FLEMINGTON, NJ - On President's Day, the seedings were announced for the upcoming NJSIAA Region Five Wrestling Tournament at Hunterdon Central High School on February 22, February 24 and February 25. The top four finishers in each weight class will advance to the NJSIAA Individual Wrestling Championships in Atlantic City, which will be held on March 3 through March 5. Spotswood High School will be represented in the region five tournament by two wrestlers, Shea Obado and Connor Platt. The two wrestlers will compete in a field that includes participants from East Brunswick High School, Edison High School, Franklin High School, Hillsborough High School, Hunterdon Central High School, New Brunswick High School, Piscataway High School and South Brunswick High School.
Platt will be seeded 12th in the 120-pound weight class with an individual overall record of 16-12. The sophomore placed third in last weekend's district 17 tournament. Obado is seeded eighth in the 152-pound weight class. The junior holds an impressive individual overall record of 23-3 for the 2016-17 wrestling season. He took second place at districts.
Obado went to regionals last year, competing in the 145-pound weight class. This is Platt's first time wrestling in the regional tournament. The pair were among four that possessed winning individual records during a rebuilding year on the mat for the Chargers. Coach Daniel Krainski isn't surprised by the strong performances of the young wrestlers this season and is optimistic about their chances.
"Shea Obado has had a good season," Krainski said via email. "Shea's style of wrestling is fast paced and physical. He is the type of wrestler who, through his style, will wear at his opponents and cause them to make mistakes. His three losses are to the two GMC finalists in his weight class, one where he lost in overtime and in the district finals. This is the type of year we expected out of him. With the experience he gained last year (in the regional tournament), we are hoping for him to take the next step."
All wrestlers that placed second and third in their respective district tournaments will wrestle on Wednesday, February 22 in the preliminary round.
"Usually, you can pinpoint where the wrestler will fall in the Region Tournament as far as advancement," Krainski continued. "With Shea, you never know because he's so athletic that he can get hot and go on a run this weekend. The big thing for him is getting past Wednesday and getting into the tournament because anything can happen when you put yourself in that position."
While Platt doesn't have tournament experience, the tenth grader does have grit and an unconventional style on his side.
"Connor was a very good middle school wrestler and we really expected this out of him," Krainski said of his developing wrestler. "When we got the matchups last Wednesday, we knew he had a very good chance of advancing. Connor has had double digit wins in both of his years on varsity. His style is a little more funky, where gets into a lot of scramble positions and usually comes out on the winning end of the situations. He's got great hips and still hasn't reach his full potential yet. This week will be a great learning experience and we look forward to see his matchup and seeing where he can go from here."
Following the preliminary round matches, the quarterfinals will be held on Friday, February 24. The semi-finals and wrestle backs are scheduled for Saturday morning with the finals being held in the evening. Wrestle backs provide an opportunity for wrestlers that lose prior to the championship round to 'wrestle back' into a possible third or fourth place finish.
In order to advance to the state finals, a wrestler must finish in the top four in their weight class. The wrestlers that make it to the championship matches will finish first and second in their respective weight class. Consolation finals will determine third through fifth place. All consolation matches will take place on the evening of Saturday, February 25.