Wrestling State Tournament Update: Heilmann Secures South Plainfield's First Spot in Finals Since 2013; Niemeyer Secures Spot on Podium

Joe Heilmann during the 2017 NJSIAA wrestling tournament Credits: Steve Valenti

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - All season long, Joe Heilmann has been working towards for a chance to bring another individual state wrestling championship to South Plainfield High School. As of Saturday afternoon, Heilmann has just one step left to make that a long awaited goal a reality. 

Heilmann tore through the competition during the Saturday rounds of the NJSIAA wrestling tournament and booked his spot in 126-pound championship match. The South Plainfield standout's achievement marks the first time in five years a South Plainfield High School wrestler has earned an appearance in a state championship match. Joining Heilmann on the hunt to bring South Plainfield a medal will be Luke Niemeyer. Niemeyer secured a spot on the 195-pound bracket's podium with his performances in the consolation rounds on Saturday, and will be looking to make it to the third-place match.

Dominance has been the name of the game for the 44-0 Heilmann all season, and Saturday was no different. The second-seeded South Plainfield standout started the day off with a quarterfinal match against seventh-seeded Nicky Cabanillas of DePaul. Heilmann powered through the DePaul grappler, and secured a first period pin off of a scramble.

Sign Up for E-News

The semifinals of 126-pound pitted Heilmann against a very familiar opponent in St. Peter's Prep's Michael Kelly. Last week, Heilmann earned a Region 4 title with a 3-2 win over Kelly. That win also served as revenge for 2017's region tournament, where Heilmann suffered a close loss to the St. Peter's Prep wrestler. While Kelly put forth an effort one would expect from a grappler of his caliber, Heilmann's win was more decisive this time around. 

After a scoreless first period, Heilmann took bottom position and worked his way to a quick escape in the second period. Heilmann connected on a takedown to make it 3-0 heading into the final period, and then clinched the win by connected on a takedown with 20 seconds left in the match.

The last time South Plainfield secured a spot in the state tournament finals, was when the famed Murderer's Row squad of 2013 advanced Joe's brother Troy Heilmann ( who won an ACC 149-pound title on Saturday for the University of North Carolina), Anthony Ashnault, Scott DelVecchio and Corey Stasenko, to state championship bouts.

The last wrestler standing in Heilmann's way is top-seeded Pat Glory of Delbarton. Glory's name is no stranger to even casual wrestling fans, as the Princeton commit is the top 126-pound high school wrestler in the country according to Flowrestling, and the pound-for-pound best wrestler in the state according to Glory handed Heilmann a tech fall loss in the semifinals of last year's state tournament. The returning state champion  did show that he was human on Saturday though, as he was wrapped up in a cradle, allowed back points, and fell behind 5-1 in his quarterfinal matchup against Mark Montgomery of Roselle Park. The Delbarton senior rallied back though and  soon after finished a pin on Montgomery.

In the 195-pound bracket, Niemeyer used some key consolation wins to stay alive and secure his first spot on a state tournament podium. The sixth-seeded South Plainfield junior was knocked out of the first place bracket after he suffered a 2-1 ultimate tie breaker loss to Pope John's Jake Brown in the quarterfinals but recovered soon after. 

The South Plainfield standout took on Kyle Schaffer of Caldwell in the fourth consolation rounds and made short work of the opposition with a first period pin.

Niemeyer was then matched up against Delsea's Tommy Maxwell in the fourth consolation round. Niemeyer defeated Maxwell in a 3-2 decision during South Plainfield's Group 3 team title win last month, and Niemeyer got the win again on Saturday, this time by a 7-3 margin. 

The win over Maxwell moves Niemeyer to the consolation semifinals, where he is slated to take on Robert Gennat of Sparta. A win over Gennat will place Niemeyer in the bout for third place, while a loss will put him into the fifth place bout. The top seven finishers in a weight class earn a spot on the podium.

The last bouts of the tournament begin at 10 a.m. on Sunday with the conclusion of the the consolation rounds, and the championship bouts will start at 3 p.m.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Plainfield

The Athlete of the Week Luke Niemeyer Wrestling

The South Plainfield Wrestling Team sent six wrestlers to compete in the New Jersey Individual State Wrestling Championships, March 2nd-4th.  Thirty-two wrestlers throughout the state qualified for each weight class.  South Plainfield placed two out of the six qualifiers in the State of New Jersey.  Junior 195 pounder Luke Niemeyer became a state place winner for the first time in ...

The Athlete of the Week Joe Heilmann Wrestling

The South Plainfield Wrestling Team finished its terrific season this past weekend at the New Jersey Individual State Wrestling Championships.  The top four wrestlers from the Region Tournament in Union had the opportunity to wrestle in Atlantic City for an individual state title.  The Tigers placed two out of their six qualifiers in the State of New Jersey, Senior 126 pounder Joe ...

Pre-Ticket Sale for Holy Savior Academy’s 4th Annual Spring Splendor Tricky Tray

Holy Savior Academy is hosting its Spring Splendor Tricky Tray Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the school.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets are limited and will be sold at Holy Savior Academy, 149 South Plainfield Avenue, South Plainfield on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (cash or checks)

BYOB and food- Admission $ 25 per ...


Donald G. O’Brien Sr., 83, long time resident of South Plainfield, NJ, passed away ...
Read more

Letters to the Editor

Letter from the Chapman Family

March 14, 2018

Dear Editor -


“Hey Dad, today in school the police officer played volleyball with us, it was fun.”


“My son came home from school today and told me that the police officer played football with them at recess”.


“I heard that one of the police officers sat down and ate lunch in the cafeteria with the children today. They loved ...

Community Happenings

A Tribute to our Veterans - An Evening with Jim Barone

March 15, 2018

The South Plainfield Elks Motorcycle Committee in conjunction with the Veteran's Committee is hosting an evening with Jim Barone, who is an Elvis impersonator, on April 28th, 2018. Doors open at 7:00pm and the Show starts at 8:00pm.   Tickets are $30.00 which includes the show and finger foods.  Tickets are limited please contact Brian Csobar 908-756-9425 or SP Elks ...

Grandparents Day at Riley School

March 18, 2018

Pictures of Grandparents Day at Riley School submitted by Debbie Boyle

Pre-Ticket Sale for Holy Savior Academy’s 4th Annual Spring Splendor Tricky Tray

March 17, 2018

Holy Savior Academy is hosting its Spring Splendor Tricky Tray Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the school.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets are limited and will be sold at Holy Savior Academy, 149 South Plainfield Avenue, South Plainfield on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (cash or checks)

BYOB and food- Admission $ 25 per ...

Eggert Volleyball Fundraiser a huge success.

March 12, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - On Sunday March 11th South Plainfield current and former residents came out in force to support the Eggert Family and stand up against cancer.  The Volleyball fundraiser was a great success and would not have happened without all of the great support from the community.  Once again South Plainfield showed that we are a tight knit community who looks out for each ...

Upcoming Events


Sun, March 25, 1:00 PM

South Plainfield

Annual Easter Egg Hunt

Thu, March 29, 7:30 PM

Wesley United Methodist Church, South Plainfield

Holy Thursday Communion Service at Wesley United ...

Religions And Spirituality

Fri, March 30, 3:00 PM

Wesley United Methodist Church, South Plainfield

Good Friday Prayer Vigil at Wesley United ...

Religions And Spirituality

Sat, March 31, 10:00 AM

609 Lane Avenue , South Plainfield

Spanakopita Delicacy Sale

Food & Drink

Thu, April 5, 10:00 AM

609 Lane Avenue , South Plainfield

Spanakopita Delicacy Sale

Food & Drink

Sat, April 7, 9:00 AM

Wesley United Methodist Church, South Plainfield

Rummage Sale at Wesley United Methodist Church

Arts & Entertainment Other Religions And Spirituality


Diegnan Bill To Secure At-Risk Nonprofits Becomes Law

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ -Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick J. Diegnan to provide state grants to increase security at New Jersey’s nonprofit organizations deemed high-risk targets of threats, attacks, and other violent acts was recently signed into law.

“We know that individuals, with great animus, are looking to endanger our friends and neighbors for who they are, what they ...

Saturday Debris Cleanup Operations

The Department of Public Works will have three separate crews performing tree and branch removal tomorrow March 17th.  All branches and twigs should be brought to the curb. Cleanup efforts will not be completed tomorrow. This will be an on-going effort to remove all debris from the Borough. Additionally, the yard waste site will be operating on summer hours which are 8:00am – ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...


Not too long ago, your semi-humble correspondent stopped by the South Plainfield History Center and researched some old newspapers from about 35 years ago.  Back then, due to limitations in funds, staff and space, the list of activities at South Plainfield Library ran for about two short paragraphs.  Well, those problems have been dealt with since then.  Settle in for a much longer ...

2018 Keystone Community St Patrick's Lunch

The South Plainfield Knights of Columbus Council 6203 held their annual Keystone Special Citizens Community Lunch at the Holy Savior Academy on March 10th. Every Month Father John Alvarado from Sacred Heart Church holds a special Mass for the Mentally Challenged residents from the Keystone Community as well as other residents from Middlesex County.  This month’s theme was St ...

If You Want to Experience the Awkwardness of Race Relations, Look No Further Than Sunday Morning

In a country that is more racially divided than ever, our churches reflect the divide on Sunday morning. In America, we miss the mark on integrating the faces and lives of many races and ethnicities into our Christian communities.

LifeWay conducted a survey of 994 churchgoers who attend religious services more frequently than just holidays. They also surveyed 1,000 Protestant senior pastors of ...

Press Releases

Mayor Anesh Announces Reelection: “I’ll work hard to keep our hometown going in the right direction”

March 21, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Saying he is anxious to continue working for the people of his hometown, Mayor Matt Anesh announced this week that he will be seeking reelection in November. 

“We’re making progress on so many fronts, and I want to keep that going,” said Anesh when asked why he’s seeking reelection.

Former Councilman and Borough CFO Charles Haus said ...