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Kingsway Duals to feature top wrestling teams

The Dragons will host some of the state's top programs as well as powerhouse teams from Maryland and Louisiana in an eight-team event that will kick off the wrestling season.

The Kingsway boys’ wrestling team will host powerhouse opponents from both inside and outside the state at the eight-team Kingsway Duals Saturday.

The competition at the school in Woolwich, Gloucester County, will feature top New Jersey programs such as Delbarton, St. Joseph of Montvale, Pope John and St. Augustine Prep as well the host Dragons, with all five of those teams projected to be among the top 20 in New Jersey this season.

In addition, the event will feature out-of-state programs such as Sun Valley (Pa.), St. Paul’s (Md.) and Brother Martin (La.).

“This fits with our philosophy of trying to compete against the best possible competition,” Kingsway coach Mike Barikian said.

Wrestling will begin with opening matches at 10 a.m. There will be additional matches in pool competition at noon, and 2 pm.

The championship and cross-over matches will be at 4 p.m.

Kingsway, St. Augustine Prep, St. Paul’s and Delbarton will be in Pool A. Each of those teams will wrestle the others in pool competition.

Pope John, St. Joseph of Montvale, Brother Martin and Sun Valley will be in Pool B. Each of those teams will wrestle the others in pool competition.

The event will feature some of the top individual wrestlers in the state as well as some of the best wrestlers in the country.

Sun Valley features Hunter Catko, who won the Pennsylvania state championship at 220 pounds last season. Catko is No. 2 in the country at 220 pounds by FloWrestling.

St. Paul’s is led by Kurt McHenry, who was 55-0 last season as a sophomore at 106 pounds. He’s a two-time Beast of the East champion. McHenry is No. 2 in the country at 120 pounds by FloWrestling.

Brother Martin’s most decorated wrestler is senior Daniel Croy, a two-time Louisiana state champion who was 39-1 last season. Brother Martin features three other wrestlers who won state titles last season.

Kingsway has a loaded lineup of lightweights led by juniors such as McKenzie Bell, who was 7th in the state last season at 113 pounds, and Cheney Kinner, as well as sophomores Finnegan McFadden and Jake Gentile and freshman Dakota Morris.

“It’s going to be great for our younger kids to face this kind of competition,” Barikian said.

Delbarton features two-time state champion Anthony Clark, a junior who won titles at 106 and 113 pounds, respectively, in his first two seasons. He’s No. 13 in the country at 120 pounds.

Delbarton’s other state contenders include sophomore Nico Nardone, who is No. 6 in the country at 113 pounds as well as junior Luke Chakonis at 195 pounds, senior Vince Andreano at 160 pounds and senior A.J. Lonski at 170 pounds.

The Delbarton vs. St. Augustine match in pool competition should be highlighted by some spirited individual bouts as the Hermits will be led by standouts such as sophomore Mike Misita at 195 pounds, junior Joe Colon at 170 pounds and senior Connor Kraus at 160 pounds.

St. Jospeh Montvale is led by Sammy Alvarez, a two-time state runner-up. He’s No. 6 in the country at 126 pounds.

Pope John features JoJo Aragona, a three-time state place-winner. He’s FloWrestling’s No. 1 wrestler in the country at 138 pounds.

“Some of these weight classes are just loaded,” Barikian said.