Over the last several years, Pinelands has been really working on building the program back up, from the ground up. The feeder and middle school program are now beginning to produce the rewards from the work, as the numbers in the program rise, and the talent level increases.
One of those young standouts that arrived last season is sophomore Mason Livio, who had a strong rookie season for the Wildcats in 2020, racking up 27 wins, and earning a 3rd-place medal at the Districts. Along with returning starter Austin Koeppen, a senior, Livio and Koeppen give Pinelands some good experience as several freshmen look to make an impact into the lineup, including Sam Magee, Beau LeFevre, Logan Celauro, and Josiah Hart, the son of one of the program's all-time greats, John Hart, a 2-time State Placer, and 3-time Region Champ for Pinelands in the 90's.
In the middle, some of the youngsters from last season's squad will be looking to build off the experience gained from last year. Among that group are junior Thomas Exel, and sophomores Mark Siino and Gio Rosetti.
The Wildcats have their most experience returning from 160-Hwt. Senior Gavin Stewart is the big name back up here. Stewart is a 2-time District Medalist, and finished 6th in Region 8 last season. He has his eyes on putting together a big postseason run in 2021. Also in the fold up top are returning starters Gavin Wagner, Tom McNeil, and Dylan Servis. They are joined by junior Luis Salto, a starter last year for Barnegat. Keep an eye on junior heavy Mateo Mena who has grown into the heavyweight class and could be a breakout contender in the weight class this season.
Things are definitely looking up for the Wildcats. The numbers throughout all levels are up, and the varsity is going to have a full lineup for the first time under head coach Joe Adelizzi's tenure. There's an enthusiasm in the program, and they are putting in the work as they are looking towards big things now, and into the future.