Twenty seven wrestlers from Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and southern Ocean County high schools will compete this weekend at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City at the state individual tournament.

The 27 local wrestlers is the largest to come from this area in at least the last 10 years. Before this year, the largest local contingent was 21 in 2007.

Here's a quick glance at this year's area wrestlers by weight class:

106 pounds

Steven Bergamo, Vineland, Jr. (25-2)

Seed: Top bracket No. 4 seed.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 0-1.

Bergamo's road to Atlantic City: Finished second in District 31 and second in Region 8.

Back points: Vineland's first state qualifier since 2003, Bergamo opens with Clifton's James Murdoch in the prelims. Bergamo is one of only four wrestlers in the 24-man bracket that is not a freshman or a sophomore.

113 pounds

Pat D'Arcy, Holy Spirit, Jr. (37-2)

Seed: Bottom bracket No. 1 seed

Record vs. state qualifiers: 5-1.

D'Arcy's road to Atlantic City: Won his third District 32 title and then won his first Region 8 title.

Back points: D'Arcy finished third in the state at 106 pounds last season and is one of the Cape-Atlantic League's top hopes for a state champ. D'Arcy could have a pair of rematches in the first two rounds. He will likely face Don Bosco Prep's Avery Shay in today's pre-quarterfinals and could meet Hanover Park's Lou Raimo in the quarters. D'Arcy won a 2-0 decision against Shay and a 2-1 decision against Raimo in the prestigious Beast of the East tournament earlier this season.

Eric Pruszinski, Lower Cape May

Regional, Jr. (32-8)

Seed: Unseeded in the top bracket.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 0-7.

Pruszinski's road to Atlantic City: Finished second in District 32 and third in Region 8.

Back points: Pruszinski is making his second trip to states and will open with top-bracket No. 8 seed Bill Henry of Audubon in the prelims. The winner advances to face defending state champ Nick Suriano of Bergen Catholic in the pre-quarters. Seven of Pruszinski's eight losses this season have come to state qualifiers.

120 pounds

Chris D'Alfonso, Absegami, Jr. (30-6)

Seed: Unseeded in the top bracket.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 2-2.

D'Alfonso's road to Atlantic City: Finished third in District 32 and third in Region 8.

Back points: D'Alfonso will make his debut at states against top bracket No. 3 seed Alex Baider of Cherokee in the pre-quarters. Baider finished sixth in the state at 120 pounds last season.

126 pounds

The only weight class in the tournament without a local wrestler

132 pounds

Bryan Brown, Southern Regional, Sr. (21-8)

Seed: Unseeded in the top bracket.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 2-4.

Brown's road to Atlantic City: Won the District 24 tournament and finished third in Region 6.

Back points: Brown opens with top bracket No. 5 seed Christian Bassolino of Hanover Park. The winner of the Brown-Bassolino preliminary will face fourth-seeded J.P. Asolese of Bergen Catholic in the pre-quarters. Ascolese is the Region 2 champ.

138 pounds

Matt Wilhelm, Southern Regional, Jr. (30-2)

Seed: Top bracket No. 8 seed.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 5-0.

Wilhelm's road to Atlantic City: Won his second District 24 title and then won his first Region 6 title.

Back points: Wilhelm has won all five matches he wrestled against state qualifiers this season but has perhaps the toughest draw of any wrestler in the area for states. Despite winning a region title, Wilhelm will face top-seeded Ronnie Gentile of Paulsboro in the pre-quarters. Gentile finished second in the state last season and is ranked 16th in the country at 138.

Tom Poklikuha, Pinelands Regional, Jr. (34-2)

Seed: Unseeded in the bottom bracket.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 0-2.

Poklikuha's road to Atlantic City: Finished second in District 24 and third in Region 6.

Back points: Poklikuha won his first 30 matches of the season and is Pinelands Regional's first state qualifier since Mike Molosky in 2002. Poklikuha opens with bottom bracket No. 8 seed Nicholas Accetta of Bound Brook in the prelims with the winner advancing to face top-seeded Connor Burkert of St. Peter's Prep in the pre-quarters.

Burkert finished seventh in the state at 132 last season.

Chaz Bramble, Buena Regional, Jr. (32-6)

Seed: Unseeded in the bottom bracket.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 0-4.

Bramble's road to Atlantic City: Won the District 32 tournament and finished third in Region 8.

Back points: Bramble will face Bordentown's Justin McTamney in an all-South Jersey prelim today. McTamney finished second in Region 7 and Bramble third in Region 8. McTamney finished sixth in the state at 132 last season.

145 pounds

Zach Wilhelm, Southern Regional, Sr. (25-6)

Seed: Bottom bracket No. 3 seed.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 3-1.

Wilhelm's road to Atlantic City: Won his third District 24 title and his first Region 6 title.

Back points: Wilhelm is making his second career trip to states and his first since he was a freshman and finished eighth in the state. Wilhelm opens with bottom bracket No. 6 seed D.J. Mele of Cherokee. The winner would likely face second-seeded John VanBrill of Clearview Regional.

Jarred Hodges, St. Augustine Prep, Jr. (29-5)

Seed: Top bracket No. 7 seed.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 2-4.

Hodges' road to Atlantic City: Finished second in District 32 and second in Region 8.

Back points: Hodges is making his second trip to states at Boardwalk Hall and will open with unseeded Craig Roumes of Roxbury in the prelims. If the seeds play out, Hodges would face returning state placewinner Jason Gaccione of High Point in the pre-quarters. Gaccione finished fourth in the state at 145 last season.

Brandon Bower, Holy Spirit, Sr.

(34-3)

Seed: Unseeded in the top bracket.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 2-1.

Bower's road to Atlantic City: Won his second District 32 title and finished third in Region 8.

Back points: Bower is making his first trip to states and opens with top bracket No. 6 seed Sean Kelly of Northern Highlands. The Bower-Kelly winner will face Region 3 champ Dan Reed of Delbarton, the No. 3 seed in the top bracket.

152 pounds

Jack Clark, St. Augustine Prep, Sr. (22-0)

Seed: Bottom bracket No. 3 seed.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 1-0.

Clark's road to Atlantic City: Won his first District 32 and Region 8 titles.

Back points: Clark received the bottom bracket No. 3 seed without much state ranking criteria to go from but is still widely considered to be among the favorites to win a state title. Clark is a two-time National Preps champion with more than 150 career wins. The Prep senior opens with Westfield's Nick Velez in the pre-quarters and could face second-seeded Joe Grello of Bergen Catholic in the quarterfinals.

Nick Racanelli, Southern Regional, Sr.

Seed: Top bracket No. 7 seed.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 1-1.

Racanelli's road to Atlantic City: Won his first District 24 and Region 6 titles.

Back points: Racanelli has a bye in the prelims after winning his first region title and will likely face second-seeded Ed Lenkowski of Clearview Regional in the pre-quarters. Lenkowski's only loss this season came to St. Augustine Prep's Jack Clark in the Region 8 final.

160 pounds

James Ingersoll, Egg Harbor Township, Sr. (32-3)

Seed: Top bracket No. No. 7 seed.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 3-1.

Ingersoll's road to Atlantic City: Finished second in District 32 and won Region 8.

Back points: Egg Harbor Township's first region champ since Zach Agostino in 2010. Ingersoll has a bye into the pre-quarterfinals and will likely face top bracket No. 2 seed Joey Schultz of Howell in the pre-quarterfinals. Schultz finished second in Region 6.

Joe Cutugno, Atlantic City, Sr. (29-4)

Seed: Bottom bracket No. 8 seed.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 1-4.

Cutugno's road to Atlantic City: Finished third in District 32 and second in Region 8.

Back points: Cutugno was Atlantic City's first region finalist since the 1970's. Cutugno faces Glen Rock's Chris Jacobson in the prelims with the winner likely to face bottom bracket No. 1 seed Joshua Ugalde of Bound Brook. Ugalde finished sixth in the state last season.

170 pounds

Kellen Whitney, Hammonton, Sr.

(41-0)

Seed: Bottom bracket No. 6 seed.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 4-0.

Whitney's road to Atlantic City: Won the District 30 and Region 8 titles.

Back points: Enters the tournament as the state's overall leader in wins with 41. Whitney fell one win short of reaching states last season as a junior but left no doubt this season with his first region title. Whitney will try to follow in the footsteps of former teammates Phil Bakuckas and David Williams, former Press Wrestlers of the Year who each reached the state final. Whitney will likely face bottom bracket No. 3 seed Jake Kocsis of Phillipsburg in the pre-quarters.

Gerardo Jorge, Southern Regional, Sr. (28-8)

Seed: Unseeded in the bottom bracket.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 2-5.

Jorge's road to Atlantic City: Finished second in District 24 and third in Region 6.

Back points: Jorge has a tough road ahead of him. The Southern senior opens with bottom bracket No. 4 seed Nathan Bueno of Becton with the winner advancing to meet No. 5 seed Kenny Long of Holy Cross in the pre-quarters.

182 pounds

Cooper Gallagher, Ocean City, Sr. (36-1)

Seed: Bottom bracket No. 6 seed.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 3-1.

Gallagher's road to Atlantic City: Won his first District 32 and Region 8 titles.

Back points: Gallagher has a bye in the prelims and awaits the winner of a prelim between Lenape Valley's D.J. Barrett and bottom bracket No. 3 seed Vinny Maniero of St. Joseph-Montvale. Gallagher's only loss this season came to fellow-Region 8 champ Kellen Whitney of Hammonton.

C.J. LaFragola, St. Joseph, Jr. (34-3).

Seed: Top bracket No. 5 seed.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 3-3.

LaFragola's road to Atlantic City: Won his second District 30 title and finished second in Region 8.

Back points: LaFragola will face Dean Helstowski of St. Peter's Prep in the prelims with the winner advancing to face top bracket No. 4 seed Sam Button of Mendham. Anybody in the top bracket here will likely have to go through two-time defending state champ Johnny Sebastian of Bergen Catholic.

195 pounds

Ed Shockley, Millville, Sr. (36-0)

Seed: Top bracket No. 5 seed.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 4-0.

Shockley's road to Atlantic City: Won his second District 31 title and his first Region 8 title.

Back points: Shockley, the school's first region champ since 1998, passed two-time state champ Mark Saul earlier this season on the school's all-time wins list and would like to join Saul on the school's list of state champions. Shockley will likely face top bracket No. 4 seed Ken Bradley of Jackson Memorial in the pre-quarters and could face overall No. 1 seed Matt Correnti of Holy Cross in the quarters.

Cory Damiana, Lower Cape May

Regional, Sr. (36-1)

Seed: Bottom bracket No. 6 seed.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 5-1.

Damiana's road to Atlantic City: Won his third District 32 title and finished second in Region 8.

Back points: Damiana is making his third trip to states. Damiana faces Bound Brook's Aaron Saavedra in the prelims with the winner moving on to face Region 6 champ Mike Oxley of Christian Brothers Academy, the bottom bracket No. 3 seed.

Will Sanz, Absegami, Sr. (25-11)

Seed: Unseeded in the top bracket.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 0-4.

Sanz's road to Atlantic City: Finished third in District 32 and third in Region 8.

Back points: Sanz took the scenic route to states with third-place finishes at District 32 and Region 8. Sanz opens with bottom bracket No. 1 seed Ralph Normandia of Franklin in the prelims. Normandia will wrestle at Rutgers next season and finished third in the state at 220 last season.

220 pounds

Jesse Bauta, Southern Regional, Sr. (25-5)

Seed: Top bracket No. 8 seed.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 4-3.

Bauta's road to Atlantic City: Finished first in District 32 and second in Region 6.

Back points: Bauta comes into his first state tournament battle-tested with four wins this season against fellow-state qualifiers. Bauta wrestles East Brunswick's Michael Quintin in the prelims with the winners moving on to wrestle defending state champ Bryan Dobzanski of Delsea Regional in the pre-quarters.

Obi Kali, Millville, Sr. (28-6)

Seed: Bottom bracket No. 4 seed.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 1-4.

Kali's road to Atlantic City: Finished second in District 31 and second in Region 8.

Back points: Kali is making his second trip to states and looking to make his way onto the podium for the first time. Kali opens the state tournament with a prelim against Brearley's Saverio Salcfas.

Chris Henchy, Absegami, Sr. (30-5)

Seed: Unseeded in the bottom bracket.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 1-2.

Henchy's road to Atlantic City: Finished second in District 32 and third in Region 8.

Back points: Henchy is one of the top stories of the season as a first-year wrestler reaching the state tournament. Henchy opens with bottom bracket No. 8 seed Joseph Bongo of Caldwell. The Henchy-Bongo winner will face top-seeded Zach Chakonis of Don Bosco Prep. Chakonis finished second in the state last season.

285 pounds

Tom Lynd, St. Augustine Prep, Jr. (31-8)

Seed: Bottom bracket No. 6 seed.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 3-7.

Lynd's road to Atlantic City: Won his second District 32 title and his first Region 8 title.

Back points: The two-time District 32 champ is making his first trip to states and finds himself in one of the most wide-open weight classes of the tournament. Lynd opens with unbeaten Region 7 champ Andrew Stevens of Camden in the pre-quarters. Stevens is the bottom bracket No. 3 seed.

Doug Flitcroft, Lower Cape May

Regional, Sr. (33-7)

Seed: Top bracket No. 8 seed.

Record vs. state qualifiers: 1-2.

Flitcroft's road to Atlantic City: Finished third in District 32 and second in Region 8.

Back points: Flitcroft was seeded seventh in Region 8 but wrestled his way out of the region with a second-place finish. Flitcroft faces Marek Tomanek of Delaware Valley in the prelims with the winner moving on to face top-seeded Armond Cox of St. Peter's Prep in the pre-quarters.

Contact John O'Kane:

609-272-7210

Number of local wrestlers to qualify for state individual wrestling tournament

A local wrestler is from a high school in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland or southern Ocean counties.

2014: 27

2013: 19

2012: 19

2011: 20

2010: 13

2009: 16

2008: 18

2007: 21

2006: 20

2005: 21

2004: 16