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Area wrestlers preparing for District 22 championships

first_imgBY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Correspondent Six prior-year champions are among the top competitors set to hit the mats when the District 22 wrestling championships get under way on Feb. 22 at Red Bank Regional High School.Ocean Township High School and Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) boast three champions apiece. From Ocean, the trio includes Max Rallo, Zach Hertling and Orion Rovegno. Rollo, a junior who is 27-5 at 120 pounds, won the 106-pound division a year ago. Hertling, currently 22-1 at 132 pounds, won as a freshman last winter while competing at 120 pounds. Rovegno brought home the 2012 title at 138 pounds. This time around, the junior owns a 16-7 mark at 145 pounds.Rallo, Hertling and Rovegno have helped coach Cippy Apicelli’s Spartans to a 20-6 record and a second-place finish in the NJSIAA Central Group III competition, where they fell to Brick, 42-23.Several other Spartans are also expected to contend in Red Bank. Ocean features seven grapplers with 20 or more wins. This group includes Jacob Bell (28-4, 220 pounds), Tommy Lyster (21-4, 182 pounds), juniors Andrew MacNeille (21-9, 138 pounds) and Jason Lawhon (21-10, 160 pounds) and sophomore Costa Poniros (20-12, 113 pounds).Meanwhile, CBA junior Erik Beshada will be seeking his third consecutive title after winning at 113 and 120 pounds, respectively, during his freshman and sophomore seasons. Beshada has fashioned a nifty 26-2 mark at 126 pounds this winter.Teammate Christian Casselli, another junior, is looking to make his third straight trip to the District finale. He won as a freshman and was runner-up last year at 126 pounds. Casselli now competes at 138 pounds and is 15- 3 on the year.Nick Melon, a 132-pound senior, owns a 19-4 record. He won a District 23 title as a sophomore while attending Brick Township High School. Other contenders on the Colts are junior Mike Oxley (27-3, 182 pounds) and freshman Dylan VanSickell (17-7, 113 pounds).CBA is 18-4 on the year. The Colts downed St. John Vianney High School in the Non-Public A South semifinals, 45-23, and defeated St. Augustine Preparatory School by an identical 45-23 tally to claim the title.Raritan High School is another team that features several District hopefuls. The Rockets are 20-6 and reached the semifinals of Central Jersey Group II. Anthony Scarcella, currently 22-7 at 126 pounds, and junior heavyweight Pat Toal, 26-3, both took second in the District competition a year ago.Other top Rockets include seniors Jason Bohal (23-6, 132 pounds) and Vin Masi (18- 10, 138 pounds), juniors Ryan Broderick (17- 10, 113 pounds), Connor Sheehan (24-5, 160 pounds), Kyle Lynch (24-5, 170 pounds) and Tyler Jones (15-8, 182 pounds), and sophomore Dylan Seidenberg (19-10, 120 pounds). Long Branch High School, which reached the Central Jersey Group II semifinals and is 18-5 overall, fields a lineup that includes six competitors with 20-plus triumphs. Nick George leads the Green Wave with a 28-3 record at 138 pounds. Nick Pappayliou is 27- 5 at 160 pounds, Chris Pappayliou is 26-4 at 182 pounds and 152-pound Jake George, a District 22 runner-up a year ago, owns a 26- 4 mark.Other Long Branch wrestlers who are looking to make their presence felt at the District event are seniors Luke Balina (18-5, 145 pounds) and Vin Roselli (19-10, 195 pounds), juniors Nick Menkin (21-10, 132 pounds) and Arturo Rios (16-7, 170 pounds), and sophomore Mike Jones (23-6, 106 pounds).For host Red Bank Regional, Alphonse Muolo (25-5, 120 pounds), Youvani Ruiz (26-4, 126 pounds) and Evan Brown (22-9, 145 pounds) are among the grapplers to watch.Keansburg High School: Anthony Sandi (22-6, 145 pounds), junior Carlos Fontanez (26-1, 138 pounds) and sophomore Dylan Alt (19-5, 170 pounds);Keyport High School: Joe Prevost (23-2, 160 pounds), Josh Prevost (19-5, 182 pounds) and Steve Prevost (21-3, 220 pounds);Middletown High School North: Tyler Wilton (27-3, 170 pounds), Amani Rodriguez (28-2, 220 pounds), junior Anthony Fabiano (23-6, 182/195 pounds), and freshmen Anthony Vetrano (23-7, 160 pounds) and Chad Freshnock (28-2, 182/195 pounds);Middletown High School South: Andrew Blasco (25-3, 152 pounds), Trevor Finn (21-6, heavyweight), junior Don Franciosi (25-4, 113 pounds) and sophomore Matt Best (20-7, 145 pounds);Red Bank Catholic High School: Dan States (25-3, 152 pounds), Chris Whitlock (21-7, 160 pounds), and juniors Tom Meer (22-8, 132 pounds) and Shawn McCord (28- 0, 195 pounds); andRumson-Fair Haven Regional High School: Connor Briggs (19-9, 145 pounds), and sophomores Cole Bisaccia (19-6, 106 pounds) and Marcus Iwama (25-1, 126 pounds).last_img

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