Freshman Dan Hedden had an outstanding debut for the South Plainfield High School wrestling squad and teammate Ray Jazikoff upset a two-time state champion as the Tigers rolled Saturday to their sixth consecutive Morris Knolls Tournament title.
South Plainfield crowned six individual champions, winning five consecutive titles beginning at 132 pounds with Scott DelVecchio , Anthony Ashnault, Troy Heilmann, Dylan Painton and Inan Sikel.
Hedden pinned reigning Essex County Tournament champion Angelo Mascola of Seton Hall Prep in 55 seconds to claim the 113-pound crown, while Jazikoff dropped a 5-2 decision to Governor Livingston’s Jon Mele in the 120-pound final.
Jazikoff advanced to the final with a 4-3 upset of Seton Hall Prep’s Brenden Calas in the semis.
“It was an outstanding win to beat a two-time state champion,” South Plainfield coach Kevin McCann said of Jazikoff. “Unfortunately, he was a little tentative in the final and got taken out of his normal style and couldn’t get it done against Mele.”
In the match of the day, Watchung Hills’ Mike Magaldo, last year’s 120-pound state champion, scored an 8-5 decision over South Plainfield’s Corey Stasenko — who was sixth in the state at 145 a year ago – for the 126-pound title. Magaldo was named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler. The two may meet again in the district, region or state tournaments.
Ryan Walsh (106), Collin Lynch (182) and Luigi Geradi (195) each placed third for the Tigers. Walsh avenged a 4-0 loss from a year ago to Seton Hall Prep’s Casey Egan to win the consolation final.
Perth Amboy’s Mike Chaykivisky decisioned South Plainfield’s Tory Russell 5-2 in the 220-pound final. Teammate Hashaun Fullwood lost by pin to Governor Livingston’s Shane Haddad in the 195-pound final.
The Panthers had a terrific showing, placing third in the tournament with 134 points, 17 points ahead of fourth-place Watchung Hills.
Eight of the 11 Perth Amboy wrestlers who competed in the tournament palced.
“I think they realize now what is to be expected of them,” Perth Amboy coach Mike Giordano said. “The potnetial is there. I think we made a lot of believers out of people.”
South Plainfield ran away with the team title, scoring 273 points.
The host Eagles crowned three individual champions en route to capturing the team title with 96 points.
William Povalac (138), Billy Viazis (160) and Carlos Botero won their respective weight classes for Edison, while five teammates placed third.
Metuchen (fourth), J.P. Stevens (fifth) and Carteret (sixth) represented the area in the nine-team field.
Frank Albergo (Metuchen) scored a 4-2 overtime decision over Tyler Pitchford (Carteret) in the 145-pound final.
J.P. Stevens’ Peter Byun also won in overtime, outdueling Metuchen’s Robert Marcantonio 3-1 to claim the 132-pound title.
Kevin Coleman (113) and Nate Green (126) finished third for the Bulldogs.
Garden State Classic
North Brunswick senior Ronald Nazaro pinned his way through the tournament and to his second consecutive 182-pound title with a 1:39 fall over St. Augustine’s James Bennett in the final.
St. Augustine outpaced the nine-team field with 162 points. North Brunswick (45) and Piscataway (35) finished eighth and ninth, respectively.
David Klinges (160) and Dylan Tsague (170) placed second for the Chiefs.
North Brunswick’s Kenny Bongiovanni pinned Piscataway’s Jorge Diaz in 3:07 in the 145-pound third-place bout. Piscataway’s Naeem Nazeer (152) also placed third.
Bishop Ahr rebounded from a season-opening dual meet loss to Old Bridge with a second-place team finish.
The McCrystal brothers, Greg (138) and Brian (145), and teammate Kyle Brady (126) each won individual titles for Bishop Ahr, which finished with 154 points, 28 fewer than team champion Northern Burlington.
Spotswood’s Ryan Fahy decisioned Northern Burlington’s Zach Verity 6-4 in the 113-pound final. Teammate Max Pavlis dropped a 3-2 decision in the 195-pound final to Seneca’s Steve Salia.
The Chargers finished eighth in the 15-team field with 81 points.
Mike Palomba won the 145-pound individual title while leading South River to an impressive second-place team finish in Howell.
The Rams posted 162 points, five more than third-place Old Bridge.
Stephen Nadera (120), Mike Gargano (160) and Erik DeJonge (220) won individual titles for the Knights.
South River received second-place finishes from Travis Lyons (120), Mike Zyskowski (152), Shane Cieslelski (170) and Doug Ryan (182).
Robin Leff Invitational
East Brunswick, competing without star Jonathan Schleifer at 160 pounds, garnered two second-place finishes at Southern Regional.
Schleifer, third in the state at 152 pounds last year, was resting up from an injury but is expected to return for the Bears’ season-opening dual meet at Perth Amboy on Wednesday night.
Sean Glasgow (132) and Mike Quintin (220) were runner-ups for East Brunswick, while teammates Oliver Piuri (285) and Mike O’Kane (152) each placed third.
Mike Fagg-Daves won an individual title at 160 pounds, while four teammates, facing some rough competition, fell in the finals.
Anthony Messner dropped a 3-2 decision to defending state champion Razohnn Gross of Don Bosco Prep at 195 pounds, while teammate Ralph Normandia lost in the 220-pound final to Don Bosco Prep’s Zak Chakonis. Chakonis was sixth in the state last year.
Franklin’s Kurtis Hewitt fell to another sixth-place state finisher, dropping a 2-1 decision to Jackson Liberty’s Nick Zak. The Warriors’ DeShawn Hazel was pinned in the 113-pound final by Jackson Liberty’s Mike Russo.
Sal Profaci (126), Wes Glessman (170) and Tom Tehan (285) won individual crowns while leading Monroe to the team title.
The Falcons, who received second-place finishes from Joe Zargo (106), Chris Muce (126), Anthony Aversano (132) and Mike Muce (195), amassed 209 points.
Highland Park, led by 138-pound champion Alex Vanarthos, placed eighth in the 10-team field.
Jorge Chavarria (220) finished second and teammate David Seigel (160) placed third for the Owls.