Wrestling Preview: Ocean Township, Monmouth Regional


coaster-sportsBy CHRIS CHRISTOPHER

The Ocean Township High School wrestling team should be one of the best in the Shore Conference.
“A bit of a rarity at any school, the Spartans have the ability to put out a previous varsity letter winner at every weight, including five District medal winners,” Ocean coach Cippy Apicelli said.
Head coach: Cippy Apicelli, fifth season
Career record: 72-29
Last year’s record: 16-11 (third in District 22, NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III semifinalist, third in Shore Conference Class B North, fifth in Garden State Classic)
Possible 2015-16 lineup: Sophomore Adam Manzo (106), freshman Will Tisony (106), junior John Santos (113), senior Dave Tieto (120), senior Joe Brenner (126), senior Gerell Cox (126), sophomore Jake Benner (132), sophomore Saif Ali (132), senior Chris Donnelly (138), senior Edgar Bernard (138), senior Jeff Andre (145), senior Pat Tracey (152), senior Mike Dilusto (160), senior Jonathon Loyola (160), junior Esteban Bernard (170), senior Mark Santos (170), senior T.J. Saldutti (182), senior Tyler Thompson (195), junior Clayton Oates (220), senior Brian Olesen (heavyweight)
Graduated in 2015: Costa Poniros (132, 22-12), Pat Parenty (145, 4-3), Taj Clayton (152, 0-1), Zack Hertling (170, 31-3, first in District 22, second in Region VI)
The Spartans are solid from 120-145. Jake Benner last year won District 22 at 120 and notched 29 wins. He’s joined by returning Region VI qualifiers Donnelly and Tieto. The latter is coming off back-to-back 20-plus win seasons. There are also Cox, Andre, Bernard and Joey Benner. The latter missed last year after posting 28 wins in his first two seasons.
In the upper weights, there are Saldutti, a two-time District 22 medal winner, at 182 and Olesen, the District 22 runner-up last year. Saldutti returns at heavyweight. Thompson, the Spartans’ football standout, is back in action in the upper weights after missing last season because of a broken leg. Pat Tracey returns after a year at Long Branch.
“We should have one of our most complete if not our deepest group of upper weights in quite some time,” Apicelli said.
Tieto went 27-11 last year and was third in District 22. Joe Benner went 12-6 in 2014. Cox was 15-11 last year. Jake Benner went 29-6 a year ago. Saldutti was 29-9 and second in District 22 last year. Thompson was 10-9 in 2014. Olesen went 22-13 last season.
“With such an experienced lineup, we should get out of the gate very fast,” Apicelli said. “Beyond the veterans in the lineup, there are big numbers in the room, including 19 freshmen, giving us plenty of lineup options. There are a couple of interesting bouts early on as we host Point Pleasant Boro in a rematch of a one-point Ocean win last year on Dec. 30. Howell rolls into town on Jan. 6. Look for Ocean to once again be in the hunt for the Class B North title with Wall and Long Branch and the Central Jersey Group III title with South Plainfield and Hopewell Valley.”
Head coach: Shawn Brown
Roster: Senior Andy Villagomez (106, 113), sophomore Brandon Warner (106, 113), senior Luis Victoria (126, 132), sophomore James LaValle (126), senior David Sims (132), junior Tyler Flynn (132), sophomore Jean-Carlos Gratacos (132), senior Jon Johnson (138, 145), sophomore Dylan Pham (138), senior Elizer Velez (145), senior Alexander Britton (145), senior Matthew Anfuso (152, 160), junior Matthew Ruppert (152), sophomore Patrick Nevins (160, 170), senior Shubham Kapoor (160), sophomore Daniel Andara (160), senior Luis Dejesus (170), senior Skylar Marvin (170, 182), sophomore Jake Winter (170), senior Frankie Ashe (182, 195), sophomore Ahmad Alsoub (195), sophomore Ricky Voss (195, 220), senior Tyler Gallagher (heavyweight), sophomore Bradley Pietz (heavyweight), sophomore Josh Capellan (heavyweight), freshman Tyler Collins (heavyweight)
Outlook: Brown is optimistic of success for his Falcons.
“We are very excited for this upcoming season,” he said. “With a fresh start, we believe we will do better than we did in our previous season. We are focused on overcoming the injuries and minor setbacks of the preseason grind. A team total is to surpass our nine wins of last year. Along with achieving this goal, we are determined to work hard during practice and build a strong team relationship.”

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