Thursday, January 3, 2013

Wrestling: High Point at Kittatinny preview

What: High Point Wildcats at Kittatinny Cougars.

Where: Kittatinny Regional High School, Hampton Township.

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

TV: Service Electric Cable (Sparta) Channel 10 (tape delay).

Conference: Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference (non-division).

Records: High Point 4-1; Kittatinny 4-0.

Coaches: John Gardner (252-70-2, 15th season (7-7 vs. Kitt); John Gill (469-146-5, 33rd season (10-21-1 vs. HP).

Series history: High Point leads 25-11-1 dating to 1976, including a 32-21 victory in the last meeting on Jan. 26, 2012, to stretch its win streak to a series-best seven in this rivalry. Kittatinny's last win was, 39-18, on Jan. 22, 2005, to cap a program-best seven-match win streak in this bitter rivalry. Neither program has won eight in a row in this series. High Point has won 62 straight conference matches dating to that loss, its last against a Sussex County opponent, and 52 in a row against county foes.

Note: High Point wrestlers listed first with season records in parentheses.

106 -- So. Dom Gallo (12-0) vs. Fr. Jake Van Wingerden (8-3).

113 -- So. Leo Haines (0-5) vs. Jr. Christian Silva (9-2).

120 -- Fr. Jared Kobis (11-0) vs. Fr. Nick Klinger (4-6).

126 -- Sr. Connor McHugh (8-3) vs. Fr. Austin Scrivani (8-3) or Jr. Nick West (4-5).

132 -- Jr. Chris Auer (6-1) vs. West or Scrivani.

138 -- Sr. Collin Grimm (4-7) vs. So. Tom Murphy (9-1).

145 -- So. Jason Gaccione (12-0) vs. Jr. Nick Romyns (10-2) or Sr. Connor Zandarski (6-6).

152 -- Jr. Tommy Hooker (6-3) vs. Zandarski or Romyns.

160 -- Sr. Moses Yasin (4-7) vs. Sr. Dave Popek (6-5).

170 -- Jr. Antonio Porraspita (7-4) vs. Jr. Kieran Gerrity (10-1).

182 -- Jr. Drew Bye (4-5) vs. Jr. Dylan Wunder (8-3).

195 -- Jr. Kyle Stoll (9-1) vs. Sr. Jake Brook (9-2).

220 -- Jr. Bobby McDonnell (8-3) vs. Jr. Garrett Armstrong (9-2) or Jr. Tom Smith (6-2).

285 -- Jr. Gunny Wassong (6-3) vs. Armstrong or Smith.

Breakdown: Annual battle between the Hatfields and McCoys. The striking thing is that there are a combined six seniors in the starting lineups. We should see some great battles for years to come. Straight up, High Point will be favored at 106, 120, 145, 152, 195 and 285. Kittatinny gets the edge at 113, 126, 138, 160, 170, 182. Tossups at 132 and 220. Now, 145 and 220 will be excellent bouts and High Point has a great chance to get both. I think Kittatinny will have to make a move in order to pull this off. I don't think the Cougars can afford a Gaccione-Romyns matchup -- Gaccione won, 3-2, at HWS last year -- and will look to bump their district champion up to get 152, otherwise they could lose both '45 and '52. I think 160 is another key bout. Popek rates as the favorite, but Yasin is better than his record.

It will be interesting to see how the Cougars weigh in up top. I'd expect them to bump Brook and Armstrong up to try and secure wins at 220 and 285. Stoll will be a solid favorite at 195 no matter who Kittatinny sends out there and the hosts would be favored at either 220 or 285, wherever Armstrong isn't. The Cougars I feel need three of those four up top and to get Romyns away from Gaccione to put themselves in position to win. Kittatinny also needs some of its younger wrestlers to hang tough in matches where they are a decided underdog. Gerrity beat Porraspita, 8-2, in last year's dual, while Wunder majored Bye, 12-2. Can the Cougars earn bonus in both this time around? I think the 'Cats could win six, but still win by cashing in on more bonus points. Any way you slice it, this should be a tight one. Don't miss it.

Prediction: High Point, 31-27.


  1. gaccione beat murphy last year...not romyns

  2. Yes, in the dual. Gaccione beat Romyns at HWS, as I've noted.