Last year, the Middletown South wrestling team captured their first District championship since 1996. Seven members of the squad took individual crowns at the District 20 tournament. The Eagles also claimed four silver and two bronze medals at the Districts.
Of those 13 medalists, 10 have been lost to graduation. South is facing a rebuilding year.
However, there will be plenty of excitement about a pair of seniors, David Hussey and Jack Zaleski, as they are legitimate contenders for a state title. Both took gold at District 20 and Region 5 last season. Zaleski went on to place fourth in the NJSIAA Tournament.
Zaleski wrestled at 126 last year and will likely move to 132. Duke University-bound Hussey will probably man the 150 slot.
Alec Holland, the third Holland brother to wrestle for South, scored a bronze last season at the Districts. The junior will likely compete at 138.
Quinn Curley should get the call at 157 pounds, making the middleweights the strength of the lineup.
Heavyweight Tommy Whyte picked up nine victories last year in a backup role to the graduated Dante Miranda. He seemed to improve later in the season and should be considered a bright prospect. Zach Veniskey should be a factor at the other end of the roster.
There is an abundance of spots to fill and plenty of unknowns about this squad. One thing is certain – there will plenty of new faces in the South gym.