By TOM WILLIAMS
The second decade of the 21st century was a good one for Ocean City High School wrestling. Coach Dave Castellini guided the Raiders to seven winning seasons in nine years, the most wins in a single season and the only win ever by OCHS in the NJSIAA Team Tournament..
There were many very good wrestlers on the mats for the Raiders but one of those wrestlers stood above the rest.
Cooper Gallagher finished his career with 104 wins, the fifth highest total in school history. He was a district champion and the only region champion at Ocean City during the decade. His 37 wins as a senior tied Joe Galante’s school record for most at OCHS and he was a three-time all star in the Cape-Atlantic League. Gallagher is selected at 182 pounds and is the Wrestler of the Decade.
But there were more.
Coley O’Brien (126 pounds) had a 34-win season, won four district titles (three at OCHS, two of them in the decade) and finished his career with 90 wins, 71 at Ocean City. Anthony DeSantis (160) won 102 times, including 34 in one season, was a district runner-up twice and reached the regional tournament three times. Dan Pettit (145) was a district champ and region runner-up who had a 31-win season. Luke Demore (160) was a district champion with a 29-win season. Bill Kroeger won a district title and had a 31-win season. And Nick Sannino (285), who will graduate this year, was a two-time all star and district champion.
The best of the decade also included Peyton Bristol (106), who had 75 career wins; Jeremiah Johnson (113), a four year starter; CAL all star David Levin (120), who reached the regions twice; Dustin Oves (132), a four year starter; Cameron Andres (138), who won 78 matches in his career; all star Vinny Levin (152), a district runner-up who won 36 times in one season; Jeremy Grund (195), who won 30 matches in a season and was second in the district; Lucas Pearson (220), who won 27 matches in a season and placed in the regions; and all star Josh Johnson (285), who qualified for the regions twice.
A new decade began on Jan. 1, 2020 so performances since then are not taken into consideration for the 2nd Decade winter sports teams.
More about OCHS wrestling is available here.
Cooper Gallagher joins Joe Galante (1st Decade), Pat Lynch (1990s and 1980s) and Dennis Barr (1970s) as OCHS Wrestlers of the Decade.
The next all-decade team will be in girls basketball.
OCHS Wrestling in the 2nd Decade
2011-12…. 7-16…….Dave Castellini