A weight-by-weight preview of the Region 6 and 8 wrestling tournaments
The Region 6 and 8 high school wrestling tournament quarterfinals begin today. Region 6 takes place at Pine Belt Arena in Toms River and Region 8 will be held at Egg Harbor Township High School.
Both meets begin at 5:30 p.m. Here's a quick weight-by-weight look at the favorites and the local wrestlers who will be competing. The first top seed listed is in Region 6 and the second one is Region 8.
The tournaments continue at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Top seeds: Michael Russo, Jackson Liberty (32-0); Pat D'Arcy, Holy Spirit (33-3)
Back points: D'Arcy won his second District 32 title on Saturday, is looking to qualify for the state tournament for the first time. He's a perfect 21-0 since Jan. 1 with 12 pins.
Keep an eye on: Fourth-seeded Josh Pineda of Vineland will face fifth-seeded Eric Pruszinski of Lower Cape May in an all-local quarterfinal. Pineda won an 8-0 major decision against Pruszinski on Feb. 11.
Top seeds: Kevin Corrigan, Toms River South (33-1); John Amato, Timber Creek (30-2)
Back points: Four of the eight remaining wrestlers in Region 8 are locals with third-seeded Steven Bergamo of Vineland, fourth-seeded Luis Rivera of Buena Regional, fifth-seeded Yanni Patsaros of Absegami and eighth-seeded Zach Hicks of Lower Cape May Regional.
Keep an eye on: Lacey Township's Ben Mrozinski and Southern Regional's Chris Crane finished second and third, respectively in the District 24 tournament behind state placewinner Corrigan. Corrigan finished fifth in the state last season.
Top seeds: Joe Ghione, Brick Memorial (32-2); John Gentile, Paulsboro (30-4)
Back points: St. Augustine Prep's Tom Gattinella is a two-time runner-up in Region 8 and will look to win his first title.
Keep an eye on: Lower Cape May senior Zach Valcarce qualified for states as a sophomore but narrowly missed out on a return trip last season. Valcarce is seeded third and will face sixth-seeded Mike McGeehan of Washington Township in the quarters. Ghione finished sixth in the state last season.
Top seeds: Alec Huxford, Jackson Memorial (9-2); Billy Ward, Buena Regional (27-3)
Back points: Ward is looking for a fourth Region 8 title to go along with his four District 32 titles and may have one of his toughest roads yet. Paulsboro 30-match winner Sam Morina is seeded third and Williamstown's Anthony Racobaldo second. Ward won a 4-2 decision in overtime against Racobaldo on Feb. 2. Ward would join 1995 Buena graduate Bobby Hansen as the school's only four-time district and region champ.
Keep an eye on: Southern Regional's Andrew Tonneson is seeded seventh in Region 6 and has to like his draw. Tonneson will face second-seeded Jared Staub of Brick Memorial in the quarterfinals. Tonneson has two wins against Staub this season.
Top seeds: Karl Waldron, Neptune (27-2); Steven Passarella, Washington Township (19-0)
Back points: Southern Regional's Zach Wilhelm is seeded fifth and will wrestle fourth-seeded Zach Hertling of Ocean Township in one of Region 6's most anticipated quarterfinals. Wilhelm placed in the state as a freshman and this season at the prestigious Beast of the East. Hertling finished third in the state last season as a freshman.
Keep an eye on: Egg Harbor Township's Shawn Bryant is seeded third in Region 8 and could make a run at a title. Bryant, the District 32 champ, has won 24 of his last 25 matches entering regions.
Top seeds: Brian Hamann, Jackson Memorial (29-3); Brandon Keller, Timber Creek (23-1)
Back points: Southern Regional's Jake Campana is seeded fifth in a brutal bracket in Region 6. Hamann finished fourth in the state at 126 pounds and second-seeded Richard Lewis of Toms River East fifth at 132 pounds. Campana has a rematch with Brick Township's Steve Cimmino in the quarters. Cimmino won a 5-1 decision in overtime against Campana on Jan. 19. Keller finished second in the state last season at 132 pounds.
Keep an eye on: Holy Spirit junior Brandon Bower is seeded third and looks to make his first trip to states at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Bower, the District 32 champion, wrestled with a torn meniscus in last season's Region 8 tournament and lost in the prelims.
Top seeds: B.J. Clagon, Toms River South (37-0); John Vanbrill, Clearview Regional (34-0)
Back points: Southern Regional's Nick Racanelli is seeded ninth in Region 6 and has the unenviable task of wrestling Clagon in the quarterfinals. Clagon is a defending state champion and three-time state placewinner. Clagon beat Racanelli 16-6 in the District 24 final for his 78th straight win.
Keep an eye on: Absegami's Jack Willette is seeded third in Region 8. Willette fell one match short of qualifying for states last season, losing a 5-2 decision in the third-fourth place consolation match.
Top seeds: Brett Donner, Wall Township (30-1); Ed Lenkowski, Clearview Regional (34-0)
Back points: Middle Township District 32 champ John Mallett is seeded seventh in Region 8 and will open with second-seeded Dom Ruggierrio of Timber Creek in the quarters.
Keep an eye on: Southern Regional's Chris Serpico is seeded sixth in Region 6 and will open with third-seeded Jackson Liberty in the quarters.
Top seeds: Dan Wojtaszek, Brick Township (29-3); Bryce Shade, Timber Creek (29-2)
Back points: Atlantic City's Cesar Balmaceda is seeded third and is trying to become the first Atlantic City wrestler to qualify for states since at least the 1970s.
Keep an eye on: Southern Regional's Gerardo Jorge will have a rematch of Saturday's dramatic District 32 final with Toms River South's Antrez Clagon. Jorge won a 2-1 decision against Clagon in triple overtime rideout.
Top seeds: Tyler Richardson, Brick Memorial (30-3); Dylan Dobzanski, Delsea Regional (34-0)
Back points: St. Augustine Prep District 32 champ Tyler Sentman, St. Joseph District 30 champ C.J. LaFragola and Ocean City District 32 runner-up Cooper Gallagher are seeded third, fourth and fifth, respectively, and will all fight for a spot in the top three to qualify for states.
Keep an eye on: Lacey Township's Luke Fernandez is seeded fourth in Region 6 and will look to give the Lions a region champ for the second straight season (Lex Knapp in 2012). Barnegat's Ryan Kirk will wrestle Brick Memorial's Tyler Richardson, the No. 1 seed in Region 6, in the quarterfinals.
Top seeds: Nick Zak, Jackson Liberty (32-0); David Williams, Hammonton (35-0)
Back points: Williams looks to defend his Region 8 title. He brings a perfect 35-0 record into regions and is one of just three unbeaten area wrestlers remaining. Lower Cape May's Frank Zeigler and St. Joseph's Roy Lucas are the others.
Keep an eye on: Zeigler and Oakcrest's John Benard are seeded fourth and fifth, respectively, and will meet in today's quarterfinals. Zeigler won a 3-1 decision against Benard in the District 32 final on Saturday.
Top seeds: Matt Moore, Brick Memorial (28-0); Rory Bonner, West Deptford (29-0)
Back points: Millville's Ed Shockley and Lower Cape May's Cory Damiana are seeded second and third, respectively, and could face off in the semifinals. Shockley is looking for his first trip to states. Damiana was a runner-up in the region last season and will look for a return trip.
Keep an eye on: Cedar Creek's Tommy Rheault came through with a dramatic double-overtime pin in the Region 8 prelims and will wrestle Bonner in the quarters. Bonner finished fifth in the state last season at 182.
Top seeds: Tyler Poling, Brick Memorial (20-5); Bryan Dobzanski, Delsea Regional (35-0)
Back points: Egg Harbor Township's Nigel Toussaint is seeded second in Region 8 and will wrestle Dobzanski in the finals if the seeds play out. Toussaint qualified for states last season in his first year as a varsity wrestler with a second-place finish in Region 8. Dobzanski finished third in the state last season.
Keep an eye on: Lacey Township's Pat Schinder is seeded second, Southern Regional's Jesse Bauta fifth and Barnegat's Matt Frigon sixth in a wide-open Region 6 bracket. Schinder, Bauta and Frigon all have the potential to challenge for the title.
Top seeds: John Appice, Manalapan (32-1); Roy Lucas, St. Joseph (34-0)
Back points: Lucas finished third in the state last season at 220 pounds and decided to stay at heavyweight this season.
Keep an eye on: St. Augustine Prep District 32 champ Tom Lynd and runner-up Ray Ellis of Holy Spirit are two of Lucas' top challengers. Lynd is seeded fifth and Ellis sixth. Appice finished seventh in the state last season.