By DAVE O’SULLIVAN Publisher ATLANTIC CITY — There are 336 wrestlers at Boardwalk Hall this weekend, and all of them hope to be one of the final 28 wrestling for a state championship in their respective weight class. Lose Friday night, however, and that dream is over. The best you can do is wrestle back to third place — if you win your next seven matches. The stakes are high this time of year, and the tournament is an unforgiving one. Egg Harbor Township found that out, as its three stars — Terrell Coleman (113 pounds), Connor Agostino (195) and Dietrich Trumbauer (220) — all went down in their first bouts. They’ll have a chance to begin wrestling back to a spot on the podium on Saturday morning. St. Augustine Prep enjoyed the most success of any Cape-Atlantic League team, as four of its five wrestlers won their first bouts and two — James Brady at 220 pounds and Nick Clark at 160 — remain in the hunt for a state title. Clark won two bouts to earn a berth in the quarterfinals, where he will face state title favorite Kyle Bierdumpfel of Don Bosco Prep on Saturday. Brady received a bye into the pre-quarters, where he survived with a 1-0 win over Chris Hayes of Brick Memorial. Senior Reid White, who has committed to Campbell University in North Carolina, scored a 9-1 major decision over Caldwell’s Gerald Jones before falling 6-2 to former state champion Brandon Paetzell of Phillipsburg in the pre-quarters. The win over Jones was a special one for White, however, as it was the 100th of his career. “In the last minute, when I was on top, he was trying to hook my arm and roll, so I was just trying to defend that. I didn’t want to get too excited. I wanted to get my 100th win at the region finals, but since that didn’t happen my whole mindset was just to come in and get that first win, get the 100th out of the way, and go from there,” White said. “It was pretty cool getting my first win in states. I made it here last year, but I went 0-2, so this is a change. (That experience) last year helped a lot. Last year, I was real jittery, wanted to go hard the entire time. This year I’m much more relaxed and focusing on my matches.” “It’s big time. The kid has been busting his butt all season, and he deserves that,” Brady said. “A kid my freshman year had that happen where he came in with 99 wins; lost the region final and then went 0-2 here and never got his 100th. Reid’s not done yet, he’s going to make some noise this weekend. I’m really proud of that kid because I know how much time he puts into it.” St. Augustine Prep senior 220-pounder Jim Brady works a move on Brick Memorial’s Chris Hayes during Brady’s pre-quarterfinal win on Friday night. “You’re always nervous going into your first match at states, but you just have to be confident in yourself. I’ve wrestled that kid twice, and the last time it went into overtime. He’s a big, strong kid who is hard to move, so I just took what I could get,” Brady said. “If it was only winning 1-0, so be it. I knew it was enough. He’s an athletic kid, but his shots aren’t the greatest. I knew if he was coming in he was going to try a wide double and I could toss him to his back. I almost hit it, too.” Brady, Clark and Buena Regional heavyweight Antonio Rodriguez are the only CAL wrestlers who have advanced to Saturday’s quarterfinal round, while Delsea Regional put four wrestlers in the quarters. Brady, who announced this week he will be attending Rutgers University as a preferred walk-on to the football team, said he is having as much fun as possible with the conclusion of his wrestling season. “A win’s a win, whether it’s by 10 points or one point, you’re moving on to the next round, regardless,” Brady said. “There are two more days left, then I’ll be focused on playing college football. I’ll probably never put on wrestling shoes again, so I just have to enjoy this, take it all in, and kick some butt.” Contact Dave O’Sullivan: firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @GDsullysays [adsense]
About The Author
Sully, as he’s known throughout South Jersey, began his newspaper career in 1995 and has worked for some of New Jersey’s top papers, including The Asbury Park Press and Press of Atlantic City, as a writer and editor. He’s earned several New Jersey Press Association awards and continues to produce high quality reporting, writing and photography. A native of Ocean County, Sully played high school baseball at Lacey Township High and college baseball at Pfeiffer University in North Carolina. After a successful 15-year career in the newspaper business, Sully launched Glory Days Magazine in 2013 and for nearly a decade has been bringing fans outstanding and insightful coverage of high school sports throughout South Jersey.
June 29, 2017
June 29, 2017
April 11, 2018