Southern Regional High School wrestling team beats Millville

Southern Regional High School wrestling team beats Millville


Southern Regional High School wrestling team beats Millville



In wrestling, confidence is key, and after Wednesday night, the Southern Regional High School wrestling team is oozing it.

The Rams, the No. 1 seed in the NJSIAA Group IV South tournament, took 11 out of 14 bouts, scoring bonus points in all but four of those en route to a 45-10 victory over fourth-seeded Millville.

Southern will face second-seeded Cherry Hill West on Friday for the sectional title. It would be the ninth Group IV South crown in the last 10 years for the Rams.

But even that won’t be enough for Southern, which is eying a state title.

“We’re ready to go all the way,” senior 220-pounder Jesse Bauta said. “We’re ready to win. We’ve been working on this for way too long to let this go and we just know where we want to be.”

Cherry Hill West scored a 39-29 win over Toms River South to set up the Friday’s meeting.

“We’re going to go all the way, but we’re not taking any team lightly, one match at a time,” Bauta said.

Bauta scored an 8-7 decision over Millville’s Obi Kali to knot the score at 3-3 early. He trailed 3-1 at the end of the second period, and 6-3 in the third, but took Kali to his back to take an 8-6 lead. Kali was able to escape but couldn’t record another takedown, giving Bauta the tight victory.

“In the very beginning of the match he got an early takedown and I got a little worried there,” Bauta said. “I just knew, by the third period, that I did not want to lose. There’s nothing worse than losing. So I just went for it.”

Frank Amiano scored a late takedown against Millville’s Josh Forand to score a 3-2 decision at 106. That was followed by a fall from James Knoller at 113 and technical falls from Chris Cane and Andrew Tonneson at 120 and 126, respectively.

In all, Southern would win nine straight bouts, and the run also included major decisions from Matt Wilhelm at 138 and Nick Racanelli at 152 with a pin from Zach Wilhelm sandwiched between at 145.

It was a nearly flawless night for the Rams, and the kind of performance that justifies the team’s confidence.

“If you see our practice room, there’s no doubt about it, that we want to go all the way,” Bauta said.

A win Friday would set up Southern for a trip to Toms River North for the Group Championships.

Southern 45, Millville 10

195: Ed Shockley (M) d. Pat Ferraro, 9-2; 220: Jesse Bauta (S) d. Obi Kali, 8-7; HWT: Curtis Jones (M) d. Josh Bento, 8-7; 106: Frank Amiano (S) d. Josh Forand, 3-2; 113: James Knoller (S) p. Jose Santiago, 2:13; 120: Chris Cane (S) tf. Joham Garcia, 17-2, 5:03; 126: Andrew Tonneson (S) tf. Patrick Cassidy, 16-0, 4:08; 132: Brian Bowker (S) d. Nate Heaton, 9-2; 138: Matt Wilhelm (S) md. Zach Goranson, 10-0; 145: Zach Wilhelm (S) p. Jair Goodwin, 1:04; 152: Nick Racanelli (S) md. Keith Mahoney, 10-1; 160: Seon Bowker (S) d. Sean Platt, 11-6; 170: Gerardo Jorge (S) d. Jose Soto, 6-4; 182: Connor Dixon (M) md. Mason Fazekas, 15-5.

Records: Southern (18-0), Millville (18-6).

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