SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The South Plainfield High School wrestling team enters their 2013-2014 season returning seven full time starters from last year’s team that finished #1 in the State of New Jersey. Although they took a heavy hit to graduation, with a tremendous tradition and feeder program the Tigers are still setting their goals on a Group Championship.
South Plainfield’s schedule should prepare them to be battle tested by the end of the season by compiling tough competition in and out of the state of New Jersey. South Plainfield will open the season this weekend in the Morris Knolls Invitational Tournament. They enter the season looking to repeat as Greater Middlesex Conference Champions, District 12 Champions, State Sectional Champions, and Group Champions.
The Tigers are led by state qualifiers Dan Hedden and Inan Sikel. They will also be looking for leadership from senior captain Ray Jazikoff, a three year starter, Collin Lynch, a returning District 12 Champion, and Luigi Gerardi, a Region 3 Qualifier.
South Plainfield Wrestling Coach Kevin McCann, is in his 12th season and has amassed a record of 229-26. Last year South Plainfield was undefeated with a 30-0 overall record and 7-0 in the GMC Red (1st).
South Plainfield suffered a number of key losses due to graduation. Those key losses are: Anthony Ashnault (1st GMC, 1st district, 1st region, 1st state, 40-0 at 138); Tyler Calderone (2nd GMC, 1st district, 23-1 at 285); Scott DelVecchio (1st GMC, 1st district, 1st region, 1st state 44-0 at 132); Troy Heilmann (1st GMC, 1st district, 1st region, 2nd state 42-2 at 1452); Dylan Painton (2nd GMC, 1st district, 1st region, 4th state, 39-6 at 152); Tory Russell (1st GMC, 2nd district, 3rd region, 35-9 at 220); Corey Stasenko (1st GMC, 1st district, 1st region, 2nd state, 39-2 at 126).
Below is the probable lineup for the South Plainfield 2013/2014 Wrestling Team:
106 – Jeff Plungis (So.) 113 – Ryan DuHamel (So., 2-2 at 106); 120 – Ryan Walsh (Jr., 2nd GMC, 1st district, 4th Region, 26-15 at 106) 126 – Dan Hedden (So., 3rd GMC, 1st district, 2nd region, 34-10 at 113); 132 – Frank Ferraro (Jr., 1-3 at 132) 138 – Christian Gonzalez (So., 5-4 at 120/126) 145 – Ray Jazikoff (Sr., 4th GMC, 2nd district, 5th/6th region, 29-10 at 120); 152 – Inan Sikel (Sr., 2nd GMC, 1st district, 3rd region, 35-7 at 160); 160 – Jordan Handwerger (Jr., 5th GMC, 2nd district, 16-21 at 170) 170 – Mike Reim (Sr., 4-0 at 160) 182 – Collin Lynch (Sr., 3rd GMC, 1st district, 21-16 at 182); 195 – Luigi Gerardi (Sr., 3rd district, 18-18 at 195); 220 – Lucio Avelar (Sr., 3-2 at 195/220) 285 – Matt Szeman (Jr., 1-2 at 285).
Coach McCann had this to say about the upcoming year “At South Plainfield we have an outstanding feeder program, from the recreation to the middle school. We expect to reload and continue to be competitive. Our goals will not change due to the loss of the senior class. We are still training and competing with one goal in mind: A Group II State Championship. The team is working hard and it is a chance for some new names to get recognition. They have been waiting years for their opportunity. We told the team before the season started…It’s not a new beginning it’s a tradition!”