The Cape-Atlantic League National Conference race is starting to take shape and it looks as wild as ever.

St. Augustine Prep, No. 10 in The Press' Elite 11, is 1-0 in the conference and appears to be the favorite despite forfeiting a match or two each time it wrestles.

But as this season has shown, anything can happen.

Anyone not sure of just how important matchups can be in wrestling only needs to look at the CAL National race this season.

Buena Regional, Hammonton and Lower Cape May each have one conference loss this season.

Lower beat Buena 34-33 on Jan. 5.

Buena beat Hammonton 36-35 on Jan. 13.

So what happened when Hammonton met Lower on Monday?

The Blue Devils dominated from start to finish en route to a 53-24 win.

St. Augustine and Hammonton will meet Saturday in Paulsboro in a quad meet that includes Williamstown.

The Prep wrestles Lower next Tuesday at home at 7 p.m. and at Buena on Feb. 3.

Barber watch

With a 47-13 win against Middle Township on Tuesday, Absegami coach Gene Barber now has 499 career wins.

He goes for No. 500 today against intra-district rival Oakcrest at 6 p.m at home. The Braves are ranked fourth.

Barber would become the third coach in southern New Jersey to eclipse 500 wins and the first in the Cape-Atlantic League.

Pound for pound?

Absegami's Shane Robinson and Egg Harbor Township's Zach Agostino are friends. The two have wrestled together since they were younger.

That's why no one was worried when Robinson jumped on Agostino's back and took him to the mat after the Braves' 52-12 win last Wednesday.

"I put him on his back," said Robinson with a smile.

Despite giving up more than 20 pounds, Robinson didn't hesitate when asked what would happen if the two met in a real match.

"I would probably tech him," he said confidently.

Agostino, of course, had a different take.

"He's been crying about his cauliflower ear for a while now, so I thought it would be nice to give him some bragging rights for a little while," Agostino joked of the unexpected takedown. "Outside of the spotlight, I would beat him up pretty good, though."

But if Robinson were able to score on Agostino, the EHT senior's plan of attack would be simple.

"I would just go after that big ear that he's got."

Contact John O'Kane:

609-272-7210