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Another Strong Showing by South Jersey..

Another Strong Showing by South Jersey.. Another Strong Showing by South Jersey High School Wrestlers

It was another strong end of the season for South Jersey high school wrestlers who captured three state championships and another two finished runner-up.

Desea senior Billy Janzer won his second straight state title, this year at 182 pounds. He beat Josh McKenzie of Bergen Catholic, 3-2 in overtime.

Camden Catholic junior Lucas Revano used a late reversal to earn a 4-3 victory over Kyle Slendorn of Howell at 132 pounds. Revano finished his junior season 39-4.

The third South Jersey champion was the most impressive. Kingsway senior Quinn Kinner earned an 11-2 major decision over Ocean Township’s Jake Benner in the 138-pound final.

Kinner was the No. 1 seed and he had a commanding presence throughout the tournament. He opened with a technical fall (16-1). In the pre-quarterfinals he earned a pin at 5:08. Kinner was then a 6-0 winner in the quarterfinal before earning a third-period fall in the semifinals before his victory in the final.

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He finished 46-0 this year and now will take his talents to Ohio State, wrestling in the Big 10, among the best conference in collegiate wrestling.

Camden Catholic’s Revano was the No. 4 seeded wrestler at 132-pounds. He opened the tournament with two convincing wins, a 10-4 decision and a 10-2 major decision. In the quarterfinal, he earned a 7-6 decision over No. 5 seeded Jake Rotunda of Pope John, which began a trio of nail-bitters.

That was followed by a 3-2 win over top seeded Nicholas Raimo of Hanover Park before his dramtic one-point win over the third-seeded Slendorn.

Last year Janzer won the state title at 170 pounds.

In this year’s 182 pound championship, Janzer was the No. 1 seed and was a dominant wrestler leading up to the final. He opened with a first period pin, a 15-6 major decision and a 13-6 decision in his first three bouts. In the semifinal he was a 14-7 winner before being tested to the limit by the second-seeded and previously undefeated McKenzie. Janzer finished the year 33-0.

Pennsville’s Kody Wood was runner-up at heavyweight while Delsea’s Nick Bennett was a finalist at 145.

That means that South Jersey has wrestlers competing in five of the 14 state championships. As stated before, one of the hardest accomplishments in high school sports is winning a state title. It requires not only incredible skill, but the utmost stamina.

Winning one year doesn’t assure it will happen the following season, simply because especially in New Jersey, there are so many quality wrestlers.

We’ve written repeatedly that New Jersey is among the top wrestling states in the country and to win a state title in the Garden State, really shows great skill and perseverance.

For South Jersey, three wrestlers left Atlantic City, upholding the sport’s great local tradition as well.

Photo credit: SUSAN LEGGETT / Shutterstock.com

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For more Local Sports features, visit our South Jersey Sports page.


Author: Marc Narducci

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