AC, and he said after the Region 1 finals on Saturday that the only wrestler he didn't want to see early was Clifton's Mohammed Farhan, who is an offseason workout partner. They would both need to reach the semis for that matchup on the winners' side.

Career mark: 70-4.
Previous state appearances: None.

Jason Gaccione (36-2), High Point -- The senior looked solid in winning his second Region 1 title this past weekend. Now, he is looking to match his uncle and 'Cats coach John Gardner (189 pounds in 1990) with a state championship. Gaccione's brother, Joe, finished third in the state in 2011, the last year that High Point had a state champ when Nick Francavilla, Drew Wagenhoffer, Ethan Orr and Billy Smith all claimed titles. Jason Gaccione is as good as they come in gaining an advantage off scrambles, where his tremendous athleticism comes into play. He bumped up earlier this season and secured a 1-0 win in the ultimate tiebreaker against Cranford's Gavin Murray, a runner-up last season. Gaccione just missed on the semifinals last season after a tough 4-2 loss in sudden victory to Delbarton's Dan Reed in the quarters.

Career mark: 140-21.
Previous state appearances: Fourth place in 2013, quarterfinals in '14.

Brian Smolinsky (36-2), North Hunterdon -- The junior finally got over the hump this season with a District 17 title and a third-place finish in Region 5. Smolinsky's lone losses this season are to Sean Glasgow of Bound Brook (11-3 on Feb. 2) and Bryan McLaughlin of Woodbridge (pin in the Region 5 semifinals) -- both wrestlers qualified in this weight class. Smolinsky has a prelim matchup against Jake Maxwell of Buena. A win there could put the Lions on a course for a rematch with McLaughlin in the quarters.

Career mark: 79-22.
Previous state appearances: None.

Max Elling (38-3), Phillipsburg -- The Stateliner stumbled in the Region 1 semifinals with a 6-5 loss to Roxbury's Craig Roumes. All of the talk leading up to that one was a potential showdown between Elling and four-time Region 1 champ David McFadden of DePaul. Now, Elling must refocus in his third trip to AC. Last weekend's third-place region finish will be a big motivator, with Elling lurking in the upper part of the bottom bracket at 160 pounds, where he will face St. Joseph-Montvale's Vin DiFilippo in the prelims. Elling went 2-3 overall in two prior state appearances.

Career mark: 123-36.
Previous state appearances: Preliminaries in 2012, pre-quarterfinals in '13.

D.J. Barrett (36-2), Lenape Valley -- Making his second straight trip to AC, Barrett, a Region 1 runner-up, is looking to become the Patriots' first medal winner since Peter Lipari finished seventh at 120 pounds in 2013. Barrett, who became the school's 13th 100-match winner this season, went 0-2 at this weight class last season after finishing third in Region 1. The senior's only two losses are to West Orange's Chris Morgan (10-5 on Dec. 20) and DePaul's Nick DePalma (7-1 in the Region 1 final). Barrett will face Allentown's Zach Turner (36-4) in the prelims.

Career mark: 106-44.
Previous state appearances: Preliminaries in 2014.

Gus Protogeropoulos (33-3), Newton -- The senior is coming off a tough 1-0 loss to Pequannock's Patrick Daly in the Region 1 finals on Saturday. Dropping to 195 after qualifying at 220 last season, Protogeropoulos moves well for big man and has quick feet. If he opens up, something he hasn't done on occasions this season, a state medal is within reach. The two-time District 3 champion will face Don Bosco's Jeff Lombardi in the prelims, where a win would likely put Protogeropoulos one win away from a rematch with Holy Cross' Matt Correnti in the quarters. On Jan. 31 at the Jack Welch Duals, Correnti prevailed, 5-1. Protogeropoulos scored a 5-3 win over Haddonfield's Frank Fortino, who also qualified at this weight.

Career mark: 102-36.
Previous state appearances: Preliminaries in 2014.

Andrew Pacheco (28-2), Warren Hills -- The big man is extremely agile for his size and is always dangerous with the throws. After placing sixth as a junior, Pacheco, a two-time Region 1 champ, is one of the wrestlers to beat at this weight class as the No. 1 seed in the bottom bracket. He is looking to become the school's first heavyweight to reach the finals since Dan Slack won it all in 1977. Jon Slack is the highest finisher among Blue Streaks heavies since with a third-place medal in 2010. Pacheco awaits the winner of the prelim bout between Union's David Brown and Delran's Calen West.

Career mark: 104-20.
Previous appearances: Preliminaries in 2013, sixth place in '14.

Other area qualifiers (16):

Delaware Valley -- Ryan Erwin (132)
Hopatcong -- Joe Aumann (113)
Hunterdon Central -- Hunter Graf (106), Peter Nace (113), Nick Suk (182), Nestor Crespo (195)
Kittatinny -- Austin Scrivani (132)
North Hunterdon -- Derek Ciavarro (145), Michael Sicola (160)
Phillipsburg -- Kyle Markus (106), Steve Friedman (145), Robert Melise (220), Kyle Nothnagel (285)
Pope John -- Jake Rotunda (113)
Sparta -- Gavin Lally (220)
Voorhees -- Kyle DiNapoli (120)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Wrestling: State Tournament schedule, stats

What: 82nd State Wrestling Championships.

Where: Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City.

When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Friday's schedule: Preliminaries, 5 p.m.; pre-quarterfinals, to follow.

Saturday's schedule: Wrestlebacks (first-round losers on Friday), 10 a.m.; quarterfinals and second round of wrestlebacks, noon; semifinals and third round of wrestlebacks, 5 p.m.; fourth round of wrestlebacks, 7 p.m.

Sunday's schedule: Fifth round of wrestlebacks, 10 a.m.; consolation finals (third through eighth places), 11 a.m.; championships, 3 p.m.

Returning state champions (5, 2015 weights): Jr. Ty Agaisse, Delbarton (seventh-2013, 120); Jr. Nick Suriano, Bergen Catholic (120); Sr. Anthony Cefolo, Hanover Park (first-2011, 126); Sr. Craig De La Cruz, Summit (fourth-2012, first-2013, 132); Sr. David McFadden, DePaul (second-2012, sixth-2013, 160).

Returning medal winners (43, previous finishes, 2015 weights): Jr. Jonathan Tropea, St. Joseph-Montvale (eighth-2014, 106); Jr. Garrett O'Shea, Morris Knolls (sixth-2014, 113); Jr. Alec Kelly, St. Peter's Prep (third-2014, 113); Jr. Sebastian Rivera, Christian Brothers Academy (fifth-2014, 113); Jr. Brandon Cray, Steinert (fourth-2014, 113); Jr. Chris Wolf, Haddon Township (seventh-2014, 113); Jr. Zack Firestone, Clearview (fifth-2014, 120); Sr. Matt Noble, DePaul (seventh-2013, 126); Sr. A.J. Vindici, Randolph (seventh-2012, third-2013, 126); Sr. Peter Lipari, Bergen Catholic (seventh-2013, sixth-2014, 126); Sr. Ryan Pomrinca, North Hunterdon (seventh-2012, third-2014, 126); Sr. Joe Ferinde, Nutley (eighth-2014, 126); Sr. Michael Russo, Jackson Liberty (fourth-2013, third-2014, 126); Sr. Patrick D'Arcy, Holy Spirit (third-2013, second-2014, 126); Jr. Nick Farro, Delbarton (sixth-2014, 132); Sr. Salvatore Profaci, Monroe (fourth-2014, 132); Sr. Eric Friedman, Mendham (eighth-2014, 138); Jr. Kyle Bierdumpfel, Don Bosco Prep (second-2013, second-2014, 138); Jr. Alex Sebahie, Paramus (eighth-2014, 138); Sr. Connor Burkert, St. Peter's Prep (seventh-2013, fourth-2014, 138); So. Mekhi Lewis, Bound Brook (seventh-2014, 138); Jr. Kris Lindemann, Howell (sixth-2014, 138); Jr. Mark McCormick, Camden Catholic (fourth-2014, 138); Sr. Jason Gaccione, High Point (fourth-2013, 145); Sr. Ryan Burkert, St. Peter's Prep (eighth-2013, second-2014, 145); Sr. Travis Vasquez, Delbarton (third-2014, 145); Sr. William Povalac, Edison (fifth-2014, 145); Sr. Alec Donovan, Brick Memorial (seventh-2014, 145); Sr. Joe Trovato, Paramus (fifth-2012-13, seventh-2014, 152); Sr. Gavin Murray, Cranford (second-2014, 152); Sr. Joseph Tavoso, Delbarton (fourth-2014, 152); Jr. Joseph Grello, Bergen Catholic (eighth-2014, 170); Sr. Joshua Ugalde, Bound Brook (sixth-2013, second-2014, 170); Jr. Brett Donner, Wall (third-2014, 170); Sr. Kyle Wojtaszek, Brick Township (seventh-2014, 170); Sr. Zach Hertling, Ocean Township (third-2012, 170); Jr. Kevin Mulligan, Bergen Catholic (sixth-2014, 182); Sr. Christian LaFragola, St. Joseph-Hammonton (seventh-2014, 182); Sr. Tyree Sutton, Keansburg (sixth-2014, 195); Jr. Matt Correnti, Holy Cross (eighth-2013, third-2014, 195); Sr. Tyreek Smith, Moorestown (eighth-2013-14, 220); Sr. Zack Chakonis, Don Bosco Prep (sixth-2012, second-2013-14, 285); Sr. Andrew Pacheco, Warren Hills (sixth-2014, 285).

Returning medal winners by region:

Region 1 (7, O'Shea, Noble, Vindici, Friedman, Gaccione, McFadden, Pacheco)
Region 2 (9, Tropea, Suriano, Bierdumpfel, Lipari, Sebahie, Trovato, Grello, Mulligan, Chakonis)
Region 3 (7, Agaisse, Cefolo, De La Cruz, Farro, Vasquez, Murray, Tavoso)
Region 4 (4, Kelly, Ferinde, C. Burkert, R. Burkert)
Region 5 (5, Pomrinca, Profaci, Lewis, Povalac, Ugalde)
Region 6 (8, Rivera, Russo, Lindemann, Donovan, Donner, Wojtaszek, Hertling, Sutton)
Region 7 (5, Cray, Wolf, McCormick, Smith, Correnti)
Region 8 (3, Firestone, D'Arcy, LaFragola)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Wrestling: Regions 1 and 5 by the numbers

We're down to the final week and everyone is eager to see who will grab medals next weekend at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

But before we start to focus on the 82nd State Championships, let's once again take a look at some of the highlights from a great weekend at the region tournaments that house teams from the Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex area.

8 -- DePaul made quite a statement by advancing eight wrestlers to AC, including five of eight winners in the finals. Senior state champ David McFadden made history by becoming just the fourth wrestler to win four tiles in this always rugged region -- joining Pope John's Mike Frick (1969-72), along with High Point's John Gardner (1987-90) and Nick Francavilla (2008-11). It's also remarkable given that the Spartans sent a combined total of 12 wrestlers to AC in the previous seven years. Since the region moved to Wallkill Valley in 1983, DePaul has produced a total of 23 state qualifiers and was shut out from 1998 to 2007. From '83 to '97, the total was six.

5 -- Phillipsburg endured one of its most disappointing weekends at Region 1 and still managed to get five wrestlers through to AC. The Stateliners went 6-5 in Friday's quarterfinal round and 15-12 on Saturday, including 2-4 in the semifinals. Steve Friedman (145) and Robert Melise (220) were the lone finalists, both finishing second, while Kyle Markus (106), Max Elling (160) and Kyle Nothnagel (285) all placed third.

151 -- North Hunterdon ace Ryan Pomrinca sits atop the all-time wins list for Hunterdon and Warren counties with a 151-12 mark heading to AC after picking up his second Region 5 title. Pomrinca (36-0), a two-time placewinner who finished third last season, is bidding to become the Lions' 13th state champion and first since Ricky Frondorf went back-to-back in 2002 and '03.

1 -- Hopatcong's Joe Aumann (113), Pope John's Jake Rotunda (113), Hackettstown's Joe Renne (120), Delaware Valley's Ryan Erwin (132), Kittatinny's Austin Scrivani (132), Voorhees' Kyle DiNapoli (120), Lenape Valley's D.J. Barrett (182), Newton's Gus Protogeropoulos (195) and Sparta's Gavin Lally (220) are the lone representatives for their schools in AC.

9 -- DePaul's total of eight, while impressive, is one shy of the most qualifiers by one school in Region 1 since 1983. Kittatinny advanced a whopping nine, including six finalists, in 2005. High Point also had eight qualifiers in 2010 and '11, including seven in the finals in both seasons. Of course, the 'Cats rocked everyone's world with four state champions -- Nick Francavilla, Drew Wagenhoffer, Ethan Orr and Billy Smith -- in that magical postseason run in '11. P'burg had eight qualifiers in 1996 and '98.

4 -- Hunterdon Central did not have a champion in Region 5 for the first time since being blanked in 2008, but the Red Devils will have four wrestlers at Boardwalk Hall as Hunter Graf (106), Peter Nace (113) and Nestor Crespo (195) all finished second in the region, while Nick Suk (182) took third.

70 -- Pomrinca became North Hunterdon's 70th region champion on Saturday, and he's the school's first repeat winner since Jack Delia went back-to-back at heavyweight in 2010 and '11. The Lions have produced six champs since 2004, after having at least one each year from 1977 to 2003. Also advancing to AC this weekend are juniors Derek Ciavarro (145) and Brian Smolinsky (152), along with senior Michael Sicola (160).

29 -- High Point junior Jared Kobis (138) and senior Jason Gaccione (145) won Region 1 titles to raise the program's total to 45. Fred Swanson won the first for the 'Cats at 178 pounds in 1971. The Wantage school has enjoyed great success in recent years, producing 29 champions from 2005-15, which is by far the most of any Region 1 school during that span. And speaking of former High Point champions, former North Warren coach Chris Jones was in attendance at Wallkill on Wednesday. Jones won a region title at 135 pounds in 1986.

33 -- Wallkill Valley Regional High School once again did an exceptional job of hosting the Region 1 Tournament for the 33rd time. Mount Olive, which hosts District 1 every third year, is still trying to wrestle the region away from Sussex County, while Phillipsburg will likely put in a bid once its new high school is completed in 2016. But no school can duplicate that atmosphere at Wallkill, where the fans are right on top of the action. The place was absolutely rocking during the 170-pound bout for third place between Morris Knolls' Luke Drugac and Phillipsburg's Jimmy Schuitema.

Wrestling: Region 1 finals recap, tidbits

HARDYSTON TWP. -- One is great, but for three local wrestlers, winning two titles was twice as nice.

High Point's Jason Gaccione, along with Warren Hills' Max Nauta and Andrew Pacheco, all claimed their second Region 1 championships before a packed house of 2,100 fans on Saturday at Wallkill Valley Regional High School.

Gaccione won his second 145-pound title in three years, while teammate Jared Kobis captured his first at 138. High Point advanced three wrestlers to next weekend's 82nd State Tournament at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, as senior Dom Gallo finished third at 126.

Gaccione defeated Phillipsburg's Steve Friedman for a third time this season, converting a takedown with 28 seconds left in the third period to ice a 5-2 win. Earlier in the day, Gaccione (36-2) moved into second place on his school's all-time wins list -- he now stands at 140-21 overall -- with a 7-5 decision over Sparta's Ian Burke.

"This is a really good feeling," said Gaccione, who also won at 145 in 2013, while finishing second at this weight class last season. "But this is something I expect of myself, winning a district and region title. But a state title is the only thing on my mind now. I just have to go out and wrestle to my full capability."

Kobis (30-0), a No. 4 seed, won a battle of unbeatens in the semifinals by knocking off state placewinner Eric Friedman of Mendham -- 2-1 in three overtimes -- before dominating Pequannock junior Alex Zangrilli, 5-0, in the title match. The two-time District 3 champion Kobis said he feels like he can be a major threat for a state championship in AC.

"It's a great feeling to be going to AC and be healthy," said Kobis, who improved to 70-4 overall.

Streak-ing in the finals

Nauta and Pacheco, both No. 1 seeds, became only the second set of Blue Streaks to repeat as champions in the same tournament -- joining former state champions Arnie Thompson and Lee "Corky" Castner won in 1966.

Nauta, who also won at 113 pounds as a sophomore, needed to rally from behind in both the semifinals and finals, beating Lenape Valley's Nick Palumbo, 6-2, to reach the finals, where he knocked off DePaul's William Kui, 11-6 in sudden victory.

Against Kui, Nauta (30-6) gave up a four-pointer in the first after being hit with a headlock, but he got a reversal and later two backs with just seconds left in the period to tie it at 4. Nauta (122-27), who needs three wins to pass former three-time champion Dave Richmond for the school record, escaped in the third to force OT and caught Kui for five points off a scramble in sudden victory to win it.

Pacheco (28-2), who finished sixth in the state last season, didn't get much of a test all weekend in reaching his third straight final at heavyweight -- earning a 4-2 win over Randolph's David Vargas in the finals after decking High Point's Kevin Lewis in 33 seconds in the semis.

Pacheco is the first heavyweight for the Streaks to appear in three straight finals since Dan Slack won three titles from 1975-77. They are the only heavies to win at least two titles in program history.

Nauta and Richmond are the only Streaks to appear in four finals, while Pacheco is among a group of nine others at the Warren County school to compete in three region finals.

Terrific Tiger

Hackettstown junior Joe Renne would have had a great shot at the Outstanding Wrestler Award in probably any other year, but DePaul's David McFadden was a virtual lock after dominating the 160-pound weight class for his fourth championship.

Renne, the No. 5 seed knocked off the 1, 2 and 4 seeds en route to the 120-pound title, knocking off West Morris' Dylan Luciano, 7-2, in the finals. Renne (34-6) took a 2-1 lead into the third period, where he converted two takedowns in the final 22 seconds to seal the win.

Last weekend, Luciano beat Renne, 8-7, for the District 1 title.

Renne, who defeated returning Region 1 champ Mojahed Hamdeh of Wayne Hills, 7-4, in the semis, is the 13th champ for Hackettstown and its first since Tyler Kozimor won at 138 pounds in 2012.

Punching tickets

Phillipsburg's Steve Friedman (145) and Robert Melise (220) were among five wrestlers from the Open Mike area to earn trips to AC with second-place finishes -- along with Pope John's Jake Rotunda (113), Lenape Valley's D.J. Barrett (182) and Newton's Gus Protogeropoulos (195).

Phillipsburg's Kyle Markus (106), Max Elling (160) and Kyle Nothnagel (285), along with Hopatcong's Joe Aumann (113), Kittatinny's Austin Scrivani (132) and Sparta's Gavin Lally (220) all finished third.

It was a rough weekend for P'burg, which didn't have a champion for the fifth time since 2000 and the ninth time overall in its illustrious history. In a total shocker, senior Jimmy Schuitema, the No. 1 seed at 170, finished fourth and did not earn a trip to states. His 10-9 loss to Morris Knolls' Luke Drugac was an incredible bout that had the place rocking.

Elling (123-36) and Schuitema (123-26) are now tied for the school's all-time wins record.

Back points

DePaul was the talk of Region 1 this weekend, as the Passaic County school put eight in the finals and crowned five champs, including McFadden (164-8), who became only the fourth wrestler -- all state champs -- in this region to win four titles. The Virginia Tech recruit joined Pope John's Mike Frick (1969-72), and High Point's John Gardner (1987-90) and Nick Francavilla (2008-11) in that exclusive club. Matt Noble (126) and Brandon Kui (152) of DePaul were among three 2014 champs to repeat.

P'burg was named the No. 1 team in Region 1 by a unanimous vote of the coaches, but DePaul went 5-0 in head-to-head matchups with the Stateliners over the last two days of the tournament, including Spencer Carey's 12-9 victory over Schuitema in the semifinals, as well as Scott Lavelle's pin of Melise in the finals.

DePaul moved into ninth-place on the list of all-time champions in this region with 22, jumping over Hopatcong and Sparta (20), Belvidere (19) and Pope John (18). Phillipsburg leads with 115, followed by Washington/Warren Hills (55), High Point (45) and Randolph (42). Newton and Roxbury, with 34 each, round out the top five. High Point has produced a staggering total of 29 winners since 2005, far and away the most of any school in the field.

Sparta celebrated another moment in its comeback season, as Lally rallied from a tough 4-3 loss to Morris Knolls' Payton Campbell in the quarterfinals by avenging that defeat with a 5-1 win over Campbell in the third-place bout at 220. Lally (36-2) is the Spartans' first state qualifier since Phil Takacs-Senske (second in 2007).

West Morris sophomore Shane Metzler prevailed in a tough 106-pound class to give that program its 13th championship and second in the last two seasons after Jesse Windt snapped the school's seven-year drought by winning at 220 in 2014. Before the finals, head coach Ken Rossi was among four to be inducted into the Region 1 Hall of Fame.

Speaking of the Hall of Fame, next year's inductees are all former state champs. Wallkill Valley's Chris Skretkowicz, High Point's David Zabriskie and Delaware Valley's Jamie Wicks comprise an outstanding Class of 2016.

As if there was any doubt as to how tough it is to win a title in Region 1, consider Randolph's A.J. Vindici (32-2), a two-time state placewinner who had never reached the finals before Saturday. Vindici, who finished third twice and fourth last season in his three previous appearances, dropped a 5-2 decision to Noble in his bid to become the Morris County school's first champ since Mike Suk in 2008.

Wayne Hills picked up its second champion as Daniel Kilroy won the 170-pound title with a 3-1 win over Carey. Hamdeh became the first winner for the Passaic County school in 2014.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Wrestling: Region 1 championships results

Qualifiers by school

DePaul 5+3+0=8; Phillipsburg 0+2+3=5; High Point 2+0+1=3; Morris Knolls 1+0+2=3; Roxbury 0+2+1=3; West Morris 1+1+1=3; Mendham 0+0+2=2; Pequannock 1+1+0=2; Randolph 0+2+0-2; Warren Hills 2+0+0=2; Hackettstown 1+0+0=1; Hopatcong 0+0+1=1; Kittatinny 0+0+1=1; Lenape Valley 0+1+0=1; Newton 0+1+0=1; Pope John 0+1+0=1; Sparta 0+0+1=1; Wayne Hills 1+0+0=1; West Milford 0+0+1=1.


132 -- 1-Sr. Max Nauta (30-6, D1-1), Warren Hills, d. 2-Sr. William Kui (35-6, D4-1), DePaul, 11-6 SV.
138 -- 4-Jr. Jared Kobis (30-0, D3-1), High Point, d. 2-Jr. Alex Zangrilli (21-7, D4-1), Pequannock, 5-0.
145 -- 1-Sr. Jason Gaccione (36-2, D3-1), High Point, d. 2-Sr. Steve Friedman (29-9, D1-1), Phillipsburg, 5-2.
152 -- 1-So. Brandon Kui (39-3, D4-1), DePaul, d. 3-Jr. Tommy Miller (27-5, D2-1), Roxbury, 5-3.
160 -- 1-Sr. David McFadden (42-0, D4-1), DePaul, md. 3-Jr. Craig Roumes (29-5, D2-1), Roxbury, 19-7.
170 -- 3-Jr. Daniel Kilroy (33-3, D4-1), Wayne Hills, d. 4-Jr. Spencer Carey (32-7, D4-2), DePaul, 3-1.
182 -- 1-Sr. Nick DePalma (34-6, D4-1), DePaul, d. 2-Sr. D.J. Barrett (36-2, D2-1), Lenape Valley, 7-1.
195 -- 2-Jr. Patrick Daly (33-3, D4-1), Pequannock, d. 1-Sr. Gus Protogeropoulos (33-3, D3-1), Newton, 1-0.
220 -- 1-Jr. Scott Lavelle (39-4, D4-1), DePaul, p. 2-So. Robert Melise (33-7, D1-1), Phillipsburg, 3:30.
285 -- 1-Sr. Andrew Pacheco (28-2, D1-1), Warren Hills, d. 2-Sr. David Vargas (21-3, D2-1), Randolph, 4-2.
106 -- 1-So. Shane Metzler (34-1, D1-1), West Morris, d. 2-So. Daniel Percelay (19-3, D4-1), DePaul, 5-4 UTB.
113 -- 2-Jr. Garrett O'Shea (38-1, D2-2), Morris Knolls, d. 4-Fr. Jake Rotunda (23-5, D3-1), Pope John, 5-0.
120 -- 5-Jr. Joe Renne (34-6, D1-2), Hackettstown, d. 2-Sr. Dylan Luciano (33-3, D1-1), West Morris, 7-2.
126 -- 2-Sr. Matt Noble (36-2, D4-1), DePaul, d. 1-Sr. A.J. Vindici (32-2, D2-1), Randolph, 5-2.
Outstanding Wrestler Award -- David McFadden, DePaul.
Coach of the Year -- Doug Vetter, Lenape Valley
Assistant Coach of the Year -- Mickey Thomas, High Point.

Third-place consolations

106 -- Jr. Kyle Markus (28-14, D1-2), Phillipsburg, d. 5-Sr. Austin Perrault (29-9, D2-2), Morris Knolls, 9-7 SV.
113 -- 1-Sr. Joe Aumann (37-2, D2-1), Hopatcong, d. 3-Sr. Dino Cancellieri (32-11, D4-1), DePaul, 3-1.
120 -- 3-Jr. Troy Stanich (33-2, D2-1), Roxbury, md. 1-Sr. Mojahed Hamdeh (30-4, D4-1), Wayne Hills, 11-2.
126 -- 3-Sr. Dom Gallo (22-4, D3-1), High Point, d. 4-Fr. Anthony Mastroeni (30-8, D2-2), Hopatcong, 5-0.
132 -- 3-Jr. Austin Scrivani (37-2, D3-1), Kittatinny, d. 5-So. Nick Palumbo (31-8, D2-1), Lenape Valley, 9-6.
138 -- 1-Sr. Eric Friedman (38-1, D1-1), Mendham, d. 5-Sr. Michael Nigro (30-9, D2-1), Morris Knolls, 5-0.
145 -- 3-Sr. David Migliaccio (32-7, D1-2), West Morris, d. 4-Sr. Ian Burke (36-5, D3-2), Sparta, 9-4.
152 -- 5-Jr. Christian Dalcais (34-7, D4-2), West Milford, d. 8-So. Troy Navarino (29-11, D1-2), Mendham, 4-1.
160 -- 2-Sr. Max Elling (38-3, D1-1), Phillipsburg, p. 6-Jr. Caleb Isemann (30-10, D1-2), West Morris, :58.
170 -- 5-Jr. Luke Drugac (38-1, D2-1), Morris Knolls, d. 1-Sr. Jimmy Schuitema (36-5, D1-1), Phillipsburg, 10-9.
182 -- 3-Jr. Dean Drugac (38-2, D2-2), Morris Knolls, d. 4-Jr. David LoCascio (32-6, D4-2), Kinnelon, 8-5.
195 -- 4-Sr. Aaron Flitcroft (30-9, D1-1), Mendham, d. 3-Sr. Luke Nappi (30-9, D2-1), Morris Knolls, 7-5.
220 -- 4-Sr. Gavin Lally (36-2, D3-1), Sparta, d. 5-Sr. Payton Campbell (31-5, D2-1), Morris Knolls, 5-2.
285 -- 3-Jr. Kyle Nothnagel (18-3, D1-2), Phillipsburg, d. 4-Jr. Kevin Lewis (27-13, D3-1), High Point, 6-3.

Wrestling: Trio of state champs to enter R1 HOF

HARDYSTON TWP. -- Next year's Region 1 Hall of Fame ceremony will feature three former New Jersey state champions as Chris Skretkowicz, David Zabriskie and Jamie Wicks will be enshrined in 2016.

The trio will be inducted during a ceremony prior to next season's championship round at Wallkill Valley Regional High School. Skretkowicz and Wicks will be the first representatives from their schools to enter the Hall of Fame, while Zabriskie joins John Gardner.

Skretkowicz (84 percent) was a three-time district, two-time region champion and three-time state placewinner at Wallkill Valley, where he compiled a mark of 124-13. He was a two-time state finalist, winning the 171-pound title in 2000. Skretkowicz, now the head coach at Virginia Military Institute, was a two-time All-American at Hofstra University.

Zabriskie (78 percent), a two-time region qualifier and champion in 2005, the former High Point star finished sixth in the state in 2004 and won a state championship at 215 pounds in '05. He went on to a stellar collegiate career at Iowa State, where he was a four-time NCAA qualifier and three-time All-American. He was the 285-pound national champion in 2010.

Wicks (78 percent), who is considered one of Delaware Valley's finest, was three-time district, two-time region and two-time state champ for the Terriers (1987, '88). He compiled a career mark of 92-5, which ranks 15th on the school's all-time list. Del Val moved to Region 5 in 2001.

Here are the other nominees and their voting totals. They all will remain on the ballot for 2017.

Brent Conly (63 percent) -- A three-time district and region champion, the former Delaware Valley star and head coach won two state titles in 1992 and '93, after placing fourth in '91. He was unable to compete for a third state championship due to a season-ending hand injury in '94. Conly ranks 18th on the school's all-time wins list at 89-6-1.

Jan Michaels (44 percent) -- Regarded as one of the best to come out of Sussex County, Michaels was a two-time district champion and Vernon's only two-time region champ. He was a three-time state qualifier, winning the 148-pound title in 1979 after finishing second in '78. He went on to become a three-time NCAA All-American at North Carolina. A very successful coach, Michaels guided High Point to an overall record of 47-12 in three seasons (1994-96) and three sectional titles. Individually, he coached three region champions, as well as two state finalists.

Doug Blake (44 percent) -- Nearly 40 years later, Blake is still the only state champion in Hackettstown's history, winning titles in 1967 and '68 at 157 and 168 pounds, respectively. Considered one of the best to ever come out of Warren County, he was a three-time district and a two-time region champion for the Tigers.

Brett Raimondo (41 percent) -- Two-time district and three-time region champion -- one of only 32 to win three titles in this region -- and the 1988 state champion at 112 pounds. He's the only Mendham wrestler to win three region championships and compiled a career mark of 105-14-1.

Patrick Dattalo (34 percent) -- One of three brothers to compete for coach Mike Suk, Dattalo was a two-time district and two-time state champion -- winning the Donald Ringler Award as the tournament's OW in 2002.

Arnie Thompson (16 percent) -- A two-time district and region champion for the former Washington High School, now known as Warren Hills. Thompson won a pair of state titles for the Blue Streaks at 148 and 157 pounds in 1965 and '66, the program's 34th and 35th championships. He is one of 12 wrestlers to win two state titles for the Warren County school, and among 10 to win at least two region titles.

Larry Vandermark (13 percent) -- Former Newton star was a two-time district and region champion, while also winning a pair of state titles for the Braves at 148 pounds in 1961 and '62. Vandermark and teammate Frank Pace were the first wrestlers to claim two region titles for the Sussex County school.

Mark Preston (13 percent) -- A three-time district and two-time region champion, the former Sparta star was a two-time state finalist, finishing second in 1974 and winning a title at 129 pounds in '75 to become the Sussex County school's first state champ. He is still only one of three wrestlers to win a state gold for the Spartans.

Here are the current Hall of Fame members:


John Barna, Phillipsburg
Mike Frick, Pope John
Henry Boresch, Newton
Greg Surenian, Randolph
Steve Dalling, Kittatinny


John Gardner, High Point
Rick Thompson, Phillipsburg


Ben Oberly, Warren Hills
David Hughes, Jefferson


Gus Rampone, Newton


Steve DePetro, DePaul


Dan Slack, Warren Hills


Greg Cholish, West Morris
Andy Iliff, Newton


Roman Fleszar, Kittatinny


John Goles, Washington/Warren Hills
Gene Mills, DePaul
Matt Valenti, Kittatinny
Carmine Rossi, Roxbury
Sam Rossi, Roxbury


Mike Rossetti, Phillipsburg/Jefferson/Randolph
Bob Zaro, Phillipsburg
Ken Rossi, Jefferson
Dan Vallimont, Jefferson

Wrestling: Region 1 semifinal results

Finalists by school

DePaul 8; High Point 2; Pequannock 2; Phillipsburg 2; Randolph 2; Roxbury 2; Warren Hills 2; West Morris 2; Hackettstown 1; Lenape Valley 1; Morris Knolls 1; Newton 1; Pope John 1; Wayne Hills 1; Belvidere 0; Butler 0; Dover 0; Hopatcong 0; Jefferson 0; Kinnelon 0; Kittatinny 0; Lakeland 0; Mendham 0; Montville 0; Morris Catholic 0; Morris Hills 0; Mount Olive 0; North Warren 0; Pompton Lakes 0; Sparta 0; Vernon 0; Wallkill Valley 0; Wayne Valley 0; West Milford 0.

106 pounds

1-So. Shane Metzler (33-1, D1-1), West Morris, d. 4-So. Jacob Falleni (31-5, D2-1), Lenape Valley, 13-7.
2-So. Daniel Percelay (19-2, D4-1), DePaul, d. 6-So. Mark DiGeronimo (27-7, D3-1), Kittatinny, 3-0.

113 pounds

4-Fr. Jake Rotunda (23-4, D3-1), Pope John, d. 1-Sr. Joe Aumann (35-2, D2-1), Hopatcong, 4-2.
2-Jr. Garrett O'Shea (37-1, D2-2), Morris Knolls, d. 3-Sr. Dino Cancellieri (31-10, D4-1), DePaul, 3-0.

120 pounds

5-Jr. Joe Renne (33-6, D1-2), Hackettstown, d. 1-Sr. Mojahed Hamdeh (29-3, D4-1), Wayne Hills, 7-4.
2-Sr. Dylan Luciano (33-2, D1-1), West Morris, d. 3-Jr. Troy Stanich (31-2, D2-1), Roxbury, 5-0.

126 pounds

1-Sr. A.J. Vindici (32-1, D2-1), Randolph, p. 4-Fr. Anthony Mastroeni (30-8, D2-2), Hopatcong, 1:43.
2-Sr. Matt Noble (35-2, D4-1), DePaul, d. 3-Sr. Dom Gallo (20-4, D3-1), High Point, 5-3.

132 pounds

1-Sr. Max Nauta (29-6, D1-1), Warren Hills, d. 5-So. Nick Palumbo (30-7, D2-1), Lenape Valley, 6-2.
2-Sr. William Kui (35-5, D4-1), DePaul, d. 3-Jr. Austin Scrivani (35-2, D3-1), Kittatinny, 11-4.

138 pounds

4-Jr. Jared Kobis (29-0, D3-1), High Point, d. 1-Sr. Eric Friedman (36-1, D1-1), Mendham, 2-1 OT3.
2-Jr. Alex Zangrilli (21-6, D4-1), Pequannock, d. 3-Sr. Cory Doebel (24-16, D4-2), DePaul, 6-3.

145 pounds

1-Sr. Jason Gaccione (35-2, D3-1), High Point, d. 4-Sr. Ian Burke (35-4, D3-2), Sparta, 7-5.
2-Sr. Steve Friedman (29-8, D1-1), Phillipsburg, d. 3-Sr. David Migliaccio (30-7, D1-2), West Morris, 7-4.

152 pounds

1-So. Brandon Kui (38-3, D4-1), DePaul, d. 5-Jr. Christian Dalcais (32-7, D4-2), West Milford, 4-2 SV.
3-Jr. Tommy Miller (27-4, D2-1), Roxbury, p. 2-Sr. John Kaluzny (24-7, D1-1), Phillipsburg, 1:28.

160 pounds

1-Sr. David McFadden (41-0, D4-1), DePaul, tf. 4-Sr. Walker Schmitzer (25-7, D3-1), Sparta, 17-2, 3:32.
3-Jr. Craig Roumes (29-4, D2-1), Roxbury, d. 2-Sr. Max Elling (36-3, D1-1), Phillipsburg, 6-5.

170 pounds

4-Jr. Spencer Carey (32-6, D4-2), DePaul, d. 1-Sr. Jimmy Schuitema (35-4, D1-1), Phillipsburg, 12-9.
3-Jr. Daniel Kilroy (32-3, D4-1), Wayne Hills, d. 2-Sr. Luke Bohn (36-2, D3-1), Jefferson, 5-4.

182 pounds

1-Sr. Nick DePalma (33-6, D4-1), DePaul, d. 4-Jr. David LoCascio (31-5, D4-2), Kinnelon, 3-0.
2-Sr. D.J. Barrett (36-1, D2-1), Lenape Valley, d. 3-Jr. Dean Drugac (36-2, D2-2), Morris Knolls, 3-0.

195 pounds

1-Sr. Gus Protogeropoulos (33-2, D3-1), Newton, d. 4-Sr. Aaron Flitcroft (28-9, D1-1), Mendham, 3-2 (rideout) UTB.
2-Jr. Patrick Daly (32-3, D4-1), Pequannock, d. 3-Sr. Luke Nappi (29-8, D2-1), Morris Knolls, 6-2.

220 pounds

1-Jr. Scott Lavelle (38-4, D4-1), DePaul, d. 5-Sr. Payton Campbell (30-4, D2-1), Morris Knolls, 3-1.
2-So. Robert Melise (33-6, D1-1), Phillipsburg, d. 3-Sr. Tim Byrne (32-3, D1-2), Mendham, 5-2.

285 pounds

1-Sr. Andrew Pacheco (27-2, D1-1), Warren Hills, p. 4-Jr. Kevin Lewis (26-11, D3-1), High Point, :33.
2-Sr. David Vargas (21-2, D2-1), Randolph, d. 3-Jr. Kyle Nothnagel (16-3, D1-2), Phillipsburg, 3-1.