TOMS RIVER, N.J. -- It was the last of the Morinas on the mat for Paulsboro.

For a while anyway.

It was the last of the Ducas for the foreseeable future, too.

But it wasn’t the last of Paul Morina on the bench, in his white dress shirt and dark tie, leading the Red Raiders to another wrestling victory.

“I’m just as energetic as I was 20 years ago,” Morina said after Paulsboro beat Kittatinny, 63-3, in the Group 1 state final on Sunday night at Toms River North High School.

The victory was the 700th of Morina’s career. In his 34th season, Morina is just the second coach in New Jersey history to reach that plateau.

The victory also marked the Red Raiders’ 32nd state title since 1983, and fourth in a row.

“This senior class has never lost a state championship,” Morina said. “That’s special.”

Paulsboro wrestling coach Paul Morina (right) watches nephew Santino Morina wrestle Kittatinny's Zach Mafaro to a pin their 182-pound match in the Group 1 state final.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
Paulsboro wrestling coach Paul Morina (right) watches nephew Santino Morina wrestle Kittatinny's Zach Mafaro to a pin their 182-pound match in the Group 1 state final.

Adding to the significance of the moment for the fabled program was that Sunday night’s state final marked the final team match for Paul Morina’s son, Anthony, as well as his nephew, Santino.

The two Morinas both scored victories, as did senior Geno Duca, another member of a famous Paulsboro wrestling family.

“That’s what makes it so special,” Paul Morina said of coaching his son and nephew as well as Duca in their final season.

Paulsboro (24-1) won 13 of 14 bouts and registered seven pins.

Santino Morina, a state-title contender at 182 pounds, rallied from a 5-0 deficit to score a second-period pin and bring the red-clad Paulsboro fans to their feet.

“I means so much to wrestle for him because of everything he does,” Santino Morina said of his uncle. “When you’re a kid, you don’t realize how hard he works and how much he does that people don’t see.”

Anthony Morina’s older brothers Sam and Mike were Paulsboro seniors when Paul Morina won his 600th match in 2015.

“It’s just fantastic to be a part of it,” Anthony Morina said.

Asked what it’s like to wrestle for his father, Anthony Morina said, “I couldn’t even tell you. It’s all I’ve ever known. I just know that he’s always in my corner.”

Morina joined Emerson Boro’s Stan Woods, who just finished his 50th season, as the only coaches in New Jersey wrestling history with 700 career wins.

Morina’s record is a 700-43-4.

And he has no intention of stepping down anytime soon.

“It keeps me involved with these kids,” Morina said.

He just won’t win anytime in the near future with any Morinas or Ducas on the mat.

“I guess we’re going to have to start winning with some new names,” Morina said.

Kingsway wins Group 4

Cheney Kinner scored an 8-1 decision in the final bout to clinch Kingsway’s 26-20 victory over Phillipsburg in the Group 4 state final.

Kinner, a junior 138-pounder, took the mat knowing a win would secure the title for the Dragons.

“I knew my team needed me and I wanted to finish it off,” Kinner said.

Neither team registered a pin and there was just one technical fall in the taut championship match.

“Twenty-six to 20 – that’s a great high school match,” Kingsway coach Mike Barikian said.

Camden Catholic wins Non-Public B

Jeremy Nutt scored a 7-6 victory at 195 to send Camden Catholic to a 33-29 victory over Pope John in the Non-Public B state final.

Nutt, a senior 195-pounder who has battled knee injuries for much of his career, sparked the Irish to their 15th overall state title but first since 2013.

Senior 145-pound Lucas Revano, a defending individual state champion, scored a pin at 145 pounds for the Irish.

State championships

Group 1


Paulsboro 61, Delaware Valley 9,

Kittatinny 36, Shore 32


Paulsboro 63, Kittatinny 3

Group 2


High Point 34, West Deptford 33

South Plainfield 37, Hanover Park 25


South Plainfield 46, High Point 26

Group 3


Delsea 33, Montville 30

West Essex 39, Ocean Twp. 16


West Essex 40, Delsea 33

Group 4


Kingsway 34, Jackson 23

Phillipsburg 44, Wayne Valley 16


Kingsway 26, Phillipsburg 20

Group 5

Southern 49, Passaic Tech 12

Hunterdon Central 35, Watchung Hills 25


Southern 34, Hunterdon Central 27

Non-Public A


Bergen Catholic 65, St. Augustine 11

Non-Public B


Camden Catholic 33, Pope John 29