By Phil Anastasia
Nine wrestlers will enter the Region 8 tournament with perfect records.
Six of them could square off in three championship bouts on Saturday night.
The individual state wrestling tournament hits high gear this week with action at Region 8 at Egg Harbor Township High School and Region 7 at Robbinsville High School.
Opening-round bouts are Wednesday, with competition continuing on Friday and Saturday.
The top three wrestlers at each weight class in each region will advance to the state championships March 7-8-9 in Atlantic City.
Region 8 could see three championship bouts between undefeated wrestlers, including a clash between St. Augustine Prep senior Jack Clark (19-0) and Clearview junior Ed Lenkowski (29-0) at 152 pounds.
Other possible battles of unbeatens would be Hammonton senior Kellen Whitney (38-0) and Clayton/Glassboro senior Nick Rodriguez (32-0) at 170 pounds, and Millville senior Ed Shockley (33-0) and Lower Cape May senior Cory Damiana (34-0) at 195 pounds.
Other undefeated wrestlers in Region 8 are Clearview sophomore Zach Firestone (32-0 at 113), Clearview senior John Van Brill (32-0 at 145) and Delsea senior Bryan Dobzanski (36-0 at 220).
Dobzanski (pictured), the defending state champion, has won 82 bouts in a row.
"I know I have a bulls-eye on my back," Dobzanski said last week. "I have to go out and protect my name."
Three wrestlers from the traditional South Jersey region will enter the Region 7 tournament with perfect records.
Camden senior Andrew Stevens (30-0) and Burlington City senior Arthur Diggs (38-0) could meet in Saturday's semifinals at 285 pounds.
Riverside senior Christian Stackhouse also enters the tournament with an undefeated mark (35-0 at 160).
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