Friday, January 4, 2013

Wrestling: Big weekend on tap in HWS area

Where do we start? This promises to be one of the most action-packed weekends in the Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex area this season.

Starting on Friday, we have three tremendous dual meets slated as High Point travels to Kittatinny for their annual Sussex County clash, while Warren Hills pays the toll to cross over the Delaware River for a date with Nazareth (Pa.) in the Easton Invitational.

Warren Hills (6-1), which has wrestled Nazareth once in its history (a 34-27 loss in 1992), was originally scheduled to meet Palisades (Pa.), but numerous scheduling changes have occurred the last few days as both Woodbridge (Va.) and North Hunterdon have withdrawn from the annual event.

The Blue Streaks' schedule on Saturday -- for the moment -- has them taking on Pocono Mountain West (Pa.) at 9 a.m., followed by Bangor (Pa.) at 1 p.m. and nationally-ranked Bethlehem Catholic (Pa.) to close out the day at 5. Coach Jarrett Hosbach won't know for sure until Friday morning, but it's a pretty safe bet that Warren Hills instead wrestles Easton (Pa.) at 9, since the Red Rovers were originally scheduled to face North Hunterdon in the morning round.

If that's the case, the Streaks will not wrestle Becahi at 5. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, it appears North Hunterdon again has skin issues. Coach Tim Flynn said the Lions' match with Hunterdon Central on Friday night is off until possibly next week. Though the Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament will be held Friday, Jan. 11 and Saturday, Jan. 12 at Hopatcong.

Here's a a look at some of the other big events on the schedule:

Voorhees seeking milestone win

Voorhees looks to join the 500-win club on Friday when it hosts Hunterdon County nemesis Delaware Valley in a Skyland Conference Raritan Division showdown. The Vikings (5-2) are currently sitting on 499 victories in the program's 38 seasons, as coach Eric Hall's gang tries to become the fourth county team to achieve the milestone.

Hall's father, Bob, who started the program in 1975, posted a career mark of 332-99-5 in 23 seasons. Rick Thompson (30-26 in three seasons from 1999-2001) and Bob Angstadt (88-86 in nine seasons from 2002-10) also guided the Vikes -- 499-222-5 overall -- before Eric Hall (49-11) took over for the 2010-11 season.

Hunterdon Central (783), North Hunterdon (647) and Delaware Valley (662) are well over 500 wins.

Boresch Duals

Newton coach Eric Bollette has once again assembled a fine field for the eight annual Henry Boresch Duals on Saturday. South Plainfield, the No. 1 team in the NJWWA Top 20, headlines the field and is one of two Group champions from last year, along with No. 3 seed Raritan, last year's Group 2 winner. Group 1 finalist Hanover Park is the No. 2 seed.

Action begins at 9 a.m. and runs continuously until the championship and third-place matches (approximately 4:30 p.m.).

Here are the quarterfinal pairings and seeds:

9 a.m.

1-South Plainfield vs. 8-Waldwick/Midland Park
4-Morris Knolls vs. 5-Newton

10:30 a.m.

3-Raritan vs. 6-Livingston
7-Boonton vs. 2-Hanover Park

Memory lane of champions

2006 -- Don Bosco 50, Haddonfield 24

2007 -- Newton 54, Pequannock 9

2008 -- Newton 36, Haddonfield 31

2009 -- Newton 43, Haddonfield 18

2010 -- Newton 34, Don Bosco 32

2011 -- Raritan 41, Newton 24

2012 -- South Plainfield 47, Raritan 18

Patriot Duals

The annual event at North Warren Regional High School has an intriguing prospect for a championship clash between top-seeded Bound Brook and second-seeded Kittatinny -- a rematch of last year's Group 1 semifinal, won 34-32 by Bound Brook.

The rest of the eight-team field includes Pequannock, West Essex, Mendham, Hopatcong and Morristown.

Kittatinny (4-0) will be coming off a big match with High Point on Friday as it's a big weekend for veteran coach John Gill's Cougars.

Here are the first-round pairings and seeds:

1-Bound Brook vs. 8-Hopatcong
5-North Warren vs. 4-Mendham
3-West Essex vs. 6-Pequannock
7-Morristown vs. 2-Kittatinny

High Point to get Quad-rophenia

One tough quad down, another to go for High Point's wrestling team as it heads south on Saturday to Jackson Memorial High School. When they arrive, the Wildcats will find two other state powers waiting for them in Long Branch and Don Bosco Prep.

High Point, ranked No. 11 in the NJWWA Top 20, opens the day against No. 6 Don Bosco at 11 a.m., followed by No. 16 Long Branch at 12:30 p.m. and No. 15 Jackson Memorial to finish at 2.

It will be the first time since 2010 -- the second of two classic duals -- that High Point and Long Branch will tangle in what once was a brief, but very tumultuous rivalry. Long Branch won the first meeting, 28-27, on criteria (most bouts won) at the RAC in 2009, before High Point avenged that loss with a thrilling 24-23 win the following season at home. The 'Cats also beat Don Bosco, 55-13, that season.

High Point also owes Jackson Memorial a little payback after a 31-28 loss at Joe Perry Gymnasium in 2011 -- the 'Cats' lone loss to a New Jersey public school in a 23-2 campaign that culminated with a 30-28 win over South Plainfield in the Group 3 final.

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