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Friday, January 11, 2013
T H E D A I LY J O U R N A L
Numbers are key for programs to survive
n a short span, the Sacred Heart High School wrestling program went from having its shining moment to being nothing more than the answer to a trivia question. In 2008, former Lion Scott Kelley completed his senior year by reaching the state final at 160 pounds. He lost by pin to Jackson’s Scott Winston and became the final victim in Winston’s undefeated scholastic career. But instead of riding the high from Kelley becoming the program’s first-ever state placewinner, the lights were turned off in the Sacred Heart wrestling room. “The year Scott placed second in the state was an amazing accomplishment,” former Sacred Heart coach Rob Haydak said. “(But) Sacred Heart’s decision to fold the program was a no-brainer with the low student participation and budget cuts needing to take place.” In almost any case when a scholastic wrestling program is disbanded, the numbers are the sole reason. “It’s a sign of the times,” former Bridgeton and current Sacred Heart athletic director Joe Blandino said. “Wrestling is the one sport where you have to have the most dedicated kids to participate.” Sacred Heart became the second local program to shut down in the last decade, joining Bridgeton, which stopped wrestling following the 2003-04 season. They are the only two South Jersey schools to end their programs in the last 10 years. “It was a lack of interest from the kids and the fact that we didn’t have any sort of midget program in the community,” Blandino said. “I was worried about the safety of the kids — freshmen wrestling at the varsity level without any
1. Camden Catholic 2. Timber Creek 3. Delsea 4. Clearview 5. Paulsboro 6. Shawnee 7. St. Augustine 8. Millville 9. Buena 10. Cherokee 11. Audubon 12. Haddon Twp. 13. Northern Burlington 14. Cinnaminson 15. Egg Harbor Twp.
2-0 4-3 11-0 8-4 6-1 7-0 2-5 7-1 4-0 6-2 7-0 5-2 5-0 5-0 5-6
The New Jersey Wrestling Writers Association Statewide Top 20. First place votes in parenthesis follow by total points. 1. S. Plainfield (9-0) (17) 34 Last week: (1) 2. Bound Brook (11-1) 315 (4) 3. Berg. Catholic (4-1) 297 (3) 4. Brick Mem. (9-0) 292 (2) 5. Phillipsburg (5-0) 285 (5) 6. St. Peters Prep (2-1) 226 (9) 7. Southern (2-1) 224 (7) 8. Delbarton (2-1) 218 (10) 9. Jackson Mem. (7-0) 203 (15) 10. C.Catholic (1-0) 191 (8) 11. Kittatinny (8-1) 177 (NR) 12. Howell (7-1) 144 (12) 13. High Point (6-3) 140 (11) 14. Warren Hills (8-3) 128 (13) 15. Timber Creek (3-3) 97 (14) 16. Delsea (10-0) 80 (20) 17. T.R. South (7-1) 69 (17) 18. Don Bosco (1-3) 54 (6) 19. Long Branch (2-2) 50 (16) 20. Hunt. Central (5-0) 21 (NR) Others receiving votes: St. Joseph Montvale 9, Watchung Hills 5, North Hunterdon 5.
*Records through Wednesday.
Sacred Heart graduate Scott Kelley (left) wrestles former Jackson star Scott Winston at the NJSIAA 160-pound state final in 2008. It was the last match a Sacred Heart student wrestled in before the program folded. FILE PHOTO baseball or softball, which are programs that are very successful.” Another South Jersey school faced with dwindling numbers, Glassboro, took an alternative route to closing down. The Bulldogs joined a co-op program with Clayton. “There were 14 weight classes, we couldn’t field 12 weight classes,” Glassboro athletic director Jeff Cusack said. “We had kids who did really well, but we would lose matches because of the forfeits.” The only other co-op program in South Jersey is between Woodbury and Gateway. Before shutting down the Sacred Heart program, there was talk of combining with St. Joseph, but plans never materialized. Joining with Clayton has paid dividends for Glassboro. Since joining with Clayton, the “Clipdogs” have 71 dual meet victories, only one fewer than the previous 10 years combined at Glassboro alone. “It’s been fantastic,” Cusack said. Without joining with Clayton, Cusack said the program likely would have been shut down completely. “It got into a cost thing,” Cusack said. “We’re spending a lot of money for a program with nine to 10 kids.” Only one local coach, St. Augustine’s Bill Ward, mentioned poor numbers before the season. But the Hermits remain a very competitive team, Ward is a first-year coach and the Prep is a school that attracts specialized athletes. Cumberland has struggled the most on the mats over the last decade, but Colts athletic director Rod Sharpless said the program is in no danger. “It’s all about participation numbers,” Sharpless said. “Our wrestling program is not in any deficiency. (Coach Justin Martin), his numbers are very, very steady.”
Patrick Buganski covers high school wrestling for The Daily Journal. Contact him at (856) 563-5255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Patrick D’Arcy, Holy Spirit 2. Tyler McBride, Camden Catholic 3. Ferdinand Mase, Eastern 4. Louis Arensberg, Audubon 5. Griffin Bonner, West Deptford 16-3 7-5 16-0 11-3 10-1
1. John Amato, Timber Creek 2. Ronray Harris, Middle Township 3. Jake Forsman, Eastern 4. Zach Firestone, Clearview 5. Mike Van Horn, Washington Twp. 10-1 5-0 14-1 11-1 15-2
1. Tyler Kaminski, West Deptford 2. John Gentile, Paulsboro 3. Tom Gattinella, St. Augustine 4. Marcus Miraglia, Delran 5. Nick Virgilio, Timber Creek 9-1 11-1 7-3 10-0 4-1
Points are awarded to teams in descending order with 20 points going to the No. 1 team and one point to the No. 20 team on each ballot. Teams are ranked according to that point system and based on the total number of votes they receive from the association’s 17 members. Records through Wednesday.
experience.” Blandino said he was approached a few times after shutting down the program by people interested in starting it back up, but he refused to implement wrestling without a feeder program. At Sacred Heart, Blandino pointed to numbers again. Even in 2008 with Kelley carrying the flag, the team struggled because there were only seven or eight kids in the entire program. “They did have a few great kids who had a lot of success,” Blandino said about Sacred Heart. “But that’s just scratching the surface. The school almost went under. There’s only 170 kids in the whole school. I’m not even able to field (junior varsity) for
1. Billy Ward, Buena 10-3 2. Sam Morina, Paulsboro 12-1 3. Colin Mitchell, Eastern 2-1 4. Dylan LaPalomento, Washington Twp. 14-1 5. Anthony Racobaldo, Williamstown 11-2
Tom Carney, Delsea Josh Pineda, Vineland Hector Marrero, Cumberland 10-6 5-1 3-3 10-2 9-5 4-2 6-2 9-7 4-4 11-3 8-6 10-3 9-5 9-6 8-5 7-7 8-2 9-5 7-3 8-5 15-2 7-7
1. Isaiah DeGuzman, Timber Creek 2. Juan Rivera, Paulsboro 3. Joe Lemerise, Cherokee 4. Justin McTamney, Bordentown 5. Mark McCormick, Camden Catholic 11-2 11-2 10-0 12-1 8-3
Zach Goranson, Millville Collin Donahue, St. Augustine Andrew DiJoseph, Cumberland Joham Garcia, Millville Luis Rivera, Buena Nick Rio, Cumberland
1. Brandon Keller, Timber Creek 2. Ron Gentile, Paulsboro 3. Sean Pryzbylkowski, New Egypt 4. Aaron Lambert, Burlington Twp. 5. Brennan Humphrey, Shawnee 5-1 12-0 11-2 7-2 12-1
Tom Gattinella, St. Augustine Sal Marandino, Buena
Billy Ward, Buena John Gallo, Schalick Ed Donahue, St. Augustine Chad Kahn, Millville Danny DeTetta, Vineland
1. T.J. Miller, Camden Catholic 2. John Van Brill, Clearview 3. Maaziah Bethea, Trenton Central 4. Dillan Berghof, Buena 5. Brandon Virgilio, Timber Creek 10-0 12-0 7-1 10-2 5-1
John Pierson, Delsea Chaz Bramble Newt Richardson, Schalick Jarred Hodges, St. Augustine
1. Chad Walsh, Camden Catholic 2. Wayne Stinson, No. Burlington 3. Ed Lenkowski, Clearview 4. Dom Ruggerio, Timber Creek 5. John Hennelly, Delsea 9-1 13-3 12-0 13-0 14-4
Rian Lamanteer, Delsea Tayron Davis, Vineland
Keith Mahoney, Millville Deon Henry, Schalick Dillan Berghof, Buena Dom DeMarco, Delsea 12-1 11-3 9-2 6-3 15-3 12-2 9-5 14-4 7-4 8-6 15-0 11-2 11-2 11-6 10-5 8-6 14-2 11-2 7-2 8-6 5-3 13-1 17-0 12-3 9-4 7-5 11-2 10-4 9-5 7-6
THE INSIDE STUFF
Vineland High School’s Benajamin Henderson is off to a solid start in his senior year. The 220-pounder is 9-4 with a pair of pins. He’s part of a nice trio of Vineland upperweights along with Steffen Rodriguez and Tiawahn Cosby. He recently spoke with The Mat Pack about his season, the team and a little football. QUESTION: What were the expectations for the season, team-wise? ANSWER: We expected a good season, because in the beginning, we have a thing called, “Hell Week.” And a bunch of kids fought through it. A bunch of kids wanted to quit, but they stuck with it. We have a bunch of fighters on the team. Q: You’ve shown a lot of improvement from last year. How much does having Rodriguez and Cosby help you? A: A lot. Him and Steffen, us three, we rotate. With Steffen being a district champion and (Tiawahn) having a real good record last year, they both help me out. They both wrestled their whole life and it’s only my third year. They both teach me a lot of moves. Q: What’s your role on the team, as a senior, with a lot of young guys on the team? A: Just keep the team moving, keep our heads up, no matter what happens. Q: Everyone talks about the Vineland/Mill-
1. Connor Donahue, Clearview 2. A.J. Nicholas, Cherokee 3. Kellen Whitney, Hammonton 4. Sonnieboy Blanco, Burlington City 5. Mike Campbell, Collingswood
12-0 7-1 9-1 10-1 13-2
John Hennelly, Delsea Rico Rivera, Millville Dylan Manno, Schalick
1. Bryce Shade, Timber Creek 2. Dylan Dobzanski, Delsea 3. Austin Wetterau, Shawnee 4. Nick Elmer, Penns Grove 5. Tyler Sentman, St. Augustine 9-1 15-0 12-1 12-1 9-1
David Gresk, Delsea Carl Hitzelberger, Schalick Javier Colon-Rivera, Millville
Dylan Dobzanski, Delsea Tyler Sentman, St. Augustine Steffen Rodriguez, Vineland Victor DeFrance, Delsea Joe Pyfer, Schalick Connor Dixon, Millville
1. David Williams, Hammonton 2. Brad Schwarze, New Egypt 3. Billy Leone, Kingsway 4. Erik Porch, Delsea 5. Tiawahn Cosby, Vineland 11-0 13-0 6-1 14-2 11-2
Erik Porch, Delsea Tiawahn Cosby, Vineland Javier Colon-Rivera, Millville James Bennett, St. Augustine Cody Ruppert, Delsea
ville rivalry with football, but what’s it like with wrestling? A: It’s just like any other match. It’s just a different team from a different school, it’s just they live closer to us. It’s not like we’re getting points for beating a rival. Q: You guys are very close as a team. How does that help you on the mats? A: It just keeps our minds focused. None of us want to be singled out, none of us want to be way in the back. Nobody wants to be the lonely puppy. We all want to feel like one on the team. Q: What’s it like not having to cut weight and keep an eye on your diet? A: I feel bad because they’re doing it, it makes me want to do it. I watch what I eat and I eat healthy. Q: Who should the Eagles hire as the next head coach? A: I don’t know, whoever can help them out. Q: Were you happy to see Andy Reid go? A: Yeah, I wanted him to go like two years ago.
1. Rory Bonner, West Deptford 2. Joey DeChristofaro, Hightstown 3. Michael Robinson, Clayton 4. Ed Shockley, Millville 5. Cory Damiana, Lower Cape May 8-0 14-0 6-0 13-1 10-4
Ed Shockley, Millville
1. Bryan Dobzanski, Delsea 2. Roy Lucas, St. Joseph 3. Nigel Toussaint, Egg Harbor Twp. 4. Jared Alwan, Camden Catholic 5. Cylas Dorety, Woodstown 17-0 13-0 14-0 2-0 10-0
Bryan Dobzanski, Delsea Obi Kali, Millville Benjamin Henderson, Vineland Nick Caporale, Buena
Tom Lynd, St. Augustine Ty Warren, Buena Ryan Cartwright, Schalick Fred DeMary, Millville
1. Alex Thompson, Haddon Heights 2. Jeff Miller, Camden Catholic 3. Robert Frederico, Hammonton 4. Josh Johnson, Ocean City 5. Allan Westenberger, Gloucester 8-0 5-1 11-0 9-3 8-1
*Wrestlers must have at least a .500 record and a minimum of six bouts. All the records and rankings are based on information through Wednesday.
MILLVILLE RECORD WALL
Top 3 in career wins Mark Saul 113-10 Doug Taylor 102-5-1 Doug Ten Brook 101-10 100-match winners: 4 State champions: 8 (Bobby Hogan, 1957, 1958; Dan DeTullio 1975; Jim Ten Brook 1980; Doug Taylor 1982; Toby Fagan 1990; Mark Saul 1995, 1996) Team district titles: 3 (1979, 1980, 1981).
NEWS AND NOTES
» The Virginia Duals National High School Tournament begins today in Hampton, Va., and New Jersey will be well represented. South Plainfield, the top-ranked team in the Garden State, is the top seed in the bracket. Camden Catholic and Timber Creek, the the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in South Jersey are also among the 16-team field. Camden Catholic and Timber Creek met in last year’s Virginia Duals with the Chargers earning a 30-24 victory. » With Delsea’s 46-21 win over Paulsboro on Friday, the Crusaders own the top two point performances by a South Jersey team against the Red Raiders. Delsea posted 48 points last season. Only Phillipsburg has scored more points against Paulsboro with 63 (2012) and 51 (2008) than the Crusaders. » Speaking of Delsea, junior 220-pounder Bryan Dobzanski boasts South Jersey’s longest current winning streak by an individual at 21. Dobzanski wrestled back to a third-place finish at states last season, winning his final four bouts. Camden Catholic’s T.J. Miller and Chad Walsh along with St. Joseph’s Roy Lucas and West Deptford’s Rory Bonner also own winning streaks that date back to last season.
South Jersey wrestling news, notes, rankings and more thedailyjournal.com/ matpack
Updates, links and commentary on South Jersey wrestling @TheMatPack