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The Manalapan High School wrestling team celebrates first place at the NJSIAA District 18 tournament on February 19 in Manalapan. This is the first district championship for the brave since 2017. STEVEN BASSIN / STAFF

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190-pound Luke Dupont at Holmdale High School defeats Kenny Wines of Manalapan in 45 seconds during the final of the 18th NJSIAA District Tournament on February 19 in Manalapan. STEVEN BASIN / STAFF

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Anthony Vitola, a 120-pound Manalapan high school, kills Edan Samson-Huggins of East Brunswick during the final of the 18th NJSIAA District Tournament. Vitola won with a score of 13-2 by the main decision. STEVEN BASSIN / STAFF

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Manalapan High School, 113-pound, Andrew Muciola knocks Garva Sena out of South Brunswick at 1:45 during the final of the NJSIAA District 18. STEVEN BASSIN / STAFF

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Vincent Kane, who weighs 126 pounds at Manalapan High School, could get Anthony Peacock out of Holmdale in the final of the 18th NJSIAA District Tournament. Cain won 13-6. STEVEN BASIN / STAFF

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The 157-pound Jaden Gala of Holmdale High School knocks Darius Colenton out of Manalapan on the carpet and finishes with a 1:49 pins victory during the semifinals of the 18th NJSIAA District Tournament. Halo took second place in the tournament. STEVEN BASIN / STAFF

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John Steele, who weighs 175 pounds at Holmdel High School, beat Ryan Vasnitzer of Manalapan in the semifinals of the 18th NJSIAA District 18. Steele won the bowling match and finished second in the tournament. STEVEN BASIN / STAFF


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The Manalapan High School wrestling team celebrates first place at the NJSIAA District 18 tournament on February 19 in Manalapan. This is the first district championship for the brave since 2017. STEVEN BASSIN / STAFF

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190-pound Luke Dupont at Holmdale High School defeats Kenny Wines of Manalapan in 45 seconds during the final of the 18th NJSIAA District Tournament on February 19 in Manalapan. STEVEN BASIN / STAFF

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Anthony Vitola, a 120-pound Manalapan high school, kills Edan Samson-Huggins of East Brunswick during the final of the 18th NJSIAA District Tournament. Vitola won with a score of 13-2 by the main decision. STEVEN BASSIN / STAFF

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Manalapan High School, 113-pound, Andrew Muciola knocks Garva Sena out of South Brunswick at 1:45 during the final of the NJSIAA District 18. STEVEN BASSIN / STAFF

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Vincent Kane, who weighs 126 pounds at Manalapan High School, could get Anthony Peacock out of Holmdale in the final of the 18th NJSIAA District Tournament. Cain won 13-6. STEVEN BASIN / STAFF

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The 157-pound Jaden Gala of Holmdale High School knocks Darius Colenton out of Manalapan on the carpet and finishes with a 1:49 pins victory during the semifinals of the 18th NJSIAA District Tournament. Halo took second place in the tournament. STEVEN BASIN / STAFF

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John Steele, who weighs 175 pounds at Holmdel High School, beat Ryan Vasnitzer of Manalapan in the semifinals of the 18th NJSIAA District 18. Steele won the bowling match and finished second in the tournament. STEVEN BASIN / STAFF


In the last wrestling competition of the 2021-2022 season, during which team results were counted, the Manalapan High School Browser scored 213 points to win the NJSIAA 18 District Team Championship on February 19 at home.

The Brave won their first district team title since 2017 and the ninth crown of the program. Manalapan has released four district champions and will send 10 wrestlers to the V Region tournament. The top three wrestlers in each weight category go to the regions.

Coach Scott Pressman said: “I’m just happy for the kids. Our guys have grown a lot this year and fought well enough to win. They came to work every day as we asked them to. I was happy to see that everything was united for them. “

Andrew Muchiola (113), Anthony Vitola (120), Vincent Kane (126) and Vincent DePierre (132) won the district title and helped bring the “Brave” to first place among the nine competing teams.

In the 113-pound final Muciola defeated Garva Sena of South Brunswick at 1:45 to win his first district title. Muciola 27-4 in his sophomore year.

Vitola, who is a junior, won his first district crown with a score of 13-2 by the main court decision over Edan Samson-Huggins of East Brunswick in the 120-pound championship.

Winning the title was a buyout for Vitola, who lost in a fight for the district’s 106-pound district championship title as a freshman. The coronavirus pandemic has canceled the 2020-2021 district tournament.

“It’s nice to win, especially after there were no districts last year,” Vitola said. “At every practice you look at the district board (at school) and see who has won over the years. It was cool to see more guys say their names. “

Cain won his district title by defeating No. 1 Anthony Peacock of Holmdell in the final to 126 pounds. Sophomore Manalapan defeated Pavlino 13-6 and improved to 18-8.

DePierre won his district title in the final seconds of the first period in the final to 132 pounds. DePierre turned Madden Abad of Spotswood on his back and pressed him with: 02 left in the period. The victory pushed DePierre’s record to 21-1.

“It’s weird,” DePierre said. “It’s great to win the county as a junior.”

Advait Speuri of Manalapan (106) and Kenny Vince (190) achieved a championship bout in their weight classes, and each grapple finished second to earn trips to the regional tournament.

Anthony Muciola (138), Darius Calentan (157), Ryan Voznitzer (175) and Matt Damato (285) took third place to earn their trips to the regional tournament.

The last two seasons have posed many challenges that Braves and Presman have had to face because of COVID-19. These challenges have made the full season and winning the district team title this winter more rewarding for the program

“It was a relief to go out and compete all season. It was great to be able to finish (regular season) and get into the post-season where kids can participate in state tournaments and win championships. It’s great that we’re going back to who we are as a New Jersey wrestler, ”Pressman said.

Holmdel was the only one another Monmouth County high school that participated in the District 18 tournament. The Hornets finished fourth overall, scoring 136 points.

Luke Dupont (190) won his first district title, scoring Wine in the final for: 45. In the semi-final match against Russell Novak of East Brunswick DuPont recorded pins in: 19.

“It’s great,” DuPont said. “In past district tournaments I’ve had a very tough competition, so I feel great to finally come out on top.”

DuPont is 29-2 and he aims to advance to the state tournament, like his brother Scott in 2018. Scott Dupont has been a two-time district champion for the Hornets and is the school’s only winner of state tournaments in the program’s history since four years ago ranked sixth at 152 pounds.

“I hope I will be able to rise to the podium at the state tournament,” he said. “My brother was sixth. I hope I can beat him and become the fifth. “

In Holmdel, seven wrestlers qualified for the Region V tournament.

Peacock (126), Alexander Todiska (150), Jaden Gala (157), Jack Clear (165) and John Steele (175) took second place in the district tournament, and Rowan Blackmore (106) won the fight for third place with a score of 9 – 4 decision to qualify for the regions.

Second in the team standings was Hopewell Valley Central High School from Mercer County with 196 points. Middle Brunswick High School of Middlesex County finished third in the team standings with 148 points.

The Region V tournament will be held at Hunterdan Central Regional High School in Flemington from 25 February.

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