1. Paulsboro (21-2 last season): The Red Raiders return 10 starters, including 138-pound state champion Ronnie Gentile, a senior who will team with classmates Sam and Mike Morina - the sons of coach Paul Morina - along with Mick Croce to form an imposing row of light-middleweights. Seniors Niko Savaiinaea and Davante Randall are tough up top and junior Zach Richards could be a hammer at 170.

2. St. Augustine (21-3): The Hermits have a loaded lineup led by junior 126 Reid White and senior 160 Jared Hodges, along with senior 285 Tom Lynd. The Hermits will get a lift from the addition of sophomore 120 Jared Carr, a transfer from Millville.

3. Clearview (24-1): The defending Group 3 state champions will compete in Group 4 with wrestling expanding to five groups this seaon. Clearview didn't wrestle Paulsboro last season because the match was canceled by snow and never made up. This year's battle will be fascinating to watch, with a lot of manuevering for matchups in the middle weights. Leading the way for the Pioneers will be junior 126 Zack Firestone, along with sophomore 138 Mike Van Brill, senior 152 Ed Lenkowski and junior 170 Kyle McMahon.

4. Highland (23-3): The Tartans have reemerged as a South Jersey power and should take another step into prominence this season. They should challenge Delsea in SJ 3. Highland has a deep, experienced lineup led by junior 113 Lucas Seigfried, junior 132 Josh Clark, senior 160 Sheldon Morris and senior 220 Mark Gillis, among others.

5. Delsea (24-6): The Crusaders return 11 starters, led by senior 126 Tom Carney, junior 152 Dom DeMarco and senior 220 Vic DeFrance, among several other accomplished veterans. Frosh 132 Bill Janzer could make an immediate impact.

6. Collingswood (30-6): The Panthers return 11 starters from a team with seven district champions. They will look to challenge Paulsboro in the Colonial Conference and SJ 1, starting with an early showdown Dec. 22 in the Red Raiders' gymnasium. Leading the way for Collingswood will be senior 182 Pat Miles, along with senior 170 Billy Crowley and junior 138 Christian Dolan.

7. Kingsway (16-9): The Dragons will be led by junior 132 Stanley Atkinson, along with the Kinner brothers, sophomore 113 Trace and freshman 106 Quinn. There's a lot of experience in the upper weights.

8. Holy Cross (11-15): The Lancers have a hammer at 195 in junior Matt Correnti, who was third in the state. Other top returners include junior 132 Rob Rodolico, sophomore 152 Avery DiNardi and senior 170 Kenny Long, the Region 7 champion.

9. Haddonfield (15-9): The Bulldogs should have a solid lineup, led by senior 170 Crawford Oswald, senior 152 Jake Klaus and senior 120 Eric Feldhake.

10. Gateway (19-11): The Gators could challenge Haddonfield for South Jersey Group 2 supremacy. Senior 138 Tyler Bloss, senior 145 Vince Ferretti and senior 160 Tom Miller will set the pace. Junior 220 Frank Wehymiller, a transfer from Deptford, is a big addition, and the Gators could have one of South Jersey's top freshmen classes.

Under consideration: Buena (11-8), Cherry Hill West (21-4), Cherokee (21-9), Eastern (10-16), Pennsauken (20-5), Shawnee (14-8).

-Phil AnastasiaEndText