PISCATAWAY, NJ -- Two Piscataway High School wrestlers competed at the NJSIAA 2021 State Regional Wrestling Championships on Saturday.
Twins Desmond Pleasant (120 pounds) and Deon Pleasant (126 pounds) were grouped in the Central Region (normally Regions 5 and 6) held at Hunterdon Central in Flemington.
To limit capacity and for COVID-19 concerns, each weight bracket was cut down to just 16 grapplers and were held at four locations with no spectators.
At 120, fifth-seeded Desmond Pleasant came in fifth place, and he did so by getting revenge. After pinning 12th-seeded Henry Wilkinson of Hunterdon Central in 3:19 in the first round, he fell to fourth-seeded Colin Bradshaw of Howell, 8-7.
In the consolation bracket, Pleasant stayed alive with a 4-2 win over eighth-seeded Dylan Acevedo of Sayreville, 4-2. Pleasant lost, 7-0, to third-seeded Garrett Totten of Christian Brothers in the wrestleback semifinals, but he came back to beat Bradshaw by major decision, 9-0, in the fifth-place match.
Desmond Pleasant lost only three times this season, including twice to Bradshaw, but he was able to go out on top. A year ago, Pleasant placed third at 113 pounds in Region 5 and third at District 18.
“We faced some very tough and talented wrestlers since Regions 5 and 6 were combined,” Piscataway head coach Dan Smith said. “Desmond at 120 at the hardest weight class in the region this year. He avenged two of his three losses against the kid from Howell. He showed mental and physical toughness to come back from losing twice to him. He wrestled five hard matches in a matter of about four hours which goes to show you how grueling the tournament was.”
As for his brother, seventh-seeded Deon Pleasant won his opening round bout, 9-2, over 10th-seeded Gio Poniros of Ocean Township. He fell in the quarterfinals to second-seeded Nicholas Diaz by major decision, 13-1, and fell into the consolation side.
It was there he was eliminated by sixth-seeded Phil Stolfa from Red Bank Regional, 8-6, in the wrestleback quarterfinal. In 2020, Deon Pleasant won District 18 at 120 pounds and fifth in Region 5.
“Deon battled a few injuries this year. He persevered and won his first match and lost matches to a three-time state qualifier and a current state qualifier,” Smith said. “He stepped up and did the best he could with his current situation, which says a lot about his character.”
The top four at each weight class at each region advance to the NJSIAA Individual Championships next weekend at Phillipsburg High. Desmond Pleasant will be an alternate for the championships in case someone else is unable to partake in the tournament.
This winter, both Desmond and Deon, who are headed to Drexel in the fall, went 13-3 on the season individually. Desmond scored five pins, two technical falls, one major decision, and won by regular decision seven times. Deon also recorded five pins and two tech falls. He also notched two major decisions and six decision wins.
As a team, Piscataway, which was hit by graduation and transfer, struggled and finished with a 1-9 record in dual matches.
The Chiefs opened the season with a 46-27 victory at home over J.P. Stevens. Piscataway won eight bouts during the dual including four pins, a major decision, and three forfeits.
For the full schedule of events, click here.
For all of the live streams, click here.
Follow Chris Nalwasky on Twitter @ChrisNalwasky.
TAPinto is free and published daily made possible through sponsorships and advertising. Get Your Town's News in Your Inbox: Click Here to sign up. Contact email@example.com for sponsorship and advertising information.