Shore Conference Wrestling

Overall Record:  21-3 /  Shore Conference:  10-1  /  A-North:  6-1



2024 Record: 21-3
#5 in Shore Conference
CJG5 Sectional Semifinalists
District 18 Champions
4th Place Shore Conference Tournament
2nd Place A-North
18th Consecutive Season with 20+ Wins (Not including Covid-Season) Wrestler of the Year
(Fr) Tanner Hodgins - 165
Record: 35-6
6th Place State Tournament  /  3rd Place Region 5  /  District 18 Champion
Shore Conference Tournament Champion
Tied Program Record For Most Wins By A Freshman

 2024 Season

(1 Medal Winner)

6th: Tanner Hodgins (165)
WB4: Giovanni Scafidi (138)
WB3: Luke Johnston (106)
WB2: Xavier Ortega (132)  /  Dane Colfer (215)

Tanner Hodgins made it nine years in a row for the Rebels having at least one State Medalist by placing 6th at 165-pounds at this year's State Tournament.

Hodgins is the Rebels' second freshman to win a medal at States since 2021, and is the heaviest Rebel freshman to ever place at States.


Howell (5 Medal Winners)
2nd: Luke Johnston (106)  /  Xavier Ortega (132)  /  Giovanni Scafidi (138)  
3rd: Tanner Hodgins (Howell)
4th: Dane Colfer (215)
6th: JJ Machnik (150)
PQ: Shane Maghan (113)  /  Aidan Grant (144)  /  Ray Purrelli (175)  /  Stephen McGuire (190)

Howell had a string of eight straight seasons with a Region Champion snapped at this year's tournament, settling instead for five medal winners to make it nine consecutive seasons with at least five medalists.

The Rebels had a trio of finalists in senior Giovanni Scafidi, junior Xavier Ortega, and freshman Luke Johnston. Scafidi earned his fourth 2nd-place medal, while Ortega picked up a 2nd after finishing 1st the previous two seasons.

That trio will be joined in Atlantic City by freshman Tanner Hodgins, who took 3rd at 165, and senior Dane Colfer, who finished 4th at 215.


Howell  (1st Place  /  5 Champs  /  10 Medal Winners) 
1st: Luke Johnston (106)  /  Xavier Ortega (132)  /  Giovanni Scafidi (138)  /  Tanner Hodgins (165)  /  Dane Colfer (215)
2nd: JJ Machnik (150)
3rd: Shane Maghan (113)  /  Aidan Grant (144)  /  Ray Purrelli (175)  /  Stephen McGuire (190)

The Rebels out-pointed Middletown North by 2.5 points to won their 3rd consecutive, and 16th overall District Team Title. The 5th most in Shore Conference history.

Junior Xavier Ortega and senior Giovanni Scafidi became the 9th wrestlers in program history to win at least 3 District Championships. 

The Rebels had 5 champions in total for the 2nd consecutive season, bringing their all-time total to 162, 3rd best in Shore Conference history.


QF: Howell  44  -  Old Bridge  30  (BOX SCORE)
SF: Hunterdon Central  45  -  Howell  27  (

#5 Howell  62  -  Egg Harbor Twp  15  (BOX SCORE)
#5 Howell  54  -  Williamstown  12  (BOX SCORE)
#5 Howell  78  -  West Morris (Mendham)  3  (BOX SCORE)

#5 Howell  58  -  Westfield  15  (BOX SCORE)
Howell: Going, Machnik, & Casella win by fall; Johnston  X Ortega tech

Howell: X Ortega (20-3); Scafidi (12-1); Machnik (20-4); Hodgins (23-2); Colfer (22-1)

1/29: A-NORTH
#5 Howell  66  -  Manalapan  6  (BOX SCORE)
Howell: 138 - Scafidi (#6 at 144) d. #5 Kain, 14-9; Hodgins (22-2); Colfer (21-1); Machnik (19-4); X Ortega (19-3); Johnston (17-7)
Manalapan: Kilaras (22-3); A Mucciolo (15-9)

#6 Howell  55  -  Red Bank  21  (BOX SCORE)
#6 Howell  42  -  TR East  29  (BOX SCORE)
#6 Howell  54  -  Long Branch  18  (BOX SCORE)

1/24: A-NORTH
#6 Howell  57  -  Freehold Boro  14  (BOX SCORE)
Howell: 215 - #4 Colfer d. #6 Stokes, 2-1; Johnston, X Ortega, Going, Machnik, & Edmonds win by pin
Freehold Boro: Tate wins by pin; Sheridan techs

#6 Howell  55  -  Watchung Hills  18  (BOX SCORE)
Howell: Hodgins (17-2); Colfer (17-1); X Ortega (14-3); Machnik (14-4); Johnston (12-7)

#6 Howell  at  Old Bridge  -  (BOX SCORE)
Howell: Hodgins (16-2); X Ortega (13-3); Colfer (16-1); Scafidi (8-1); Machnik (13-4) 

1/17: A-NORTH
#1 CBA  44  -  #6 Howell  28  (BOX SCORE)
CBA: (106) #1 Coluccio p. #8 Johnston; Kenny, Duffy, Falcone, Nini, & Campagna also pin for Colts
Howell: (150) #9 Machnik d. #3 Venet, 7-3; (132) #2 X Ortega d. #4 Sakoutis, 5-2; Colfer (15-1); Hodgins (15-2)

#6 Howell  57 -  Absegami  21  (BOX SCORE)
Monroe  39  -  #6 Howell  36  (BOX SCORE)
#6 Howell  70  -  Hightstown  6  (BOX SCORE)

1/12: A-NORTH
#6 Howell  38  -  #8 Middletown North  29  (BOX SCORE)

Howell: (106) - #8 Johnston d. #9 Blewett, 4-2; X Ortega, Machnik, & Colfer pin for the Rebels; Hodgins techs
Midd North: Klinsky (16-2); Castelli (13-2); Portman (12-7); Dwyer (11-7)

Howell  49  -  Jackson Memorial  15  (BOX SCORE)
Howell: Cofer, Saweris, & Johnston win by pin; Hodgins, Casella, & X Ortega tech; D Maghan majors
Jackson Mem: Huxford & Adams pin


Howell - 4th Place
6 Medal Winners
1st: Tanner Hodgins (175)
2nd: Sebastian Ortega (138)
3rd: Dane Colfer (215)
4th: JJ Machnik (157)
6th: Luke Johnston (106) / Giovanni Scafidi (144)

Freshman Tanner Hodgins kept the Rebels' streak alive of having at least one champion in each Shore Conference Tournament. Hodgins was one of six medal winners overall for the Rebels, who have had at least four medal winners in each SCT.

1/3: A-NORTH
Howell  65  -  Freehold Twp 12  (BOX SCORE)
Howell: Machnik, Purrelli, Perez, Colfer, Campese, & Johnston pin; Scafidi & Cassella tech
Freehold Twp: Dubnik (9-0) & Grant (7-1) win by pin


Howell  54  -  Pascack Valley  18  (BOX SCORE)
Howell: Machnik, Hodgins, Campese, Johnston, S Maghan, & Lourido win by pin; Scafidi techs; X Ortega majors

12/18: A-NORTH
Howell  34  -  Middletown South  28  (BOX SCORE)
Howell: Scafidi techs in final bout won win it; Hodgins & Johnston pin; McGuire & Colfer also tech; Casella majors
Midd South: .Bernabeo & Smolensky win by pin; Willi majors


Howell (split), Camden, Cherry Hill West, Gloucester, Kingsway, Paulsboro, Phillipsburg, Pitman, St Joseph's (Hammonton)
1st: Dane Colfer (215)
2nd: Aidan Grant (138)
3rd: Tony Lourido (113) / Stephen McGuire (190)


3rd Place
126: Sebastian Ortega (Howell)

8th Place
132: Xavier Ortega (Howell)


12/14: A-NORTH
Howell  56  -  Marlboro  15  (BOX SCORE)
Howell: Bonus: Johnston, Casella, Machnik, Hodgins, Saweris (pin); Scafidi (tech); Lourido, Going, & McGuire (major)
Marlboro: Palagano & Margolin (pin); Falcone (dec)


2024 Howell Wrestling


Head Coach: John Gagliano (27th Season / Career: 544-91)
A-North / CJG5 / District 18 / Region 5

Where They Open: 12/14 vs Marlboro
Opening Tournament: 12/16 - Beast of the East & Paulsboro Tournament (split)


With the exception of the abbreviated Covid season in 2021, Howell has had at least 20 dual wins every year since 2006. While they lost some key wrestlers to graduation, including State medalist DJ Henry, a pair of State qualifiers in Kieran Bruen and Gavin Merkel, and heavyweight Thomas Richards, a 27-match winner, few teams have shown the ability to reload the way the Rebels have under the Shore Conference's all-time winningest coach, John Gagliano.

As per the norm, the Rebels have their usual mix of established stars, talented freshmen, and next man up depth wrestlers replacing departed starters without the team missing a beat. A trio of those established stars returning potentially fall in the 132-144 range in seniors Sebastian Ortega and Giovanni Scafidi, and junior Xavier Ortega. Sebastian, who will be continuing his career at Princeton next year, enters the season with 76 career wins. A 2-time District Champion, Sebastian is a 3-time State qualifier and placed 5th as a freshman in 2021. Sebastian's brother, Xavier, has 71 victories in his first two seasons, and is the first Howell wrestler in program history to win District & Region titles in each of his first two seasons. Like the Ortega brothers, Scafidi is also a 2-time District Champion. He's a 3-time State qualifier, having finished 2nd at Regions in each of his three seasons, and has an outside shot of hitting 100 career wins this year as he enters the season with 59 victories.

Another veteran returning for the Rebels in the middle of the lineup is senior JJ Machnik, a 27-bout winner who finished 2nd in D22, and placed 6th at Regions at 138.

Up top, senior Dane Colfer is the most experienced of the group. Colfer is a 2-time District medalist, who placed 6th in the Region last year at 215. He can provide some veteran leadership as the Rebels break in some new starters in the uppwerweights. Among the newcomers up here, keep an eye on freshman Tanner Hodgins, who finished in 5th-place at the Intermediate States last season, and was also a champion at the Tulsa Nationals in the 15U group back in January.

Junior Mason Hultman and sophomore Tony Lourido are the most experienced of the group down low. Expect a lot of competition for the  lineup spots down here the returners, the aforementioned depth guys, and a promising incoming group of freshmen that includes Luke Johnston, who placed 6th at Intermediate States in 2022.

There's a good mix of both talented youth and veterans to this year's roster. The early dates on the schedule, including the opportunity to avenge last season's opening night loss to Middletown South on the 20th, will be very important to break in some of the newcomers to the lineup before the Rebels hit a particularly tough/key 7-day span in mid-January that includes a trip to Jackson Memorial, a divisional match with a very tough Middletown North, and the crack at defending A-North champ CBA. Other notable dates on the schedule include a home dual vs. defending Group 2 champion, High Point, and road trips to Old Bridge and Watchung Hills, as well as the Moorestown Duals, which should have the Rebels plenty tested once they hit February and look to successfully defend their CJG5 Sectional title.


Possible Lineup

Wgt Wrestler2023 Notes
106 (Fr) Luke Johnston  
106 (Fr) Shane Maghan  
106 (Jr) John Sullivan0-3 
113 (Jr) Mason Hultman10-14 
113 (Fr) Braydon Casella  
113 (So) Lucas Varrial1-7 
120 (So) Tony Lourido7-9 
126 (Fr) Connor Acker  
132 (Sr) Sebastian Ortega36-6 (D-1st / R-2nd / NJ-WB4) 76 career wins / 5th-NJ in 2021 / 3x-NJ Qualifier
132 (Fr) Anthony Pesina  
138 (Sr) Giovanni Scafidi27-6 (D-1st / R-2nd / NJ-WB3) 59 career wins / 3x-NJ Qualifier
138 (Jr) Xavier Ortega36-6 (D-1st / R-1st / NJ-WB4) 71 career wins / 2x-District & Region Champ
144 (Sr) Aiden Grant12-14 (D-4th) 
144 (Sr) Marcello Romano1-1 
150 (Sr) Dylan Maghan4-8 
150 (Fr) Tyler Going  
157 (Sr) JJ Machnik27-12 (D-2nd / R-6th) 
165 (Jr) Devin Perez3-9 
175 (So) Ray Purrelli7-16 
175 (Fr) Tanner Hodgins  
175 (Jr) Travis Edmonds0-7 
190 (Sr) Stephen McGuire  1-1 in 2022
190 (So) Julian Del Prete  
215 (Sr) Dane Colfer14-8 (D-3rd / R-6th) 2x-District Medalist
215 (Sr) Jason Willey1-7 
Hwt (Sr) Jaxson Campese5-4 
Hwt (Jr) Mike Saweris1-6 






405 Squankum-
Yellowbrook Rd.
Farmingdale, NJ 07727
(732) 919-2131
(Monmouth County)


Program Est.


Navy & Gray

Head Coach
John Gagliano
(27th Season in 2024)

Pat Trabucco
Nick Farrar
Walter Bayne

Kyle Slendorn
Willie Scott
Petey Reilly
Kyle Cocozza
Anthony Gagliano
Sean Silverstein
Joe Falco
Cole Cameron
Todd Going
Rich Famularo
Mike Verrochi

CJ Group 5





2 - Group Titles
Last: Group 5 - 2018

6 - Sectional Titles
Last: CJG5 - 2023

16 - District Team Titles
Last: D18 - 2024

4 - SCT Titles
Last: 2020

25 - Division Titles
Last: A-North in 2022 (tri)

5 - State Champions
Last: Hunter Mays - 2022

37 - State Medalists
Last: Tanner Hodgins - 2024

43 - Region Champions
Last: Xavier Ortega & DJ Henry - 2023

162 - District Champions
Last: 5 in 2024

10 - SCT Champions
Last: Tanner Hodgins - 2024

29 - SCT Medalists
Last: 6 in 2024


Career Wins Record - 165
Shane Reitsma

Season Wins Record - 42
Joey Langel
Harry Turner

Kyle Slendorn
Eric Keosseian

Kyle Slendorn

Shane Reitsma

Shane Reitsma


100 Career Wins Club

 Shane Reitsma165
 Kyle Slendorn158
 Darby Diedrich156
 Zac Cunliffe138
 Joey Langel128
 Christian Murphy128
 Anthony Gagliano121
 Cody Fobes119
 Joey Schultz117
 Mike Shaughnessy115
 Kris Lindemann113
 Jimmy Slendorn112
 Ben Esposito111
 Daniel Esposito110
 Paul Jakub107
 Billy Woodward101
 Jason Ecklof101
 Tom Tuminelli 100


100 Career Wins Club
(Includes Wins At Other Schools)

 Eric Keosseian - Squan133
 Neiko Malone - RV 108

Squan = Manasquan
RV = Rancocas Valley



NCAA All-Americans

Todd Going
Montclair State

Division 3
1999: 7th Place (197)


Glen Sandull
Trenton State

Division 3
1991: 6th Place (190)
1993: Nat'l Champ (Hwt)
1994: Nat'l Champ (Hwt)


Kyle Slendorn
Stevens Institute

Division 3
2022: 4th Place (141)
2023: 5th Place (141)