By Jim Hintelmann
LITTLE SILVER – After a successful junior season in which he won an NJSIAA District 23 championship, Shore Regional’s Derek Arnette is now looking for even better things this season.
Arnette has gotten off to a good start this season and had a big effort at Saturday’s 6th annual Buc Classic as he won the 132 pound title and was voted the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament. This followed his win in the Holmdel Holiday Classic.
Defending champion Barnegat won the team title in a close battle with Middle Township.
Arnette won the title the hard way with a 4-3 decision over a familiar rival, Keansburg’s Romello Union.
“I wrestled this kid four times,” said Arnette. “He’s a great competitor. I’m happy to be able to keep beating him. This is my senior year and you always want to finish in style.
“I’m looking to repeat in the Districts,” he said. “I had 33 wins last year and, if I win 33 more this year, I’ll reach 100 for my career, which would be third best in school history.”
Arnette also plays soccer and admits he has a slight edge toward soccer.
“I prefer soccer because it is a little less stressful,” said Arnette. “My top choice of a college is the University of Virginia but I haven’t heard back yet. It should be a while.”
Also winning for Shore was sophomore Sam Koenig (12-1), who outlasted Rumson-Fair Haven Regional’s Connor Briggs at 138 pounds.
“My only loss was to Tom Donnelly of Monsignor Donovan in the Holmdel Tournament,” said Keonig, who went 24-12 a year ago. “I just want to improve on last year and, hopefully, get to 100 wins in my high school career.”
One of the up and coming wrestlers in the area is Rumson freshman Marcus Iwama, who took a 14-2 major decision from Red Bank Regional’s Will Terrarosa at 126 pounds.
“I just wanted to come out strong and wrestle smart,” said Iwama, who was coming off a win at the Holmdel Classic and recently had a big summer in power lifting.
“I went to the national tournament and broke records in the dead lift, bench and squat,” said Iwama.
Red Bank had a pair of winners as Alphonse Muolo defeated Colts Neck’s Ryan Carl, 9-2, in the 126 pound finals while Evan Brown won by injury default at 145 pounds.
In a battle of unbeaten wrestlers at 170 pounds, Holmdel’s Jim Ilvento (12-0) scored on an escape in the second overtime to edge out defending champion Dillon Stambaugh of Red Bank Regional, 2-1.