High School Wrestling:
Tuesday, February 16, 1999
By Art Redd
Let the South Jersey Group wrestling playoffs begin, which it did at Sterling High School. The Group 2 quarterfinals and semi-finals were underway, in which the home team was predicted to advance to the finals. The Silver Knights, with their bye in the first round, had little problem dismantling their opponents to advance to the South Jersey Group 2 finals. After Woodstown gained an early lead and defeated Delran, they went up against Sterling in the semi-finals. Sterling claimed victories in the first 5 out of 6 matches to jump out to the early lead and defeat Woodstown 48-17.
This semi-final match began in an exciting way when Woodstown's Warren Mabey went up against the little guy, Sterling's Desmond Wiggins in the 103 match. Mabey had an obvious height advantage over Wiggins, but the heart and determination of the Silver Knights determined this match. Mabey was able to control the match at the start and get his opponent to the mat. He was unable to score any points with Wiggins' ability to get out of Mabey's grip and jumped out to a 3-0 lead on a reversal that electrified the home crowd. Wiggins won a 7-1 decision to start things off for his team. Frank Migliore (forfeit) and Brad Alcorn (6-0 decision) each won in the 112 and 119 matches prospectively for the Silver Knights.
Now with a 12-0 lead, Brian Wertman got Woodstown on the scoreboard with a 13-8 decision over Andrew Rebecca. In the 130 match, Mark Manchio continued his winning ways by pinning Keta Bryant. Woodstown got back in striking range with a technical fall by Andy Romano in the 145 match to pull his team within seven points, 21-14. That was the closest Sterling would allow their opponents to get and enabling them to go on to meet Kingsway in the Group 2 finals.
Highlights of this match were pins by Sterling's Mark Manchio, John Eddis, Mike Barikian and Terell Jackson. Woodstown got a pin from Bill Bobbitt.
Photos by Art Redd
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