Welcome to the 4th Annual DESPO's! Everyone's favorite awards where the winners don't actually receive anything!
Team of the Year - Southern Regional
The Rams had some bumps early on, dropping a pair of A-South matches, and losing a tight match to High Point, but following a 33-21 loss on January 22nd to South Plainfield, the Rams straight up caught fire. It started with a doubling-up of Phillipsburg, 32-16, and carried them all the way to the SJG5 Championship where they snapped Howell's 78-match win streak, to win their 13th Sectional Title, and lock up the #1 ranking in the Shore. Two days later, the Rams would go on to defeat Passaic Tech and Hunterdon Central to win the Group 5 State Championship, their 3rd overall.
Small School of the Year - Shore Regional
It was the best season in the program's history, as the Blue Devils claimed their 8th Division Title, their first ever Sectional Championship, had their 2nd ever State Medal Winner (Jack Maida), and finished ranked in the Shore Conference Top 10 for the first time in program history.
Wrestler of the Year - Robert Kanniard (Wall)
Kanniard, the State Champion at 160 pounds, finished the season at a perfect 46-0, a single-season record in the Shore. He ends his high school career as the Shore Conference's all-time wins leader with 165 victories.
Freshman of the Year - Nico Diaz (St John Vianney)
Diaz was the furthest advancing freshmen from the Shore at this year's State Tournament, finishing just one win shy of a State Medal. For the season, he won 29 bouts, finished 2nd in District 17, 3rd in Region 5, and 2nd at the Robin Leff Invitational
Coach of the Year - John Stout (Southern) & Dave Porta (Shore)
Dual Of The Year (Tie)
2/18: SJG5 Final: Southern 30 - Howell 28
In a matchup between the top 2 teams in the Shore, the Rams snapped the Rebels 78-meet win streak to win the SJG5 Championship.
12/15: Jackson Memorial 30 - Manalapan 21
The first ever scholastic girls wrestling event in New Jersey took place in front of a great crowd at Manalapan High School, as the Jags topped the Braves in the first of what should be many future all-girls dual meets.
Match Of The Year
Neiko Malone (Howell) d. Michael Conklin (TR East) - SCT 126-pound Final
Back and forth match with great scrambles. Malone pulled off the upset, 13-11, to win the 126-pound crown at the Shore Conference Tournament.
Twitter Account of the Year (4-time winner)
(Live updates, videos, and more) Give him a follow, won't you?
The Big Assist Award - Steve Falk - Asbury Park Press (4-time winner)
Helps in countless ways and makes this (nightmare of a site at times) much easier to get info.
The Best New Thing In 2019
Girls Wrestling. Great turnout for a lot of programs as the NJSIAA implemented a Girls Region & State Tournament. It was a total success. The numbers should only increase and lead to bigger things.
Despo's most butchered/misspelled/oops, I called him his brother/cousin Honor Roll:
This is ALWAYS my favorite... and serves as an apology as well.
Pete, I mean MATT, Benedetti (Manalapan)
Tyler Klinsky and Thomas O'Keefe, NOT Thomas Klinsky and Tyler O'Keefe (Middletown North)
Dante Morris, NOT former New York Ranger Derek Morris (Lakewood)
Justin Acevedo, NOT former New York Met Juan Acevedo (Raritan)
Travis Tuminelli, NOT Thomas Tuminelli (Middletown South)
Vic DiPianta goes to Brick Memorial, Mike DiPianta goes to Barnegat
Central Regional has not been in B-South for 3 years.
Victor WladiKa, NOT Victor WladiCa (Holmdel)
Xavier Kelly, NOT former Florida State bust Xavier Lee (Howell)
Jason Sherlock, NOT Jimmy Sherlock (Pt Beach)
All of the Poniros's (Ocean Township)
And all the others...
Worst Sport Played During Wrestling Season with a BasketballBasketball (Repeat winner)
Despo's All-I Didn't Mention These Guys Enough During The Season And I Probably Should Have Team
106: Cole Meyer (Wall)
113: Lance Hobbs (Jackson Memorial)
120: Gabe Scalise (Shore)
126: Jacob Maroukis (Donovan Catholic)
132: Zach Vasile (Marlboro)
138: Steve Pabone (Long Branch)
145: Jared Crippen (Brick Memorial)
152: Dmytro Lakusta (Lakewood)
160: Victor Olimpio (Monmouth)
170: Sam Akinlolu (TR South)
182: Naijere Hutchinson (Neptune)
195: Jarrid Markowitz (Freehold Twp)
220: Cade Torres (Shore)
Hwt: Alex Nappi (St Rose)
Busiest Website Day Of The Season Award
Region Saturday with over 100,000 hits on the site.
Weight Of The Year Award
182. 10 wrestlers from the Shore qualified for the State Tournament at this weight, with Nick Addison (4th) and Christian Murphy (7th) winning medals.
The Thing I Want To See in 2019 Award
Every team with a Twitter account! (Repeat Winner)
Thanks Again For A Great 2019!