Depth or firepower.
What will win out when it comes to the team championship at the NJSIAA District 24 Tournament.
Southern, which has won the team championship the last four years, has the depth that it usually takes to win a district team championship.
Toms River South, which was nipped by a point by Southern for the 2013 team title, has the firepower.
The District 24 Tournament will take place Saturday at Pine Belt Arena on the campus of Toms River North. Wrestling will begin at 10 a.m. with the preliminary and quarterfinal rounds. The semifinals will take place at 1:30 p.m. and the championship bouts will be at 4:30 p.m.
The top three finishers in each of the 14 weight classes will join the top three finishers at each of the 14 weight classes from districts 21-23 at the Region VI Tournament next week at Pine Belt Arena.
Southern has nine top three seeds, including top seeds Matt Wilhelm (152) and James Knoeller (132). Wilhelm was the Region VI champion at 138 last year. Knoeller was the region fourth-place finisher at 113 last year.
Toms River South has six No. 1 seeds. Among the Indians’ top seeds are Owen McClave (120), a two-time state quarterfinalist; Antrez Clagon (160), the Region VI runner-up at 170 last year; Joe Salvato (182), the Region VI fourth-place finisher at 160 last year and talented freshman Cole Corrigan (126).
The Indians do not have another wrestler that is seeded in the top three in their weight class, but they do have another returning district placewinner in No. 4 seed Zack Martin at 132.
Toms River North is a team that definitely could take points away from both Southern and Toms River South.
The Mariners have eight top three seeds, including unbeaten Mike Siwiec (220), the Region VI fourth-place finisher last year at 220 and Dylan DaSilva (170).
There were some interesting decisions by several highly-touted wrestlers here as to what weight class they are competing in.
Wilhelm who weighed in most of the season at 160 and competed at 160 and 170, weighed in at 152 late in the season and will compete at that weight in the post-season. Wilhelm is the favorite in Region VI at 152. He could have an interesting bout in the final with Toms River East’s talented sophomore Andrew Meyers.
Wilhelm did defeat two of the main region contenders at 160 during the season in Brick Memorial’s Cliff Ruggiero and Brick’s Will Scott. He was defeated during the season by Clagon.
Clagon, who weighed in most of the season at 170 and competed at 170 and 182, is at 160. He weighed in at 160 just once during the regular season. Clagon was defeated by both Ruggiero and Scott during the season.
However, the move to 160 gets Clagon away from past state medalists — Brett Donner of Wall, Zach Hertling of Ocean Kyle Wojtaszek of Brick — at 170.
The most intriguing weight class in District 24 would appear to be 120. McClave (26-0) is the favorite. Toms River East’s Yoseph Borai, the No. 2 seed and a two-time district placewinner, and Southern’s Chris Crane, the district champion and region semifinalist at this weight last year, are other quality wrestlers.
Other interesting finals here could come at 220 where Siwiece could meet Southern’s Pat Ferraro and at 182 where Salvato could meet Toms River North’s Tyler MacLaine, the champion at 182 last year.
Steven Falk: 732-643-4267; email@example.com