The first Saturday of the 2011-12 season was quite a mix of dual meets and tournaments involving teams from Hunterdon-Warren Sussex. Here's a rundown of all the day's events:
Clarke Moynihan, Kieran Gerrity and Dylan Wunder all won individual titles as Kittatinny stormed to the team championship. Coach John Gill's Cougars easily outdistanced runner-up Paramus, 212 to 187. Hunterdon Central finished sixth in the eight-team field with 100 points, while Hackettstown took last with 57.
Moynihan decked Randolph's Sean Rodgers in 50 seconds for the 152-pound crown. Gerrity pinned Paramus' Nick Bucci in 3:05 for the 160-pound title and Wunder stuck Paramus' Lirodon Maloku in 3:10 for the 195-pound gold.
Avelino Jacinto (126), Nick Romyns (138), Garrett Armstrong (182) and Jacob Drellich (220) all finished second for Kittatinny. Jacinto, a state placewinner in 2009, reportedly suffered another shoulder injury in the finals and had to default against Somerville's Nick Wahba. Shoulder problems have plagued Jacinto the last two seasons.
Central sophomore Dylan Nace won the 120-pound title, while teammate Tyler Cote finished second at 145.
King of the Mountain
V.J. Delmonico (152) and Brandon Hull (220) each finished second for Phillipsburg in the rugged tournament at Central Mountain High School in Pennsylvania.
The Stateliners placed five wrestlers in all. Anthony Pare was third at 285, Zach Fisher took sixth at 113 and freshman Jim Schuitema placed fifth at 132. P'burg finished fifth in the team standings with 137 points. Erie McDowell (Pa.) (190), Massillon Perry of Ohio (187), Parkland (Pa.) (159) and Greater Latrobe (Pa.) (137 1/2) were the top four teams.
Delmonico was majored by Massillon Perry state champ Zack Dailey, 17-3, in the final. Hull, who finished eighth at New Jersey states last season, dropped a 10-8 decision to Pennsylvania state placewinner Tyson Searer, who was seventh in Class AAA at 215.
High Point, which finished No. 1 in New Jersey last season, had a rough tournament and finished 31st out of 32 teams. The Wildcats were missing several starters, including senior Jason Snider. Coach John Gardner said earlier in the week that he planned to hold out freshmen Dom Gallo (106), Mike Derin (120) and Jason Gaccione (132).
District 3 champion John Torppey went 2-2 at 106 pounds for the 'Cats, as did Collin Grimm at 113, Chris Auer at 120 and Alec Alvino at 138. No other High Point wrestler won more than one bout.
For brackets and team standings, click here: http://org.centralmountainwrestling.org/kom2011.htm
Highly-regarded freshman Ryan Pomrinca was among three individual winners that carried North Hunterdon to the team championship in Hopatcong.
Pomrinca edged Bobby Jordan of Woodbridge, 2-1 in overtime, to claim the 113-pound title. Teammates Beau Vrancken (160) and Dan Pepe (195) also won for the Lions, who earned 116 1/2 team points. Eric Martin (120) and Joe Ragsdale (170) finished second for coach Tim Flynn's squad.
St. Joseph-Montvale was second with 98 1/2 and Wayne Valley third with 90. Belvidere placed sixth as a team with 66 points, Hopatcong eighth with 15 and Sparta was last with 10 points.
Senior Dylan Thorsen (132) and junior Ryan Appleby (285) were champions for the County Seaters.
Thorsen defeated North Hunterdon sophomore Mike Ciavarro, 7-3, while Appleby beat St. Joseph's Matt Marcazo, 8-6.
Mount Olive Tournament
Steven Churchill (132) and Jake Connelly (195) rolled to individual titles as Newton finished third in the annual Mount Olive Tournament.
Ashley Iliff (106), Niko Grello (138) and Josh Sibblies (152) all finished second for the Braves, who amassed 118 points. Pequannock claimed the team title with 172 points, while Mendham finished second with 153.
Churchill won by injury default over Pequannock star R.J. DeGeorge, who suffered an ankle injury and could not continue after the second period. Churchill, who was third in Region 1 last season, was winning, 6-2, at the time of the default.
Connelly earned a 7-3 win over Old Tappan's Keith Rodman in a battle of region placewinners. Connelly was fourth in Region 1 last season at 145, while Rodman competed at 285 in Region 2. What a difference a year makes.
Sibblies lost a tough 5-4 decision to Region 1 qualifier Tyler VanDyke of Pequannock.
In a great matchup at 170, Mendham state champ Ryan Harrington earned the title with a 3-1 win over Pequannock's Keith Lemongello. Pequannock's Chaz Coppa was named the OW following a 2-0 win over Madison's Patsy Davis in the 126-pound final.
Junior Matt Benvenuto claimed the 126-pound title and was among five finalists for second-place Lenape Valley in Dover.
Benvenuto, a Region 1 qualifier last season, pinned Roxbury's Jake Legotte in 1:32. Dom LaBell (132), Joe LaBell (138), Andrew LaBell (170) and Kristian Barret (182) all finished second for the Patriots.
Roxbury won the team championship with 165, 24 points better than Lenape Valley.
Voorhees beat Warren Hills on criteria
In a much-anticipated showdown of top area teams, Voorhees earned the win on criteria No. 8 (most first points scored). The match ended 31-31 on the scoreboard.
A big swing occurred at 182 pounds, where Voorhees junior Nick Ruggiero decked Ryker Kern after being down, 10-3, in the bout. Christian Okulicz also earned a big 3-1 decision over Joe Kratochvil at 132.
Both teams earned wins over South Jersey teams Clearview and Egg Harbor in the quad meet at Voorhees High School.
New weight debate
Here's one for all who hate the new weight classes. In the Mount Olive Tournament, only three wrestlers were entered in the 182-pound bracket.