Southern Wrestling Off To A Solid Start By Lou Monaco


The Southern Regional wrestling team is off to another fine start.


Currently sitting at 9-1 and No. 12 in the latest Top 20 rankings, the defending District 29 champions have won seven straight meets since its lone loss of the season thus far at home, 28-25, versus High Point on Dec. 23 in just its third meet of the season

Junior Nick O'Connnell (160 pounds), who currently is undefeated at 10-0, returns as the defending Wrestler of the Year, having come off a 34-9 record at 145 pounds during his sophomore season. The District 29 defending champion finished in fourth place in the Region 8 tournament and placed eighth in last year’s NJSIAA tournament in Atlantic City.

Senior Matt Barnett (138 pounds, 3-0), junior Nick Pepe (145, 13-3), senior Matt Mackanic (220, 13-2), senior Owen Kretschmer (120, 8-6) and Ursinus-bound Dan Gorman (152,12-5)round out the main wrestling corp for Southern head coach John Stout, who is in his 17th season at the helm.

“It's been a slow start for us due to injuries, but we are on the upswing and should be at full strength by the time sectionals roll around,”said Stout.

Other wrestlers include: freshman Matt Brielmeier (106, 12-6); sophomore Jayson Scerbo (113, 8-4); junior Sebastian Delligatti (126, 13-4); sophomore Robert Woodcock (132, 11-2); sophomore Jason Sari (132, 6-6); junior Ryan Megill (138, 0-3); sophomore Trevor Beecroft (145, 1-0); junior Luke Galan (152, 3-0); junior Haven Tatarek (160,2-11); junior John Stout (170, 5-2); senior Vin Miele (182, 13-4); sophomore Ben LoParo (182, 2-0); sophomore JT Cornelius (195, 11-4); sophomore Gabe Murray (220, 1-2), and heavyweight sophomore Jayden Smith (4-4).

The rest of January’s schedule follows: Jan. 16 vs. Toms River North (6:30 pm); Jan. 17 vs. Brick Township (6:30 pm); Jan. 20 at South Plainfield (6:30 pm); Jan.22 vs. Point Pleasant Boro (6:30 pm) and Jan. 27 at Phillipsburg (6:30 pm).

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