No matter what the circumstances, Southern will always find a way to win the NJSIAA South Group IV championship.
This season, despite not being able to field the lineup many projected the Rams to have all season, Southern still was able to dig deep and capture the South IV championship for the third straight season and the eighth time in the last nine seasons.
The Rams (12-5) won eight of the first 10 bouts on Friday night to build a 23-point lead that was enought for them to record a 29-24 win over Shawnee in the South IV championship match at Southern.
Southern will wrestle North II Group IV champion Hunterdon Central at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday in the Group IV semifinals at Pine Belt Arena on the campus of Toms River High School North.
Jesse Bauta got Southern started by bumping up to heavyweight and recording a 5-3 win over Evan Wayns. Bauta weighs in at 220, but in recent weeks has alternated between 220 and heavyweight because the Rams do not have a heavyweight.
Zach Wilhelm (132), the state seventh-place finisher at 112 in 2011, had a key win when he defeated Connor Muli, the District 27 champion at 120, 9-3.
Decisions by Jake Campana (145) and Erik Kretschmer (152) and a major decision by Chris Serpico (160) left Southern with a 29-6 lead.
CBA 45, ST. AUGUISTINE 23: Erik Beshada’s 3-1 win over Ed Donahue in the 126-pound bout started a 30-3 run over the final seven bouts as the Colts defeated the host and No. 1 seed Hermits in the Non-Public South A championship match. It is the second straight season CBA has won the Non-Public South A championship.
The Colts will wrestle Bergen Catholic at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday at Pine Belt Arena in the Non-Public A state championship match. Bergen Catholic defeated CBA, 36-19, last year in the Non-Public A final.
Beshada was the Region VI runner-up at 113 last year. Donahue was the District 32 runner-up at 126 last year.
Nick Melon (132) and Christian Caselli followed Beshada’s win with pins for the Colts.