It is April and we are getting ready to close out a high school wrestling season. The NJSIAA made the postseason possible by eliminating districts for this shortened season, and creating four “Super Region” tournaments. This has created some intriguing matchups in all four regions. 16 out of the top 24 wrestlers were seeded in the bracket with the rest serving as alternates. The top four from each weight class qualify for the state tournament. The region tournaments start Saturday April 17 and continue through the 18th.
Below are some things to keep your eyes out for this weekend at the South Region tournament, as we travel down the road to states.
Can Kingsway send 11 wrestlers to State?
The Dragons of Kingsway are ranked second in the state as a team and have qualified eleven wrestlers for the Region Tournament. The Dragons have nine wrestlers that are seeded in the top four. The two wrestlers who aren’t seeded top four are seeded at fifth respectively (Joey Miranda (126), Sly Vanmorter (285)). This gives Kingsway a chance to push all their wrestlers through to states.
Return of the Upper Weights?
The upper weights, which wrestle Sunday, can steal the show at Cherry Hill East this weekend. There are some loaded brackets from 182 all the way up to heavyweight. At 182, Isaac Dean of Shawnee, is the favorite at 182, but there are some wrestlers who could make a push like sophomore George Rhodes of Absegami. Shane Whitney, the Lower Cape May nationally ranked senior transfer from Virginia, the three seed is on a collision course with Mikal Taylor of Absegami and Williamstown’s Mike Misita in the semifinals and finals at 220 pounds. Buena state qualifier Tony Thompson bumped up to heavyweight from 220 pounds. Thompson’s lone loss on the season was to Whitney, which would have left Thompson no better than the fourth seed at 220 pounds.
First Round South Region Matchups to Watch
182: Cole Dubois (So, Schalick) vs David Giulian (Jr, Middle Township)
This is a 5-12 matchup with Giulian coming in at the fifth seed at 182. Giulian comes in with a 7-3 record with notable wins over Sean Connelly of Lower Cape May and Drew Hutchinson of Haddonfield. Dubois is the twelfth seed, but as a sophomore has beaten Matthew Kratzer of Delsea and Sean McDade of Pennsville. This could be an exciting match to watch.
220: Jacob Jordan (Sr, Audubon) vs John Vinciguerra (So, Woodstown)
Jordan, a senior, has one sole loss on the year against the third seed Whitney (Lower). Jordan has notable wins over Daniel Flood of Haddonfield and West Deptford’s Mike Griffith. Vinciguerra, a sophomore, is undefeated on the year with wins over Jack Underwood of Pitman and Jacob Baker of Pennsville. This is a match up that could make waves Sunday afternoon. Fans should expect a lot of action in this upper weight match up.
138: Sean Cowan (So, Absegami) vs Marius Fennal (Jr, Delsea)
In a rematch of their March 19 match that saw Cowan pin Fennal, this could be another high paced, action packed match between the two wrestlers. Cowan’s notable wins include Fennal and Jack Gentile of Kingsway. Fennel has notable wins over David Wright of West Deptford and Tyler Connolly of Timber Creek.
The South Region tournament takes place at Cherry Hill East High School, and there is plenty of wrestling to watch this weekend.