Sports

Season Recap: South Plainfield Wrestling Roars Through 2016-2017 Season to end year as top public school

16a46254c18b41320919_IMG_20170212_153656.jpg
abb10c7745ea107a1531_best_b2c3908c9cd6a4428514_DSC_0045.JPG
48e0f829ea50e7b25d15_best_4369a546af3c185a773a_DSC_0239.JPG
026a5f36fe482f4b9017_best_e883a9914a8bc6b068de_DSC_0004.JPG
16a46254c18b41320919_IMG_20170212_153656.jpg

SOUTH PLAINFIELD-- Maintaining a top of the line high school athletic program year after year certainly isn’t easy, but from the outside looking in, the South Plainfield High School wrestling team certainly has a way of making it look that way.

The Tigers had a little bit of a different look heading into the 2016-2017 wrestling season as longtime head coach Kevin McCann stepped down from his position and was replaced by his predecessor Bill Pavlak. Expectations for this season were still as high as ever though, and in many ways those expectations were met and even exceeded.

Led by a veteran coaching staff and a solid roster of wrestlers, the Tigers roared through the season to pick up conference, district and group titles, and a 30-1 record, before ending the year in style as the top-ranked public school in the state of New Jersey.

Sign Up for E-News

One of the defining aspects of this year’s South Plainfield team was their ability to win the battle of the bonus points. Pavlak stressed the importance of winning that battle all year, and from their first match of the season to their Group 3 title win, the Tigers were able to routinely come through in their tougher duals because they didn’t give up many points in losses and consistently picked them up with wins via pin, major decision, or tech fall.

That aspect of their game came in handy during South Plainfield’s many duals against top-flight schools, and by the end of the season, the Tigers had a 6-0 record against opponents that were featured in NJ.com’s Top 20 team rankings.

South Plainfield’s first battle against a top-ranked team came during their second dual of the season, which was against their surging conference rival Monroe. Bonus points from sophomores Zach DelVecchio and Luke Niemeyer, junior Joe Heilmann, and senior Jake Giordano helped the Tigers notch a 38-27 victory against their Greater Middlesex Conference rival.

That win also helped the Tigers establish another year of dominance in their conference. South Plainfield rolled through East Brunswick, Monroe, Woodbridge, Edison, Perth Amboy, Piscataway, South Brunswick, Old Bridge and Bishop Ahr en-route to picking up another red division title, and also dominated in the GMC tournament to pick up six individual titles, and their program’s ninth straight conference title, their 24th overall.

South Plainfield also extended their state-record consecutive district team title streak as they won their 33rd straight title in their newly reformed District 14, while Heilmann, Giordano, DelVecchio, and Niemeyer all took home individual titles.

The Tigers ended their dual season by taking home their tenth Group 3 title with a 38-23 win over one of their fiercest rivals, Delsea. The title match started off with a pin from senior Jacob Painton and was finished with big wins by Heilmann and Giordano.

The Tigers finished their team season undefeated against New Jersey competition ( their one loss came at the hands of South Dade (Fl.) during the Virginia Duals) and as the second ranked team in NJ.com’s top 20, and the third ranked team in the New Jersey Wrestling Writers Association's Top 20. In both polls South Plainfield was the highest ranked public school.

As always, the Tigers stellar team performance was accompanied by strong individual seasons.

Heilmann dominated his competition at 120 pounds throughout the year, and picked up his third GMC and District titles, and his 100th career win, before taking his first loss of the season in the finals of the Region 4 tournament. The junior standout recovered from the setback quickly and made a strong run in the NJSIAA state tournament that ended with him taking home a third-place finish, which is the best state tournament finish for a South Plainfield wrestler since 2014.

DelVecchio had a lot of momentum coming in from his stellar freshman season last year, and he used it to great effect. The sophomore 220-pounder came up strong in dual competition, as his first and only loss during a dual came during the Virginia Duals. In tournament competition, DelVecchio once again took home titles in conference, district, and region 220 pound brackets.  . The sophomore standout also improved on his seventh-place finish from last year’s state tournament. As a seventh-seed DelVecchio took a fourth place finish in Atlantic City.

Giordano, and sophomore  Niemeyer both took home GMC and district titles. Senior Kyle Bythell earned a spot in South Plainfield’s 100 win club, by picking up a victory in the state tournament. 106-pounder Tommy Fierro won a conference title in his first year as a Tiger.

Here’s a roundup of how the varsity wrestlers did individually:

106: Sophomore Tommy Fierro: 18-4 on the season, 1st place at GMC Tournament, 2nd place at District 14 tournament.

113: Sophomore Alex Amato: 26-19 on the season, 5th place at GMC tournament, 2nd place District 14 tournament, 4th place at Region 4 tournament, state tournament qualifier.

120: Junior Joe Heilmann: 44-2 on the season,1st place at GMC tournament, 1st place at District 14 tournament, 2nd place at Region 4 tournament, 3rd place at state tournament.

126: Senior Jake Giordano: 39-5 on the season, 1st place at GMC tournament, 1st place at District 14 tournament, 2nd place at Region 4 tournament, state tournament qualifier

132: Senior Jacob Painton: 17-22 on the season, 4th place at GMC tournament, 2nd place at District 14 tournament.

138: Sophomore Joe Sacco: 40-8 on the season, 1st place st GMC tournament, 2nd place at District 14 tournament, 4th place at Region 4 tournament, state tournament qualifier.

145: Senior Kyle Bythell: 38-9 on the season, 4th place at GMC tournament, 2nd place at District 14 tournament, 4th place at Region 4 tournament, state tournament qualifier.

152: Senior Jake Hoffman (First year varsity) 14-11 on the season, 7th place at GMC tournament, 3rd place at Region 4 tournament.

160: Senior Ben Lundy: 29-13 on the season, 3rd place at GMC tournament, 3rd place a District 14 tournament, 6th place at Region 4 tournament.

170: Sophomore Brenden Hedden: 10-19 on the season, 4th place at District 14 tournament.

182: Senior Ryan Marston: 26-12 on the season, 3rd place at GMC tournament, 4th place at District 14 tournament.

195: Sophomore Luke Niemeyer: 36-7 on the season, 1st place at GMC tournament, 1st place at District 14 tournament, 4th place at Region 4 tournament, state tournament qualifier.

220 Sophomore Zach DelVecchio: 44-3 on the season, 1st place at GMC tournament, 1st place at District 14 tournament, 1st place at Region 4 tournament, 4th place at state tournament.

285: Senior Julio Gonzalez: 6-8 on the season.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Plainfield

The Athlete of the Week Marc Giordano Wrestling

The South Plainfield Wrestling Team continues to have a very successful season.  The team not only won a Group III State Championship for the third consecutive year, but they also won a state record 34th consecutive District Championship.  The top three wrestlers will go on to compete in Union in the Regions for the opportunity to wrestle in Atlantic City for an individual state ...

The Athlete of the Week Joe Sacco Wrestling

The South Plainfield Wrestling Team finished their dual meet season with a deceiving 20-7 record.  This past week saw the Tigers defeat Ewing (69-4), Bordentown Regional (49-9), and Ocean Township (54-6) to win the Central Jersey Group III Sectional Championship.  This advanced South Plainfield to the Group III State Championships yet again.  The wrestling team defeated Voorhees ...

Obituaries

Piscataway – Betty L. Bocam, 70, died suddenly Saturday February 24, 2018 at Robert Wood ...
Read more

Letters to the Editor

South Plainfield Middle School Student Council Thanks Supporters

February 21, 2018

The South Plainfield Middle School Student Council would like to express our thanks for the support of local businesses and organizations in our fundraising efforts.  A spaghetti dinner was hosted by the South Plainfield Elks Lodge #2298 on January 13th.  Mrs. Sharon Reuter and members of her Youth Committee and kitchen crew provided dinner for family, friends and staff of South ...

Local Student on Dean's Commendation List at Gettysburg College

February 23, 2018

GETTYSBURG, PA -- Gettysburg College students take pride in their work, and we are likewise proud to announce their recent academic achievements.

Gettysburg College students with a quality point average in the range of 3.300 to 3.599 for a semester's work are placed on the Deans' Commendation List. The following students from your area have been placed on the Fall 2017 ...

Community Happenings

Harlem Wizards are Coming to Town!

February 23, 2018

The Harlem Wizards are coming to town to play against the SP Teaching Tigers (team made up of SP Educators) on 3/24 at 6 pm at the South Plainfield Middle School.  Buy tickets online @ harlemwizards.com. See flyer for prices

Special halftime performance by Pop Warner National Cheer Champions as well as a special cheer performance from some teachers!

Volleyball Fundraiser for the Eggert Family on March 11, 2018

February 18, 2018

WHAT:

Two divisions, Co-Ed High School and Co-Ed adult

Guaranteed two games per team

Double Elimination

8 people per team

 

COST:

High School teams = $50 per team

Adult Teams = $100 per team

12 Teams Max for each division

Please mail checks to 1107 Worth Drive, South Plainfield NJ 07080

High school - please submit your teams and payment to Justin ...

Holy Savior Academy hosts appreciation luncheon for Deanery Pastors

February 16, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The students and Board of Limited Jurisdiction of Holy Savior Academy (HSA), South Plainfield hosted a special luncheon to honor and celebrate the Pastors of twelve local Catholic churches that sponsor the school.  

The event was held at HSA on Tuesday February 13 and included a festive lunch featuring a home-cooked meal prepared by members of ...

Holy Savior Academy Cheer Competition

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Holy Savior Academy’s cheerleading squad is on winning streak.  Competing at the Biddy Level in the CCCANJ League, the girls took 1st place in the first two competitions of this cheer season. The 12 girl squad competed in the Immaculate Conception and the St. Mary’s competitions and came out on top beating fellow Catholic Schools, Immaculate ...

Bios, Photos of Past Labor Day Grand Marshals Needed for Eagle Scout Project

February 21, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Joseph Kelly, a senior at South Plainfield High School and member of Boy Scout Troop 207, is seeking the community’s help to see his Eagle Scout project come to fruition.

Kelly is looking to compile a ‘wall of fame’ honoring the men and women who have served as honorary grand marshals of the borough’s Labor Day Parade since 1961. The ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_9f909feb9ba5e44bff20_img_3263

Sun, February 25, 1:00 PM

South Plainfield

Open House 312 Elissa Court South Plainfield

Real Estate

Carousel_image_5a8b641c938a30a61d34_img_2324

Sun, February 25, 1:00 PM

South Plainfield

Open House 171 New York Avenue South Plainfield

Real Estate

Carousel_image_72a5c53646149737c45a_sepac_meeting

Wed, February 28, 6:30 PM

South Plainfield

SEPAC Meeting on Feb 28th

Carousel_image_2016772e51de2589b65e_lenten_dinners

Fri, March 2, 5:00 PM

South Plainfield

The Sacred Heart Lenten Fish Dinners

Carousel_image_2016772e51de2589b65e_lenten_dinners

Fri, March 9, 5:00 PM

South Plainfield

The Sacred Heart Lenten Fish Dinners

Carousel_image_1e7ed3ce43c94412fa58_carol_simon_levin

Sun, March 11, 2:00 PM

South Plainfield

South Plainfield Public Library presents ...

Columns

Diegnan: Computer Science Now Required in New Jersey Schools

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick Diegnan to require school districts to offer course in computer science and Department of Education to adopt changes to NJ Student Learning Standards in computer science has been signed into law.

“To flourish in tomorrow’s digital economy and society, our children should be learning computer science,” said ...

Willow Park Poised for Adaptive Expansion

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ –Tuesday evening Recreation Chairwoman Christine Faustini announced the South Plainfield Library has agreed to finance the further expansion of Willow Park. What makes the announcement so special, is the expansion will make Willow Park the first adaptive park in South Plainfield. The park will provide recreational opportunities to South Plainfield children in a ...

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb (Altria, 2015)

 

Years later, after the tragedy, someone remembered the Dumb Supper and what had happened there. That was the cause of it, they said, because the ritual wasn't a game after all. It really was magic, but magic has rules, and she broke them. Even when they call it a 'senseless tragedy,' people always try to find a ...

Bookmarks

What, February is nearly over already?  No doubt you were just getting used to it.  So, before March arrives like the proverbial lion, let’s look at upcoming events at South Plainfield Library:

            With a couple of additions and one cancellation, we’ve got a usual slate of children’s programs next ...

Press Releases

Jazikoff, Drill, Noble Win NCAA Regional Titles

February 25, 2018

WORCESTER, MA - Three members of the New York University wrestling team won their weight classes at the 2018 Division III Northeast Regional, hosted by Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA, on Sunday, February 25, and have qualified for next month's NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships, hosted by Baldwin Wallace University in Cleveland, OH. 

The trio - Matt ...