Despite being pressed in his last high school match, Heathstown heavyweight Brendan Hansen was certainly able to leave Atlantic City with a very high head held high on Saturday.

Participating in the NJSIAA State Championships, Hansen finished eighth and was the only Mercer County wrestler to take a place (top eight) this year.

Heading to Davis and Elkins College in Division II in West Virginia, Hansen also became only second in the states in the history of the Heathstown program. Second was Ken Amponsa, who finished fifth in 2007.

In addition, the senior Highstown was able to end his stellar career with his strong show. In a two-time state qualifier, Hansen’s last career record was 89-14 and he was 38-7 this season.

The number of career wins would have been much higher and would have been among the best in the school if most of last season had not been destroyed by Covid for the year in which he was just 12-2.

All in all, it was a good show for Highstown, considering that another state qualifier, 215-pound Chris Stauro, also posted a couple of wins.

“I thought they both fought great,” said Highstown coach Mike Rousseau, who recently had an outstanding first weightlifting when you also add last season’s Superregion champion Brian Bonillo. “These two (Stavrov and Hansen) were a great combination.”

It was certainly a busy tournament for Hansen. Although he was pressed three times, he also got four opponents despite fighting a sore shoulder. In his last match, which determined who finished seventh, Hansen was pressed by Lorenzo Portel of Red Bank Catholic with a score of 1:48.

“He underwent surgery on this shoulder,” Rusa said. “He’s had to deal with it for a whole year, but if you fight seven times with such quality wrestlers, I guess it could backfire.”

Looking to the rest of the field, Hunterdon Central took fourth place from Tanner Peak with 157. North Hunterdon took third place from Logan Waddle at 106 and fourth from heavyweight Liam Eckers.

The highest score for the wrestler from Burlington was Samuel Catch of Sinaminson, who was sixth at 132 pounds.


106: Adrian DeJesus (St. Peters Prep) 25-3 won by trial of Patrick O’Keefe (St. John Viani) 35-7 (3-2 December); 113: Anthony Knox (St. John Viani) 33-1 won by trial of Jared Bruner (East) 29-3 (December 7-2); 120: Evan Tallmage (Brick Memorial) 33-3 won by trial of Luke Stanich (Roxbury) 33-1 (December 7-3); 126: Evan Mugalyan (Kinelon) 44-1 won by trial of Gareth Totten (Academy of the Christian Brethren) 36-6 (December 7-1); 132: Tyler Vazquez (Delbarton) with a score of 33-0 won the court decision over Anthony Santaniel (Memorial Brick) 40-2 (December 2-1); 138: Joseph Kangra (Bergen Catholic) with a score of 27-4 defeated Julian George (Academy of the Christian Brethren) with a score of 27-4 (drop 3:57); 144: Joe Fongara (Buntan) with a score of 41-1 won the court decision over Ty Whelan (Clearview) 33-3 (December 10-9); 150: Andrew Troczynski (Delbarton) 37-1 won the court decision on Light Hamde (Passoy County Tech) 38-2 (5-2 December); 157: Simon Ruiz (Delbarton) 33-1 won by a court decision over Dakota Morris (Kingsway) 36-4 (5-1 December); 165: Hunter Mace (Howell) 40-1 won by court decision over Nicholas Fea (Bergen Catholic) 30-2 (5-4 December); 175: Harvey Ludington (Brick Memorial) 34-1 won by trial of Jared Chop (Delsey) 40-2 (5-2 December); Brian Soldano (High Point) 38-0 won the main court decision over Joshua Palacio (North Bergen) 35-3 (MD 11-3); 215: Martin Cosgrove (Camden-Catholic) with a score of 24-0 won the court decision on PJ Casale (Passach Valley) 28-1 (December 6-5); Whi: Jim Mullen (St. Joseph Montvale) wins 32-2 over Dominic Brogno (Bergen Catholic) 27-12 (Fall 2:49)


106: Logan Waddle (North Hunterdan) won 32-7 by a court ruling over Tyler Hagensen (Mount Olive) 40-6 (5-4 December); 113: Kaden Naame (St. Augustine) 27-5 won in a surprise victory – 1 over Joseph Serrone (Seton Hall-Prep) 33-9 (SV-1 5-1); 120: Conor Collins (Southern Regional) wins 37-1 over Alex Nini (Academy of the Christian Brethren) 31-4 (December 7-0); 126: Nathan Taylor (Kingsway) 30-6 won a sudden victory – 1 over Jack Zaleski (Middletown South) 34-7 (SV-1 4-2), 132: Nika Diaz (St. John Viani) 38-6 won in Jonathan Fuller (St. Peters Prep) 34-11 (drop 1:05); 138: Alex Almeida (St. Joseph Montvale) 29-7 won by trial of Alessio Perrentin (Delbarton) 33-6 (6-3 December); 144: Cross Vasilevsky (Delbarton) 36-5 won the main court decision over Richie Grung (St. Augustine) 26-6 (MD 8-0); 150: Tyler Barrett (Academy of the Christian Brethren) 37-7 won the tie-breaker – 1 over Frank DiBella (St. Joseph’s Montvale) 29-8 (TB-1 2-1); 157: Zander Silva (Academy of the Christian Brethren) 33-5 won the decision of the court of Tanner Peak (Hunterdon Central) 41-6 (2-1 December); 165: Eric Freeman (Paramus) 39-2 wins Louis Sergio (Delbarton) 38-5 (December 7-6); 175: Michael Delagata (St. Joseph Montvale) wins 37-4 Sabine Partela (Catholic of the Red Coast) 8-3 (7-0 December); 190: Vincenzo LaVale (Hanover Park) won 42-3 in a surprise victory – 1 over Nicolas Olivier (Delbarton) 27-14 (SV-1 4-2); 215: AJ Fricchione (Bergen Catholic) 29-8 won the court decision over Dominique Petracci (Washington), 37-5 (December 4-3); Minnie: Max Achardy (Paramus Catholic) 36-2 defeated Liam Eckers (North Huntherdan) 36-2 (Fall 1:36)


106: Brian Melamud (Bergen Catholic) 34-5 won by Aidan Carmody (Livingston) 30-9 (Dec. 12-6); 113: Daniel Jones (Dalbarton) 33-5 won by the main trial of Carson Walsh (Pope John XXIII) 24-6 (MD 11-2); 120: Jackson Young (Camden-Catholic) with a score of 29-6 defeated Nika Kalelo (St. Joseph – Methuhan) 39-4 (drop 3:45); 126: Joe Mana (St. Joseph’s Montvale) won 25-10 in a loss to Cadin Richardi (St. Peters), 34-6 (For.); 132: Jamar Dixon Jr. (Delsey) wins 37-10 in tie-breaker – 1 over Samuel Catch (Cinnaminson) 41-5 (TV-1 6-4) 138: Felix Letini (St. Peters Prep) 34-7 wins decision on Mike Pescatore (West Essex) 32-7 (December 5-0); 144: Zach Balante (Paramus Catholic) 35-9 won by court decision over Jacob Zirphos (Gloucester City) 42-7 (4-3 December); 150: Cole Velardi (Southern Regional) 37-5 won by fall over Daniel Rello (Paramus Catholic) 31-9 (fall 2:13); 157: Josiah Quinn (St. John Viani) won 24-4 by Shane Cartagena-Walsh (Ocean Township) 24-5 (Dec. 6-3); 165: Yuri Clark (Camden-Catholic) 36-5 won by Roberto Padilla (St. Joseph’s Montvale) 30-10 (3-2 December) ‘175: Shay Edison (Ramson-Fair Haven) 37-3 defeated fall over Stratas Cantanas (Livingston) 36-4 (Fall 2:51); 190: Anthony Mascatela (Olivier) 41-7 defeats David Julian (Middle Twp.) 35-7 (Fall 1:24); 215: Jack Table (Pope John XXIII) 24-5 won the judgment of Marcus Hebron (Lower Cape May) 38-8 (December 12-8); Hwee: Joseph Abile (Clifton) wins 41-5 with Tyler McCatarn (Warren Hills) 38-7 (Dec. 4-0)

Seventh place

106: Kurt Venus (Catholic Donavan) with a score of 22-2 won by trial of Benjamin Marchetta (West Milford) 40-6 (2-0 December); 113: Max Elton (Holy Spirit) 34-11 won the final tie-breaker over Dylan Ross (Paramus Catholic) 33-8 (UTB 4-3); 120: Donavan Chavis (St. Peters Prep) 29-8 won the main court decision over John Hildebrant (Williamstown) 33-6 (MD 12-0); 126: Aidan Wallace (Bergen-Catholic) 24-5 won by trial of Daniel House (Lenape Valley) 35-7 (6-3 December); 132: Ryan Ford (Bergen Catholic) with a score of 29-6 defeated Jackson Sickelsteel (Paulsborough) with a score of 29-6 27-7 (TF-1.5 5:31 (17-2); 138: Matt Henry (Southern Region) 32 -5 won the decision decision over Branden Regiment (Paul Wee) 36-5 (December 3-1); 144: J. J. J. Giordano (South Plainfield) 38-5 won the main decision over Roman Anorat (Paulsborough) 34- 9 (MD 12-0); 150: Jake Slotnik (St. Augustine) 29-7 wins in a sudden victory – 1 over Nicolas Campania (South Plainfield) 36-4 (SV-1 3-1); 157: Michael Murphy (Westfield) 37-4 won the main court decision over Evan Brown (Cheraki) 34-6 (MD 10-1): 165: Owen Disbrow (St. Thomas Aquinas) 39-5 won over medicine over Brock Zurovsky (Lower Cape Mae) 39-5 (M. For.); 175: Justin Anella (Bergen-Catholic) 32-7 won by judgment of Hunter Perez (Mat. Olive) 35-10 (3-2 December); 190: Remy Brancato Bergen-Catholics) 32-6 won in a tie-break – 1 over Danny Didjowakin (Delsey) 38-6 (TB-1 3-2); 215: Aidan Schlett (St. Joseph’s Montvale) 30-10 won judgment of Brendan Raleigh (North Hunterd) on) 38-5 (5-0 December); Chvi: Lorenzo Partela (Catholic of Red Bang) with a score of 29-4 won over Brendan Hansen (Heathstown) with a score of 38-7 (drop 1:48)

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