2017 J.S.I.W.A. Award Winners
The Rich Dunnells Courage Award
Dylan Kansky (Raritan)
Steven McGauley (Lacey)
Alexi Nunez (St. Rose)
Chad McClelland (Wall)
Dan Lynch (Southern)
NWCA Team Participation Award
Note: This award is presented to the team that has the highest percentage of students participating in wrestling relative to the number of students in the school. At Pt. Beach, 24.5% of the male students enrolled at the school are on the wrestling team. That number is incredible. Keansburg was next with 17.6%, another great number. The program with the most wrestlers overall is Howell with 79, which is basically a small army. As Doug Bower pointed out at the banquet, we need to get the numbers up across the board. For any of you guys out there, especially the big guys, that have a football coach telling you not to wrestle and focus on football, have them email me and I'll have them Google these guys named Bill Belichick, Urban Meyer, and Nick Saban (whom I hope they've heard of) who specifically look for big athletes with wrestling backgrounds. Trust me, those guys have a pretty good idea on things. </rant>
Where was I? Oh yeah...
Best In Brand
(Given to team that makes most use of social media and technology to promote its team)
Comeback Wrestler of the Year
Seamus Wood (Holmdel)
Top Multi-Sport Athlete
Derrick Wiley (Matawan)
Most Dramatic Bout of the Year
Pancake Park > Suplex City
Best Rivalry Dual Meet of the Year
Unsung Hero Award
Austin Cannon (Shore Regional)
Top Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Chad McClelland (Wall)
Tony Caravella Team of the Year Award
Top Small School
Top Large School
Scott Goodale Coach of the Year Award
John Gagliano (Howell)
Assistant Coach of the Year
Brian Grainer (Pt Boro)
Wrestler of the Year
Jake Benner (Ocean)
Most Outstanding Lower Weight
Gianni Ghione (Brick Memorial)
Most Outstanding Upper Weight
Eric Koesseian (Howell)
Freshman of the Year
Shane Reitsma (Howell)
Sophomore of the Year
Robert Kanniard (Wall)
Junior of the Year
Kyle Slendorn (Howell)
Senior of the Year
Matt McKenzie (Wall)
2017 Man of the Year
Note: Obviously! And how about that vest?
You can follow the J.S.I.W.A. Coaches' Twitter page at and they will have an Instagram page up at jsiwa_coaches. Bookmark them, follow them, add them, or whatever it is you do.
Also, a thank you to Jersey Mike's
for help sponsoring the whole thing. You should go there today and get a sub and say the J.S.I.W.A. sent you.
Just as over-hyped as ever!
PINNING DOWN AUTISM DUALS
Video and results from the Pinning Down Autism Duals can be seen HERE!
Great job by Team NJ for taking the title by defeating Team New York and Team Pennsylvania.
Thanks to those that sent in pictures of our Shore guys that participated in this weekend's Pinning Down Autism Duals.
L-R: Dean Peterson (Intermediate School, but I believe headed to SJV), Robert Kanniard (Wall), Gianni Ghione (Brick Memorial), Jake Benner (Ocean Township)
Congratulations to the Shore Conference Wrestlers that earned All-American Honors at this year's NHSCA Tournament.
170: Shane Reitsma (Howell)
152: Robert Kanniard (Wall)
Hwt: Paul Liseno (Keansburg)
Hwt: Kevin Cerruti (Long Branch)
152: Nick Addison (Rumson)
2017 NCAA TOURNAMENT
2017 Shore Conference College All-Americans
NCAA D1: Ken Theobold (TR South) - 7th Place, 149-pounds - Rutgers
NCAA D3: Zach Wilhelm (Southern) - 7th Place, 149-pounds - Stevens Tech
NAIA: Tyler Fraley (Colts Neck) - 3rd Place, 141-pounds - Williams Baptist (Ark)
Brick Memorial: Gianni Ghione came up short in his bid for his first State Title after being defeated in the semifinals by New Milford's John Burger. He would go on to place 3rd, and become the fourth Mustang to end his career with three Top 4 finishes, joining Todd Palmisano, Mike Morales and Vin Santaniello.
CBA: For the third time in four years, the Colts brought a medal home from the 106-pound weight class with senior Nick Schutzenhofer placing 6th. Junior Richie Koehler just missed on earning his 2nd State medal, losing in the 4th round of wrestlebacks to finish Top 12.
Colts Neck: Junior Joey King made his 2nd trip to AC and was also one win shy of a medal, finishing Top 12 at 113.
Holmdel: Scott Dupont picked up a pair of wins on the weekend to give him 39 for the year, breaking the school's single season record of 38, which was set by current assistant coach Jimmy Ilvento back in 2012.
Howell: The Rebels had two finalists for the 2nd time in program history, with Eric Keosseian pinning in the 220-pound final to give the Rebels their 3rd State Champion and first since Joey Langel in 2008. Kyle Slendorn was the Rebels' other finalist, finishing as the 126-pound runner-up. He and Keosseian both tied the program record for single season wins with 42. Keosseian's five wins gave him 133 for his career. Slendorn, a junior, picked up four wins to put him at 116 for his career. He'll head into the 2108 season 7th all-time in wins for Howell, 22 behind the program record held by Zac Cunliffe. If he were to match his total of 42 wins from this year, he would tie Raritan's Dan Seidenberg as the Shore Conference's all-time wins leader. Darby Diedrich, who finished one win shy of a medal last season, finished 7th at 120 to give Howell three medals on the weekend. To cap the weekend, head coach John Gagliano was voted as the NJSIAA Coach of the Year. Not a bad trip to AC for the Rebels.
Lacey: Sophomore Hunter Gutierrez earned the Lions' first medal since Lex Knapp in 2012, with a 5th place finish at 106. His five wins on the weekend also allowed him to tie Knapp for the single season record at Lacey with 42.
Middletown North: Tom Anderson put in some time on the mats this weekend, wrestling in eight bouts, winning six of them, to finish 5th at 182. The six wins gave Anderson 40 for the year, and allowed him to end his career 3rd on the all-time wins list at North with 114. Nicko Cofone came up just shy in reaching the podium, losing in the tiebreaker of his "blood round" match.
Ocean Township: "It ain't over till it's over." - Yogi Berra. Down four points with a minute and a half left, Jake Benner tossed former State Champ Gerard Angelo to his back for a 5-point move for a dramatic 7-6 win. Benner, who shared the Most Outstanding Wrestler award with Bound Brook's Mekhi Lewis, became the Spartans' third State Champion, joining back-to-back winner Nick Menditto, who won in 2007 & 2008. Benner's five wins to the title gave him a school record 42 on the year, and will send him into his senior season with 107 career wins, 32 away from the program record held by Kyle Kiss.
Pinelands: Senior Christopher Nielsen capped his career with an 8th place finish at 182. His three wins in the tournament gave him 107 for his career, tying him for 3rd on the all-time wins list at Pinelands.
Raritan: For the 2nd year in a row, junior Russell Benson came up just one win short of a spot on the podium. His two wins on the weekend will send him into his senior year with 99 for his career, 8th all-time at Raritan.
Rumson: Theo Addison picked up his 35th win of the season in AC, which allowed him to tie Marcus Iwama for the single season record at Rumson.
St. John Vianney: Junior Nick Caracappa had the deepest run of the Lancers' five representatives in the tournament, finishing one victory short a medal at 170. Four of the Lancers that wrestled this weekend are back next season.
Southern: Sophomore Nicholas O'Connell wrestled all the way from the 25th-seed to the podium, placing 8th at 145.
TR East: AJ Meyers capped his career with his 2nd medal in AC, placing 5th at 160. His five wins on the weekend gave him 105 for his career, tied for 9th most all time at East with Vin Salek.
TR North: Patrick O'Donnell picked up a pair of wins to end his career with 105 victories, which puts him 7th all-time at TRN.
TR South: After finishing 7th last season, Corrigan came up short of a return trip to the podium this weekend. He hit the century mark for his career with his first win, and will enter his senior season with 101 total, tied for 8th all-time at South.
Wall: The Knights were represented on the podium for the 4th consecutive season with sophomore Robert Kanniard placing 4th, and senior Matt McKenzie battling through a shoulder injury to take 7th. For McKenzie, it brings an end to a terrific career as he leaves with three State medals, and is the program's all-time wins leader with 145.
I'll have End of Season Blurbs during Awards Week. Aren't you excited?
2017 NJSIAA TOURNAMENT MEDAL WINNERS
138: Jr - Jake Benner (Ocean Township) - Voted co-Most Outstanding Wrestler
220: Sr - Eric Keosseian (Howell)
126: Jr - Kyle Slendorn (Howell)
132: Sr - Gianni Ghone (Brick Memorial)
152: So - Robert Kanniard (Wall)
106: So - Hunter Gutierrez (Lacey)
160: Sr - AJ Meyers (TR East)
182: Sr - Tom Anderson (Middletown North)
106: Sr - Nick Schutzenhofer (CBA)
120: So - Darby Diedrich (Howell)
195: Sr - Matt McKenzie (Wall)
145: So - Nicholas O'Connell (Southern)
182: Sr - Christopher Nielsen (Pinelands)
Barnegat: Sean Foley became the Bengals' 2nd State qualifier in program history. Thie first was Matt Schofield in 2012.
Brick Memorial: Gianni Ghione and Nick Rivera each won their 3rd Region Titles and both improved to a perfect 33-0 on the year. They give Brick Memorial 60 Region Champions all-time, the most in the Shore Conference. For Rivera, he became the Shore's first wrestler to win three titles in the heavyweight division.
Brick Twp: Dean Helstowski avenged a pair of losses by defeating Seon Bowker in the Region 7 final. It is the first Region title for Helstowski, who will now make his 3rd trip to Boardwalk Hall.
CBA: Richie Koehler won his 2nd Region 6 Title, and Nick Schutzenhofer won his first, as the Colts advanced four wrestlers in all to the State Tournament.
Central: The Eagles' Mike Bickford finished one win shy of a trip to AC, with a 5th place finish at 195 in Region 7.
Colts Neck: Joey King, who notched his 100th career victoty this weekend, and Vin Garguilo placed 2nd in R6, while Steven Kramer took 3rd, as the Cougars advanced three wrestlers to AC for the first time in program history.
Donovan Catholic: The Griffins are back on the boardwalk. For the first time since Anthony D'Anton in 2011, Donovan Catholic will be in the State Tournament with juniors Cristiaan Dailey and Salvatore DiSalvo both headed to AC.
Freehold Boro: Freshman Nico Messina punched a ticket to Atlantic City with a 2nd place finish in the 106-pound bracket in Region 6. He will be the Colonials first rep in AC since Josh Davis in 2010.
Freehold Twp: For the first time since 2007 (Gene Accardi & Mitch Berger), the Patriots will send two wrestlers to Atlantic City in juniors Kyle Hillermeier and Eric Quartey.
Holmdel: Big weekend for the Hornets Scott Dupont. The junior recorded his 100th career win on his way to a 3rd place finish at 152 in Region 5. He will be Holmdel's first State Tournament qualifier since 1984.
Howell: The Rebels rolled through Region 6, crowning a program-record 4 champs. In all, Howell will be sending a Shore Conference high 8 wrestlers to the boardwalk.
Jackson Liberty: Josh Bollard made it 7 years in a row for Liberty with a State Tournament qualifier, as the junior placed 3rd in Region 6 at 113.
Jackson Memorial: The Jags will send a trio to AC through Region 7, in seniors Matt McGowan (3rd 132) and Tim Hamann (4th 152), and junior David Lemay (2nd 220).
Keansburg: Sophomore heavyweight Paul Liseno fell one win short of a trip to States. He finished 6th place in Region 5.
Lacey: Hunter Gutierrez won the first Region Title since Lex Knapp in 2012, and four Lions in all punched tickets to AC. The last time Lacey had multiple reps on the boardwalk was in 2013 when Luke Fernandez and Pat Schinder made the trip.
Long Branch: The Green Wave had three 3rd place finishers and one 4th place in Region 6, and will have multiple representatives in Atlantic City for the first time since 2013 (Jake George & Nick Pappayliou).
Manalapan: Jake Staklinski and Ronny Ghaida finished 2nd, and Alex Baran placed 3rd, in the Region 6 Tournament. It is the first time since 2004 that the Braves have had more than one wrestler in the State Tournament.
Manasquan: Junior Francis Marshall finished in 4th place at 152 in Region 6. He is the Warriors first State qualifier in 20 years.
Matawan: Derrick Wiley became the Huskies first Region finalist since 2010, and their first State Tournament qualifier since Glenn Cross in 2013.
Middletown North: Big weekend for the Lions. Tyler Klinsky became the program's first freshman to win a Region Title since some guy named Frank Molinaro in 2004. Wonder whatever happened to him? North also set program highs with five wrestlers, including two frosh, to Atlantic City.
Middletown South: The season ended for the Eagles on Saturday, but they will return multiple wrestlers with Region experience next year for the first time since 2014.
Neptune: Nick Faber was the 195-pound runner-up in Region 6. He will be the Fliers' first State Tournament participant since Romello Union in 2014.
Ocean Township: Jake Benner won his 100th career bout, and became the Spartans first Region Champion since Zach Hertling in 2012. Freshman Alex Poniros place 2nd at 126, to give Ocean two reps down in Atlantic City.
Pinelands: Senior Chris Nielsen became the Wildcats' first Region Champion since Mike Molosky won his 2nd title in 2002. He heads to Boardwalk Hall for the 2nd consecutive season.
Pt Beach: Jack Baker punched a ticket to Atlantic City by becoming the 10th Beach wrestler in program history to win a Region Title.
Pt Boro: With 4th-place finishes in Region 6 from Spencer Robinson (138) and Anthony Bonavito (Hwt), Boro has their first State Tournament qualifiers since Ryan Budzek and Dan Nobbs in 2014.
Raritan: Russell Benson won the 132-pound Title at Region 5 to move on to Atlantic City for the 2nd consecutive season. He is the 7th Region Champ in Raritan history, and first since Ryan Lynch in 2011.
Rumson: For the 5th time in 6 season, the Bulldogs will have a representative in Atlantic City. Senior Theo Addison is headed to Boardwalk Hall after placing 2nd at 195 in Region 5.
St John Vianney: 170-pounder Nicholas Caracappa won the 4th Region Title in program history, as the Lancers will send a school record five wresters to Boardwalk Hall.
Shore: Freshman Al Desantis placed 4th at 120 in Region 6 to give the Blue Devils their first State qualifer since Luke Bush in 2011.
Southern: Matt Barnett (2nd R8) punched a ticket to AC for the 2nd consecutive season, and sophomore Nicholas O'Connell finished 4th, as the Rams will have two representatives down at Boardwalk Hall.
TR East: AJ Meyers recorded his 100th career victory en route to a 3rd place finish in Region 7. Meyers, a State runner-up last season, will be making his third trip to Boardwalk Hall.
TR North: For the first time since 2009, when they sent four wrestlers, North will have multiple participants in the State Tournament in senior Patrick O'Donnell and freshman Nick Boggiano.
TR South: For the seventh year in a row, South crowned a Region Champion with junior Cole Corrigan winning his first title. Corrigan will now be making his 3rd trip to AC.
Wall: Led by their three R6 Champs: Robert Kanniard, Chad McClelland, and Matt McKenzie, Wall will be sending a program record 6 wrestlers to Atlantic City.
REGION 5 FINALS
113: #1 Mitchell Polito (East Brunswick) md. #2 Jack Bauer (Hunterdon Central) 11-1
120: #1 Mark Schleifer (East Brunswick) d. #2 Hunter Graf (Hunterdon Central) 7-4
126: #2 Alec Gleason (East Brunswick) md. #1 Peter Nace (Hunterdon Central) 12-4
132: #1 Russell Benson (Raritan) p. #7 Joey Zargo (South River) 5:59
138: #1 Robert Cleary (Bound Brook) d. #2 Matthew Kolonia (Delaware Valley) 4-3
145: #1 Joe Casey (Bound Brook) d. #2 Nicholas Lombard (Monroe) 6-5
152: #1 Stephan Glasgow (Bound Brook) md. #2 Joseph Hatcher (Piscataway) 20-6
160: #1 Mekhi Lewis (Bound Brook) p. #2 Michael Petite (Piscataway) 0:31
170: #1 Nicholas Caracappa (St John Vianney) d. #2 Derrick Wiley (Matawan) 5-4
182: #1 George Walton (Bound Brook) p. #2 Michael Iodice (Hunterdon Central) 5:26
195: #1 Kyle Lightner (Delaware Valley) p. #2 Theo Addison (Rumson) 3:21
220: #1 Victor Lacombe (Hunterdon Central) d. #2 Will Ortman (Hopewell Valley) 3-1
Hwt: #2 Dylan D`Amore (Montgomery) d. #1 Michael Porcaro (Sayreville) 1-0
106: #8 Tyler Klinsky (Middletown North) d. #3 Joseph Pacheco (Perth Amboy) 5-0
REGION 6 FINALS
138: #1 Jake Benner (Ocean Township) p. #3 Nick Wagner (Wall) 3:15
145: #2 Garrett Bilgrav (Robbinsville) d. #1 Jack Kelly (Wall) 6-4
152: #1 Robert Kanniard (Wall) d. #2 Ronny Ghaida (Manalapan) 11-4
160: #1 Chad McClelland (Wall) d. #6 Kyle Hillermeier (Freehold Twp) 5-0
170: #2 Shane Reitsma (Howell) d. #4 Jake Staklinski (Manalapan) 8-3
182: #1 Jack Baker (Pt Beach) d. #2 Zeke Brinson (Riverside) 8-2
195: #1 Matt McKenzie (Wall) d. #2 Nick Faber (Neptune) 4-2
220: #1 Eric Keosseian (Howell) p. #7 Jajuan Hayes (Bordentown) 1:26
Hwt: #1 Nick Rivera (Brick Memorial) md. #3 Vin Garguilo (Colts Neck) 8-0
106: #5 Nick Schutzenhofer (CBA) d. #6 Nico Messina (Freehold Boro) 7-0
113: #1 Richie Koehler (CBA) d. #2 Joey King (Colts Neck) 4-3
120: #1 Darby Diedrich (Howell) p. #2 Logan Fox (Robbinsville) 3:22
126: #1 Kyle Slendorn (Howell) md. #6 Alex Poniros (Ocean Township) 9-0
132: #1 Gianni Ghione (Brick Memorial) p. #2 Daniel Esposito (Howell) 0:49
REGION 7 FINALS
220: #1 James Thompson (Pennsauken) d. #3 David Lemay (Jackson Memorial) 4-3
Hwt: #1 Keith Swartley (Cinnaminson) d. #2 Lorenzo Hernandez (Cherry Hill West) 2-1 TB
106: #2 Hunter Gutierrez (Lacey) d. #1 Chase Mullarkey (Holy Cross) 4-0
113: #1 Joe Manchio (Seneca) md. #2 Colin Wickramaratna (Cherokee) 14-3
120: #1 Lucas Revano (Camden Catholic) d. #2 Matt Higgins (Shawnee) 6-0
126: #1 Anthony Duca (Paulsboro) tf. #2 Ryan Manahan (Cherokee) 20-3 4:39
132: #1 Anthony Croce (Camden Catholic) d. #3 Joey Perez (Paulsboro) 11-6
138: #1 Dylan Fischer (West Deptford) p. #6 Luke Gauthier (Lacey) 0:51
145: #1 Cole Corrigan (TR South) d. #2 Corey Fischer (West Deptford) 7-0
152: #1 Avery DiNardi (Holy Cross) d. #2 Christopher Bolletino (Haddonfield) 3-1 SV
160: #2 Santino Morina (Paulsboro) d. #4 Matt Garrity (Lacey) 4-3
170: #5 Drew Bowker (Rancocas Valley) d. #2 Patrick O'Donnell (TR North) 6-4
182: #2 Deal Helstowski (Brick Twp) d. #1 Seon Bowker (Rancocas Valley) 3-2 UTB
195: #1 Michael Taulane (Collingswood) p. #2 Alex Cawley (Pemberton) 2:24
Shore Conference Top 6
182: Christoper Nielsen (Pinelands)
132: Matt Barnett (Southern)
113: Sean Foley (Barnegat)
145: Nicholas O'Connell (Southern)
160: John Stout (Southern)
113: Owen Kretschmer (Southern)
120: Sebastian Delligatti (Southern)
145: Brennan Richardson (Pinelands)
REGION 8 FINALS
Shore Conference Only
182: #1 Christopher Nielsen (Pinelands) d. #2 Vince Degeorge (Delsea) 4-2
132: #1 Quinn Kinner (Kingsway) md. #2 Matt Barnett (Southern) 17-8