2019 Season Preview
Head Coach: John Gagliano (22nd Season / Record: 443-75)
Returning Wins Leader From 2018
Darby Diedrich (41-3)
Returning Career Wins Leader in 2019
Darby Diedrich (118 wins)
Darby Diedrich is 41 wins away from breaking the Shore Conference all-time wins record.
Head Coach John Gagliano is the Shore Conference's all-time winningest coach.
Where They Open
12/15: @ Paulsboro Tournament
Circle The Date
1/30: @ Long Branch - The Rebels have won at least a share of A-North for 13 consecutive seasons. The Green Wave have bumped up to A-North and will host Howell in what should be a matchup of two of the Shore's top teams with Divisional stakes on the line.
It's the same old same old, no? The Rebels graduated a host of top notch talent, but have a swarm of talented newcomers looking to jump right into the lineup, along with the usual strong returning group, as they look to keep things rolling like a well-oiled machine.
We'll start up top in the 170-Hwt range, where junior Shane Reitsma kicks things off. Reitsma has amassed 81 wins in his first two seasons, is a 2-time District Champ, a 2-time Region Medalist, and placed 6th in the State a year ago. He forms a big time 1-2 punch with senior Christian Murphy, a 2-time District Champ, and a Region 6 Champion in 2018. A third starter returns up top in senior Joe Sardina, who placed 3rd at Districts last year. Senior Jake Nase and junior Anthony Sammarco are both experienced and will see a lot of action in the lineup, while the Rebels also senior Jake Wurtz and sophomore Justin Wright ready to take over the heavyweight duties.
The stretch from 138-160 is loaded as four starters return, with a load of depth right behind them looking to contribute as well. Senior Darby Diedrich enters the season with 118 wins. He's a 3-time District Champ, a 2-time Region Champ, 3-time State Qualifier, and a State Medal Winner in 2017. Also back for Howell are seniors Xavier Kelly, a 2-time District & Region Placer, and Evan Richard, a District Medalist in 2017, along with Paul Jakub, who is coming off a huge rookie season that saw him win 34 bouts and punch a ticket to AC. Senior Pierce Gomez was 9-1 last year, and will be aiming towards big things this year with an expanded role.
Down low, junior Ethan Liptzin, a 28-bout winner and District runner-up last year is the lone returning starter. The lineup does get a boost with the addition of sophomore Neiko Malone, a transfer from Rancocas Valley, who won 34 bouts and placed 2nd in District 27 last year. Sophomore Kyle Nase went 5-2 in limited action last season and is another who will be looking for big things with a larger role. Howell also has a bunch of frosh looking to make an impact here that includes Nick Acque and Michael Edmunson, among others.
The Rebels finished 2018 as the top team in the Shore. If they are to repeat, they will have most likely left little doubt as they have top contenders like Long Branch & Manalapan in A-North, and Southern and TR North in the Section, and non-division matches with teams like Middletown North and Jackson Memorial. Bottom line, they're loaded again, and the top spot is theirs until someone takes it from them.