2012 MSG Varsity New Jersey All-State Wrestling First Team
106 - Anthony Cefolo, Hanover Park, Fr.
Cefolo defeated JFK-Iselin’s Carl Buttitta 3-1 in overtime to become Hanover Park’s first state champion since 1998. He finished his inaugural campaign with a 38-3 record that also included District 9 and Region III individual titles. He avenged a loss to Jan Rosenberg in the Morris County final with a 6-3 victory over the Morris Knolls’ senior in the state semifinals. Finished fifth at The Beast of the East. Helped Hanover Park to the North Jersey Section 2, Group I title and an upset of 28-time Group I champion Paulsboro in the Group I semifinals.
113 - Brenden Calas, Seton Hall Prep, Jr.
An injury kept Calas out of action for a month in the middle of the season, but he was able to rebound and become the first two-time state champion in Seton Hall Prep program history. He defeated DePaul freshman Dave McFadden 3-0 in the state final for his second straight individual championship. Finished with a 21-3 record to push his career mark to 84-9. Placed first at the Essex County Tournament and the District 10 Tournament, and finished second in the Region III Tournament. Defeated Kellenberg’s Patrick Skinner 5-0 in the NJ/NY All-Star Wrestling Charity Challenge.
120 - Mike Magaldo, Watchung Hills, So.
The fourth time was the charm for Magaldo, who avenged all of his prior losses this season with a 5-1 win over South Plainfield’s Troy Heilmann in the state championship bout. Heilmann had accounted for each of Magaldo’s three losses before he earned redemption to become Watchung Hills’ first state champ since 2009 and sixth overall. Magaldo finished with a 41-3 record and improved to 77-9 in his already illustrious career. He won a title at the Somerset County Tournament and was second at both the District 12 and Region III Tournaments.
126 - Anthony Ashnault, South Plainfield, Jr. - Wrestler of the Year
After yet another unblemished season, Ashnault has put himself in position to rewrite the history books in 2013. The 2012 MSG Varsity New Jersey Wrestler of the Year finished 44-0 and won his third state title by defeating Hunterdon Central’s Gary Dinmore 5-2. He pushed his career record to 130-0 as he continues on the path of becoming New Jersey’s only undefeated four-time state champion. Won titles at the Morris Knolls, Greater Middlesex Conference, District 12 and Region III tournaments. Also helped South Plainfield to the Group III title and the No. 1 ranking in the state by the New Jersey Wrestling Coaches Association.
132 - Scott DelVecchio, South Plainfield, Jr.
From state qualifier to state champion, DelVecchio was arguably the most improved wrester in the Garden State this season. The junior finished 44-0 in capturing his first state title while also contributing to the Tigers’ Group III championship as a member of their fearsome ‘Murderer’s Row’. DelVecchio also won titles at the Morris Knolls, Greater Middlesex Conference, District 12 and Region III tournaments. He recorded 21 pins and 13 major decisions and has a career record of 119-10.
138 - B.J. Clagon, Toms River South, Jr.
Voted the Outstanding Wrestler of the state tournament, Clagon buzz-sawed his way through the entire season to claim his first state title. The junior finished off a 41-0 season with an emphatic pin of South Plainfield’s Tyler Hunt in the state final. The District 24 and Region VI champ had only one of his bouts decided via decision as he piled up 17 pins, 9 technical falls and 13 major decisions. Took a 14-5 major decision from 132-pound state runner-up Brandon Keller of Timber Creek. Won his bout at the NJ/NY All-Star Wrestling Charity Challenge by defeating Canastota’s Anthony Finocchiaro 8-4. Has a career record of 111-6.
145 - Lenny Richardson, St. Peter’s Prep, Sr.
Richardson started the state finals with a bang, pinning Toms River South’s Ken Theobold in 54 seconds to become just the second state champ in St. Peter’s program history. Richardson, who is headed to Old Dominion next season, defeated four wrestlers with a combined three losses during the state tournament. That included a 7-2 win over South Plainfield’s Corey Stasenko to avenge a 7-3 setback from earlier in the season. Richardson won titles at the Mustang Classic, District 16 and Region IV tournaments, and placed 4th at the Beast of the East. Won his bout in the NJ/NY All-Star Wrestling Charity Challenge by topping North Rockland’s Mike Caputo, 11-5. He finished with a 35-3 mark and a 134-15 career record.
152 - Ray Bethea, Trenton Central, Sr.
One of the best moments of the last few years came when Bethea stunned favorite Sal Mastriani with a third-period pin to claim the first ever individual state title for a Trenton Central wrestler. The senior finished the season with a 37-0 record that included District 25 and Region VII titles along with championships at the Neptune Classic and Collingswood Holiday Tournament. Bethea will head to the University of Pennsylvania in the fall and do so as a four-time Mercer County champ and two-time state medalist with a 132-11 career mark.
160 - Johnny Sebastian, Bergen Catholic, So.
Seasoned and poised, sometimes you have to remind yourself Sebastian is just a sophomore. Not only did he help lead the Crusaders to the Non-Public A team title, he captured the 160-pound state title with a come-from-behind win over Hammonton’s Phil Bakuckas. Sebastian finished second at the Beast of the East and continued at a high level all the way through Atlantic City. He finished 40-2 while capturing his second Bergen County title and winning District 7 and Region II championships. Defeated Monsignor Farrell’s Rrok Ndokaj 6-3 in the NJ/NY All-Star Wrestling Charity Challenge. Has a 70-15 career record.
170 - Ryan Harrington, West Morris Mendham, Sr.
The North Carolina-bound senior capped off an amazing two-year run with his second state title, defeating Haddon Township’s Steve Nelson 7-3. Harrington is Mendham’s first two-time state champ after going 44-0 this season and 84-0 over the last two seasons. The senior also won District 1 and Region I titles to go along with first-place finishes at the Mount Olive Tournament, Cougar Classic and Morris County Tournament. Harrington is Mendham’s all-time wins leader with a 139-11 record.
182 - Dallas Winston, Jackson Memorial, Sr.
After finishing second in the state as a junior, Winston capped his career with a 4-3 win over Piscataway’s Tevin Shaw to become the 15th state champion in Jackson Memorial history. He finished this season 33-3 and 110-13 for his career. A fourth-place finish at the Beast of the East led to titles at the District 21 and Region VI tournaments. Winston was dominant in the state tournament, recording three straight shutouts before holding off Shaw in the final. He did not allow an offensive point in 10 individual postseason bouts.
195 - Razohnn Gross, Don Bosco Prep, Jr.
Gross found his way to the top of the podium in a wide-open 195-pound weight class to become Don Bosco Prep’s first state champion in program history. Gross edged North Bergen’s Eric McMullen, 5-3 in overtime, in the state final to reverse a loss in the Bergen County Tournament final. Gross started the season 6-5 before winning his final 29 bouts to finish the season at 35-5. He was second at the Bergen County Tournament and eighth at the Beast of the East. Gross set up his state tournament run by winning District 5 and Region II titles. He will head into his senior season with a 93-15 career record.
220 - Brandon Hull, Phillipsburg, Sr.
The Phillipsburg faithful had all their wishes granted in 2012 as the Stateliners won the Group IV title and Hull took home the program’s first individual state championship in 16 years. Hull posted a 37-3 record against top competition and claimed the state title via a 7-2 victory over Lacey’s Lex Knapp. He finished 2nd at the King of the Mountain Tournament, 4th at the Bethlehem Holiday Classic and 1st at the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament. A District 1 and Region I champ, Hull concluded his career with a 94-26 record.
285 - Jermaine Eluemunor, Morris Knolls, Sr.
With just around two years of wrestling experience under his belt, Eluemunor used his gifts of size and athleticism to become Morris Knolls first state finalist since 1966. Eluemunor was defeated by Northern Burlington’s Cody Melton 3-1 in the state final to give him a 34-4 record to end the season. The senior won the Parsippany Tournament and District 2 Tournament, and placed second at the Region I Tournament. He closed his career with a 51-17 record.
Coach of the Year - Dave Bell, Bergen Catholic
Bell led Bergen Catholic to the Non-Public A team championship, its first since 2003. The Crusaders finished with an overall record of 16-5, with their only in-state losses coming to South Plainfield, Brick Memorial and Southern Regional. Bergen Catholic finished 10th out of 95 teams at the prestigious Beast of the East Tournament. The Crusaders also captured their 24th district championship and 23rd in a row since 1990. The squad started the season ranked 38th in the nation by InterMat but injuries plagued them for most of the season. They were able to keep themselves above water and when finally healthy defeated Delbarton, St. Peter's Prep and Christian Brothers Academy to win a state title. Since becoming head coach in 1999, Bell has led the Crusaders to 10 Bergen County titles, 8 sectional titles and 3 Non-Public A titles.
Team of the Year - Phillipsburg
Led by head coach Dave Post, the Group IV champion Stateliners finished with a 16-3 record while winning their state-record 32nd sectional title and 17th group crown. In an epic showdown with Brick Memorial, junior Zach Fisher delivered a win in the final bout for a dramatic 29-27 victory. Phillipsburg also won matches against Howell, North Hunterdon, Delaware Valley, Watchung Hills, Kittatinny and Paulsboro.
106 - Jan Rosenberg, Morris Knolls, Sr.
113 - Dave McFadden, DePaul, Fr.
120 - Troy Heilmann, South Plainfield, Jr.
126 - Gary Dinmore, Hunterdon Central, So.
132 - Jason Estevez, Livingston, Jr.
138 - Tyler Hunt, South Plainfield, Sr.
145 - Ken Theobold, Toms River South, Sr.
152 - Sal Mastriani, Don Bosco Prep, Sr.
160 - James Dugan, Becton/Wallington, Sr.
170 - Anthony Pafumi, St. Peter’s Prep, Sr.
182 - Tevin Shaw, Piscataway, Sr.
195 - Eric McMullen, North Bergen, Sr.
220 - Anthony Angelone, West Orange, Sr.
285 - Beniah Harrigan, Piscataway, Sr.
Bob Badders covers wrestling for MSG Varsity. Follow him on Twitter: @Bob_Badders