Tom Nolan only competed in six matches this season, and even though he won five of them, little was known about the Highland Regional High School junior.
That changed on Friday.
Nolan, a No. 7 seed, recorded the biggest upset of the NJSIAA District 30 Wrestling Tournament, defeating No. 2 Emanuel Mitchell, of Winslow, 5-1.
Nolan’s victory shook up the 170-pound bracket. He will take on Timber Creek’s Keith Bauberger in the semifinals with the winner advancing to the district final.
While Nolan’s victory was one of the biggest storylines of the night, he was far from the only local athlete to make a statement. Highland, Timber Creek and Triton combined to advance 25 wrestlers into today’s semifinal round. The Tartan’s led the way with 11 grapplers scoring Friday-night victories, with the Chargers right on their tail with 10. Triton saw four wrestlers continue their seasons.
The semifinals are slated to continue today at Overbrook at 11 a.m., followed by the consolations and finals.
Below is a look at Friday night’s winners and some of the highlights.
Highland winners: Luke Siegfried (106), Dillon Pendergast (113), Josh Clark (120), Nick Theisen (138), Joe Rodano (145), Sheldon Morris (152), Ricky Sheldon (160), Tom Nolan (170), Jordan Warren (182), George Duuddy (195) and Martel Harrison (285).
Timber Creek winners: Kyle Urick (106), John Amato (113), Joey DiMartino (120), Lorenzo Ruggiero (126), Isiah DeGuzman (132), Brandon Keller (138) Brandon Virgilio (145), Dom Ruggierrio (152), Bryce Shade (160), Keith Bauberger (170),
Triton winners: Chris Bucceroni (132), Parker Williams 152, Anthony Maschiocchi (160), Brian Marzi (285).
- Highland’s Dillon Pendergast made a statement at 113. A No. 5 seed, Pendergast dominated Lindenwold’s David Harris-Norton, 13-5.
- In a local bout, No. 3 Lorenzo Ruggiero, of Timber Creek, defeated No. 6 Kevin Kelly, of Triton, 8-2.
- Timber Creek’s Isiah arrived with a bang Friday night, winning his opener in the 138-pound weight class by pin in just 17 seconds. Teammate Brandon Virgilio wasn’t far behind. He decked his 145-pound opponent in 24 seconds.
- Highland’s Martel Harrison had the latest pin of any local grappler. Harrison finished off Lindenwold’s Spencer Barder in 5:53.
- Triton’s Chris Bucceroni got the better of Highland’s Shavkot Baratov, pinning him in 1:56.
- The 152-pound weight class could produce an all-local podium. Timber Creek’s Dom Ruggiero, Highland’s Sheldon Morris and Triton’s Parker Williams all made the semifinals.
- The 160-pound weight class is also of intrigue with Bryce Shade (Timber Creek), Ricky Sheldon (Highland) and Anthony Maschiocchi (Triton) advancing through to the final four.
- The 220-pound class is the only semifinal that will not feature a Black Horse Pike wrestler.