Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wrestling: Boresch can't get Howell-Hanover Park tilt

The 10th annual Henry Boresch Duals will go as a seven-team event as tournament directors could not fill the void left when Hanover Park was forced to withdraw on Tuesday.

Action begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday at Newton High School.

Newton coach Eric Bollette thought he had a solution when he proposed that Hanover Park wrestle Howell at 9 a.m. as a single dual prior to the start of the team tournament. Both teams agreed until a call was placed to the New Jersey State Interscholastic Association to confirm since Hanover Park had competed in the Mountain Lakes Tournament on Tuesday. State rules do not allow teams to wrestle in more than one tournament per week.

The state agreed to let Hanover Park and Howell wrestle under the condition that Howell weigh-in twice -- before the dual and again after before the start of the Boresch Duals. According to Bollette, Howell coach John Gagliano declined to do so.

Apparently there is a lot of confusion to the tournament rules. Paramus also had to withdraw from an event this weekend for the same reason as Hanover Park. By the looks of some schedules, some teams are doing so this week regardless of the rule.

The rule itself seems a little silly given that West Windsor South -- albeit legally -- competed in the John Goles Invitational at Warren Hills on Saturday before going to the East Brunswick Bear Invitational on Monday, just two days later. That however is within the rule since Monday began a new week.

Go figure.

Here is schedule and seeds (approximate times following the opening round):

Quarterfinals, 9 a.m.

1-Howell receives bye
2-South Plainfield vs. Newton

Round 2

3-Morris Knolls vs. 6-Middle Township
4-Caldwell vs. 5-Northern Burlington

Round 3

(If Caldwell defeats Northern Burlington)

South Plainfield-Newton loser vs. Morris Knolls-Middle Township loser
Howell vs. Northern Burlington

(If Northern Burlington defeats Caldwell)

Caldwell vs. Morris Knolls/Middle Township loser
Howell vs. Newton


Howell vs. Caldwell-Northern Burlington winner
Morris Knolls-Middle Township winner vs. South Plainfield-Newton winner

Round 5

Third-place match

(If Caldwell defeats Northern Burlington)

Northern Burlington vs. Morris Knolls-Middle Township winner

(If Northern Burlington defeats Caldwell)

South Plainfield-Newton loser vs. Morris Knolls-Middle Township loser

Round 6

Championship match

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

2013 -- South Plainfield 62, Raritan 8

2014 -- Hanover Park 35, Raritan 29

Wrestling: Kittatinny aiming to reload, not rebuild

If anyone was sleeping on Kittatinny's wrestling team this season it may be time to stop tapping the snooze button.

Although it's extremely early, the Cougars are showing signs that they might not be in for the major rebuilding project as forecast by many this season. In what figured to be a much closer match, Kittatinny steamrolled Jefferson in a 51-21 victory on Tuesday in a Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference clash in Hampton.

"On paper, we did it five different ways and I didn't like any way it came out," said veteran coach John Gill, whose team won 10 of 14 bouts, including six pins. "I thought it would be a 7-7 split. I'm so proud of these kids."

Kittatinny really has Jefferson's number, improving to 29-13 all-time in the series. The Cougars have won the last six meetings by an average margin of 26 points, while totaling no fewer than 45 points in those matches.

A big swing nearly occurred early in this match when talented Kittatinny junior Nick Klinger fought off his back and converted a late takedown to pull out a 10-8 win over dangerous sophomore Mark Bohn in the opening bout at 126 pounds.

Leading 7-3 in the third period, Klinger, who bumped from 120, walked right into a cement job and was nearly decked. Bohn's five-point move gave him an 8-7 lead before giving up the tying escape with 1:20 to go. But Klinger secured his fourth takedown with five seconds left to avoid overtime.

That triggered a run of five straight wins to open the match as Kittatinny raced to a 24-0 lead. After Jefferson forfeited 132, with oddly no backup weighed in at either 126 or 132 that locked Bohn in against Klinger, District 3 champ Austin Scrivani and Jake Vanwingerden notched back-to-back pins at 138 and 145 to bust it open as the Cougars never looked back.

Conditioning also was a big factor in Kittatinny's favor.

"I'm happy with where we are," Gill said in taking the high road.

Gill has amassed over 500 wins in his Hall of Fame career and there's no doubt that this could turn out to be of his best works. It certainly promises to be major challenge for a program that lost eight starters, who combined for 611 career wins.

If a raw group of upper weights can mature as we go, and there's already evidence as such, this team could have a chance to surprise some teams on the schedule and challenge for a Colonial Division title.

Senior 195-pounder Tyler Wehrenberg, who has paid his dues in the practice room for four years, sitting behind the likes of the graduated Nick Romyns, Kieran Gerrity, Dylan Wunder and Garrett Armstrong. In his first varsity season, Wehrenberg is off to a 7-3 start.

"I'm really impressed," Gill said.

Then there's heavyweight Griffin Waldron, a junior, who has never wrestled in high school despite several seasons on the youth level. With no 285-pounder on the squad the first day of practice, getting Waldron out for the team may have been Gill's best move to date. All Waldron has done is gone 7-5 after Tuesday's match-sealing pin of Tom Urban.

The middle part of the lineup also was a question mark, but junior Vanwingerden and senior Trevor Schutte are showing signs of progress. Vanwingerden (6-4) was third in District 3 at 106 pounds two years ago, while Schutte (5-5) may be the biggest surprise after going 0-12 last season.

In addition, sophomore 106-pounder Mark DiGeronimo is looking like he can do some damage in the postseason. After riding the bench behind Dominic Koert and Ryan Luchs (second in District 3 at 106) at Pope John last season, DiGeronimo (8-2) is off to a strong start. Without him, Kittatinny would be forfeiting 106.

Freshman Perry Maio also scored a 1-0 upset-win over Anthony Antoneck, who won 18 matches last season, at 113.

"We're not there yet," said Gill, who has not had a losing season since going 6-9 in 1988-89. "This is not a sectional championship team. I'm hoping this will be a confidence builder. If the kids aren't believing what we're doing in the practice room, they never will. They did a fantastic job."


126 -- Jr. Nick Klinger (8-2), K, d. So, Mark Bohn (9-3), 10-8.
132 -- Jr. Taylor Molfetto (6-4), K, forfeit.
138 -- Jr. Austin Scrivani (11-1), K, p. Jr. Jason Luker (0-2), :15.
145 -- Jr. Jake Vanwingerden (6-4), K, p. Jr. Daun White (2-4), :48.
152 -- Sr. Trevor Schutte (5-5), K, d. Sr. Giuseppe Santillo (1-7), 9-3.
160 -- Sr. Patrick Harsanyi (8-3), J, d. So. Cody Mitchell (1-5), 10-7.
170 -- Sr. Luke Bohn (9-0), J, p. So. Josh Klimek (7-4), :57.
182 -- Jr. Luke DeGroat (3-6), K, p. So. Jakob Jakova (5-3), 5:31.
195 -- Sr. Tyler Wehrenberg (7-3), K, p. So. Cole Benfatti (5-5), 4;31.
220 -- Jr. Avery Sheruda (5-5), J, p. Jr. Nick Simpson (1-7), 3:26.
285 -- Jr. Griffin Waldron (7-5), K, p. Jr. Tom Urban (2-5), 1:44.
106 -- So. Mark DiGeronimo (8-2), K, p. Fr. Rob Ortense (2-4), 4:33.
113 -- Fr. Perry Maio (3-6), K, d. Jr. Anthony Antoneck (8-3), 1-0.
120 -- Jr. Chris Shrieks (6-4), J, p. So. Kasey Hotz (4-3), 1:12.
Records -- Jefferson 2-1; Kittatinny 3-1.
Official -- Bob Melillo.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Wrestling: Hanover Park pulled from Boresch Duals

The 10th annual Henry Boresch Duals at Newton High School on Saturday got a little lighter on Tuesday when No. 1 seed Hanover Park was forced to withdraw due to a scheduling conflict.

The Hornets, last year's Group 2 runners-up, were a late entrant into today's Mountain Lakes Tournament and coach James LaValle apparently did not realize that New Jersey rules do not allow teams to compete in more than one tournament per week.

"I think their understanding was that it's like a quad, where they will wrestle three [dual] matches," said Newton coach Eric Bollette, whose teams have competed in five of the previous eight championship matches -- winning four. "We're disappointed."

No. 2 seed Howell is perhaps even more disappointed as it was likely anticipating a showdown with Hanover Park in the title match. Hanover Park defeated Howell in last year's semifinals before earning a 35-29 win over Raritan in the final.

South Plainfield originally drew the No. 3 seed for Saturday. Morris Knolls, Caldwell, Middle Township and Northern Burlington round out the field, which is now down to seven teams. Bollette is advertising for an eighth team and anyone interested can reach him via email --

Cost is $8 for adults and $5 for students. Weigh-ins will be held from 7 to 8:30 a.m. Wrestling starts at 9 a.m. All times approximate as a new round will begin following the completion of the previous session.

Here is the schedule (approximate times following the opening round):

Quarterfinals, 9 a.m.

1 vs. 8
5 vs. 4

Quarterfinals, 10:30 a.m.

3 vs. 6
2 vs. 7

Wrestleback semifinals, noon

1 vs. 8  loser vs. 5 vs. 4 loser
2 vs. 7 loser vs. 3 vs. 6 loser

Semifinals, 1:30 p.m.

Consolation round, 3 p.m.

Fifth and seventh place matches.

Championship round, 4:30 p.m.

First and third place matches.

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

2013 -- South Plainfield 62, Raritan 8

2014 -- Hanover Park 35, Raritan 29

Monday, December 29, 2014

Wrestling: HWS schedule for Dec. 29-Jan. 3

Monday, Dec. 29


Delaware Valley, Hunterdon Central, Scotch Plains-Fanwood at South Plainfield
Phillipsburg at Bethlehem Holiday Classic

Skyland Conference

North Hunterdon, Seton Hall Prep at Bridgewater-Raritan

Tuesday, Dec. 30

(All matches 11 a.m., unless noted)

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Jefferson at Kittatinny
Lenape Valley at Newton, 7 p.m.

Skyland Conference

Delaware Valley at Hunterdon Central, 6 p.m.


West Morris at Voorhees
Warren Hills at Mount Olive, 11:30 a.m.
Sparta at Mountain Lakes Tournament, 9:30 a.m.
Vernon, Union City at Nutley, 10 a.m.

Friday, Jan. 2


West Morris at Phillipsburg, 7 p.m.
Warren Hills vs. Emmaus, Delaware Valley (Pa.) at Easton (Pa.) Invitational, 10 a.m.
North Hunterdon vs. Delaware Valley (Pa.), Emmaus at Easton (Pa.) Invitational, 10 a.m.

Saturday, Jan. 3

(All matches 9 a.m., unless noted)


Phillipsburg at Northampton (Pa.), noon

Triangualars, quads and tournaments

North Hunterdon at Easton (Pa.) Invitational, 10 a.m. 
Warren Hills vs. Caesar Rodney (Del.) and Easton (Pa.) in Invitational, 10 a.m.
Hanover Park, Howell, South Plainfield, Morris Knolls, Caldwell, Northern Burlington, Middle Township in Boresch Duals at Newton
Hopatcong, Pequannock, West Essex, Hillsborough, Morristown, Mendham, Scotch Plains at North Warren Patriot Duals
High Point, Cherokee at Southern
Kittatinny at Newark Academy Invitational
Lenape Valley at Roselle Park triangular, 10 a.m.
Sparta, Wallkill Valley, Pompton Lakes at Jefferson
Vernon, Butler, Columbia at Chatham
Hunterdon Central, West Deptford at Toms River East, 10 a.m.
Voorhees, Hopewell Valley, Lawrence at Princeton, 10 a.m.
Morris Hills, Nutley, Parsippany Hills at Hackettstown

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Notes: North rolls at Goles; P'burg eyes bounceback

The John Goles Invitational -- the second-oldest consecutive holiday tournament in the nation -- is chock full of wrestling history. Saturday's 57th version added to a lengthy list.

North Hunterdon senior Ryan Pomrinca became just the seventh wrestler to win four titles by dominating the 126-pound class. The two-time state placewinner decked Warren Hills' John Fluck in 1:13, one of Pomrinca's three pins on the day.

Pomrinca collected plenty of hardware, including a plaque commemorating being a four-time champ. His three falls in a total of 5:09 were the most in a least amount of time by a tournament winner and earned him the Ryan M. Storm Memorial Award, along with Outstanding Wrestler honors.

In addition, Pomrinca (6-0 this season and 121-12 career) also won the most individual teams points (26) award in helping the Lions roll to the team title -- the program's third and its first since 2010 -- and ending Warren Hills' two-year reign at the top.

In fact, coach Tim Flynn's squad ran away with this tournament, crowing five champs and rolling up 213 points. West Morris was second with 152, followed by Edison at 137. Delaware Valley was fourth with 109 and Warren Hills fifth with 107.

North's Paul Robinson (113) and Warren Hills' Max Nauta (138) also joined an exclusive list by winning their third titles.

Robinson held on for a 6-5 win over Kade Loughney of West Morris. Trailing 4-0, Loughney got a reversal and had Robinson in trouble with a cradle in the second period, but he was awarded two backs instead of three, much to the chagrin of some West Morris fans. Loughney, down 6-3 in the third, got two more off a cradle with one minute left on the clock.

Nauta surrendered a takedown 43 seconds into his bout with Scotch Plains' JT Beirne, before getting five off a spladle en route to an 18-2 technical fall win in 5:49. Nauta is only the 17th Blue Streak to win at least three titles.

Overall, the Goles was a bit down numbers-wise from previous years. Only four weights had the full complement of 10 wrestlers, while North was the only team with 14. There were three classes with only six, while from 170 on up there were a total of 33 out of a possible 50.

State of the 'Liners

Phillipsburg opened its season with a strong showing in the Beast of the East, but stumbled in its first dual meet test of the season -- dropping a 27-24 decision to Howell last Tuesday. It was the Stateliners' third loss to Howell -- all in December -- in the series that dates to 2004.

Phillipsburg leads 5-3 dating to 2004, including last year's 33-15 win at The Pit. Howell won back-to-back meetings in '05 (39-19 at The Pit) and '06 (38-21 at home). The teams did not meet from 2008-11.

The decision to schedule such a tough match just days after the Beast -- and one that requires another long bus ride -- is one that 'Liners coach Dave Post will likely revisit in the future. No excuses and credit Howell for the win, but that kind of schedule is taxing to say the least.

Post also said recently that senior 195-pounder Joe Maso is away from the team, at least until January, despite rumors swirling around town that Maso has decided not to wrestle. Maso is coming off another successful football campaign, one in which he dealt with an ankle injury.

P'burg will look to rebound in the always tough Bethlehem Holiday Classic this weekend before getting back on the dual circuit against West Morris (Friday at The Pit) and Northampton (Pa.) next Saturday at Schneider Gym.

Injuries galore

Warren Hills is among the area teams that are battling early-season injuries. Freshman Kyle Wulff (106) and sophomore Matt Valli (120) have both been sidelined by knee injuries. Wulff is out indefinitely, while Valli is expected back in the lineup on Tuesday against Mount Olive, according to coach Jarrett Hosbach.

High Point's lineup has been in a state of flux, as expected, and has yet to have standout senior Mike Derin (132-138), who is dealing with a knee issue and was not cleared to wrestle on Saturday. Coach John Gardner expects to have the Region 1 champ and former state placewinner back soon. In addition, senior 152-pounder Jason Gaccione did not wrestle in the Mustang finals after tweaking an ankle injury he sustained in football. Gardner held him out as a precaution.

It will be interesting to see what High Point's lineup will look like down the road. Derin may be at 132 at some point with junior Jared Kobis at 138 and Gaccione at 145. With Dom Gallo at 126, that would be a formidable stretch of wrestlers. Speaking of Kobis, he's off to a great start after claiming OW honors at the Mustang in winning the 138-pound title. When healthy, Kobis is one of the top wrestlers in New Jersey. He's been hampered by shoulder and hand injuries the last two seasons. Don't forget, he waged a classic battle with Pomrinca in the Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex finals as a freshman, dropping a 3-2 UTB decision. The key for the 'Cats will be the upper weights, where junior Kevin Lewis, who has been stuck behind the likes of Kyle Stoll and Bobby McDonnell in previous seasons, may be one to keep an eye on.

Growing pains

Both Kittatinny and Newton are enduring the early-season struggles. But expect the Sussex County programs, with excellent coaches, to improve as we go on.

Coach John Gill's Cougars (2-1) sustained their first loss -- 36-29 to Governor Livingston -- at the West Milford Duals. It's expected to be a rare rebuilding season for one of the state's most consistent programs. The last losing season in Hampton was 1988-89, when Kittatinny went 6-9. After going 9-4-1 in 1989-90, Gill's teams have won no fewer than 11 dual meets and posted a combined mark of 287-53 over the previous 14 seasons, including a program record 25 wins in 2004-05.

Inexperience in the upper weights is something relatively new for Kittatinny, which had no 220 or 285 on the first day of practice. In addition, Mark DiGeronimo returned after spending last season at Pope John, otherwise, the Cougars would be forfeiting 106 all season.

Newton was expected to be the favorite for division and sectional titles this season, but the loss of senior 132-pounder Eddie Medina (torn ACL) put a damper on the season before it began. The hits have kept coming as both Trevor Morales (120) and Jake DeLuca (145) are battling injuries sustained in recent tournaments. Already thin in some spots, their return is paramount to a successful season.

My 2 cents

As we get set to ring in the New Year, it's clear more than ever that dual meet wrestling, in these parts at least, is in serious trouble. Most public schools are fighting a losing battle with numbers and a lack of experienced wrestlers. Losing one starter -- be it to injury or other -- in a lineup is enough to spoil a season.

The sport is increasingly becoming more individualized, with kids seeking out programs that compete in bigtime tournaments like Ironman, Beast of the East, Powerade, etc. Kittatinny for example lost two youth wrestlers, now freshmen, who would be impact starters. Same goes for Newton, which also has a pair of wrestlers at Bergen Catholic and another at DePaul.

As a result, losing these quality kids from the youth programs is taking its toll on local teams. Forfeits are still a problem and the lack of quality in teams is showing at the gate where fan attendance is waning even at big matches.

Another big factor is having good upper weights. If you have them, it's a big-time bonus and enables most teams to have a key edge in dual meets.

What's the answer? There may not be a good one. As most coaches tell me, "It is what it is."

Friday, December 26, 2014

Wrestling: John Goles Invitational preview, info

What: John Goles Invitational Tournament (57th annual).

When: Saturday.

Where: Warren Hills Regional High School, Washington Township.

Participating teams: Delaware Valley; Edison; Millburn; Newton; North Hunterdon; Scotch Plains-Fanwood; South Brunswick; Warren Hills; West Morris; West Windsor South.

Schedule (approximate): Pigtails and quarterfinals, 9 a.m.; Wrestlebacks, noon; Semifinals, 1 p.m.; Wrestlebacks, 3:30 p.m.; Consolation finals, 4 p.m.; Championships, 5 p.m.

Returning champions (this year's weights): Paul Robinson, North Hunterdon (113); Matt Valli, Warren Hills (injured, won't compete); Ryan Pomrinca, North Hunterdon (126); John Fluck, Warren Hills (126); Ryan Erwin, Delaware Valley (132); Max Nauta, Warren Hills (138); Billy Povalac, Edison (145); Brian Lapham, Scotch Plains-Fanwood (152); Mike Sicola, North Hunterdon (160); Gus Protogeropoulos, Newton (220).

Others to watchShane Metzler, West Morris (106, District 1 runner-up); Robert Cleary, Edison (120, District 19 champion, Region 5 runner-up); Dylan Luciano, West Morris (120, Three-time Region 1 qualifier, Goles runner-up); David Migliaccio, West Morris (145, three-time District 1 runner-up, two-time Goles runner-up); Andrew Pacheco, Warren Hills (285, District 1 and Region champion, sixth place in states).

Notes: Robinson and Nauta are looking to join only 33 other wrestlers who have won three Goles titles. Pomrinca, who became the first North Hunterdon wrestler to win three last year, is aiming to join an exclusive list of four-time winners (currently six). Nauta is looking to become only the 17th Blue Streak to win three -- the last was Matt Artigliere (2007-09). ... North Hunterdon looks like the favorite to unseat host Warren Hills, the defending team champion. The Streaks have won or shared 22 championships since the tournament's inception in 1958. Delaware Valley has claimed 10 of the last 16 team titles. North Hunterdon, which re-joined the field in 2008 after a seventh-place finish in 1958, won its only title in 2011. ... Newton, for just the second time since 2000, did not have a champion in 2012, but got back on the board a year ago with Protogeropoulos. Assistant coaches Andy Iliff (1985-86) and Ted Sibblies (1987-88) were two-time winners for the Braves. Del Val assistant Gregg Wiseburn (1999-2000) and North Hunterdon assistant Chris Hrunka (2006) were also champs for the Blue Streaks. Millburn coach Mike Artigliere was a two-time champ for Madison (1985-86).

Monday, December 22, 2014

Wrestling: Preseason power points rankings

The top 60 teams in New Jersey based on preseason power points rankings by section. Non-public schools are mixed in. All other teams begin with a preseason ranking of 23.00.

Note: Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex schools in bold:

North 1
Don Bosco Prep
Bergen Catholic
St. Joseph-Montvale
Morris Knolls
High Point
Lenape Valley
North Bergen
North 2
St. Peters Prep
Bound Brook
Hanover Park
North Hunterdon
Warren Hills
Watchung Hills
West Morris
Scotch Plains
Roselle Park
Central Jersey
South Plainfield
Jackson Memorial
Monroe Township
Brick Township
Long Branch
Hunterdon Central
Christian Brothers
Delaware Valley
Old Bridge
Jackson Liberty
South Jersey
Brick Memorial
St. Augustine
Toms River South
Wall Township
Toms River North

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Wrestling: Sussex preview capsules

High Point Wildcats

Coach: John Gardner (285-77-2, 17th season).

2013-14 record: 17-4, 7-0 NJAC American Division, North 1, Group 2 and Group 2 champions.

Returning starters (7): So. Chase Babus (16-20, D3) 113; Sr. Dom Gallo (32-10, D3, R2) 126-132; So. Aric Wingle (11-14, D4) 132-138; Sr. Mike Derin (33-9, D2, R1) 138;  Sr. Jason Gaccione (37-7, D1, R2) 138-145; Jr. Jared Kobis (4-1, D1-2013) 138-152; Sr. Ryan Cullen (17-15, D3) 152-160.

Key losses: Chris Auer (22-15, D2) 152; Tommy Hooker (24-13, D1) 160; Colby Brands (19-19, D3) 170; Antonio Porraspita (26-14, D3) 182; Kyle Stoll (37-7, D1, R1) 195; Bobby McDonnell (23-17, D2) 220; Gunther Wassong (13-6) 285; Chris Campbell (13-14, D2) 285.

Key returnees: Jr. Justin Liebl 106; Jr. Garrett Fenlon 120-126; Jr. Kurt Rosner 170; Sr. Ryan Olinger (3-2) 182; Jr. Kevin Lewis (4-2) 220; Sr. Henry Kuperus (1-2) 285.

Promising newcomers: Fr. Trey Osborn 113; Fr. Shane Kobis 120; So. Richard Kinkead 195.

Outlook: Wildcats are coming off back-to-back Group 2 championships, but they took a big hit with the graduation of seven starters, including a solid group of upper weights. However, there is a solid nucleus returning, led by former state placewinners Derin and Gaccione. Jared Kobis won 36 bouts as a freshman, but he's been hampered by injuries, including a broken hand that cost him most of his sophomore season. When healthy, he's a threat to place high on the podium in AC. If the upper weights can hold their own, this team has the talent to make another run at sectional and state titles. Gardner, who is closing in on 300 wins, really likes the younger wrestlers on the roster, so the future looks bright in Wantage.

Hopatcong Chiefs

Coach: Eric Fajerman (115-210-3, 15th season).

2013-14 record: 1-21, 0-7 NJAC Freedom Division (eighth).

Returning starters (6): Sr. Joe Aumann (30-8, D3, R4) 113; Jr. Alex Micevski (2-11) 120; Sr. Joey Ioffredo (9-9) 145; So. Jake Wilkerson (18-11, D4) 160; Jr. Brandon Marazzo (6-17) 195; Jr. Christian Burgos (23-8) 220.

Key losses: Troy Bongiovanni (23-15, D2) 170.

Key returnees: Jr. Giancarlo Varrone (2-12) 170.

Promising newcomers: So. Brandon Olmstead 106; Fr. Anthony Mastroeni 132; Sr. Glenn Haines (4-1, transfer from Lenape Valley, D1-2013, R2-2012) 138; Fr. Kurt Hergert 182; Jr. Charlie DeFranza 285

Outlook: It's been a question of numbers for the Chiefs in recent seasons. Forfeits have hampered the program in dual meets, but it appears that if everything shakes right this season, there may only be two weights vacant for most days. Aumann, Wilkerson and Burgos are all coming off successful seasons and the addition of Haines, who reached the Region 1 finals as a freshman, is a big bonus. He was sidelined by a shoulder issue most of last season. Fajerman usually gets the most out of the talent he has so expect to see an improvement in the win column.

Kittatinny Cougars

Coach: John Gill (504-152-5, 35th season).

2013-14 record: 18-3, 7-0 NJAC Freedom Division, North 1, Group 1 champions.

Returning starters (5): So. Kasey Hotz (18-14) 113-120; Jr. Nick Klinger (31-8, D2) 120; Jr. Taylor Molfetto (17-14, D4) 126; Jr. Austin Scrivani (31-10, D1, R3) 132; So. Josh Klimek (9-11) 170.

Key losses: Christian Silva (27-16, D1, R3) 126; Nick West (11-18) 138; Nick Romyns (27-6, D3, R1) 152; Kieran Gerrity (39-6, D1, R3) 170; Dylan Wunder (29-11, D1, R4) 170-182; Garrett Armstrong (33-10, D2, R3) 195; Andrew Simpson (22-12, D4) 220; Tom Smith (27-11, D3) 285.

Key returnees: Sr. Christian Blanton (1-1) 132; Jr. Jake Vanwingerden (4-5, D3-2013) 145-152; Sr. Trevor Schutte (0-12) 145-152; Jr. Luke DeGroat (2-1) 182; Sr, Tyler Wehrenberg (0-1) 195; Jr. Nick Simpson 195; Sr. Peter Block (1-1) 195; Sr. Kyle Cornman (0-1) 220.

Promising newcomers: So. Mark DiGeronimo (transfer from Pope John) 106; Fr. Perry Maio 113; Fr. Calvin Brook 120; So. Dylan Minter 138; So. Cody Mitchell 160; Jr. Griffin Waldron 285.

Outlook: Cougars have been one of the most successful and consistent programs in New Jersey for the better part of two decades. This is looking like one of those rare seasons where it will be a work in progress following heavy graduation losses, especially up top where there are questions for the first time in quite a while. Klinger and Scrivani are two horses that Gill can count on most matches, but the bulk of this lineup is pretty untested. Brook is a talented freshman and will make an impact. Unfortunately, two blue-chip freshmen, Carmen Ferrante (Bergen Catholic) and Jake Brown (Pope John) are wrestling elsewhere. Both would have been starters. If the upper weights can develop, expect this team to exceed expectations. It will certainly be challenge as Kittatinny celebrates its 40th season overall.

Lenape Valley Patriots

Coach: Doug Vetter (165-140-1, 14th season).

2013-14 record: 9-11, 5-2 NJAC Freedom Division (third).

Returning starters (9): Jr. Zach Merkey (15-12) 113; So. Anthony Smaha (7-13) 120; Jr. Aaron Arzon (17-12, D4) 132; So. Nick Palumbo (19-11, D2) 138; Sr. Joe LaBell (23-11, D3) 170; Sr. D.J. Barrett (31-8, D1, R3) 182; Jr. Sam Palumbo (20-14, D1) 195; Jr. Ralph Hall (19-13, D1) 220; Jr. Richie Fritzky (7-18) 285.

Key losses: Sr. Glenn Haines (4-1, D1-2013, transferred to Hopatcong) 145; Dominic LaBell (14-7, D3) 152-160.

Key returnees: So. Ray Smaha (5-7) 113; Jr. Aaron Merkey (3-7) 126; Sr. Josh Bostwick (0-2) 145; Jr. Mike Katz (5-11) 152-160; Jr. Nick Seck (1-6) 152-160; Jr. David Ottoson 170; Jr. Scott Prior (1-3) 182; Sr. Hussein Hamed 285.

Promising newcomers: So. Jake Falleni 106; Fr. Neil Kelly 106; Fr. Jake Hickey 120; Fr. Jordan Costanza 145; So. Ky Dickerson 152.

Outlook: Patriots, who reached the North 1, Group 1 final two seasons ago, are looking to bounce back off a tough campaign. This group, unlike others in the county, features a pretty strong set of upper weights, led by state qualifier Barrett, along with District 2 champs Sam Palumbo and Hall. LaBell is another solid starter up top. There are question marks down low with some inexperience at this level, but this squad has the potential to be pretty balanced and that will almost certainly produce a good number of wins in dual meets. This could be a team that no one wants to see late in the season.

Newton Braves

Coach: Eric Bollette (176-141-1, 14th season).

2013-14 record: 14-13, 4-3 NJAC Freedom Division (fourth).

Returning starters (10): Sr. Trevor Morales (31-7, D2) 120; So. Nick Giordano (16-14) 126; Sr. Eddie Medina (28-12, D2) 132; Sr. Ryan Brigante (11-20, D4) 138; So. Jake DeLuca (8-9, D3) 145; Jr. Lance Fischer (18-19, D4) 160; Sr. Benjamin Sibblies (16-18) 170-182; Sr. Gus Protogeropoulos (35-8, D1, R3) 195-220; Jr. Ethan Reczka (17-12, D4) 195-220; Jr. Tyler Pittenger (13-18) 285.

Key losses: Michael Larsen (9-8) 138; Niko Grello (24-14, D2) 138.

Key returnees: Jr. Mateo Valentine (2-1) 106-113; So. Justin Scribner (2-3) 106; Jr. Michael Valentine (1-9) 132; Sr. Sam Brothman 152; Jr. Ryan Lazar (0-9) 160; So. Skylar Hildebrant 152-160; Jr. Robert Borgognoni (1-6) 160; Jr. Brian Zakrzewski 182; Jr. Koty Wilkenson (1-8) 220; Jr. Nick Zaremski (0-1) 285.

Promising newcomers: Fr. Tim Houlihan 106; Fr. Jonathon Borgognoni 126; Fr. Devon Mager 182; So. Louis Arrazola 182; Fr. Joey DeLuca 195; Jr. Aaron Anane-Agyei 220.

Outlook: Braves snapped a string of back-to-back losing campaigns last season and seem primed for another successful campaign, if things can fall into place. Unfortunately, Medina tore his ACL during football and will miss at least the entire dual meet season. He has a chance to return for districts. His loss creates some lineup dilemmas, but there is talent, especially up top with state qualifier Protogeropoulos anchoring at either 195 or 220. Morales and DeLuca were Region 1 qualifers last season. With the sectional realignment, the Braves figure to be one of the teams to beat in North 1, Group 1, now that Kittatinny is in North 1, Group 2.

Pope John Lions

Coach: Mark Piotrowsky (8-14, second season).

2013-14 record: 8-14, 1-6 NJAC American Division (seventh).

Returning starters (10): So. Ryan Luchs (17-7, D2) 113-120; Sr. Dominic Koert (14-2) 120-126; Jr. Caleb Lewie-Cepero (12-16, D4) 132-138; Sr. Nick Esposito (10-19) 145; Jr. Billy Koenig (7-18) 145-152; Sr. Anthony Azzaritti (17-13, D3) 152-160; Sr. Deriam Guridy (11-10, D3-2012) 182-195; Jr. Michael Anderson (5-18) 182; Jr. Joe Frumolt (7-6) 195; Sr. Marino Priori (1-19) 220.

Key losses: Austin Sisco (35-6, D1, R3) 113; Zeke Lewie-Cepero (14-15, D4) 126; Noa Merritt (30-4, D1, R2) 285.

Key returnees: So. Christian Deehan 106; So. Travis Healy 126-132; Sr. Rich Peterson 170; Jr. Conner Lenehan 285; Sr. Scott Black (1-2) 285.

Promising newcomers: Fr. Jake Rotunda 106-113; Fr. Jake Brown 170.

Outlook: Lions struggled some in dual meets last season, but they managed two representatives in Atlantic City. Luchs and Azzaritti both advanced to Region 1, while Koert enjoyed a successful campaign until an injury sidelined him late. The addition of Brown, a blue-chip freshman out of the Kittatinny system, is a big bonus. He's legit. Expect this group to produce a few more wins and enjoy some individual postseason success.

Sparta Spartans

Coach: Frank Battaglia (36-32, fourth season).

2013-14 record: 13-6, 4-3 NJAC American Division (fourth).

Returning starters (13): Jr. Garrett Gerndt (24-5, D1) 113-120; Sr. Sierra Blasone (5-11) 113; Jr. Andrew Legge (9-13) 120-126; So. Sean McHugh (11-13) 132-138; So. Paddy Finnegan (5-14) 138-145; Sr. Ian Burke (29-4, D1) 145-152; Sr. Walker Schmitzer (27-5, D2) 152-160; Sr. Nathan Sowers (12-10, D2) 160-170; Jr. Al Falco (22-11, D2) 160-170; Sr. Connor Lore (16-12, D4) 182-195; Jr. Zach Herbert (8-13, D4) 182-195; Sr. Gavin Lally (25-8, D3) 195-220; Sr. Jake Vogel (8-15) 285.

Key returnees: Jr. Grant Gerndt (6-4) 120.

Promising newcomers: Fr. Mason Veron 106-113; Fr. Nick Casasenta 126-132; Fr. Anthony Casasenta 126-132; Fr. Kevin Berlin 132; Fr. Josh Fenners 145; Fr. Robbie Gannat 220.

Outlook: Spartans are coming off seasons with 15 and 13 victories after the program pretty had much hit rock bottom. Now, the bar is set higher, as coach Battaglia's group is expected to be one of the better squads in Sussex County. With 12 starters back, including three-time Region 1 qualifier Burke, this could be a banner campaign. Gerndt also won a District 3 title, while three others reached the finals. There are a few suspect weights, but this lineup is pretty balanced. It will be fun to see how this squad does this winter with expectations for the first time.

Vernon Vikings

Coach: Bill Panfile (5-17, second season).

2013-14 record: 5-17, 0-7 NJAC American Division (eighth).

Returning starters (5): So. Roman Moss (7-18) 120; Sr. Sultan Destani (9-13) 132; Jr. Cole Nagle (14-11) 145; So. Mike Roccasanta (1-24) 152; So. Mike Alvarez (8-11) 220.

Key losses: Jerrian Arroyo (9-13) 152; Jr. Tim VanLenten (17-3, D3-2013) 160; Pat Thompson (14-12) 182; Jesse Cornwell (15-6, D4) 195; Bobby Chavez (14-11, D4) 285.

Key returnees: So. Storm DiGuiseppe (2-6) 160.

Promising newcomers: Fr. Sergio Germinario 106; Fr. Charles Emanuel 113; Jr. Brandi Braico 138; Sr. Austin Rappold 170; Jr. Zach Jano 182; Jr. Connor Fitzsimmons 285; Sr, Logan Jones 285.

Outlook: Vikings, once a Group 4 school and now a Group 2, are struggling with low numbers. Making matters worse, VanLenten, a District 3 placewinner as a freshman, did not come out for his junior season. That means that no one in the lineup has earned a district medal. Nagel and Alvarez will be counted on for their leadership, as a young group goes throw growing pains. The goal will be to improve each week and possibly approach last season's win total.

Wallkill Valley Rangers

Coach: Jeff Churchill (first season, 159-89-3 from 1989-2003 at Morris Knolls).

2012-13 record: 4-16, 1-5 NJAC Freedom Division (T-sixth).

Returning starters (7): So. Dillion Whitley (5-21) 126; Sr. Sean Siek (20-10, D4) 138; So. Trevor Kish (11-14) 145; Sr. Joe Tizzano (14-10, D4) 152; Sr. Alex Shucai (5-13) 170; Sr. Patrick Endrikat (16-9) 182; Sr. Ian McDonald (7-9) 195.

Key losses: Andrew Reed 152; Tylar Creeden (11-15) 182.

Key returnees: So. Mark Teevan (4-6) 106; Sr. Brandon Barnet (did not wrestle last season) 132; Sr. Brad Lodema (did not wrestle last season) 160.

Promising newcomers: Fr. Sean DeCoursey 113; Fr. Justin Lindquist 120; Fr. Brodie McDonald 220; So. John McCarthy 285.

Outlook: After going 16-55 over the previous three seasons, the Rangers look to start anew under Churchill, who enjoyed a lot of success during his tenure at Morris Knolls. His two sons, Kevin and Steven, were standout wrestlers at Newton. This will be a challenge for the veteran coach, who inherits a program that's fallen on hard times. Siek and Endrikat are two of the squad's most seasoned wrestlers, while Tizzano finished top four in District 3. Churchill has been working the halls as he brought Barnet and Lodema back into the fold after both sat out in 2013-14.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Wrestling: HWS schedule for Dec. 19-28

Friday, Dec. 19

Skyland Conference

Manville at Voorhees, 6:30 p.m.

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Vernon at Boonton, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

(All tournaments 9 a.m. start unless noted)

Phillipsburg at Beast of the East, 8:30 a.m.
High Point at Colt Classic
Hackettstown, Hunterdon Central and Kittatinny at Caldwell Tournament
Lenape Valley and North Warren at Dover Tournament
Newton at Mount Olive Tournament, 8 a.m.
Belvidere, Pope John, Sparta at Hopatcong Tournament
Vernon at Delaware Valley's Wendy Pandy-Leh Tournament
Wallkill Valley at Morris Knolls Tournament
Voorhees at Mahwah Tournament
Warren Hills at Southern Tournament, 9:30 a.m.
North Hunterdon at Neptune Classic

Sunday, Dec. 21

Phillipsburg at Beast of the East, 8:30 a.m.

Monday, Dec. 22


Lawrence at Delaware Valley, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 23

(All matches 6 p.m. unless noted)

Skyland Conference

Watchung Hills at Hunterdon Central

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Vernon at Morris Catholic
Mount Olive at Hackettstown


Phillipsburg at Howell
Delaware Valley at Hopewell Valley
Kittatinny at West Milford quad, 4 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 27

(All tournaments 9 a.m. start unless noted)

High Point at Brick Memorial's Mustang Classic
Belvidere and North Warren at Kittatinny's Linn Crawn Classic
Voorhees and Wallkill Valley at Lenape Valley Tournament
Delaware Valley, Newton and North Hunterdon at Warren Hills' John Goles Invitational
Hackettstown at Hunterdon Central Invitational
Pope John at Parsippany Tournament


Vernon at Colonia, 1 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 28

Phillipsburg at Bethlehem Holiday Classic

Monday, December 15, 2014

Wrestling: Hunterdon-Warren preview capsules

Belvidere County Seaters

Coach: Dan McIntyre (39-24, fourth season).

2013-14 record: 12-8, 4-1 Skyland Conference Valley Division (second).

Returning starters (13): So. Gio Campana (4-15) 106; Sr. James Smith (16-18, D3) 113; Sr. Javan Viola (12-16) 126; Sr. Matt Hambacher (2-25) 132; Sr. Kenny Kane (19-11, D2) 145; Sr. Brett Hoffmaster (7-14, D4) 145; Sr. Rene Sousa (13-13, D3) 152; Sr. David Harris (25-9, D2) 160; Sr. Kevin Merle (28-10, D2) 170; Sr. Stephen Merle (21-7, D4) 182; Sr. Ryan Stephen (12-7, D3) 195; Sr. Aidan Nelson (1-13) 220; Sr. Bryan Snyder (3-21) 285.

Key losses: Kenny Morgan (11-16) 126; Tyler Dombrosky (11-17) 138; Mark Wolfe (15-15) 195.

Key returnees: Sr. Ture Leahey (2-4) 132; Jr. Robert Panetta (6-7) 138; Sr. Ashton Robinson (2-0) 182.

Promising newcomers: Fr. Ryan Lensi 106; Fr. Krishna Panetta 113; So. Nick Cassidy (transfer from New York) 120; Sr. Jarrod Kiefer 120; So. Cooper Kornegay 126; So. Michael Domingues 132; So. James Galicki 132; So. Nick Appleby 138; So. Joey Sena 138; Sr. Christian Redden 138; So. Alex Nelson 145; Fr. Jeremy Sarson 145; Fr. Tyler Turner 152; Sr. Bill Flohn 160; Sr. Josh Pershpalaj 160; So. Kyle Hartzog 160; So. Craig Cronce 170; Fr. Hunter Smith 170; So. Chris Dragone 182; Sr. Matteo Reina 182; Jr. Jacob Gallagher-Murphy 195; So. Terrell Tutka 220.

Outlook: County Seaters were expected to be in full rebuilding mode last winter, but they surprised with a solid campaign. The addition of the Merles from Stroudsburg, Pa,. helped solidify the lineup. They will be the leaders again this season for coach McIntyre's squad, which returns a wealth of experience and an awesome number of 39 wrestlers in the room. That is outstanding for a tiny Group 1 school. This lineup looks to have balance and a solid coaching staff, which includes former Belvidere standout Seth Wisner, should have this group primed for perhaps its finest dual season under this regime.

Delaware Valley Terriers
Coach: Andy Fitz (121-43, eighth season).

2013-14 record: 20-7, 4-2 Skyland Conference Raritan Division (third).

Returning starters (6): Jr. Kyle Refalvy (15-17, D3) 120; So. Matt Kolonia (25-12, D2) 126; Sr. Ryan Erwin (16-9) 132; So. Rhys Zigich (8-12) 138-145; Sr. Cory Lightner (23-12, D3) 160; Jr. Kyle Schlittler (23-10, D4) 182.

Key losses: Tyler Smith (20-16, D3, R4) 120; Codey Leh (18-13) 138; Nour Mays (26-12, D3) 160; Luke Zehnbauer (7-4) 170; Kody Eichlin (33-3, D1, R3) 182; Brian Baehr (20-13, D2) 220; Marek Tomanek (34-6, D1, R3) 285.

Key returnees: Jr. Jake Moore (3-0) 113; Jr. Vito Intili (3-4) 120-126; So. Connor Mills (7-9, D4) 138; So. Tanner McLaughlin 145; So. Chase Bauberger (6-6) 152; Sr. Brock Hauser (7-3) 195; Jr. Zach LaDuca (1-2) 220.

Promising newcomers: Jr. Matt Meehan 170; Sr. Matt Powell 285.

Outlook: Terriers, who enter the season six wins shy of 700 as a program, sustained heavy graduation losses, including a pair of state qualifiers, and are looking to be in a rebuilding mode. Kolonia, Lightner and Schlittler were 20-match winners last season and will be counted on for greater success this winter. Fitz likes the depth in the middle of the lineup, but most of the upper weights are untested and any great dual meet success will hinge on their improvement. With the school's last sectional title coming in 2006, this squad is aiming to challenge Raritan in Central Jersey, Group 2.

Hackettstown Tigers

Coach: Frank Rodgers (184-185-4, 12th season of second stint, 19th overall).

2013-14 record: 10-16, 3-4 NJAC Freedom Division (fifth).

Returning starters (9): So. Steven Nicotra (10-13) 113; Jr. Joe Renne (32-8, D1) 126; So. Anthony Gonzalez (12-23) 145; Jr. Anthony Carida (24-11) 152; Jr. Thomas Bordi (1-12) 170; So. Kyle Connelly (12-19, D4) 182; Jr. Tahke Martin (3-23) 195; Sr. Teddy Gurnowski (19-16) 195; So John Jensen (1-16) 220.

Key losses: Tony Figueroy (18-16, D4) 113; Matt Nicotra (18-17) 132.

Key returnees: So. Justin Bennett (6-6) 106; So. Jake Figueroy (0-8) 126; Jr. Brandon Baker (5-9) 132; So. Tyler Palomino (7-8) 138; Jr. Eldin Ribic (8-14) 160; Jr. Robert Trineer (2-7) 220.

Promising newcomers: Fr. Alex Carida 120; Fr. Robert Spezza 138; Fr. Shawn Burke 152; Jr. Nick Renne 160.

Outlook: Tigers enjoyed a nice bounce-back season with 10 victories and have a bonafide star in Renne, who won his first District 1 title last season. His twin brother, Nick, is out for the first time after wrestling on the youth level and Rodgers is hopeful he can be another solid contributor. The upper weights, which were a huge question mark last season, figure to be improved. The question is if there is enough balance in the lineup to improve on last year's win total. Competing in a tough division will also be a challenge once again for the Warren County school.

Hunterdon Central Red Devils

Coach: Jon Cantagallo-Rohm (first season).

2013-14 record: 19-7, 4-1 Skyland Conference Delaware Division (T-first).

Returning starters (8): So. Peter Nace (30-9, D1) 113; Sr. Kyler Rodriguez (18-13, D2-2013) 132-138; So. Chris Taylor (5-19) 132; Sr. Nick Taylor (17-17, D4) 138-145; Sr. Hunter Orr (9-20) 145; Sr. Joe Scerbo (31-11, D3, R4) 160-170; Sr. Nestor Crespo (25-12, D3) 182-195; Sr. Nick Suk (27-11, D1) 182-195;

Key losses: Dylan Nace (43-4, D1, R2, S5) 132; Collin Boylan (42-6, D1, R3, S8) 145; Gary Dinmore (39-3, D1, R1, S2) 152; Arturo Hernandez (9-12, D3) 220; Dan Hausman (21-16, D3) 285.

Key returnees: So. Bryce Hall (3-2) 106-113; Jr. Gabino Careaga (2-1) 145; Jr. Christian Long (3-6) 145-152; Sr. Sean Dalgauer (2-3) 152-160; So. Michael Iodice (1-1) 170-182; Sr. Bryan Bausback (1-0) 170; Sr. David Furmato (5-6) 182-195; Sr. Leo Acquino (injured last season) 220-285; Sr. Eric Navarro (1-2) 220-285; So. Andres Navarro (2-0) 220-285.

Promising newcomers: Fr. Hunter Graf 106; Fr. Kevin Ciresa 138-145.

Outlook: Red Devils have a new coach this season in former assistant Cantagallo-Rohm, who took over for Steve Gibble when he was unceremoniously dismissed last month. Central was hit hard by graduation for the second straight season, but eight starters return, including District 17 champs Nace and Suk. Scerbo and Crespo are also proven winners, so there is a nucleus to build around. If some of the inexperienced wrestlers in the lineup can contribute, this team has a chance to surprise and very well could reach the Central Jersey, Group 5 final.

North Hunterdon Lions

Coach: Tim Flynn (75-28, sixth season).

2013-14 record: 17-3, 5-1 Skyland Conference Raritan Division (second).

Returning starters (8): Sr. Paul Robinson (21-8, D1-2013) 106-113; Sr. Luke Approvato (18-15, D3) 120-126; Sr. Ryan Pomrinca (39-2, D1, R1, S3) 126-132; So. Matt Mohan (11-8, D2) 126-13; Jr. Derek Ciavarro (20-13, D3) 145-152; Jr. Brian Smolinsky (24-8) 152-160; Sr. Michael Sicola (29-11, D1, R3) 160-170; Jr. Tyler Gapas (11-14, D4) 182.

Key losses: Eric Martin (25-9, D3) 132; Mike Ciavarro (35-9, D2, R2) 152; Joe Guzzo (33-7, D1, R2) 170; Tim Bartlett (16-11) 220.

Key returnees: Sr. Mike Bednar (5-10) 138-145; Sr. Miles Mohan (1-5) 138-152.

Promising newcomers: Fr. Andrew Gapas 113-120; Fr. Will Hughes 113-120; Jr. Thomas Attansaio 126; Fr. Tucker Kirchberger 126-132; So. Jack Carroll 126-132; So. Cole Marra 132; Jr. Wyatt Vrancken 170-182; Sr. Connor Farina 182; Sr. Gregg Luberto 182-195; Jr. Will Moody 195-220; Jr. John Williams 220; So. Charlie Tordik 285.

Outlook: Lions return eight starters and are always well coached, so this is shaping up to be another solid campaign for the clearcut team to beat in Hunterdon County. Pomrinca, a two-time state placewinner, is one of the top wrestlers in the state and is heading to Lehigh next season. The younger Gapas enjoyed a very successful career on the youth level and will help solidify a talented group of lower weights. Once again the upper weights are a bit of a question mark, but regardless, North is looking like the class of the newly created North 2, Group 5 section.

North Warren Patriots

Coach: Scott Stoll (first season).

2013-14 record: 8-14, 1-5 NJAC Freedom Division (T-sixth).

Returning starters (6): So. Steven Skuropacki (2-19) 106; Sr. Gino Fluri (24-12, D3) 138; Jr. Anthony Duardo (14-14) 152; Sr. Jack Butrymowicz (17-13) 182; Jr. Bryan Benson (5-21) 182; Jr. Alex Leontaris (9-16) 195.

Key losses: Matt Ritchie (29-8, D1) 126; John Norgard (15-12, D3) 145; Johnny Hayes (25-5, D4) 160; Sr. Will O'Connell (19-14, D2) 285.

Key returnees: Sr. Tyler Giacobbe (1-0) 132; So. Shannon Grogan (8-6) 145; So. Ryan Reyes (0-7) 160; Jr. Ryan Baldwin (1-1) 195; Sr. Sean Drylie (0-1) 285.

Promising newcomers: Fr. Colin Keoghan 113; Fr. Michael Pell 120.

Outlook: After a strong debut two seasons ago as members of the NJAC, the Patriots took a big step back last season as they finished near the bottom of the Freedom Division. This season, the Warren County school will start anew with former assistant coach Stoll, who takes over for the classy Matt Parzero. It won't be an easy start, as the Pats are behind the 8-ball numbers-wise, while Fluri is the only wrestler on the squad with a district medal on the resume. With no standout individuals -- O'Connell is not with the team this season for undisclosed reasons -- the Pats will look to build on the team concept and need some of the younger wrestlers to improve as the season wears on. It's looking much like another rebuilding campaign in Blairstown.

Phillipsburg Stateliners

Coach: Dave Post (60-13, fifth season).

2013-14 record: 18-0, 6-0 Skyland Conference Raritan Division (first).

Returning starters (10): Jr. Brandon Paetzell (39-2, D1, R1, S2) 113; Jr. Tyler Agans (9-14) 120; Jr. DJ Wissing (19-12) 138; Sr. Steve Friedman (18-16, D2) 145; Sr. Corey Zinsmeister (26-10, D3, R4) 152; Sr. Jimmy Schuitema (23-4, D1, R1 in 2013) 160; Sr. Max Elling (34-6, D1, R4) 170; So. Drew Horun (20-8) 182-195; Sr. Joe Maso (25-9, D2) 195-220; So. Robert Melise (5-6, D3) 220-285.

Key losses: Tylor Petchonka (15-12) 126; Garrett Wolfinger (12-6) 145; Broderick Bupivi (24-9) 160; Jake Kocsis (30-12, D1, R2, S4) 170.

Key returnees: Jr. Kyle Markus (2-0) 106; Jr. Tom Kosar 113-120; Sr. Donald Agans (4-2) 132; Sr. Yann Ondele (1-2) 182; Sr. Tim Hinkle (8-7) 182-195.

Promising newcomers: Fr. Brian Meyer 126; Jr. Kyle Nothnagel (transfer from Pa.) 285.

Outlook: Stateliners, who are 12 wins shy of 900 as a program, are coming off the program's fourth unbeaten season and first since 1969-70, capping it with a thrilling Group 4 title win over Southern. It's a new season, but the 'Liners are primed to repeat with one of the most balanced lineups in the Garden State. Paetzell, one of 10 returning starters, gets it started down low as he attempts to capture state gold. Schuitema and Elling should be plenty hungry to claim their first medals in AC in the final seasons of their outstanding careers. Nothnagel is a bonus addition up top, but the former P'burg elementary product may have to sit 30 days per NJSIAA transfer rules. Anything short of the program's 19th state team championship would be a major disappointment. As usual, the schedule is loaded with duals scheduled against state-ranked teams like Bound Brook, Southern, Howell, Hanover Park and High Point.

Voorhees Vikings

Coach: Eric Hall (87-21, fifth season).

2013-14 record: 20-7, 3-3 Skyland Conference Raritan Division (fourth).

Returning starters (6): Sr. Harley Sacks (24-11, D2) 120; Jr. Kyle DiNapoli (34-7, D1, R3) 126; Sr. Jack Blunk (8-15) 138; Jr. Devan Thomas (14-11, D4) 145; Jr. Derek Howerth (12-18) 195; Sr. Alex Fischetti (2-1, D1-2013) 285.

Key losses: Cody Ihling (31-9, D1, R2) 120; Thomas Bieshke (13-4) 132; Mike Muscatello (24-7, D2) 138; Christian Okulicz (26-10, D3) 145; William Gonsiewski (12-14) 152; Jordan Juliano (27-10, D2) 170; Cody Kubinak (13-18) 182; Merritt Francis (16-17, D3) 195.

Key returnees: So. Liam Cutri-French (2-2) 113; Jr. Garrett Birchenough (1-1) 132; So. Michael Fernandes (5-2) 152; Sr. Thomas Riley (10-9) 160; Jr. Charlie Rodenberger (5-9, D4) 182.

Promising newcomers: So. Augi Hietoff 106; Fr. Colby Koshinski 106; Sr. Clayton Birchenough 138; Sr. Sam Lamport (3-4) 170; So. Colton Curtis 170; So. Adam Murdock 220.

Outlook: Vikings return only six starters and are two years removed from claiming the North 2, Group 2 sectional championship -- the program's 15th title. The program lost quite a bit to graduation, including five Region 5 qualifiers. The good news is that Fischetti, a District 17 champ two seasons ago, is back after sustaining a season-ending knee injury at Warren Hills on opening day last year. DiNapoli is a bonafide star and is coming off a fine offseason. As always, one major goal is to go unbeaten against the other three Hunterdon County schools, something the Vikes, who went 0-for-3 last season, haven't done since 1996. This squad will be well coached, so expect it be much improved by season's end.

Warren Hills Blue Streaks

Coach: Jarrett Hosbach (120-93, 10th season).

2013-14 record: 11-11, 2-4 Skyland Conference Raritan Division (fifth).

Returning starters (9): So. Ryan Mosher (6-22) 113; So. Matt Valli (26-9, D1) 120; Sr. John Fluck (9-7, D3-2012) 126; So. Zach Nauta (18-10, D4) 132; Sr. Max Nauta (30-8, D1, R2) 138; Sr. Austin Pidoto (19-15, D3) 145; Jr. Anthony Roessner (13-19, D4) 160; Jr. Kurt Nemeth (3-4, D3) 195; Sr. Andrew Pacheco (35-5, D1, R1, S6) 285.

Key losses: Ryan Ostir (19-13, D1) 160; Steve Cleaver (22-10, D3) 182; Ryan Witner (23-12, D3) 220.

Key returnees: Sr. Christian Wanamaker 126; Sr. Tyler Annunziata (1-2) 138; So. Rashon Wade-Taylor 152; So. Taylin Zafis (0-1) 220.

Promising newcomers: Fr. Kyle Wulff 106; Fr. Cody O'Rourke 106; Fr. Pedro Cruz 120; Fr. Cameron Nauta 132; Fr. Jarod Ostir 145; So. Brody Oberly 182.

Outlook: Blue Streaks were expected to make a major push forward last season, but injuries helped to derail their season. There's enough talent returning for this group to make a push for the North 2, Group 3 title, and really this squad should be the favorite if everyone can fall into the right weight classes. Valli had an outstanding rookie season and will anchor things down low, while Max Nauta, a three-time state qualifier, and Pacheco, a medal winner, aspire to finish high on the podium in AC.