South Plainfield, Hopewell Valley Grapple For CJG3 Crown


South Plainfield. Hopewell Valley.

These two schools will lock horns tonight and battle for the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III Sectional Title and the chance to head south to Toms River on Sunday.

How did they get to this point?

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No. 1-seed and No.10-ranked South Plainfield (25-2) and No. 2-seed Hopewell Valley (18-3) both earned first-round byes, and took care of their opponents in the semifinal round. Hopewell Valley edged out Ocean Township 27-25 on Justin Venezia’s pin at 126 pounds. On the flip side, South Plainfield trounced Cranford 35-18 and didn’t allow a single back point or any bonus points.

The Tigers, who are trying for their 13th sectional championship, have just one in-state loss this year and are looking to win the Sectional Title and get a crack at Delsea on Sunday who defeated the Tigers (35-15) in last year’s state Group III semifinals. South Plainfield’s only loses this year have been against Colonial Forge (Va.) and St. Augustine back on January 8th and 9th respectively.

The underdog Bulldogs dropped matches to Delaware Valley, Roxbury, and Robbinsville, while crushing numerous other schools including West Windsor-Plainsboro North 79-0 in early January.

South Plainfield’s Joe Heilmann is undefeated at 26-0 with 14 pins and freshman Zach DelVecchio is an impressive 21-1.

Match Specifics:

Where: South Plainfield High School

When: 7:00 p.m.

Projected Lineup:

106 lbs – Joe Heilmann (SP) vs. Hunter Martel (HV)

113 lbs. – Jake Giordano vs. Chris Lanciano

120 lbs. – Ryan Duhamel vs. Spencer Brost

126 lbs. – Jacob Painton vs. Justin Venezia

132 lbs. – Joe Sacco vs. Ryan Butcavage

138 lbs. – Kyle Bythell vs. Tristan Liebenow

145 lbs. - Jeff Plungis vs. Bill Godfrey

152 lbs. - Daniel Hedden vs. Austin Roskos

160 lbs. – Nicholas DiFrancesco vs. Josh deDufour

170 lbs. - Chris Maszczak vs. Ben Schutsky

182 lbs. - Ryan Marston vs. Chris DeClerico

195 lbs. – Christian Gonzalez vs. Ben Markulec

220 lbs. - Zach DelVecchio vs. Will Ortman

285 lbs. – Julio Gonzalez vs. Brunel Joseph

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