Welcome to another exciting year of Region 1 wrestling -- the best one in New Jersey for my money. Wallkill Valley does a great job of hosting this event -- now 30 years here in Sussex County since the event shifted from Phillipsburg High School following the 1982 tournament, then known as Region 4.
Preliminary round action tonight involving district seconds and thirds begins at 5 p.m. Last year, District 4 advanced the most on opening night for the first time in recent memory. Of course, all of our Open Mike area wrestlers from Districts 1, 2 and 3 will be competing. They are in bold below for those following the locals. We'll be live starting around 4:45, so check back and refresh often for all of the results and notes on some of the more intriguing matchups.
We're up and running here in lovely Hardyston Township, not Hamburg as other outlets are reporting.
One change at 152 -- Lenape Valley's Dominic LaBell is out. Morris Knolls' Dean Drugac receives a bye into Friday's quarterfinals. At 160, Butler's Travis Canty is out and there is no replacement.
Wrestlers are clearing the mats and we're going to get underway.
Jr. John Schade (21-11, D1-2), West Morris, d. 8-So. Dino Cancelleri (18-16, D4-3), Wayne Valley, 4-2.
5-Jr. Austin Sisco (25-7, D3-2), Pope John, d. So. Joe Aumann (27-10, D2-3), Hopatcong, 4-3.
4-Fr. Garrett O'Shea (34-3, D2-2), Morris Knolls, p. So. Austin Pidoto (20-14, D1-3), Warren Hills, 2:51.
7-So. Dan Kee (29-6, D4-2), Lakeland, p. Fr. Jake VanWingerden (23-13, D3-3), Kittatinny, 2:41.
Note: Getting a chance to see a very good freshman, O'Shea, right in front of press row. O'Shea gets the opening takedown and tilts for two backs, he's up early, 4-0. Two more with the crosswrist tilt, 6-0, after one period. Arm bar for the FALL! So we already have one seed out, as the No. 8 falls here.
5-Sr. Zach Fisher (27-8, D1-2), Phillipsburg, md. Jr. Zeke Lewie-Cepero (10-8, D3-3), Pope John, 13-1.
4-So. Dylan Luciano (20-14, D1-3), West Morris, p. So. Kyle Flynn (22-14, D4-2), Pompton Lakes, 2:35.
6-Jr. Christian Silva (27-9, D3-2), Kittatinny, p. Fr. Troy Stanich (19-9, D2-3), Roxbury, 4:27.
7-So. Michael Glasser (26-11, D2-2), Montville, p. Sr. Dylan Pohl (19-7, D4-3), Lakeland, 4:55.
Note: Fisher with the quick takedown. Fisher, a district champ last year, sustained an unfortunate hand injury prior to this tournament last year. He would've had a good shot at earning a trip to AC. Fisher up 4-0 in the second period. Fisher gets another turn and leads 6-0 after two. He quickly reverses to start the third. Nice double-arm bar turn to end a 13-1 win for Fisher. Silva leads, 6-1, after two periods.
8-Sr. Vince Pallone (20-16, D1-3), Mendham, d. Jr. Lou Carusillo (24-11, D4-2), DePaul, 4-2.
5-Sr. Joey Spaziani (30-7, D2-3), Hopatcong, p. Jr. Matt Tripodi (21-14, D3-2), Jefferson, 3:13.
6-Jr. Matt Ritchie (28-6, D1-2), North Warren, d. So. Tim Mickens (16-16, D4-3), West Milford, 4-2.
7-Jr. Devon LaFranco (25-12, D2-2), Roxbury, d. Fr. Nick Klinger (15-20, D3-3), Kittatinny, 8-5.
Note: Good one here between Spaziani and Tripodi. Spaziani, who is looking to avenge a 3-2 loss on Dec. 22, gets the opening takedown and leads, 2-0, after one period. Another takedown after an escape, Spaziani in control with a 5-0 lead midway through the second. Wow, nearside cradle for the FALL! Ritchie making his return after qualifying in 2011. He finished fourth in the district last year. Ritchie gets the first takedown for a 2-0 lead. Ritchie leads, 4-1, after two, and starts on top in the third. Escape for Mickens, 4-2, with 25 seconds to go. Ritchie advances with a workmanlike effort.
Good battle between LaFranco and Klinger, as LaFranco leads, 5-4, in the third. Klinger is going to be real good down the road.
8-Sr. Connor McHugh (26-10, D3-3), High Point, p. So. Craig Calderone (23-10, D4-2), Pompton Lakes, 2:19.
So. David Zeppetelli (23-12, D4-3), West Milford, d. 5-So. Ian Burke (30-6, D3-2), Sparta, 7-3.
3-So. David Migliaccio (26-10, D1-2), West Morris, d. Jr. Tylor Petchonka (9-12, D1-3), Phillipsburg, 8-4.
6-So. Anthony Fano (30-8, D2-2), Montville, md. So. Michael Nigro (21-16, D2-3), Morris Knolls, 10-2.
Note: McHugh so good with that crossarm gets the FALL in a scoreless match. Petchonka has done a nice job since getting into the lineup after Corey Zinsmeister went down with an injury. He's scoreless in the second with Migliaccio, who won by fall in their D1 semifinal. Migliaccio with the takedown and an escape for Petchonka, 2-1, in the second. Petchonka gets a takedown with 15 seconds left to take a 3-2 lead, but Migliaccio gets an escape at buzzer. It's 3-3 in the third. Wow, upset brewing here. Petchonka out early in the third, 4-3. Migliaccio hits a dump and settles into a turk for five -- he leads 8-4 late in the period. Those big moves are killers at this level.
Burke goes down in the first round, my pick for third. Something just wasn't right with him the last few weeks. He's tough, finished third at Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex.
8-Sr. Brandon Rothman (31-8, D1-3), Hackettstown, d. Sr. Ryan Inglett (22-10, D4-2), Wayne Hills, 6-2.
3-Jr. Jake Legotte (32-5, D2-2), Roxbury, d. Sr. Cassius Russell (8-4, D2-3), Morris Knolls, 7-2.
6-Sr. Joe Hocking (25-5, D3-2), Wallkill Valley, d. Fr. Spencer Carey (27-7, D4-3), DePaul, 13-9.
7-So. Eric Friedman (30-7, D1-2), Mendham, d. Fr. Tim VanLenten (17-9, D3-3), Vernon, 8-3.
Note: Rothman cruised in his opener. Hocking is up 3-2 in the second period. Good crowd here tonight, but this place used to be rocking when a Wallkill wrestler was in action. I remember back in the 80s when they used to go crazy for Clinton Ish and Steve Line. It's 30 years here for this tournament. Carey held a 7-5 lead in the third, but Hocking gets a takedown and three backs late to win it.
1-Sr. Nick Matthews (35-3, D1-2), West Morris, d. Fr. Tommy Miller (17-15, D2-3), Roxbury, 7-4.
8-Jr. Vincent Rigoglioso (19-8, D4-3), Wayne Valley, d. So. Cory Doebel (10-7, D4-2), DePaul, 3-2 OT3 (rideout).
Jr. Chris Auer (16-10, D3-3), High Point, d. 5-Sr. Jim Lodema (21-7, D3-2), Wallkill Valley, 1-0 UTB.
6-Sr. Adam Fano (28-10, D2-2), Montville, d. Sr. Kevin Bundschuh (18-11, D1-3), Warren Hills, 5-4.
Note: Matthews looking to rebound from a crushing loss in the D1 finals. He led, 4-1, in the second when he got chin-whipped and decked by P'burg's Max Elling. Matthews up here, 4-0, in the second period. Auer and Lodema in a scoreless battle in the second. It was a good one between those two in the D3 semis, as Lodema pulled out a 3-1 win. Four minutes, here, no score. Auer caught in a spladle, but no backs, under one minute to go. Lodema riding, trying to tilt. We're going OT -- first ones of the night, as Rigoglioso and Doeble are in OT. No takedowns for Auer or Lodema. Now we go 30-second rideouts. Auer rides out Lodema for the first 30. Now Auer on bottom. Still no score. Flip for the choice in ultimate goes to Lodema and he takes top. Auer escapes with 13 seconds left to win it!
5-Sr. Brandon Carcuffe (31-7, D1-3), West Morris, d. So. Zack Tareky (15-15, D4-2), Wayne Valley, 6-0.
4-So. Jason Gaccione (34-4, D3-2), High Point, md. Jr. Dylan Kaine (21-10, D4-3), West Milford, 12-4.
7-Fr. Luke Drugac (26-10, D2-2), Morris Knolls, d. Jr. Jonathan Patane (23-11, D2-3), Roxbury, 5-2.
2-Sr. Tyler Kozimor (28-6, D1-2), Hackettstown, d. Sr. Anthony Gignatelli (19-13, D3-3), Pope John, 11-4.
Note: We're at the halfway point. Heading into 145, D1 has advanced nine in this round, D2 with seven, D3 with five and D4 with three. You know this is a tough weight when Carcuffe, Gaccione and Kozimor are all in action in the first round. Kozimor won a loaded 138-pound class last year. Gaccione up 8-2 in the second period. Gaccione stretches his lead to 12-4 in the third, he's cruising. Drugac and Patane in a tight one -- Drugac leads, 3-2, in the second period. Takedown for Drugac at the buzzer, he leads, 5-2, after two periods. Kozimor cruising, up, 9-1, in the second and nearly had Gignatelli decked. Drugac advances.
8-Sr. Ryan Ward (24-3, D3-2), Vernon, d. Jr. Tommy Hooker (23-12, D3-3), High Point, 7-3.
4-Fr. Daniel Kilroy (24-6, D4-2), Wayne Hills, d. Jr. Johnny Hayes (17-11, D1-3), North Warren, 12-5.
6-Fr. Dean Drugac (33-3, D2-2), Morris Knolls, bye.
7-Sr. Sal Castiglia (29-9, D4-3), Wayne Valley, d. Jr. Evan Butka (21-15, D1-2), Warren Hills, 4-2.
Note: Good one here with Hooker and Ward. Ward with the opening takedown, he leads, 2-1 late first. Ward advances, nice win for him -- his 77th overall. Butka trailing, 4-1, in the second period.
8-Sr. David Popek (15-13, D3-2), Kittatinny, d. So. Joe LaBell (21-17, D2-3), Lenape Valley, 3-1 SV.
5-Sr. John Sickles (27-8, D1-3), West Morris, d. Jr. Corey Flynn (25-6, D4-2), Pompton Lakes, 7-3.
3-Jr. Jake Kocsis (25-9, D1-2), Phillipsburg, p. Fr. Al Falco (16-17, D3-3), Sparta, 2:32.
6-Jr. Steve Acevedo (25-6, D2-2), Morris Hills, d. So. Brett Lobdell (16-22, D4-4), Pequannock, 12-6.
Note: Popek-LaBell III here. LaBell won 6-3, on Dec. 19, while Popek won the rematch, 3-2, on Feb. 15 in the North 1, Group 1 sectional final. Lobdell enters here as Butler's Travis Canty was scratched. He was Butler's lone qualifier. LaBell up, 1-0, in the second, they're on their feet. Popek on bottom in the third, still 1-0. Wow, referee Frank Leitner warned LaBell for a stall at the buzzer to sent it to OT and Popek gets the takedown in OT -- unreal. Lenape Valley coach Doug Vetter is steaming mad and is all over Leitner. I think they both went outside. Leitner came back in but I don't see Vetter. That was crazy. I didn't think it was a good call, wasn't stalling.
8-Jr. Antonio Porraspita (23-10, D3-2), High Point, d. Jr. Anthony Colabella (29-8, D1-3), Mount Olive, 9-3.
So. D.J. Barrett (23-14, D2-2), Lenape Valley, md. 5-Sr. Matt DeLallo (25-11, D4-3), DePaul, 14-5.
Jr. Tyler Zimmerman (23-12, D3-3), Jefferson, p. 4-Jr. Zach D'Apolito (19-19, D4-2), Wayne Valley, 2:15.
7-Sr. Adam Kratch (31-7, D1-2), West Morris, tf. Sr. James Monaghan (19-16, D2-3), Roxbury, 20-5, 4:34.
Note: Porraspita in a tight one, trails, 3-2, in the second period. Porraspita on bottom in the third, gets the reversal and turns Colabella for four points, who screams out in pain. Porraspita up 6-3 with 54 seconds left. Gets another turn with a power half for three more and the win. Barrett up, 6-4, in the second. He gets three backs at the buzzer for a 10-5 lead through two. So the Nos. 4 and 5 seeds fall here. Kratch with the first technical fall of the night.
8-Jr. Peter Sutton (23-12, D2-2), Roxbury, p. Jr. Steve Cleaver (20-15, D1-3), Warren Hills, 1:53.
5-Sr. Luke Foukas (28-6, D4-2), Pequannock, md. Sr. Alex Reiman (15-11, D3-3), Wallkill Valley, 16-4.
6-Sr. Jon Fazio (27-5, D4-3), Lakeland, d. So. Joe Maso (11-9, D1-2), Phillipsburg, 14-7.
7-Sr. Josh Sibblies (31-4, D3-2), Newton, p. Sr. Dean Carlotti (22-13, D2-3), Morris Hills, 3:05.
Note: Sutton throws Cleaver to his back for the FALL! Sibblies with the opening takedown. Keep an eye on him at this loaded weight class. Sibblies on bottom to start the second. Maso on his back, trails, 8-4, in the second period. Sibblies with the FALL! Maso trails, 8-7, in the third, but gets tossed to his back.
8-Sr. Hunter McConnell (18-2, D4-2), Pompton Lakes, d. Fr. Scott Lavelle (25-10, D4-3), DePaul, 6-3.
5-Jr. Dylan Wunder (31-5, D3-2), Kittatinny, p. Sr. Andrew Trejo (19-15, D1-3), Mount Olive, 2:17.
Jr. Jose Delgado (30-7, D2-2), Morris Hills, p. 6-So. Gus Protogeropoulos (28-8, D3-3), Newton, 1:17.
Sr. Kristian Barrett (26-11, D2-3), Lenape Valley, p.7-Jr. Ryan Witner (17-18, D1-2), Warren Hills, 4:23.
Note: Wunder with the FALL! Got to hand it to him, he's really a 170-pounder that can't get in the lineup anywhere else. He was 195 last year as well. Protogeropoulos gets thrown to his back and is decked. That's the sixth seed to fall tonight -- three 5s, a 4, a 6, and an 8.
8-So. Aaron Flitcroft (12-5, D1-3), Mendham, p. Sr. Dante James (14-12, D2-2), Lenape Valley, 5:48.
4-Sr. Pete Andrich (33-4, D1-2), Mount Olive, md. Jr. Spencer Ochner (11-7, D4-3), Pequannock, 10-0.
3-Sr. Robert Levine (21-5, D4-2), Wayne Hills, p. Jr. Robert Hajnos (20-14, D3-3), Jefferson, 3:06.
7-Jr. Bobby McDonnell (29-7, D3-2), High Point, d. Jr. Laurence Bueno (19-17, D2-3), Montville, 4-2.
Note: James was in a tight match, 1-0, in the third before the pin ended his season. McDonnell up, 3-2, in the second. Apparently that was the third period and they never changed the board
8-Jr. Gunny Wassong (20-11, D3-2), High Point, d. Sr. Pat Wagner (17-15, D4-3), Wayne Valley, 3-1.
Sr. William Wenzel (27-3, D4-2), West Milford, d. 5-Sr. Jarrett Williams (26-8, D1-3), Phillipsburg, 9-7 SV.
Sr. Bobby Sperling (10-9, D2-2), Lenape Valley, d. 7-Jr. Tom Smith (19-15, D3-3), Kittatinny, 3-2.
2-Sr. Ryan Appleby (27-4, D1-2), Belvidere, p. Jr. Ethan Fox (13-20, D2-3), Montville, 1:34.
Note: Williams gets tossed to his back near the end of the first period -- Wenzel leads, 5-2, after one period. Williams out early in the second. Man, he was lucky the buzzer sounded. Sperling up, 3-1, late in the third. Takedown for Williams and an escape for Wenzel, 6-5, after two periods. Wenzel escapes to go up, 7-5, but Williams knots it at 7 with a takedown. I don't know why he's trying to ride. Williams has discovered something on their feet. We're heading to OT. Didn't see how much time was left, but probably not enough to let Wenzel up and go for a takedown. Wenzel takes Williams down to his back -- it's over.