EHT wrestlers prepare for state finals at Boardwalk Hall

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bryant Mike Schultz/Egg Harbor Township’s Shawn Bryant (132) wrestling in the Region 8 Finals last weekend at EHT. The NJSIAA state wrestling tournament begins Friday night, March 8, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

Two wrestlers from Egg Harbor Township - Shawn Bryant (132) and Nigel Toussaint (220) - will join Holy Spirit's Pat D'Arcy (106) and Ray Ellis (HWT), and Atlantic City's Cesar Balmaceda (160) as the only local wrestlers on the long road to a state title.

"They're both very excited, and working pretty hard," EHT coach Mike Caiazza said of Bryant and Toussaint.

Bryant, a senior, started his quest for a state championship with a 6-4 decision over St. Augustine's Jarred Hodges in the District 32 finals.

After a first-round bye in the Region 8 tournament, Bryant squared off with Paulsboro's John Gentile, who defeated him by tech fall 17-2.

The loss sent Bryant into the consolation bracket. If he were to have any shot at meeting his opening-season goal of becoming a state qualifier he needed to win three matches. He won all three.

His first win was a 9-6 decision over Clayton's Cory Jacobs. Next up was a 4-0 decision over Scahlick's John Gallo, and finally a closely contested 4-3 decision over Timber Creek's Isiah DeGuzman.

Bryant earned a third place finish in Region 8 and will now wrestle on opening night in the preliminary round of the state tournament. He is in the top bracket at 132 and will face Roxbury's (6) Jake Legotte.

Legotte finished second in Region 1 and has compiled a 34-6 record this season. The winner of Bryant vs. Legotte will face (3) Justin McTamney from Bordentown. McTamney has compiled a 33-3 record this season and was the top finisher in Region 7 at his weight class.

Toussaint, also a senior, has only wrestled for two years and has a 31-3 record this season. His quest for a state title began when he pinned Buena's Ty Warren in 1:11 to claim his first ever District 32 title.

Toussaint was the second seed in Region 8. After a first round bye, he defeated Ocean City's Josh Johnson 7-1 in the quarters, Milville's Obie Kali in the semis 3-1, and met state power Bryan Dobzanski of Delsea in the finals. He was defeated by pin but still earned second place in Region 8.

Dobzanski is the top seed in the top bracket at 220. Toussaint has earned the sixth seed in the bottom bracket. His preliminary match will be against Region 7 third place finisher, Lloyd Terry (30-4) from Northern Burlington.

The winner of Toussaint vs. Terry will face the winner of Tyler Poling (Brick Memorial) vs. Robert Levine (Wayne Hills). Poling placed second in Region 6 and has a 22-6 record. Levine placed third in Region 1 and has a 24-6 record this season.

This week, both Bryant and Toussaint worked out with members of the Lower Cape May Regional Wrestling team. Toussaint rolled with Cory Damiana (195), a third place finisher in Region 8, and Bryant wrestled with Zach Valcarce (120), who placed second in District 32.

Monday was a drill and technique day for the EHT wrestlers. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Damiana and Valcarce came up to EHT for what coach Caiazza descibed as "hard wrestle days." Thursday they will ease off a little bit.

"They had a good hard practice with those guys (Damiana, Valcarce) and they're feeling good about themselves," Caiazza said about his two seniors.

All their hard work will be tested this Friday when they escape the dim lights of high school gymnasiums for the final destination of New Jersey High School wrestling for 2013, Boardwalk Hall.

"They are both good kids and deserve to be where they are at now," Calazza said.


toussaint Mike Schultz/EHT’s Nigel Toussaint wrestles against Delsea’s Bryan Dobzanski in the 220-pound Region 8 finals last weekend.

NJSIAA Wrestling Championships

Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, March 8-10


  • Friday - 5 p.m. preliminaries and pre-quarter finals
  • Saturday - 10 a.m. Morning session, quarter finals and wrestle-backs I and II
  • Saturday - 5 p.m. Evening session, semi-finals and wrestle-backs III and IV
  • Sunday - 10 a.m. consolations followed by finals and award ceremony at 2 p.m.
  • Doors open one hour prior to each session.

On Saturday, following the morning session, Boardwalk Hall will clear the facility and re-open the doors at 4 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at the Boardwalk Hall Box Office by calling Ticketmaster or through

Senior Citizens (65 and older), children (2-12) and students with a valid grade school or high school ID are eligible for $2 tickets the weekend of the event.

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