Campagna wins N.J. Youth Wrestling State Championship, Niemeyer and Padovano Place 2nd

State champ Nicholas Campagna proudly holds his wrestling division bracket after a stunning victory. Campagna was unscored upon in the NJ State Youth Wrestling Tournament. He plans to compete nationally in April. Credits: Courtesy of Campagna Family

TRENTON, NJ - The New Jersey Youth Wrestling State Championship Tournament was held on the weekend of March 14th-15th at Sun National Bank Arena in Trenton, NJ.  The tournament is considered the pinnacle of NJ Youth wrestling where qualifying is an achievement onto itself.  Divisions are categorized by age and weight.  The brackets can include up to 24 wrestlers all trying to find a spot on the podium for 1st -8th place.  The tournament pits NJ’s best youth wrestles against one another.  The venue is similar to the NJ High School State Tournament with 12 mats of simultaneous wrestling surrounded by a huge crowd.

This year South Plainfield was well represented by State Champion Nicholas Campagna in the 75lb Bantam Division.  Campagna defeated Alessio Perentin of Clark in the finals. Both young athletes are accomplished wrestlers.  They competed in the Bantam Division in 2014 where they both placed 7th in their respective weight classes.  Campagna placed 8th in the State in 2013 as a second year   wrestler. Campagna   was well supported by his South Plainfield wrestling family when he stunned the crowd with a first period pin.  He was congratulated by fans from both sides including Perentin and his Coach.  This display of sportsmanship and camaraderie by the wrestling community is also one of the corner stones of South Plainfield Wrestling.  Campagna, a third grader, was very gracious in his victory.  This characteristic is instilled in all young SP wrestlers by their coaches.  It seems to come natural to the young Compagna.  The excitement shown by his teammates, coaches, family and fans seemed to overwhelm him with happiness.  He and other SP wrestlers plan to compete in the National War at the Shore Tournament in April.

Eighth grader Luke Niemeyer battled his way into the finals in the 160 Lb Intermediate Divisions.  Niemeyer took second place to longtime opponent Stillwater – Fredon’s Zachery Mafaro.  Niemeyer pinned his first two opponents and earned a spot in the finals by winning 8-0 in his third match. Luke also placed 2nd in the NJ Middle School Tournament this year. 

Sign Up for E-News

Sixth grader Johnny Padovano battled tough competition and huge time gaps between matches on Saturday.  Johnny secured a spot in the Junior Division Finals with a pin.  There he met familiar opponent Anthony Vaccarella of Ridgewood.  The match went into overtime with a score of 2-2 but neither wrestler could capitalize.  The bout progressed into an incredible triple overtime when his opponent escaped with just 5 seconds left.  The final score was score 3-2.  Johnny was a NJ State Champion in 2014.  He placed 4th in NJ in 2013 and 2nd in the state in 2012.  He is #1 in his CJYW League Division.

Alex “Mouch”  Pigna, a second grader and second year wrestler claimed the 3rd Place spot on the podium in the 40lb Bantam Division.  Pigna is a League Champ for the South Plainfield Rec team and took 1st place in the SP Tournament.  He placed 6th last year and is a heavy favorite in 2016 when he returns as a Bantam.  He plans on competing nationally in April.

South Plainfield’s Joseph Sacco an extremely accomplished wrestler locked up 4th Place in the 128lb Intermediate Division.   Sacco made it to the semi-final round of the contest where he fell short to East Hanover’s Nicholas Raimo who went on to win the championship.  Joseph wrestled back and secured the #4 ranking in the state. He fought it out in in a total of five matches in the tournament.  The 8th grade Sacco also earned The NJ Middle School League Championship for the third consecutive year in his weight class.

Brenden Hedden locked up the 5th place spot in Trenton to complete an outstanding youth wrestling career.  The 8th grade Hedden wrestled six matches to secure his place on the podium.   He never gave up and competed intensely  to make his mark.   Hedden was a League Champion in NJ Middle School Tournament this year.

Tommy Fierro took 5th Place this year in the State Tournament.  Fierro dropped his first match 3-2 but was determined to make his mark in the wrestle backs.  The tough grappler wrestled in a total of six matches on the day to cap off his 8th grade year.  Fierro is a NJ Middle School League Champion.

Fifth grader Derek Glen wrestled 6 matches to earn the 5th place spot on the podium in Trenton.  Glen, who is known for his quickness and agility on his feet fought his way through the 60 lb Novice Division.  Derek’s Uncle Kenneth flew in from Colorado to cheer the young Tiger and his teammates on.  He showed himself to be a tremendous athlete and a force to be reckoned with.

Jeffrey Jacome, clawed his way through the 55lb Novice Division to capture 7th Place in the State.  The wirey grappler refused to yield after dropping his second match. His bracket was stacked with numerous State Champions so the competition was fierce.  Jacome wrestled a total of seven matches on the day to take 7th.  This comes as no surprise to his coaches, family and teammates who know Jeffrey refuses to give up when faced with adversity.

Alex Amato dropped an extremely close first match 1-0 in the 98lb Intermediate Division.  The 8th Grade Amato dug deep and wrestled back hard as he defeated one of his opponents in an exciting overtime match. He captured the 7th Place spot in his 7th match of the day. He soundly defeated his opponent from Long Branch 7-0. His youth wrestling career was very accomplished including winning the 2015 NJ Middle School League Championship.

David Loniewski capped off his 8th Grade season by  taking 7th Place in the State.   Loniewski  fell short in his first contest 3-2.  This seemed to light a fire in him and he was soon on the offensive. David was determined to carve out his place among the best of the best in NJ and he did. He pushed himself to the max, slugging it out in 7 bouts on the day.

The following wrestlers (Sebastian Santos, Anthony White, Jacob DelVecchio, Tyler Balent, Andrew Loniewski, Justus Niemeyer and JJ Giordano) placed 1st-3rd at qualifiers which enabled them to compete in the State Tournament.  They are all very accomplished wrestlers in their own right (including former State Place winners 1-8). They also had the motivation and courage to compete in the largest youth wrestling event in the State of NJ.  Congratulations to all of the South Plainfield Wrestlers!

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Plainfield

The Athlete of the Week Samantha Pullen Girls’ Spring Track

The South Plainfield High School Girls’ track team is off to another great start in the 2018 season.  Their record currently stands at 3-0. This past week, the Lady Tigers defeated divisional rivals Metuchen and Middlesex by the scores of 80-56 and 75-56.  They then went on to dominate Bishop Ahr by a score of 112-24.  Much of the Lady Tigers success has been due to the ...

The Athlete of the Week Tatianna Sutor Girls’ Lacrosse

The South Plainfield High School Girls’ Lacrosse team is off to a fantastic start to their 2018 season with a record of 2-0. This past week, the Lady Tigers crushed division rival Bishop Ahr by the score of 14-2, and then went on to beat Boonton 6-3.  A huge part of the success for South Plainfield has been due in a large part to the contributions of senior goalie Tatianna ...


Victor Kochmann, 92, passed away on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 surrounded by his loving family in ...
Read more

Letters to the Editor

Letter Welcoming Mike Zushma to Politics

April 19, 2018

Dear Editor, 

I'd like to welcome Mike Zushma to the world of politics and congratulate him on being selected as the town's Democratic Chairman.


I've served as Republican chair since 2009, and I've always enjoyed spending my time helping good people get elected to office.  In South Plainfield, it's never about party:  People work together and try ...

Natalie Stilo Signs with Drew University Golf Team

April 20, 2018

Natalie Stilo, Senior at Bishop George Ahr High School, has signed with Drew University's golf team. Currently, Natalie is on Bishop Ahr's golf team. Golf became her passion after her 10 year career in gymnastics ended. She has been working on her golf game and is excited to have the opportunity to play for Drew. She will attend Drew University in the Fall, majoring in Molecular Biology ...

Community Happenings

South Plainfield High School Hall Of Fame Is Seeking Nominees

April 19, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The South Plainfield High School Hall of Fame Committee is again holding their search for candidates for induction into the SPHS Hall of Fame.  The Hall of Fame was established at South Plainfield High School to recognize outstanding graduates as leaders in their fields who could serve as role models for current and future students.

Candidates will be evaluated on ...

Meet with Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez - 19th Legislative District

April 24, 2018

New Jersey State School Board's Legislative Advocate Christopher Jones (l to r), Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez 19th District, Lucille Bloom, Delegate New Jersey School Boards Association Board of Directors and member of the Sayreville Board of Education and Middlesex County School Board's President Debbie Boyle and member of the  South Plainfield Board of Education  met on April ...

Holy Savior Academy to Hold Open House on April 24

April 18, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Holy Savior Academy, an AdvancedED accredited Middlebrook Deanery Catholic School located in South Plainfield, will hold an open house the evening of Tuesday, April 24.At this time, prospective students and their families in pre-K3 through 8th grade will have the opportunity to tour the school, meet teachers and register. 

“Holy Savior ...

Elks Lodge #2298 Hosted Princess Breakfast

April 19, 2018

The South Plainfield Elks Lodge #2298 Youth Activities Committee recently hosted a Princess breakfast, in conjunction with the South Plainfield Summer Drama Workshop.   On the menu we featured only the BEST breakfast in town.  Our lil princesses were able to come down to have their pictures taken with their favorite Disney characters. 

The South Plainfield Elks Lodge #2298 ...

Part Time Position in Municipal Court

The South Plainfield Borough is seeking to hire a part time person with strong customer service skills to perform detailed Municipal Court clerical work.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Answering telephone and walk in inquiries, data entry, maintaining files and records for accuracy, processing payments, related duties as required.

Successful candidates should process ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, April 28, 9:00 AM

South Plainfield

Spring Wellness Health Fair - Mayor's Wellness


Sat, April 28, 9:00 AM

South Plainfield

South Plainfield's Annual Health and Fitness Fair


Sat, April 28, 7:00 PM

South Plainfield

A Tribute to our Veterans - Jim Barone


Sun, April 29, 2:00 PM

South Plainfield

Autism Awareness Event on April 29th


Sat, May 5, 9:00 AM


Color Me Run to End Domestic Violence


Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (Citadel Press, 1970)


How does a reviewer do justice to a book called “the great American novel”? I first read Johnny Got His Gun during the Viet Nam war, when young people, nationwide, were protesting fighting in a war that was a senseless waste of life; a war in which the United States had no business participating.


Your library is a hub of education and entertainment that is available to you not just when the library is open, but at all hours, thanks to our great online resources.  

If you want to brush up on your computer skills, or learn something new, try Learning Express.  You can access it through the library’s website. Once you’ve registered (you’ll need ...

Press Releases

Pack 224 bids Farewell to Arrow of Light Scouts

April 24, 2018

It is with great pride and pleasure that Riley School Cub Scout Pack 224 acknowledges the dedication of the Arrow of Light den members who are now officially Boy Scouts.  All three have chosen to join Boy Scout Troop 309.  Since they were in first grade, Kevin Casaliggi, Lorenzo Fuscoletti, and Colin Morris have dutifully and consistently completed the necessary requirements to reach ...