Cranford’s Michel Daly wins the 106-pound finals at the Region 4 Tournament

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UNION, NJ — The keys to success, according to Cranford High School sophomore Michael Daly: “working on offense a lot, keep working hard and conditioning.”

All three were in play Friday, Feb. 23, and Saturday, Feb. 24, and assisted Daly in coming out on top in all three of his matches at Region 4 at Union High School.

After placing sixth in Region 4 last year and seeing his season end in Union’s gym, this time, he got his picture taken holding the 106-pound poster card that showed the bracket he captured for the first time.

In the championship match at 106 pounds, the third-seeded Daly found a way to get past fifth-seeded Ridge High School sophomore Tanner Connelly, 3-1, in overtime.

Daly wrestled Connelly just once prior. Last summer, at Roselle Park High School, he also defeated Connelly in overtime.

This is how he described the Region 4 final on Saturday, Feb. 24, at Union: “It was a gritty, hard match. I knew what to expect.”

Daly became the second Cranford wrestler in two years to win the Union County Tournament, District 16 Tournament — at Watchung Hills Regional High School this year — and Region 4 Tournament championships in the same season.

The other Cranford wrestler is junior standout Jordan Chapman, who accomplished the feat last year and this year, winning District 13 at Cranford at 157 pounds last year and District 16 at Watchung Hills at 165 pounds this year.

Daly and Chapman are joined by sophomore teammate Luke Scholz as the three Cougar wrestlers who are headed to Atlantic City for this weekend’s New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Tournament.

The top four wrestlers in each weight class in the eight regions advanced to the NJSIAA Tournament.

Chapman, the top seed, pinned second-seeded Paramus Catholic senior John Quinonez in 2:42 in Saturday’s Region 4 final at the Louis J. Rettino Gymnasium at Union High School. Chapman has reached Region 4 finals all three years, falling at 157 pounds two years ago and winning his first last year at 157 pounds.

Scholz, who last year placed fifth at 126 pounds, finished third at 132 pounds to advance. In the third-place bout, fourth-seeded Scholz defeated fifth-seeded Immaculata High School freshman Nate Keller, 3-1. Keller entered Region 4 competition with a 35-3 record.

Here’s a look at all three Cranford wrestlers who will seek to make history this weekend in Atlantic City. Pat Hogan at 171 pounds in 2006 is Cranford’s last state champion. Union County has not produced a state champ since 2011. Chapman was third at 157 pounds last year and is ranked second in the state at 165 pounds. Last year’s 157-pound state champion was Delbarton School’s Alessio Perentin, who is ranked No. 1 in the state at 165 pounds. The junior just won his third Region championship, capturing the 165-pound crown at Region 5 at Franklin High School.

Michael Daly, Cranford, sophomore
2022-2023: 25-8, 6th Region 4 at 106 pounds
2023-2024: 33-7 so far, 1st Region 4 at 106 pounds
Overall record: 58-15

Jordan Chapman, Cranford, junior
2021-2022: 35-5, 2nd Region 4 at 157 pounds
2022-2023: 42-4, 1st Region 4 at 157 pounds
2023-2024: 38-1 so far, 1st Region 4 at 165 pounds
Overall record: 115-10

Luke Scholz, Cranford, sophomore
2022-2023: 30-5, 5th Region 4 at 126 pounds
2023-2024: 20-4 so far, 3rd Region 4 at 132 pounds

The NJSIAA/Rothman Orthopaedics Wrestling Championships will be Thursday, Feb. 29; Friday, March 1; and Saturday, March 2, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

The boys and girls tournament will run concurrently on all three days of the tournaments.

Tickets are priced at $60 for a three-day, all-round ticket or $30 per day.

Tickets for the event may be purchased through the Boardwalk Hall Ticket Office online at; by telephone from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 609-348-7512; or in person.

NJSIAA tournament schedule
Thursday, Feb. 29

8 a.m.: boys and girls weight check
8:30 a.m.: boys and girls weigh-ins
10 a.m.: Girls pre-quarterfinals and Wrestleback 1 and 2 on 8 mats
10:30 a.m.: Boys preliminaries and Wrestlebacks on 8 mats
6 p.m.: Awards

Friday, March 1

7 a.m.: boys weight check
7:30 a.m.: boys weigh-ins
9 a.m.: boys WB2, quarterfinals, WB2 and 3 on 8 mats
11 a.m.: girls weight check
11:10 a.m.: boys quarterfinals on mats 3-4-5-6 and boys WB3 on mats 1-2 and 7-8
11:30: girls weigh-ins
1 p.m.: girls semifinals, WB3 on mats 7 and 8
5:45 p.m.: awards
6 p.m.: Boys semifinals on two middle mats. Girls consolation semifinals on outside 4 mats.
To follow: Boys WB5 immediately following completion of girls consolation semifinals.

Saturday, March 2

7 a.m.: boys and girls weight checks
7:30 a.m.: boys and girls weighing
9 a.m.: boys WB6 on 6 mats
9:45 a.m.: boys and girls 3rd, 5th, 7th
12:45 p.m.: girls parade
1 p.m.: girls finals
3:30 p.m.: boys parade
3:45 p.m.: boys finals

Region 4 at Union

Team of the Year: Paramus Catholic
The Paladins had the most Region 4 champions with four and had two other wrestlers place second.

Coach of the Year: Roy Dragon, Ridge
The Red Devils went 21-2 and captured North 2, Group 4 and Group 4 titles.

Outstanding Wrestler: Thomas Brunetti, Hunterdon Central, senior
Brunetti defeated two defending region champions to win at 175. He is 39-0.


• 106 pounds: Michael Daly, Cranford, dec. Tanner Connelly, Ridge,
3-1 (OT).

• 113 pounds: Anthony DiAndrea, Watchung Hills, maj. dec. Zachary Belverio, Arthur L. Johnson, 12-1.

• 120 pounds: Anthony Rossi, Hunterdon Central, tech. fall Max Rotter, Westfield, 1:38.

• 126 pounds: Zachary Beadling, St. Joseph, Metuchen, dec. Mason Tettambel, Immaculata, 3-0.

• 132 pounds: Nicholas Pallitto, Paramus Catholic dec. Gavin Duran, Ridge, 8-5.

• 138 pounds: Dylan Ross, Paramus Catholic dec. Morgan Schwarz, St. Joseph, Metuchen, 2-1 (2OT).

• 144 pounds: Nick Villani, Bernards, dec. Joseph Ortega, Arthur L. Johnson, 3-1.

• 150 pounds: Rhett Washleski, Hunterdon Central, pin Matthew Di Eduardo, Bridgewater-Raritan, 2:51.

• 157 pounds: Logan Wiecoreck, Voorhees, dec. Cody Pritzlaff, Watchung Hills, 3-1.

• 165 pounds: Jordan Chapman, Cranford, pin John Quinonez, Paramus Catholic, 2:42.

• 175 pounds: Thomas Brunetti, Hunterdon Central, dec. Edward Terreri, Paramus Catholic, 5-4.

• 190 pounds: Daniel Rella, Paramus Catholic, pin Fabian Acuna, Somerville, 3:43.

• 215 pounds: Xavier Williams, Paramus Catholic, pin Nathan Faxon, Governor Livingston, :31.

• HWT: Josue Cordoba, Plainfield, dec. Christopher Oliver, Ridge, 7-5.

Third place

• 106 pounds: Julian Arango, St. Joseph, Metuchen, tech. fall Reid Buzby, North Hunterdon, 1:43.

• 113 pounds: Aidan Yarussi, North Hunterdon, pin Derek Sutphen, Immaculata, 3:15.

• 120 pounds: Matteo Littman, Pingry, dec. Brady Hnasko, Bridgewater-Raritan, 2-0.

• 126 pounds: Gabriel Hargrove, Union, dec. Shane Wysocki, North Hunterdon, 3-1.

• 132 pounds: Luke Scholz, Cranford, dec. Nate Keller, Immaculata, 3-1.

• 138 pounds: Braeden Valley, New Providence, pin Jordan Bash, Watchung Hills, 3:06.

• 144 pounds: William Cella, Hunterdon Central, pin Abe Zaretsky, Paramus Catholic, 4:31.

• 150 pounds: Ryan Closterman, Somerville, dec. Joseph Dasti, Governor Livingston, 7-3.

• 157 pounds: Tyler Whitford, St. Joseph, Metuchen. dec. Jake Kreisberg, Governor Livingston, 5-1.

• 165 pounds: Cristian Gioia, Governor Livingston, maj. dec. Brian Wilson, North Hunterdon, 9-0.

• 175 pounds: Michael Feliciano, Colonia, maj. dec. Evan Kinney, North Hunterdon, 9-1.

• 190 pounds: Jake Zemsky, Westfield, dec. Kevin Taylor, Ridge, 9-2.

• 215 pounds: Timothy Smith Jr., Elizabeth, medical forfeit Brian Christie, St. Joseph, Metuchen

• HWT: Samuel Henry, Summit-Chatham, dec. Justin Perry, Bayonne, 2-1.

Photos by JR Parachini