By Jim Hintelmann
LITTLE SILVER – Although just six starters return, Red Bank Regional wrestling coach Scott Ferris, is looking forward to another fine season and hopes to at least equal last year’s 14-7 mark.
“We have five wrestlers back that placed in District 22,” said Ferris. “Our goals are to make the state sectionals and finish at least .500. We haven’t made the sectionals since 1996, and that was the only time that we made it.”
The late start of practice this year meets with approval by Ferris.
“It gives the kids that play football a couple of days off,” said Ferris. “They can also spend more time with the family over the Thanksgiving weekend.”
There are 35 wrestlers out for the team, but Ferris thinks that more candidates will be joining the team soon.
“We anticipate more kids from the football team coming out for the team,”
he said. “Our football coach Joe Giglio, is doing a good job helping us out.”
Returning are Alphonse Maulo (113), William Terrarrosa (126), Evan Brown (138), Yovani Ruis (145, 20-12), Dylan Stambaugh (160, 26-7), and Muhammad Shafique (170).
Leading newcomers are Brandon Middletown (220) and Nic Krajewski (152).
Although eight wrestlers return with some varsity experience, Shore Regional coach Dave Porter still believes that his team is in a rebuilding season. The Blue Devils were 11-15 a year ago.
“It’s a big rebuilding year,” Porter said. “We lost a lot of seniors. We have 31 wrestlers out for the team, but about half of them have never wrestled before.”
The top returnee is senior Derek Arnette (132, 33-5), an NJSIAA District 23 champion last year at 130 pounds. Another 20 bout winner is sophomore Sam Koenig (188, 23-13), who was third in District 23 in his weight class.
Other wrestlers back with varsity experience are juniors Dan Ballie (170), Connor Seroce (126) and Nick Salles (145), seniors Brian Blayton (145), Chris Graha (160) and Chris Wollman (170), and sophomore Dave Musselman (220). Top newcomer is freshman Dan Welsh (106).
Shore opens its season Dec. 17 at the Shawnee Tournament and then will compete in the annual Holmdel Wrestling Classic Dec.27.