The NJSIAA power point wrestling rankings of the top teams in South Jersey offer no surprises. In the preseason rankings, which actually came out two weeks into the season, Paulsboro, the perennial South Jersey and state power, was selected No. 1 in the South rankings.
Paulsboro is the defending state Group 1 champion. Since the advent of team state championships in 1982, nobody has won more titles than Paulsboro, owner of 30 state crowns.
Here are the South ratings, which expand past the seven-county South Jersey area, also including teams from Ocean County.
Ranking/Team, Power points, Region
To get a barometer on the state tournament, here are the various Groups that the 12 ranked teams will compete in.
SJ Group 1: (2) Paulsboro, Collingswood.
SJ Group 2: (2) Haddonfield, Pt. Pleasant Boro
SJ Group 3: (3) Delsea, Gateway-Woodbury, Mainland.
SJ Group 4 (2) Toms River North, Clearview.
SJ Group 5: (3) Kingsway, Egg Harbor Township, Southern Regional.
Seven of the 12 are from Region 7, four from Region 8 and one from Region 6.
Here are a couple of early-season happenings among the raked teams.
Delsea won the team title at the Robin Leff Invitation, hosted by Southern Regional. The winning Crusaders scored 202.5 points, while second place Southern Regional had 180.5 points.
Delsea had four individual champions, Tim Spatola at 138-pounds, Nick Bennett (145), Bill Janzer (182) and Tom Maxwell (195). Janzer is the defending state champion at 170 pounds. (NJ.com later reported that Janzer was expected to miss a few weeks due to school rules infraction).
*Kingsway beat Jackson, 34-28 in the Cherokee duals. Jackson is No. 7 in the Central Jersey rankings. The Dragons received pins from Cheney Kinner (120 pounds), Finnegan McFadden (126) and Quinn Kinner (152). Quinn Kinner is the defending state champion at 132 pounds.
*Egg Harbor Township won its own tournament, edging two other South Jersey preseason ranked teams.
EHT had 149 points, while Haddonfield totaled 147.5 and Clearview finished with 146.5.
*In an interesting dual meet between ranked SJ teams, Gateway-Woodbury beat Collingswood, 44-28. Senior Chase Conover, in his first season as a wrestler, got the clinching pin at 160 pounds.