Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Wrestling: Wrestling: Region 1 preview, predictions

Where: Wallkill Valley Regionial High School, Hardyston.

When: Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Wednesday schedule: Preliminaries, 5 p.m. (Doors open at 3 p.m.).

Friday schedule: Quarterfinals, 4 p.m. (Doors open at 2:40 p.m.).

Saturday schedule: (Doors open at 7 a.m.): Semifinals, 9 a.m., immediately followed by two rounds of wrestlebacks; third-place consolations approximately 30 minutes after wrestlebacks; championships following consolations.

Ticket prices: Wednesday and Friday, $5 general admission and $3 for students and senior citizens. Saturday, $5 general admission and $3 for students and senior citizens or an all-day session pass is $10 and $6. Tickets for consolations and finals only are $5 and $3.

Alternative schedule: If Wednesday is postponed, the tournament will start on Thursday. If Friday's session is postponed, three sessions will take place on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. If Saturday's schedule is wiped out, the same schedule will apply to Sunday.

Returning champions (10): Jr. Shane Metzler, West Morris (120); Sr. Garrett O'Shea, Butler (126); Sr. Joe Renne, Hackettstown (126); Sr. Jared Kobis, High Point (145); Sr. Daniel Kilroy, Wayne Hills (170); Jr. Brandon Kui, DePaul (182); Sr. Patrick Daly, Pequannock (195); Sr. Scott Lavelle, DePaul (220); Sr. Brandon Paetzell, Phillipsburg (132-2014); Sr. Dean Drugac, Morris Knolls (195-2014).

The top three finishers at each weight class advance to the 83rd State Wrestling Championships held March 4-6 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

Qualifiers by school

Kittatinny 10; Phillipsburg 10; Montville 10; DePaul 9; Roxbury 9; Wayne Valley 9; Lenape Valley 8; Pope John 8; Warren Hills 8; High Point 7; Sparta 7; Butler 6; Hackettstown 6; Mendham 6; Jefferson 5; Morris Knolls 5; Pequannock 5; Randolph 5; West Morris 5; Newton 4; Pompton Lakes 4; North Warren 3; Kinnelon 3; Morris Hills 3; Wayne Hills 3; Belvidere 2; Lakeland 2; Mount Olive 2; Hopatcong 1; Vernon 1; Morris Catholic 1; West Milford 1; Dover 0; Wallkill Valley 0.

106 pounds

1. Joe Aragona, Pope John; 2. Cody Harrison, Warren Hills; 3. Devin Flannery, High Point.

Notes: Aragona (33-0) has really turned it on since the Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament, where he won the title with a 3-1 victory over Harrison. That bout was 1-1 in the final 10 seconds before Aragona converted the go-ahead takedown. Harrison (19-5), who looked good in winning the District 1 title, majored Montville's Ronald Rumsby, the No. 3 seed, 14-5 in December.

113 pounds

1. Daniel Percelay, DePaul; 2. Kyle Markus, Phillipsburg; 3. Jacob Falleni, Lenape Valley.

Notes: Markus (30-6) looking to avenge a 5-3 loss to Percelay (28-5) in last year's semifinals at 106. These guys have been 1-2 in our rankings all season. Falleni (20-9) had a disappointing Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament, getting pinned by Kittatinny's Mark DiGeronimo in the semifinals.

120 pounds

1. Shane Metzler, West Morris; 2. Jake Rotunda, Pope John; 3. Tom Kosar, Phillipsburg.

Notes: Metzler, who finished fourth in the state last year, is one of 10 returning champions in this year's field and has 99 career victories. Rotunda, a runner-up last year, dropped a 7-3 decision to Metzler in the John Goles Invitational finals. Kosar (15-10) has a tough draw. With a victory on Wednesday, he would get Metzler in the quarterfinals. The Stateliner, who lost by technical fall to Metzler in December, closed the gap with a 7-4 loss in the D1 finals.

126 pounds

1. Troy Stanich, Roxbury; 2. Garrett O'Shea, Morris Knolls; 3. Robert Garcia, Pope John.

Notes: Just a ridiculously loaded weight class with six wrestlers all of state tournament caliber, including returning placers Stanich (sixth) and O'Shea (fourth). You don't want to have to navigate through the wrestlebacks here. Garcia may get a quarterfinal rematch with Warren Hills' Matt Valli, who beat Garcia, 6-5, in the Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament finals. Hackettstown's Joe Renne, a Region 1 champion, gave Valli (32-1) his first loss in the D1 finals.

132 pounds

1. Brandon Paetzell, Phillipsburg; 2. Nick Klinger, Kittatinny; 3. Wyatt McCarthy, Newton.

Notes: Another tough weight now that Paetzell, who is 97-12 overall, is back in action and seeking a third title. Only four Stateliners have won three. P'burg coach Dave Post was a two-time winner (2002 and '03). Klinger looks like he's stepped things up with a 9-4 win over McCarthy in the D3 finals. McCarthy is one tough freshman, losing 10-8 in OT to Hopatcong's Anthony Mastroeni, who finished fourth last year, on Jan. 27.

138 pounds

1. Austin Scrivani, Kittatinny; 2, Chris Grecco, Pompton Lakes; 3. Alex Zangrilli, Pequannock.

Notes: Easy choice here. After two straight third-place finishes, Scrivani (31-1) is the heavy favorite, having scored a 16-5 win over Grecco earlier this month. Grecco (35-1) topped Zangrilli, a runner-up last season, 5-3, in the District 4 finals. Keep an eye on Vernon senior Cole Nagle (28-3), who is one of the most dangerous wrestlers in the tournament with 19 pins this season.

145 pounds

1. Jared Kobis, High Point; 2. Dominic Fano, Montville; 3. Nick Palumbo, Lenape Valley.

Notes: Kobis (22-0) is looking to repeat here after winning a third District 3 title -- one of just 13 wrestlers at his school to win at least three, including 'Cats coach John Gardner, Palumbo, who dropped a 4-1 decision to Kobis on Jan. 6, lost a 5-2 decision to Fano in the District 2 finals. Let's also not forget Phillipsburg's Brian Meyer, a two-time D1 champ who has lost twice to Palumbo.

152 pounds

1. DJ Wissing, Phillipsburg; 2. Edward Marucci, Montville; 3. Anthony Duardo, North Warren.

Notes: Going with the hot hand here. Wissing (23-4) blistered the D1 field, decking West Morris' Marco Gaita in 15 seconds and Duardo in 4:43 to win the title. Marucci seems to have Roxbury senior Tommy Miller's number with a pair of wins -- 3-0 and 3-2. The latter win coming in the D2 finals. Duardo also has two wins over Miller -- 9-5 and 11-5 -- and a 5-3 victory over Morris Hills' Joey Schiele.

160 pounds

1. Craig Roumes, Roxbury; 2. Christian DalCais, West Milford; 3. Alex Zevits, Montville.

Notes: Roumes beat DalCais, 1-0, in the Dover Tournament finals on the opening weekend. The Roxbury senior made a believer out of many with a 6-3 victory over Old Tappan's Tyler Mullen, a state placewinner last season, on Feb. 12. Zevits vs. Mendham's Troy Navarino, who finished fourth here last year, would be a quarterfinal to watch on Friday.

170 pounds

1. Daniel Kilroy, Wayne Hills; 2. Spencer Carey, DePaul; 3. Al Falco, Sparta.

Notes: Kilroy going for his second straight title and will likely get a third match against Carey, who avenged a 3-1 loss in sudden victory to Kilroy in the Passaic County Tournament finals on Feb. 1 with a 7-4 win in the District 4 semifinals. This should be a very interesting battle for third place as Falco owns two wins over Kittatinny's Josh Klimek. Warren Hills' Jarod Ostir also is in the mix.

182 pounds

1. Brandon Kui, DePaul; 2. Luke Drugac, Morris Knolls; 3. Sam Palumbo, Lenape Valley.

Notes: Kui (32-1), a junior, going for the 3-peat at Wallkill Valley. Drugac and Palumbo, who was at 195 for a majority of the year, have split this season, with Drugac winning, 3-2, in the District 2 finals to avenge a 7-4 loss on Jan. 22. Kinnelon's David LoCascio, who lost, 9-2, to Kui in the D4 finals, also in the hunt for a trip to AC.

195 pounds

1. Dean Drugac, Morris Knolls; 2. Patrick Daly, Pequannock; 3. Joseph Soreco, DePaul.

Notes: Very competitive weight after Drugac (32-0), who is looking for his second Region 1 title. Daly dropped a 2-1 decision in sudden victory to Soreco in the District 4 finals. Soreco has a 7-2 victory over Phillipsburg's Drew Horun at the Beast of the East.

220 pounds

1. Robert Melise, Phillipsburg; 2. Scott Lavelle, DePaul; 3. Todd Eckert, Roxbury.

Notes: This final would have the place rocking as there's no love lost between P'burg and DePaul, which had some heated exchanges between the coaches during last year's tournament. Lavelle, who was third in the state, decked Melise, who finished fifth in AC, to win the title last time they met. Pompton Lakes sophomore Drew Flynn (30-5), who is very athletic, may be a force at 285 pounds a year from now.

285 pounds

1. Kyle Nothnagel, Phillipsburg; 2. Matthew Sportelli, Wayne Hills; 3. Parker Fox, Montville.

Notes: Nothnagel (33-4), who is closing in on 100 career wins, finished third here last season. He's the obvious pick. Forecasting the rest of this weight is a little more difficult to do. Sportelli (24-5), the District 4 champ who is physically imposing, is a real wild card as the No. 7 seed. He will face High Point's Kevin Lewis (26-8), who was fourth last season, in the quarterfinals. Fox has two wins over D3 runner-up Robbie Gennat of Sparta -- 1-0 and 5-2.

1 comment:

  1. Great work as always, Mike!

    Just FYI, regarding 160:

    It was at 152 that Navarino finished 4th last year after falling to Kui, then Dalcais.

    At 160, Isemann finished 4th, losing to Roumes then Elling. I may be a WMC homer, but watch out for Isemann.