Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Wrestling: Hunterdon-Warren preview capsules

Belvidere County Seaters

Coach: Dan McIntyre (55-27, fifth season).

2014-15 record: 16-3, 4-1 Skyland Conference Valley Division (second).

Returning starters (3): Jr. Gio Campana (7-12) 120; Jr. Nick Cassidy (19-8, D1) 126; Sr. Robert Panetta (7-9) 138.

Key losses: James Smith (14-12) 120; Kenny Kane (16-10, D3) 145; Rene Sousa (17-9) 152; David Harris (18-6, D3) 160; Kevin Merle (27-4, D2) 170; Ryan Stephen (20-9, D3) 182; Stephen Merle (27-6, D2) 195; Ashton Robinson (13-7, D4) 220.

Key returnees: Fr. Kristian Panetta (1-4) 120; So. Cooper Kornegay (0-1) 138; Jr. Nick Appleby (1-9) 160; Sr. Josh Pershpalaj (2-2) 170; Jr. Terrell Tutka (4-8) 220.

Promising newcomers: Fr. Quinn Melofchik 106; So. Ryan Lensi 113; Fr. Gage Gares 120; Sr. Gerrit Bailey 132; So. Mason Scott 132; Jr. James Galicki 138; Fr. Vasilios Nikolopoulos 138; Sr. Bailey Castner 152; Jr. Joey Sena 170; Jr. Kyle Hartzog 170; Sr. Jacob Gallagher-Murphy 170; So. Hunter Smith 170; So. Ryan Kokawski 170; Jr. Chris Dragone 182; Jr. Zack DeLuca 182; Jr. Craig Cronce 220; Jr. Bartolomeo Pepe 285.

Outlook: County Seaters are coming off a solid 16-win campaign last winter, but the loss of 11 starters, including five Region 1 qualifiers, should put the program back into a rebuilding mode. Cassidy, a transfer from New York, won a District 1 title as a sophomore and is clearly the Seaters' top returning wrestler. Numbers in the room are once again solid for a tiny Group 1 school and this coaching staff is excellent, so expect improvement as the season wears on.

Delaware Valley Terriers
Coach: Andy Fitz (136-48, ninth season).

2014-15 record: 15-5, 3-3 Skyland Conference Raritan Division (T-third).

Returning starters (10): Jr. Dylan Uderman (8-16) 106; Sr. Jake Moore (20-7, D3) 126; Sr. Kyle Refalvy (17-12, D4) 126; Jr. Matt Kolonia (25-9, D2, R4) 132; Jr. Connor Mills (13-13, D4) 138; Jr. Rhys Zigich (11-18, D3) 145; Jr. Chase Bauberger (13-10) 152; Sr. Matt Meehan (6-9) 182; Sr. Kyle Schlittler (29-6, D1, R4) 195; Jr. Jeff Underhill (7-10) 195-220.

Key losses: Ryan Erwin (33-7, D2, R3) 132; Cory Lightner (25-6, D1) 170; Brock Houser (23-11, D2) 195.

Key returnees: Sr. Vito Intili (2-2) 120; Jr. Tanner McLaughlin (3-11) 152; So. Nick Zehnbauer (8-2) 160; Jr. Sean Lessig (5-6) 160; So. Kyle Lightner (0-1) 170-182; Sr. Darnell Louis-Pierre 195; Sr. Zach LaDuca (2-11) 220-285; So. Joe Pandy 285; Sr. Ethan Kendzulak 285.

Promising newcomers: Fr. AJ DeRosa 113.

Outlook: Terriers, who appeared to be heading into a rebuilding mode last season, captured a Central Jersey, Group 2 title -- the program's first sectional championship since 2006. With 10 starters back from that team, expectations are high in Alexandria Township for another title run this winter. Kolonia and Schlittler were a step away from Atlantic City last season and will be among the leaders. Competing in arguably the toughest division in the state, a third-place finish or higher may be in the cards. Expect this group, a heavy favorite in the section, to get even better by season's end.

Hackettstown Tigers

Coach: Frank Rodgers (199-195-4, 13th season of second stint, 20th overall).

2014-15 record: 15-10, 1-2 NJAC Freedom Division (third).

Returning starters (10): Jr. Steven Nicotra (15-18) 106-113; Sr. Joe Renne (35-8, D2, R1) 120-126; So. Alex Carida (26-13, D3) 120-126; Jr. Justin Bennett (14-19, D4) 126-132; Sr. Brandon Baker (14-18) 138-145; So. Robert Spezza (20-14) 152-160; Sr. Anthony Carida (26-8) 152-160; Jr. Anthony Gonzalez (14-19) 160-170; Jr. Kyle Connelly (23-11, D4) 182-195; Sr. John Jensen (7-15) 220.

Key losses: Teddy Gurnowski (24-9) 220; Tahke Martin (11-19) 195.

Promising newcomers: So. Erick Garcia 113; Fr. Kyle Salazar 170; So. Joe Andes 285.

Outlook: Tigers are coming off seasons on 10 and 15 wins, and they return 10 starters so this is a group that won't sneak up on anyone. Renne, who won his first Region 1 title last season, is one of the top returning wrestlers in the area and one of its best shots at a medal in Atlantic City. He is eight wins shy of 100 for his career. The lineup is pretty balanced for the most part, though there are some questions in the lower and upper weights. Competing in a tough division will also be a challenge once again for the Warren County school, which finished behind Lenape Valley and High Point last season. Depth is an issue, so the Tigers need to remain healthy to achieve their goals.

Hunterdon Central Red Devils

Coach: Jon Cantagallo-Rohm (17-8, second season).

2014-15 record: 17-8, 3-3 Skyland Conference Raritan Division (T-third), Central Jersey, Group 5 champion, Group 5 runner-up.

Returning starters (8): So. Hunter Graf (31-11, D1, R2) 113; Jr. Peter Nace (38-7, D1, R2) 120; Jr. Bryce Hall (7-21) 126; Jr. Mark Dellevalle (2-11) 126-132; Jr. Chris Taylor (11-20) 138; So. Kevin Ciresa (17-19, D2) 145; Jr. Michael Iodice (29-9, D2, R4) 170-182; Jr. Victor Lacombe (16-10, D3) 220.

Key losses: Nick Taylor (17-15, D4) 145; Joe Scerbo (31-8, D2) 160; Nick Suk (37-9, D3, R3) 182; Nestor Crespo (39-5, D2, R2) 195; Leo Acquino (20-10, D2) 285.

Key returnees: Sr. Brian Gartland (1-1) 145; Sr. Sterling Whitlow (1-3) 152; Sr. Nick McDermott (0-2) 170; Sr. Connor Wheatley (5-3) 195; So. Angelo Crespo (1-0) 220-285.

Promising newcomers: Fr. Jack Bauer 106; Fr. Pasquale Vizzoni 113-120; Fr. Vincent Romaniello 126-132; Fr. Dan Furmato 152; Sr. Dylan Sishta 152; Sr. Will Heidersberger 160; Sr. Gavin Hoff 182; Fr. Ryan Joyce 220-285.

Outlook: Red Devils did a nice job going 17-8 and capturing the Central Jersey, Group 5 title under Cantagallo-Rohm, who took over the program just weeks before last season began. Central was hit hard by graduation, but eight starters return, including District 17 champs Graf and Nace. Ciresa and Iodice made the district finals, so there is a solid nucleus. If some of the inexperienced wrestlers in the lineup can contribute, this team has a chance to surprise.

North Hunterdon Lions

Coach: Tim Flynn (91-32, seventh season).

2014-15 record: 16-4, 3-3 Skyland Conference Raritan Division (T-third), North 2, Group 5 champion.

Returning starters (8): So. Will Arnold (2-21) 106; Jr. Cole Marra (9-9, D4) 138-145; Sr. Brian Smolinsky (36-4, D1, R3) 152-160; Sr. Derek Ciavarro (22-9, D1, R3) 160; Sr. Wyatt Vrancken (19-16, D3) 170-182; Sr. Tyler Gapas (24-11, D2) 182-195; Sr. John Williams (2-11) 220; Jr. Charlie Tordik (23-11, D3) 285.

Key losses: Paul Robinson (29-8, D2) 113; Luke Approvato (29-5, D2) 120; Ryan Pomrinca (40-1, D1, R1, S3) 126; Jr. Matt Mohan (18-9, D2-2014, moved to Arizona) 132; Michael Sicola (34-7, D1, R2) 160.

Key returnees: So. Will Hughes 120; So. Andrew Gapas (8-4) 126; So. Tucker Kirchberger 132; Sr. Carmine Ricciardi (1-4) 182-195; Jr. Will Woody (1-9) 195-220.

Promising newcomers: Fr. Nick House 106; Sr. Rob Spies 113; So. Yuseph Abbas 182.

Outlook: Lions, who approaching 700 wins as a program, lost several solid wrestlers and sustained a blow when Mohan, a District 17 finalist two seasons ago, moved to Arizona, leaving them with eight returning starters. Pomrinca, a three-time state placewinner, graduated as the school's all-time wins leader. The younger Gapas enjoyed a very successful career on the youth level and will help bolster an inexperienced group of lower weights. The upper weights, a question mark in recent seasons, are much better, while Ciavarro and Smolinsky anchor the middle of the lineup, North shifts back to North 2, Group 4 this season, reuniting there with favorite Phillipsburg.

North Warren Patriots

Coach: Scott Stoll (8-13, second season).

2014-15 record: 8-13, 1-3 NJAC Colonial Division (T-third).

Returning starters (6): Jr. Steven Skuropacki (9-19) 113; Jr. Shannon Grogan (22-12, D4) 138; Sr. Anthony Duardo (22-9, D3) 152; Jr. Ryan Reyes (6-16) 160; Sr. Ryan Baldwin (7-18) 182; Sr. Alex Leontaris (13-14) 195.

Key losses: Gino Fluri (30-8, D2) 132; Jack Butrymowicz (30-9, D2) 182.

Key returnees: So. Michael Pell (4-12) 138; Sr. Kevon Hartley (4-5) 170; So. Luke Golick (1-1) 285.

Promising newcomers: Fr. Patrick O'Brien 106-113; Fr. Kevin Schaffer 120; Fr. Ryan Walsh 145; Fr. Joe Voitek 145.

Outlook: As expected, last season was a rebuilding one for the Patriots. With just six returning starters this winter, it could be another struggle to produce victories. Duardo is top returner after advancing to Region 1 as a junior, while Grogan also logged 20-plus wins, but was a step shy of advancing out of District 1. If some of the upperweights and newcomers can step up, approaching last season's win total isn't out of the question.

Phillipsburg Stateliners

Coach: Dave Post (78-14, sixth season).

2014-15 record: 18-1, 6-0 Skyland Conference Raritan Division, North 2, Group 4, Group 4 champions.

Returning starters (9): Sr. Kyle Markus (28-16, D2, R3) 113-120; Sr. Tom Kosar (11-11, D2) 113-120; Sr. Brandon Paetzell (12-0, injured last season) 126-132; Sr. Tyler Agans (16-20, D3) 138; So. Brian Meyer (21-14, D1) 145; Sr. DJ Wissing (29-12, D2) 152-160; Jr. Drew Horun (28-9, D3) 195; Jr. Robert Melise (38-9, D1, R2, S5) 220; Sr. Kyle Nothnagel (20-5, D2, R3) 285.

Key losses: Donald Agans (17-17, D4) 132; Steve Friedman (31-11, D1, R2) 145; John Kaluzny (24-9, D1) 152; Max Elling (43-4, D1, R3) 160; Jimmy Schuitema (36-5, D1, R4) 170; Yann Ondele (9-3, D1) 182.

Key returnees: So. Cullen Day (1-1) 106; So. Lance Wissing 132; Sr. Chris Ruiz 152-160; Jr. Jason Barna 182.

Promising newcomers: Fr. Kyle Tino 126-132; Fr. Jayson Zinsmeister 126-132; Fr. Austin Roth 170; So. Shamyr Brodders 170; Jr. Dan Fisher 182.

Outlook: Stateliners went over the 900 wins mark as a program last season and won back-to-back Group titles for the first time since winning three in a row from 1997-99, while earning its third in four years. Paetzell, a former state runner-up and one of nine returning starters, missed most of last season with a hand injury and is 12 wins shy of 100. Markus and Kosar, who did a fine job of filling in after Paetzell went down, also help anchor a solid group of lower weights. Graduation took its toll on the program's star power, but P'burg features a formidable group up top with Melise, a fifth-place medal winner in AC, leading the charge. Goes without saying that anything short of the program's 20th state team championship would be a disappointment, but it will be fun to see this squad come along with some new faces.

Voorhees Vikings

Coach: Eric Hall (101-28, sixth season).

2014-15 record: 14-7, 1-5 Skyland Conference Raritan Division (sixth), North 2, Group 3 champion.

Returning starters (6): So. Colby Koshinski (11-20) 106; Sr. Kyle DiNapoli (36-7, D1, R3, S8) 132; Jr. Liam Cutri-French (15-13, D4) 138; Jr. Michael Fernandes (28-10, D2) 160; So. Scott Fernandes (13-16) 182; Sr. Derek Howarth (20-10, D1) 195.

Key losses: Harley Sacks (20-12, D3) 126; Devan Thomas (24-8, D2) 145; Thomas Riley (18-15, D3) 160; Sam Lamport (16-15) 170; Alex Fischetti (28-4, D4) 285.

Key returnees: Sr. Ryan Flatley (0-2) 152; Jr. Adam Murdock 220.

Promising newcomers: Fr. Hunter Rinehart 113; Jr. Colton Riley 120-126; Jr. TJ Leonessa 120-126; Jr. Ben Brandner 145; Fr, Lewis Fernandes 170.

Outlook: Vikings are coming off another successful campaign, winning the North 2, Group 3 sectional championship -- the program's 16th title and second in three years. Heavy graduation losses and senior Charlie Rodenberger (18-13 at 195) opting not to wrestle leave this team plenty young and inexperienced in several weight classes. DiNapoli is four wins shy of 100 and looking to improve on an eight-place finish in AC last season, while Lewis Fernandes joins his brothers after a successful youth career. The one goal of going unbeaten against the other three Hunterdon County schools is something the Vikes haven't done since 1996. Despite the inexperience, and with some luck, this team may get a chance to push once again for a sectional title.

Warren Hills Blue Streaks

Coach: Jarrett Hosbach (130-104, 11th season).

2014-15 record: 10-11, 0-6 Skyland Conference Raritan Division (seventh).

Returning starters (9): So. Cody O'Rourke (10-16) 120; Jr. Matt Valli (11-3, injured, D1-2014) 126; So. Jacob DiNapoli (11-18) 126-132; Jr. Zach Nauta (17-14, D4) 138; So. Jarod Ostir (17-13, D4) 160; Sr. Anthony Roessner (16-17, D4) 170; Sr. Kurt Nemeth (20-14, D3-2014) 195; Jr. Brody Oberly (5-22) 220; Jr. Taylan Zafis (1-18) 285.

Key losses: John Fluck (15-10) 126; Max Nauta (31-8, D1, R1) 132; Austin Pidoto (13-14) 138; Andrew Pacheco (29-4, D1, R1) 285.

Key returnees: So. Kyle Wulff (injured last season) 113; So. Pedro Cruz (0-7) 126-132; So. Cameron Nauta (3-4) 145; Jr. Rashon Wade Taylor 152; Sr. Brandon Winger (0-4) 182;

Promising newcomers: Fr. Cody Harrison 106; Fr. Chris Ostir 113; Jr. Kyle Henderson 145; Fr. Nick Galka 182; Fr. Dominic Primiani 195.

Outlook: Blue Streaks, who are just six wins away from 700 overall, have been hampered by injuries in recent seasons, losing Wulff (knee) before last year even got underway, while Valli went down midway through the campaign. With 10 starters returning, there's enough talent for this group to make a push for the North 1, Group 4 title. Valli and Nemeth were Region 1 qualifiers in 2014, while talented Jarod Ostir is poised to make a run in the postseason. Zafis took his lumps as a sophomore, but he had a really strong summer season and his improvement would be a big plus. Harrison is a blue-chipper and will make an immediate impact. Keep an eye on this squad, which could be a handful by season's end.

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