UNION, NJ — For the first time in three years, right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, region wrestling returned to Union High School’s Louis J. Rettino Gymnasium.
Representing the Farmers at this weekend’s Region 4 competition is junior Daniel Collin, who did quite well to place second at 175 pounds at last weekend’s District 14 action at South Plainfield.
Region 4 wrestling at Union will commence Friday, Feb. 24, and wrap up Saturday, Feb. 25, with the championship and third-place consolation matches.
Region wrestling, contested at eight sites around the state, used to be a three-day affair, starting on Friday and continuing on Saturday and Sunday. The format now is a two-day event, with the top four wrestlers from each of the 14 weight classes advancing to the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Tournament at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall for March 2, 3 and 4.
Collin earned the second seed at 175 pounds at District 14 in South Plainfield and was edged by South Plainfield junior Adam Bowles 6-5 in the championship match. It was a battle of the top two seeds, Bowles winning as the top seed, while Collin was the second seed.
Collin and Bowles both received byes in the first round and the quarterfinals. Collin then pinned junior Alijah Burnett of Plainfield, the third seed, in 2:52 in his semifinal. In the other semifinal, Bowles won a major decision by the score of 17-5 against Ridge junior Alexander Muntyan, the fifth seed.
Union finished eighth in the 10-team standings with a point total of 50.
Ridge scored the most points with 236, while host South Plainfield was second with 192.5.
However, the NJSIAA is not acknowledging team champions for the districts this year, despite point totals being reported.
South Plainfield won a district championship for a state-best 37 straight years before this year.
Another Union wrestler, junior Adams Jacques, just missed qualifying for the regions, placing fourth at 165 pounds. Jacques, in the match for qualifying at third place, was blanked by senior Jeremiah Perez of Bound Brook 7-0. Jacques was the third seed and Perez the fourth.
Jacques, like his teammate Collin, had byes in the first round and quarterfinals at 165 pounds. In the semifinals, Jacques was defeated by Ridge junior Kevin Taylor, the second seed, 7-3.
Union County had five champions at District 14: two from Roselle Park, two from Plainfield and one from David Brearley. Winning for the Roselle Park Panthers were seniors Matthew Griffin at 120 pounds and Mayson Harms at 144 pounds and for the Brearley Bears was sophomore Gavin Turnbull at 113 pounds. Plainfield Cardinals champions included senior Brenden Burgess at 157 pounds and junior Josue Cordoba at heavyweight, who won his championship match by forfeit.
Other Union County wrestlers who advanced to Region 4 competition at Union included Tahrae Brown of Plainfield, second at 126 pounds; Eatoniel Brown of Plainfield, second at 132 pounds; Angel Mejia of Roselle Park, second at 138 pounds; Carter Stein of David Brearley, third at 106 pounds; Julian McGarry of David Brearley, third at 120 pounds; Vaughn Marranca of David Brearley, third at 150 pounds; Jayden McIver of Plainfield, third at 215 pounds; and Kevin Osorio of Roselle Park, third at heavyweight.
District 14 at South Plainfield
1-Ridge 236. 2-South Plainfield 192.5. 3-Plainfield 110. 4-Roselle Park 105. 5-David Brearley 92. 6-Newark East Side 62. 7-North Plainfield 61. 8-Union 50. 9-Bound Brook 41. 10-Hillside 0.
106: Joseph Stanzione, South Plainfield, SV Tanner Connelly, Ridge, 5-3.
113: Gavin Turnbull, David Brearley, pin Owen O’Leary, Ridge, 5:28.
120: Matthew Griffin, Roselle Park, pin Sean Markey, Bound Brook, 5:59.
126: Gavin Duran, Ridge, maj. dec. Tahrae Brown, Plainfield, 11-2.
132: Andrew Loniewski, South Plainfield, maj. d. Eatoniel Brown, Plainfield, 15-4.
138: Tim Kolshorn, Ridge, pin Angel Mejia, Roselle Park, 3:32.
144: Mayson Harms, Roselle Park, pin Ryan Yang, Ridge, 1:27.
150: Nicholas Campagna, South Plainfield, pin Liam Thoma, Ridge, 2:35.
157: Brenden Burgess, Plainfield, pin Nate Engdahl, Ridge, 3:16.
165: Justus Niemeyer, South Plainfield, dec. Kevin Taylor, Ridge, 6-1.
175: Adam Bowles, South Plainfield, dec. Daniel Collin, Union, 6-5.
190: John Johns, Newark East Side, dec. Ryan Turner, Ridge, 10-3.
215: Christopher Oliver, Ridge, pin Shawn Cartajena, Newark East Side, 5:10.
HWT: Josue Cordoba, Plainfield, won by forfeit, Brian Santos, North Plainfield.
106: Carter Stein, David Brearley
113: Justin Culver, South Plainfield
120: Julian McGarry, David Brearley
126: Aldo Pigna, South Plainfield
132: Ryan Engle, Ridge
138: Daniel Gonzalez-Ross, South Plainfield
144: Nolan Hook, South Plainfield
150: Vaughn Marranca, David Brearley
157: Bobby White, South Plainfield
165: Jeremiah Perez, Bound Brook
175: Alexander Muntyan, Ridge
190: Omar Elkhouli, North Plainfield
215: Jayden McIver, Plainfield
HWT: Kevin Osorio, Roselle Park