The 2022-2023 New Jersey high school wrestling season has come down to this. 448 wrestlers arrived in Atlantic City on Thursday, and now the field has been whittled down to 28.
Here’s a look at all the wrestlers who are just one win away from earning a state title, in a tale of the tape of each final-round matchup.
106-Youth vs. experience as 19th-seed rumbles with top-seed
Experience is a valuable commodity in postseason wrestling, especially when you’re talking about 106. Top-seeded North Hunterdon grappler Logan Wadle will be making his second appearance in a 106-pound final when he takes on Bergen Catholic’s Nathan Braun. Wadle, a Lehigh commit, took the runner-up spot in the 2021 tournament after losing to Delbarton’s Daniel Jones in the final, and then took third in last year’s tournament. Wadle could also have a size advantage in this year’s final, as he spent much of the year competing at 113 and 120. While a championship win for the North Hunterdon wrestler would be a major breakthrough, a victory for Braun could make for the perfect end to a spectacular run. The Bergen Catholic first-year entered the tournament as the 19th seed and made an impressive statement with a 9-4 decision win over junior third-seed Brady Klinsky (Midd. North). Braun booked his spot in the finals by edging out St. Peter’s Prep’s Salvatore Borrometi with a 2-0 decision. The seeding of Braun, who is ranked No. 5 in NJ.com’s individual rankings, likely had much to do with the freshman’s lack of criteria, but a championship win would still be a remarkable feat for the young Crusader.
The two 106 finalists have not crossed paths before, but the most recent, and arguably most relevant common opponent between the two appears to be SPP’s Borrometi. Wadle defeated the St. Peter’s Prep wrestler via 5-3 decision in the Region 4 final last weekend.
Read more about the 106-pound semifinals here.
106-pound final: Tale of the tape
1-Logan Wadle, North Hunterdon (34-2) vs. 19-Nathan Braun, Bergen Catholic (28-5)
Path to Finals
- Wadle: first round 1:11 pin over 32-Anthony Lavezzola (Westwood); pre-quarterfinal – 6-2 decision over 16-Lazarus Joyce (Camden Catholic), quarterfinal – 5-3 SV over 9-Jonathon McGinty (SJR); semifinals – 4-2 decision over 12-Aiden Scheeringa (Hackettstown)
- Braun: first round – 9-0 major over 14-Michael Napolitano (Brick Memorial); pre-quarterfinal – 9-0 major over 3-Brady Klinsky; quarterfinal 18-2 tech over 6-Joseph DeAngelo (Point Boro); semifinals 2-0 decision over 10-Salvatore Borrometi (St. Peter’s Prep)
- Wadle: Third appearance, 2nd at 106 (2021), 3rd at 106 (2022)
- Braun: First appearance
113-Low-seeds rally to face off in final
The two finalists at 113 appear to have a few things in common. Besides sharing the same first name, the two both made the most of an upset-filled bracket (and scored some upsets of their own) to earn their way to the championship match. Seton Hall Prep’s Logan Brzozowski, the No. 6 in NJ.com’s individual rankings, made the most of his ninth-seed by taking down Hunterdon Central eight seed Anthon Rossi via 9-1 decision in the quarterfinals. Brzozowski likely expected he would have to find a way past top-seed Kaden Naame in the quarterfinals, but thanks to an upset by Paramus Catholic 17th-seeded Ethan Smith, Brzozowski instead faced off against the senior Paladin. The Seton Hall Prep junior lived up to his ranking and seeding by taking a 13-4 major over Smith. Not too shabby for a wrestler who fell in the wrestle backs last year. Logan Roman notched a decisive upset win as a sixth-seed by pinning third-seeded Robert Duffy (CBA) in the quarterfinals. The Old Bridge junior then outlasted second-seeded Jayden James of Delbarton.
The 113 final will be a fresh matchup for both grapplers as they have not faced off previously this season. The matchup seems likely to provide excitement though, as the two seem to be evenly matched between Brzozowski’s No. 6 ranking and Roman’s No. 5 rankings.
Read more about the 113-pound semifinals here
113-pound final: Tale of the tape
9-Logan Brzozowski, Seton Hall Prep School (36-5) vs. 6-Logan Roman, Old Bridge (44-1)
Path to Finals
- Brzozowski: First round pin 3:01 over 24-Tyler Thomas (Egg Harbor), pre-quarterfinals 5-2 dec. over 8-Anthony Rossi (Hunterdon Central), quarterfinals 13-4 major over 17-Ethan Smith (Paramus Catholic), semifinals 11-5 decision over 12-Devin Ryan (New Milford)
- Roman: first round pin 5:55 over 27-Dom Digiacomo (Camden Catholic), pre-quarterfinals 17-2 tech over 11-Christopher Nucifora (Bergen Catholic), quarterfinals pin 2:45 over 3-Robert Duffy (CBA), semifinals 5-3 SV over 2-Jayden James (Delbarton)
- Brzozowski: None
- Roman: WB4 (2022)
120-Champ vs. Champ
Hard to think of a better matchup than two former champions going at with a state title on the line, and that’s exactly what we have brewing in the 120-pound final. Top-seeded Anthony Knox , the champion in 2022′s 113-bracket, will look to take another major step in his quest for four state titles, as the top-seeded St. John Vianney national standout will be looking to halfway point of his end- goal. Standing in the way of the accomplishment is Delbarton’s Daniel Jones. Jones, just like Knox knows what it takes to earn championship gold. The Green Wave junior made some major waves as a freshman by earning the 106-pound title in 2020. It should be noted that Knox, the No. 4 ranked wrestler nationally according to Flowrestling, has already earned a dominant win over a state champion in this year’s tournament as he rolled past last year’s 106-pound champ Adrian DeJesus (DePaul Catholic) via 18-5 major.
The two champions are well acquainted, as the unbeaten Knox handed Jones a 5-2 loss in the final of this year’s Beast of the East 120-pound final.
Read more about the 120-pound semifinals here
120-pound final: Tale of the tape
1-Anthony Knox, St. John Vianney (38-0) vs. 2-Daniel Jones, Delbarton (34-4)
Path to Finals
- Knox: first round 22-7 tech fall over 32-Michael Hare (West Morris) pre-quarterfinals 14-3 major over 6-Lawrence Liss (Matawan), quarterfinals 20-5 tech over Matthew Griffin (Roselle Park) semifinals 18-5 major over 5-Adrian DeJesus (DePaul Catholic)
- Jones – first round 16-0 tech fall over 31-Jaydin Barreto (Morris Hills, pre-quarterfinals 5-0 decision over 15-Dezmonf Lenaghan (Donovan Catholic), quarterfinals 4-3 decision over 7-Vincent Paino (SJR), semifinals 4-1 decision over 3-Max Elton (Holy Spirit)
- Knox: first at 120 – (2022)
- Jones: first at 106 (2020); 5th at 113 (2022)
- Knox 5-2 decision, 2023 Beast of the East tournament
126-Senior looks to complete long road to title
Luke Stanich has certainly proven he has what it takes to earn hardware at Atlantic City, but on Saturday, the Roxbury senior will look to earn what has long eluded him, a state championship. Stanich’s Friday wins guaranteed he’ll end his career as a four-time state medalist. The senior Gael came close to earning gold last year before falling to Brick Memorial’s Evan Tallmadge in the 2022120-pound final. The unbeaten Stanich has looked dominant so far in this year’s tournament, as he took an impressive 6-1 decision over top-seeded Carson Walsh (Pope John) in the semis. The other side of the final, St. Peter’s Preps’ Caedyn Ricciardi, will look to earn a storybook ending of his own, for his sophomore season. Ricciardi, an Escape the Rock champion and Beast of the East finalist, placed 6th as a freshman in the 126-pound bracket last year.
Read more about the 126-pound semifinals here
126-pound final: Tale of the tape
4-Luke Stanich – Roxbury, (39-0) vs. 6-Caedyn Ricciardi, St. Peter’s Prep (30-5)
Path to Finals
- Stanich – 1st round 18-2 tech fall over 29-Brandon Ribiero (Westfield) pre-quarerfinals 2:45 pin over Morgan Schwarz (SJM), quarterfinals 2:45 pin over 5-Jack Zaleski (Midd. South), semifinals 10-2 major over 1-Carson Walsh (Pope John)
- Ricciardi – 1st round 11-2 major over 27-Ryan Langenmayr (Lakeland), pre-quartrfinals 9-1 major over 22-Matt Roche (Delware Valley), quarterfinals 5:00 pin over 3-Conor Collins (Southern), semifinals 5-2 dec over 7-Nathan Taylor (Kingsway)
- Stanich: 2nd at 120 (2022); 4th at 113 (2021); 6th at 106 (2020)
- Ricciardi: 6th at 126 (2022)
132-Santaniello looks for 2nd gold; Bastarrika looks to stun
From the beginning of the season to now, the 132-pound state title looks to be Anthony Santaniello’s to lose. The former titlist and Brick Memorial standout recorded pins and techs in all of his matches leading to the finals, including a 17-2 tech over fellow Shore Conference standout and four-seed Wyatt Stout (Southern). The Oklahoma-bound three-time finalist looks to be in good position to earn a second title. Bastarika failed to make the podium last year after placing at 106 as a sophomore, and it looks like he’s more than made up for lost time this year. The Mount Olive senior outlasted second-seed Donovan Chavis to earn a 6-4 sudden victory win in the semis.
Read more about the 132-pound semifinals here
132-pound final: Tale of the tape
1-Anthony Santaniello, Brick Memorial (37-0) vs. 3-Jack Bastarrika – Mount Olive, (39-4,)
Path to Finals
- Santaniello – 1st round 23-8 tech over 32-Natan Tsyrlin (Fair Lawn), pre-quarterfinals 1:19 pin over 17-Blaise Mele (Princeton), quarterfinals 15-0 tech fall over Chase Hansen (Lower Cape May), semifinals 17-2 tech over 4-Wyatt Stout (Southern)
- Bastarrika – 1st round 17-2 tech over 30-Aidan Ott (Lacey), pre-quarterfinals 6-2 decision over 14-Jack Nauta (Pope John), quarterfinals 4-1 dec over 6-Patrick O’Keefe (SJV), semifinals 6-4 SV over 2-Donovan Chavis (St. Peter’s Prep).
- Santaniello: 2nd at 132 (2022); 1st at 120 (2021); 2nd at 106 (2020)
- Bastarrika: 6th at 106 (2021)
138-Vazquez vies for repeat
Tyler Vazquez had to display major perseverance to put himself in a position for what would be his second state title. The fifth-seeded Delbarton senior outlasted upstart Bergen Catholic freshman Joey Canova for a 4-3 tiebreaker win in the quarterfinals and then had to edge top-seeded Alex Nini (CBA) for a 3-1 sudden victory win in the semifinals. The Green Wave standout earned a spot against third-seeded Giovanni Alejandro. Alejandro, who stayed alive in the championship bracket with a 3-1 sudden victory win over second-seeded Zach Reilley (Raritan) would be the first wrestler in St. Joseph (Met.) history to win a title. That kind of win would be a major milestone for the already surging Falcons, considering they just re-established their program in 2018.
Read more about the 138-pound semifinals here
138-pound final: Tale of the tape
5-Tyler Vazquez, Delbarton (40-3) vs. 3-Giovanni Alejandro, t. Joseph Metuchen, (39-3)
Path to Finals
- Vazquez – 1st round 12-1 major over 28-Richard Davis (Donovan Catholic), pre-quarterfinals 3:09 in over 12-Angelo Messina (Freehold Boro), quarerfinals 4-3 tiebreaker over 20-Joey Canova (Bergen Catholic), semifinals 3-1 SV over 1-Alex Nini (CBA)
- Alejandro – 1st round 5:32 pin over 30-Nate Fletcher (Point Boro), prequarterfinals 5-1 dec over Shawn Redfield (Warren Hills), quarterfinals 3-1 SV over 11-Wayne Rold (Camden Catholic), semifinals 5-2 decision over 2-Zach Reilley (Long Branch)
- Vazquez: 1st at 132 (2022), 3rd at 120 (2021), 3rd at106 (2020)
- Alejandro – WB4 at 126 (2022)
144-Can South Carolina transfer continue storm of Garden State?
Yannis Charles was something of a mystery heading into the tournament. The second-seeded SJR standout and South Carolina transfer showed everyone what he’s capable of by taking a revenge 4-1 tiereaker win over third-seeded Ryan Ford (Bergen Catholic). Grungo forced his way to the finals with a first period pin over top-seeded Julian George (CBA).
Read more about the 144-pound semifinals here
144-pound final: Tale of the tape
2-Yannis Charles – St Joseph (Montvale) (23-4) vs. 4-Richie Grungo – St. Augustine (29-2)
Path to Finals
- Grungo – 16-1 tech fall over 29-Weston Edleman (Roxbury), pre-quarterfinals 56 pin ver 13-Kieran Bruen (Howell), quarterfinals 3-2 decision over 5-Jamar Dixon (Delsea), semifinals 1:30 pin over 1-Julian George (CBA)
- Charles – 1st rd – 19-4 tech over 31-Jake Tenebruso (Old Bridge), pre-quarterfinals 9-2 decision over 18-Jeremy Quezada (Dumont), quarterfinals 22-7 tech over 10-James Farina (Ocean Twp), semifinals 8-6 decision over 3-Ryan Ford (Bergen Catholic)
- Grungo: 4th at 144 (2022); 5th at 145 (2021)
- Charles – None
150-Top-seed faces unbeaten senior
Brady Conlin has so far made the most of his return to New Jersey wrestling. Conlin, who wrestler for Lake Highland in Florida last season, after placing for Washington Twp and Williamstown, booked his way to the finals with an unblemished record after taking a 5-0 decision over Frank DiBella (SJR). Southern’s Matt Henrich lived up to his top-seeding by taking down fourth-seeded Christopher Bacchioni off a 2-1 tiebreaker win in the semis.
Read more about the 150-pound semifinals here
150-pound final: Tale of the tape
1-Matt Henrich, Southern (39-3) vs. 3-Brady Conlin, St. Augustine (19-0)
Path to Finals
- Henrich – 1st rd 3:30 pin over 32-Mason Pimik (Brick Memorial) pre-quarterfinals 6-0 decision over 17-Adrien Laboy (Middle Twp), quarterfinals 3-2 dec over 9-Drew Roskos (Delran), semifinals 2-1 tie-breaker over 4-Christopher Bacchioni (Bergen Catholic)
- Conlin – 1st rd 16-0 tech over 30-Jason Chiodi (Gloucester), pre-quarterfinals 7-0 dec over Tyler Barrett (CBA), semifinals 5-2 decision over 7-Frank DiBella (SJR)
- Henrich: 7th at 138 (2022);
- Conlin – 3rd at 126 (2021) 7th at 113 (2020)
157- Can sophomore star in finals?
Alessio Perentin made quick work of his opponents on the road to the 157-pound final, as the sophomore Delbarton grappler recorded four pins, all but one in the first period. A 1:25 pin over Old Bridge’s Tyler Sagi sent the sophomore to the finals to face off against CBA’s Zander Silva. The third-seeded senior Colt outlasted a game Jordan Chapman (Cranford) to take a 5-4 semifinal win.
Read more about the 157-pound semifinals here
157-pound final: Tale of the tape
4-Alessio Perentin, Delbarton (40-1) vs. 3-Zander Silva, CBA, (28-4)
Path to Finals
- Perentin – 1st rd :54 pin over 29-Liam Packer (Phillipsburg), pre-quarterfinals 2:22 pin over 20-Logan Wiecoreck (Voorhees), quarterfinals 1:25 pin over 12-Nick Bennet (Southern), semifinals 1:25 pin over 8-Tyler Sagi
- Silva -Silva – 1st rd 15-0 tech fall over 30-James Dacunto (North Warren), pre-quarterfinals 7-0 dec over 14-Thaylor Sibbles (Newton), quarterfinals 7-0 decison over 6-Damian Weaver (Lyndhurst), semifinals 5-4 decision over 7-Jordan Chapman (Cranford)
- Perentin: 4th at 138 (2022)
- Silva – 3rd at 157 (2022)
165-Beast of the East finalists face off once again
The 165 final will pit two familiar foes against each other in unbeaten Delbarton top-seed Louis Cerchio and second-seeded SJV standout Jasiah Queen. The two met in a Beast of the East final earlier this season, and the Delbarton wrestler walked away with a decisive 10-1 major win. Cerchio, a two-time medalist, has been knocking on the door for a title since his early years, so a championship win would make for a stellar bookend.
Read more about the 165-pound semifinals here
165-pound final: Tale of the tape
1-Daniel Cerchio, Delbarton (38-0) vs. 2-Jasiah Queen, St. John Vianney (40-3)
Path to Finals
- Cerchio – 1st round 1:11 pin over 32-Trey Tallmadge (Brick Memorial), pre-quarterfinals 3:39 pin over 17-Ray Kohan (Pascack Valley), quarterfinals 8-0 major over 8-Jake Slotnick (St. Augustine), semifinals 5-0 decision over 4-Michael Murphy (Westfield)
- Queen – 1st round 21-4 tech fall over 31-Malik Reid (Franklin) pre-quarterfinals 23-6 tech over 15-Matt Leslie (Morris Hills), quarterfinals 5:12 pin over 7-Daniel Rella (Paramus Catholic), semifinals 5-1 decision over 11-Ryan Burton (SJR)
- Cerchio: 4th at 165 (2022); 6th at 160 (2021)
- Queen: 5th at 157 (2022)
- Cerchio 10-1 major, 2023 Beast of the East tournament
175-Returning champs emerge from deep field
175 pounds was the deepest field in Thursday’s and Friday’s competition, and arguably the deepest field the tournament has seen in some time, so it’s only fitting that the bracket would come down to two reigning champions. Top-seeded Simon Ruiz and second-seeded Harvey Ludington emerged from a bracket that featured five state finalists, and both will be vying to add another piece of gold to their mantle. Ruiz, who claimed the 157-pound title last year booked his way to the finals off a 7-1 decision over fourth-seeded Joshua Palacio (North Bergen) while Luddington, the defending 175-pound champ, recorded bonus points in all his lead-up bouts, and took away Sabino Portella’s (RBC) previously unbeaten record with an 8-0 semifinals major.
Read more about the 175-pound semifinals here.
165-pound final: Tale of the tape
1-Simon Ruiz, Delbarton (29-0) vs. 2-Harvey Ludington, Brick Memorial (39-1)
Path to Finals
- Ruiz – Ruiz – 1st round :31 pin over 32-Andrew Tighe (West Deptford), pre-quarterfinals 1:17 pin over 16-Michael Drazek (Warren Hills), quarterfinals 13-4 major over 8-Tyler Bienus (Mount Olive), semifinals 7-1 decision over 5-Joshua Palacio (North Bergen)
- Ludington – Ludington – 1st round 1:43 pin over 31-Deryk Hannold (Williamstown), pre-quarterfinals :29 pin over Michael Feliciano (Colonia), quarterfinals 15-0 tech fall over Edward Terreri (Paramus Catholic), semifinals 8-0 major over 3-Sabino Portella (RBC)
- Ruiz: 1st at 157 (2022); 2nd at 145 (2021); 3rd at132 (2020)
- Ludington: 1st at 175 (2022)
190-Dellagatta reaches first final
St. Joseph (Mont.)’s Michael Dellagatta might be one of the best wrestlers in the state history with a title. It’s a label he could shed on Saturday as the No. 1 seed advanced to his first state final. He previously finished third, third and fourth in his career. His win the final match against Delbarton’s Vinny Lee clinched the Non-Public A state title. Dellagatta’s opponent, St. Peter’s Prep’s Anthony Harris, has a laundry list of tough wrestlers he’s beaten this season – among them Howell’s DJ Henry, St. Joseph (Mont.)’s Aiden Schlett, West Deptford’s Cole DuBois, Paramus Catholic’s Xavier Williams, Delbarton’s Vinny Lee and North Hunterdon’s Alex Uryniak – and that’s even before the state tournament began. If he were to win Saturday, Dellagatta would be the biggest name yet.190-pound final: Tale of the tape1-Michael Dellagatta, St. Joseph (Mont.) (38-3) vs. 3-Anthony Harris, St. Peter’s Prep (35-4)
190-pound final: Tale of the Tape
Michael Dellagatta, St. Joseph (Mont.) vs. Anthony Harris, St. Peter’s Prep
Path to the finals
- Dellagatta: First round pin 1:40 over 32-Tyler Duffy, Pascack Hills, pre-quarterfinals pin 3:30 over 17-Dante DeLuca (Don Bosco), quarterfinals 7-1 over 8-DJ Henry, Howell; semifinals 5-0 over 5-Alex Uryniak (North Hunterdon).
- Harris: First round technical fall over 30-Nick Doctor (Clifton), 18-2 (5:03); pre-quarterfinals pin over 14-Shane Kanterman (Cranford), :27; quarterfinals: pin 6:51 over George Rhodes (Absegami); semifinals 3-2 decision over 2-Vincenzo LaValle (Hamover Park)
- Dellagatta: 4th appearance, 3rd (2022), 3rd (2021), 4th (2020)
- Harris: 2nd appearance, WB4 (2022)
215-All Shore final has historic stakes
The Shore Conference is well-represented here as Rumson-Fair Haven has its first ever finalist in Hudson Skove and Southern has a finalist in Riley O’Boyle, who would be the program’s first champ since 2009. If the name Skove sounds familiar, that’s because it should. The Skove family had five state champs for Long Branch between Luke (1979-81), Jude (1980) and Andrew (1983) and now Hudson is looking to add hardware of his own to the trophy case, especially after finishing in the blood round each of the last two state tournaments. O’Boyle also made the blood round last year after not getting out of the regions the year before. It’s also a heavyweight showdown among 215-pounders as Skove entered the tournament ranked No. 1 in the final NJ.com individual rankings and as the No. 7 seed, while O’Boyle was No. 3 in the state and the No. 4 seed.
Read more about the 215-pound semifinals here
215-pound final: Tale of the tape
4-Riley O’Boyle, Southern (36-5) vs. 7-Riley O’Boyle, Rumson-Fair Haven (32-1)
Path to Finals
- O’Boyle – 1st round 2:29 pin over 29-Adam Mashfej (Wayne Hills), pre-quarterfinals 3-1
285-Mullen trying for perfect state-championship career
St. Joseph (Mont.) senior Jimmy Mullen is trying to cap a perfect career at the state tournament by winning the 285-pound title. Mullen captured his first heavyweight championship as a No. 13 seed his freshman year and his second last season as a junior. He skipped the state tournament as a sophomore to compete in a world qualifying event in Wisconsin the same weekend, which propelled him to a world silver medal. Committed to Virginia Tech for football and wrestling, Mullen will go down as one of the all-time great wrestlers in state history if he can finish off his career with a title. He has a tough customer in Paramus Catholic’s Max Acciardi in the final Mullen is ranked No. 2 nationally by Flo and 3 by Rokfin, while Accirardi is No. 20 by Rokfin. Still, Mullen is the overwhelming favorite, having beaten Acciardi, 10-4, and 8-1 this season.
Read more about the 285-pound semifinals here.
285-pound final: Tale of the tape
1-Jimmy Mullen, St. Joseph (Mont.) (41-1) vs. 2-Max Acciardi, Paramus Catholic (37-3)
Path to Finals
- Mullen: First round pin 0:25 over 32-Jackson Youtz (Mount Olive), First-round pin 1:17 over 17-Connor Martin, Delbarton; quarterfinals 6-1 over 8-John Wargo (Phillipsburg), semifinals 16-0 technical fall (3:17) over 4-Daniel Elias (Paramus).
- Acciardi: First round 8-0 over 31-Artem Reinikov-Jouk, pre-quarterfinals pin 2:16 over 15-Kei’sun Sanders (Wall), quarterfinals 11-3 over 7-Scott Lynch; semifinals 3-1 over Benjamin Shue (Bergen Catholic).
- Mullen: Third appearance, 1st (2022), 1st (2021), 1st (2020).
- Acciardi: Fourth appearance, 3rd (2022); 3rd (2021); WB4 (2020)
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