Saturday

Poklikuha moved into the second round of wrestlebacks with an 8-3 decision over Steve Bonsall of Newark Academy. Pokijkuha trailed 2-0 after the first period but used a five-point move to take control in the second stanza.

Poklikuha's season ended in the next match with a second-period pin defeat against Bordentown's Justin McTamney. McTamney jumped to a 4-0 lead before earning the pin in 3:21.

Friday

Poklikuha earned an exciting, 8-4 decision over Bound Brook's Nicholas Accetta in the prelims. Poklikuha trailed 4-3 with 15 seconds left in the bout before putting Accetta on his back for a five-point move to pull out the victory.

Poklikuha dropped a 12-6 decision to St. Peter's Prep's Connor Burkett in the pre-quarterfinals. Burkett scored a takedown and three-point near fall in the first period to take control.

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.

Started at The Press in 1993 as an Ocean County reporter. Moved to the copy desk in 1994 until taking over as editor of At The Shore in 1995. Became deputy sports editor in 2004 and was promoted to sports editor in 2007.