Wrestling Champions – Hometown View
After not having a state wrestling champion last year the shore area produced a pair on Sunday as B.J. Clagon of Toms River South and Jackson Memorial’s Dallas Winston wrestled like the top seeds they were before over 10,000 fans at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
In the final bout of the day and season Clagon pinned South Plainfield’s Tyler Hunt in just 97 seconds to win the 138 pound title as the undefeated junior became the Indians first state champion in 28 years and was also named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler. Earlier in the day Winston gutted out a 4-3 victory over previously undefeated Tevin Shaw of Piscataway to capture the 182 pound title and become the second state champion in his family.
Dallas’ brother Scott had one of the most storied high school careers in New Jersey history, winning three state titles and finishing undefeated. Ironically Scott could not be in AC to cheer for his younger brother because he was wearing the Rutgers singlet while wrestling in the EIWA Tournament in Princeton where he lost in the 165 pound finals. Despite that loss he’ll be headed to the NCAA Championships.
Two other Ocean County wrestlers lost in the state finals yesterday….Ken Theobold of Toms River South and 145 pounds and Lacey’s Lex Knapp at 220.
It was certainly not a bad weekend for South Indians coach Ron Laycock with a state champion, runner-up and 5th place finisher in Kevin Corrigan.
One other wrestling note worth mentioning. Former Southern Regional state champ Frank Molinaro, a senior at Penn State, won his second straight Big Ten title with a dominating performance in the conference championships at Purdue University. Molinaro not only cruised while winning the 149-pound title but the Ex-Ram shared the outstanding wrestler award. Ranked #1 in the nation, Molinaro now sets his sights on the NCAA Championships in two weeks in St. Louis.
Five Ocean County basketball teams will be playing in state sectional finals tonight. On the Boys side, Lakewood will host Neptune and Lacey entertains Camden. Girl’s matchups find Jackson visiting Rancocas Valley, Toms River East heading to Washington Township and Point Boro at Summit. Good luck to all!
Credit my wife Jane for a great Facebook post yesterday regarding our children: “Alex is in Mexico, Brandon is in Miami and I’m in New Jersey with a rug shampooer.” To clarify, she was referring to the machine we rented.