***HEY YOU***
>Like this site?<
Help support this site!

Much Thanks!

Follow me on Twitter. Always a good idea for when I can't access this site.


A quick look back, and a quick look ahead. 

Asbury Park
The Blue Bishops set high marks in 2017. Their seven dual wins this season was the most for the program since it was reestablished in 2007. That can't be undersold for a program that is doing all the right things in trying to continually build itself up for bigger and better things. The three Region Tournament participants was also a high mark since the return of the program. Junior Jalen Paige was the District 23 Champion at heavyweight, the Bishops first champ since Domingo Perez in 2013. With Paige returning in 2018, he'll take aim at joining Perez as the 3rd 2-time District Champ for Asbury, and making a run at becoming the Bishops' first State-qualifier since the rebirth. Also returning for the Blue Bishops in 2018 is 220-pounder Kyrie Moore, who won 13 bouts in 2017. He will give Asbury a very nice 1-2 punch in the closing upperweights. 

While the young Bengals may have had a rough go of things in the dual season, junior Sean Foley continued work his way up the ladder as one of the top wrestlers in the program's ten year history. Foley became the first Barnegat wrestler to advance to the State Tournament since Matt Schofield in 2012, and just the 2nd all-time. He finished the 2017 season at 78 career wins, putting him 16 away from breaking the school's all-time record of 93 held by Shane Herring. Looking ahead to 2018, the Bengals will be returning all but one starter from this year's team. They had some freshmen get valuable experience around Foley in the 106-126 weight classes, and should have a pretty solid group of uppers in Juan Abraham, Peter Jennings, and Joseph Lauer returning from 195-Hwt.

Brick Memorial
The 2017 season was the swan song for two all-time Mustang greats in Gianni Ghione and Nick Rivera. Ghione finished at 38-1 with his 3rd State Medal, a 3rd Region 6 Title, and a 3rd District Championship. He wrapped his career up 3rd on the all-time wins list. For Rivera, who went 33-0 before withdrawing from the State Tournament due to a concussion, he closes his career 9th on the Mustangs' all-time wins list, a State runner-up in 2015, a 3-time Region 6 Champ, and the program's 6th 4-time District medal winner. Despite breaking in several new starters, and dealing with some injuries, the Mustangs still managed to advance to the CJG4 Finals before falling to Jackson Memorial. For 2018, the departures of Ghione, Rivera, and 26-bout winner Chris Richardson will obviously be a big blow, but Memorial will return just about everyone else. The upper half of the lineup should be very solid with Ean Mueller, Sam Williams, Jack Tango, Ron Hopping, and Willie Garner returning, and the lowerweights, who showed nice potential in 2017, could be a strength as well with Mike Richardson, Joe Rotondo, and Liam Rivera among the key returnees.

Brick Twp
Dean Helstowski, who qualified for the State Tournament for the 3rd time in his career, became the 14th Region Champ in program history, and David Santiago made it 9 years in a row that a Dragon won a District Title. Strong contributions from seniors Helstowski, Santiago, Anthony Costanza, Nick Wojtaszek, and Liam Poland (who combined for 114 wins) led Brick to 17 wins. While they will be a tough group to replace, there is a good core coming back in packs in the lower, middle, and upperweights in 2018. Joe Ferigne, Jonathan Mora, Frank Savannah, and Jacob Konstantoulas all return down low. Anthony Firneno, Rich Cosgrove, and Nick Malta are back in the middle, and Christian Malta and Pat Geisler should anchor the upperweights.

In what was a bit of a rebuilding year for the Colts, who were replacing eight talented starters, the Colts newcomers showed gradual improvement throughout the year leading to a great showing at the District 24 Tournament where they collected nine medals on their way to a 2nd place finish as a team. Among those nine medal winners, four went on to advance to Atlantic City. Nick Schutzenhofer was the top performer at Boardwalk Hall, placing 6th at 106-pounds. Schutzenhofer is just one of a few that CBA will lose to graduation, as they Colts should have a strong group back in 2018. Among them will be Richie Koehler, a 2-time Region Champ and 3-time State qualifier who will enter the 2018 season with 98 career wins. Also returning for the Colts will be State-qualifiers Sam Houstan and Cameron DiGiorgio who should anchor the upperweights, while District medal winners Sam LaCorte, Ethan Diamond, Christian Recantini, and Derek Smith also return. After a year out of the Shore Conference Top 10, look for the Colts to make a run back towards Top 10 status in 2018.

Central Regional
The young Golden Eagles took a few lumps with the move into A-South, but improved as the season progressed and were able to close out the regular season with wins in four of their final six bouts. While Central will lose their big gun up top in Mike Bickford, who was a District runner-up and 5th place finisher in Region 7, next season, they will have some key pieces back in the fold in 20-bout winner Curtis Lively, Nick Rivera, Anthony Clavijo, and Joe Zaccaro who will be coming off a successful rookie season that saw him win 17 matches.

Colts Neck
The Cougars set program highs with 30 dual wins, three State-qualifiers, and a #7 ranking in the final Shore Conference Top 10 11. Leading the charge for Colts Neck was junior Joey King, who won his first District Title (his 3rd medal), and advanced to Atlantic City for the 2nd time in his career, finishing one win shy of a medal. He eclipsed the 100-win mark in the Region Tournament and will enter with 104 career wins, 17 away from breaking the school record held by 2014-graduate, Nick Ottaviano. While there will be a few tough losses to graduation, notably State-qualifers Steven Kramer and Vin Garguilo, the Cougars still return a very strong group in 2018 led by King, as well as District medal winners Dyon Womack, Kenneth Koenig, Michael Jannucci, and AJ Royle. Also expected back in 2018 will be Liam Hoagland, a Region-qualifier in 2016 who missed most of last season due to injury, and Justin Pierre-Louise and TJ DiMario. There was a lot of depth on this year's roster that will also be looking to make an immediate impact in 2018 as the Cougars look to keep things rolling in 2018.

Donovan Catholic
With their first winning record since this site launched 13 years ago, a 3rd place finish in B-South, a Sectional Final appearance, multiple District Champions for the first time in program history, and a pair of representatives down at this year's State Tournament, the Griffins put together one of the best seasons in school history under first year head coach Steve Glawson. As good as things went for DC in 2017, the team could be set up for even bigger things in 2018. Their three District Champs: Cristiaan Dailey, Conor Panzarella, and Salvatore DiSalvo all return, as do Cael Rankin and Jacob Maroukis, who won 27 and 17 bouts respectively at 106 and 113 as frosh. If the Griffins can add a couple pieces to help with lineup numbers, they could be lined up for an even better run as a team in 2018.

Freehold Boro
After four straight losing seasons, the Colonials had a big turnaround year in 2017 with a 16-7 campaign, keyed by a nice mix of talented underclassmen down low and strong senior class, especially in the upperweights with John Downey, Liam Tibbett, and Reid Osolin. Freehold's 5th place finish as a team at Districts was their highest finish since 2007, and their 4th-place Divisional finish was their best since 2006. On the individual front, Nico Messina put together one of the best freshman seasons in the program's history. He became the Colonials first frosh to win a District Title in 55 years, and was their first State Tournament qualifier since Josh Davis in 2010. Along with fellow frosh Dylan Ryan, and Mike Gagliardo, as well as sophomores Tony Dushku and Jake Mostowsky, they will play a big part in trying keep the Colonials on the winning path in 2018 as the team will graduate nine starters this June.

Freehold Twp
After a bit of a slow start out of the gate against a tough schedule, the Patriots closed out the regular season with wins in four out of their last six duals to end a run of four sub .500 seasons. The momentum carried into the post-season as seven wrestlers earned medals at the District 24 Tournament as the team finished 3rd overall. Juniors Kyle Hillermeier and Eric Quartey both punched tickets to Atlantic City through the Region 6 Tournament, giving the Pats multiple representatives at Boardwalk Hall for the first time since 2007. Hillermeier and Quartey are both back in 2018, and along with 25-bout winner Mike Cenname (152) and 22-match winner Austin Colbert (Hwt), will give Freehold Twp a strong core up top. They'll have a good mix of starters returning down low too in D24 medalist Kyle Cleary, and 21-match winner Brian Lee leading the charge. 

It was a record-breaking season for Holmdel Wrestling. As a team, the Hornets broke the program record for wins in a season with 19, and crowned multiple District Champs for the first time in 33 years. Individually, Troy Gallo smashed the school record for career wins, previously held by current assistant Jimmy Ilvento, ending his four-year run with 121 victories. Junior Scott Dupont capped one of the top seasons in school history by becoming the Hornets' first State-qualifier since 1984, and setting a new record for single-season wins with 39. Dupont, who finished his 3rd season with 104 career wins, will enter the 2018 season 18 wins away from breaking the program record just set by Gallo. Dupont will be among the key returners for Holmdel in 2018 that also includes Nicholas and Thomas Ammirati who are coming off 24 and 26 win rookie seasons, respectively, 21-bout winner Johnny O'Beirne, and 29-match winner Dean Gallo.

#1 in the Shore, Group 5 Champs, SJG5 Sectional Champs, District 22 Champs, Shore Conference Tournament Champs, A-North Champs, an individual State Champions, three State medal winners, eight State-qualifiers, four Region Champs, 8 District Champs, 11 District Medal winners, and NJSIAA Coach of the Year honors for head coach John Gagliano. Just easier to type the accolades than it is to come up with anything else. As for 2018, the Rebels will return nine starters from this year's team. Although they will have to replace their stretch from 195-Hwt, that includes 220-state Champ Eric Keosseian, the Rebels have as deep a talent pool as anyone to draw from and will once again look to maintain their place as one of the top programs in the state.


Jackson Liberty
Junior Josh Bollard made it seven years in a row for Liberty with at least one State-qualifier, as he punched a ticket to AC with a 3rd place finish at 113 in Region 6. Bollard, along with Shaun Plaza and Chavis Coleman, give the Lions three Region participants returning in 2018 that will look to help Liberty bounce back from their first losing season since 2011. Also returning will be a young group down low in Julio Aparicio, Romeo Willis, and Dorian Hall, who got valuable mat time and could have Liberty set up for a nice stretch of lowerweights next season.

Jackson Memorial
One of the great streaks at the Shore was snapped this year as the Jags did not crown a District Champ for the first time since 1983, a 33-year run topped only by Brick Memorial's still active run of 36. It was still a strong showing in the Jags' new District 25, as they earned seven 2nd place medals, and a pair of 3rd place medals. Of the Jags nine District medal winners, three moved on to Atlantic City: seniors Matt McGowan, Tim Hamann, and junior Dave Lemay. During the dual season, the Jags won their 3rd consecutive Sectional Championship, and 9th overall, as they defeated rival Brick Memorial, 34-22, in the CJG4 Finals. The Jags do lose some solid pieces to graduation next season in McGowan, Hamann, Dan Bergeron, and Jeremiah Nash, but have a pretty solid core returning spread out nicely throughout the lineup. Lemay will be the obvious anchor up top, while Vin Scollo, Chris McDonald, Tyler Mitrosky, Carsten DiGiantomasso, and the Burkerts all return down low. Will be a nice group back in the middle as well with Ryan Bohringer, Nick Tomasiello, and Kyle Epperly.

A nice mixture of upperclassmen and underclassmen led the Titans to their 2nd consecutive State Sectional appearance, and matched their highest dual win total since 2013. Keansburg got terrific seasons out of their upperweight stretch from 195-Hwt in sophomores Liam Riecks and Paul Liseno, who sandwiched senior David Clayton. The trio combined to go 66-9 and won medals at the District 17 Tournament, including a 1st-place medal from Liseno, the program's 7th District Championship all-time. Looking ahead to 2018, Liseno and Riecks will give the Titans a very tough presence at the top of the lineup. Dackota Read, who won 18 bouts this year, should anchor the middle, while everyone from 106-132, including double-digit winners Vanessa Wilson and Patrick Edwards are back.

With small numbers in the room, the focus was on individual success for the Raiders in 2017. Five of the nine varsity wrestlers for Keyport had double digit win totals, led by seniors Erik Nellis, with 23 at heavyweight, and 152-pounder Skye Blanks, who recorded 21 wins. Four wrestlers from this year's team will return, which means Keyport will need to work on getting some new bodies in the room for 2018. If you're out there reading this, get in that room!

The Lions had a solid dual season in 2017, finishing 2nd in B-South and making it to the semifinals of the State Sectionals. Their 17 dual wins matched their highest total since the 2012 season. Lacey followed their strong regular season with a great showing in the individual postseason as well. Seven wrestlers advanced to the Region 7 Tournament, including D27 Champs Hunter Gutierrez and Matt Garrity, as the Lions finished 3rd as a team in the District. Gutierrez would go on to AC after winning the 106-pound Region 7 Title, and was joined by Garrity (2nd at 152), Luke Moynihan (4th at 126), and Luke Gauthier (2nd at 138). It was the first time Lacey had multiple representatives in AC since 2013. Gutierrez would go on to place 5th in AC, earning the Lions 1st State Medal since Lex Knapp in 2012. He finished the season with 42 wins, tying the program record. Senior Matt Garrity closed his career out for Lacey by breaking the program record for career wins with 110. With Gutierrez, Gauthier, and Moynihan returning, as well as District medalists Timothy Downs (3rd at 113), and Adam Krinic (3rd at 120), double-digit winners Evan Cyphers and Trevor Krinic, and some talented sub-varsity and intermediate wrestlers looking to break the lineup, the Lions could be in for some big things in 2018.

The Piners set a new program record for dual wins in a season with 16 victories. While they did not push any wrestlers into the Regions, the team did have 13 wrestlers hit double-digit wins in 2017, led by 29 victories for sophomore Dante Morris. While the team will graduate five key starters in the 145-195 range, they will have a solid group returning in 2018. In addition to Morris, the Piners will bring back Alex Martinez, Raymond Whitley, and Yenfry Sanchez, who combined for 31 wins at 106/113. Cristian Ruiz and Japhet Campillo combined for 41 wins splitting time at 132/138, and should anchor the middleweights, while Kevin Rybakowski, who had a 19-win season wrestling at heavyweight as a frosh, has the potential to be one of the Shore's top heavies the next three years.

Long Branch
The Green Wave opened the 2016-2017 season a hair off the radar, but wrestled their way to a #6 finish in the Shore Top 10 11 with their District 23 Championship, a trip to the State Sectional Semis, and making it to the Shore Conference Final Four in the SCT. The D23 Team Title was the 11th overall for the program, and they won nine medals, including a 1st-place medal for senior Carlos Irizzary at 120. LB sent four wrestlers to Atlantic City, one from each grade, in frosh Ryan Zimmerman (106), sophomore Kevin Cerruti (Hwt), junior Peter Wersinger (182), and senior Hunter Marhan (220). Cerruti's trip to AC was one of the bigger surprises. An injury replacement after finishing 4th in the Districts, he went on a big run at Regions to place 3rd and move on to Boardwalk Hall. Long Branch returns strong numbers from this year's team in 2018. In addition to Zimmerman, Cerruti, and Wersinger, Region-qualifers Rey Guzman (113), Chris Dean (126), Isaac Shohet (138), Luke Arnold (145), and Dan Santos-Silva (170) also return. A good portion of this year's talented sub-varsity will be back, and there should be several potential strong newcomers looking to make an impact coming in from the Intermediate School. The Green Wave will be a tough team to beat in 2018.

The 27-wins for Manalapan in 2017 set a new single season high mark for the program. In addition to their wins record, the Braves also captured their first District Team Title in 20 years as they crowned five champions and had eleven medal winners in all. At the Regions, Alex Baran, Ronny Ghaida, and Jake Staklinski all finished in the Top 3 to give Manalapan multiple representatives in the State Tournament for the first time since 2004. While the team will take a decent hit to graduation with the departures of Ghaida, Staklinski, and starters Matt Mustillo, Justin Obermeyer, and Steve Byrne, they'll return a very strong group, especially down low. Baran, who was 2nd on the team in wins with 34, is back, as are Paul Santomarco, Colby Glasko, AJ Sortino, Zach Simmons, Kareem Ghaida, Josh Goldfarb, and Anthony Coposky. Between those eight wrestlers, that is 180 wins returning from the lower half of the lineup. There's a nice group coming back in the upper half too, led by District medal winners Matt Benedetti (27 wins at 152/160) and Anthony Jomo (220), as well as Andrew Burstyn (10-3 at 160/170), Richie Peters (16 wins at Hwt), and Peter Benedetti (220), who missed most of 2017 with an injury. Another team to keep an eye on for 2018.

With a step up in division to B-North, the Warriors had a rough stretch early on against a pretty strong schedule. The tough tests early on as they team showed nice signs of improvement as the year went on, culminating with Manasquan getting their first District medal winners since 2013 in junior Francis Marshall and senior Joe Ostberg. Marshall, a first-year wrestler, went on to place 4th in the Region at 152 to become the Warriors' first State-qualifier in 20 years. Looking ahead, in addition to the returning Marshall, the Warriors also return double-digit winners down low in Bella Serrano, Jackson Jannarone, William Bruno, and Ethan Dzenis, as they look to take the next step in 2018.

With only a few seniors in the room, first year head coach Bill Meaney began the process of remolding the program. Although the final record was 9-15, there were several close losses, that if they could have swung one bout their way, it could have been a +.500 rebuild year for the Hawks. They key returners for Coach Meaney in year two, will be Jonathan Salvemini and Syrus Colon, who will be the returning wins leaders with 15 each, 14-bout winner Bradley Huston, 13-match winner Quint Kearns, and Tyler Huston, who recorded 12 wins in his rookie season.

Another first year coach, one of Marlboro's all-time best wrestlers and one of the Shore's top lightweights in his day, Charlie Frankel's 2017 squad featured a good deal of new starters in the lineup. There were some solid performances out of the lower half of the lineup as both senior Mike Doukas (138) and junior Alan Lipovetsky (120) earned District medals, and sophomores Tom Vasti and Cristian Rial were double digit winners that had some nice individual wins along the way. Senior Ben Berman also had a strong season for the Mustangs, picking up 17 wins and placing 3rd in the Districts at 195. Both Berman and Doukas will be lost to graduation, while a good number of the upperweights will move on as well. With Vasti, Rial, and Lipovetsky, the team leader in wins in 2017, back, there should be a good core down low. Daniel Shleyger, Zach Sperling, and Evan Brown will be the key names returning in the upper half.

Strong season for the Huskies in 2017 as they finished with a winning record for the first time since 2014, and had standout seasons from their Big 3 in Derrick Wiley, Andrew Conzo, and Jaleel Gopaul. Wiley, a standout athlete in football and track, as well as on the mat, was the team leader in wins with 35. He, along with Conzo, gave the Huskies their first District Champions since 2014. They, along with Gopaul all placed in the Top 6 at Regions, with Wiley punching a ticket to Atlantic City after placing 2nd at 170 in Region 5, Matawan's first Region finalist since 2010. Wiley's trip to AC marked the first appearance for a Matawan wrestler in the State Tournament since Glenn Cross in 2013. Graduation will not be kind to the Huskies as they lose both Wiley and Conzo, as well as 21-bout winner Daniel Grinberg, and most of their big men. They do return most of their lineup from 106-152, headlined by Gopaul, and double digit winners: Daniel Higuita (106), E'Unique Gittens Russell (138), Alwayne Mitchell (145), and Anthony Ferrara (152).

 Middletown North
In 2012, the Lions finished the season with their 2nd consecutive losing season, and failed to qualify a wrestler for the Regions. Five years later, the Lions put together one of the best season's in the program's long history. From a team perspective, 2017 most likely goes down as North's best season since 1996, when they won the CJG4 Sectional Championship and A-North Title. This year's team won B-North, their first outright Divisional Title since the '96 team (they shared A-North with CBA & Howell last year), made the Shore Conference Tournament Final Four, advanced to the NJ2G4 Finals, and placed 2nd as a team at District 17. On the individual front, the Lions crowned their first freshman Region Champion (Tyler Klinsky) since 2004, and advanced a program record five wrestlers to the State Tournament. Senior Tom Anderson closed his career with a 40-win season, giving him 114 wins for his career (3rd all-time at North) and came home from Atlantic City with a 5th place medal at 182-pounds. The Lions also received 30+ win seasons from their other four State-qualifiers in freshmen Tyler Klinsky (37 wins) and Freddy Luchs (35 wins), and juniors Stanley Wojdylak (39 wins) and Nicko Cofone (33 wins). For 2018, the Lions will lose a solid group of upperweights in Anderson (182), Brian Winz (170/29 wins), Ray Nelson (Hwt/24 wins), and Jacob Fish (220), as well as lowerweights Andrew Lacey (120) and Sean Deering (126). Still, they return in ton of talent in Klinsky, Luchs, Wojdylak, and Cofone, as well as Thomas O'Keefe (13-1 at 106), Jon Provenzano (11 wins at 120), Nate Pujols (18 wins at 132), Jacob Anderson (who missed the last month of 2017 due to injury), Kevin McCarthney (182), and Austin DeWise (220). In addition, there's a good group of sub-varsity looking to step-in and talent coming up through the feeder program.

Middletown South
Another program on the rise. With just two seniors in the lineup, the Eagles finished 2017 with 19 wins, which I believe matches the all-time high at South, under first year coach Anton Atterbury. While the 19 wins is a great accomplishment under any scenario, we might be able to look at as the first big step towards the Eagles ascent upwards on the Shore Conference ladder. As well as things went this season, the team is already eyeing towards 2018 and is putting in the work. 12 starters will return in 2018, including District medal winners Michael Holland (113), Jack Hardzewicz (195), and Adam Markman (Hwt). It will be the first time since 2014 that the Eagles lineup will feature multiple returning Region qualifiers. The Eagles will also bring back James Piehler (106), who was tied for the team lead in wins with Hardzewicz with 29 victories. Other key returners next season include 17-bout winner Brady Smith, who will give South a great 1-2 punch at 220/Hwt with Markman, 24-bout winner Justin Weimer, double digit winners AJ Vega and Danny Ward, and Mark Carlino who recorded 13 wins as a frosh wrestling at 152. The Middletown feeder program has been pumping out some strong talent the last few years, so expect some more new faces to be entering the program and making immediate contributions. A definite program to keep an eye on in 2018.

Monmouth Regional
With only a handful of seniors in the room, the Falcons were another team beginning a rebuilding process with a new head coach, Robert Micheliche. There were some bumps in the road early on as the schedule was tough and there were several newcomers being broken into the lineup, but as the season progressed, the schedule eased a bit and the Falcons were much more competitive and showed signs of improvement. Individually, Tyler Flynn finished 2nd at the Districts at 138 to give the Falcons a Region qualifier after not being represented in 2016. While Flynn will be lost to graduation, a large portion of this year's team will be back in 2018 as Monmouth looks to take another step forward. Among the returners will be this year's leader in wins, Ricky Voss (21 wins / 195) and heavyweight Bradley Pietz. Also back will be Devon Pham and Shane Learn, the 106/113 combo who both hit double digit wins during their freshman seasons. Also expected back will be this year's trio at 120/126 in Luke Corso, Brandon Warner, and Luis Gutierrez-Vera who will be looked to provide senior leadership in the lower half.

While the move to A-North may not have helped with the dual record, the Fliers were winless in the division but 9-3 out, it gave the team valuable experience against some of the Shore's top teams that should only help this young team looking to get back to the winning ways the program went through from 2010-2013. The big story this season for Neptune was the success of senior195-pounder Nick Faber. Faber earned the program's first individual District Title since Karl Waldron and Dae'Sean Brown in 2013, and became their first State Tournament qualifier since Romello Union in 2014. While Faber will be lost to graduation, Neptune has a nice group returning in 2018, led by District medal winner Christopher DeSopo (215) along with Cairo Henderson-Stewart (14-9/138 - District medal winner in 2016), Alex Sanchez (15 wins / 126), and St. Phard Bellamy (18 wins / 182). If this year's underclassmen put in the offseason work to take the next step up, the Fliers can take aim at returning to winning seasons.

Ocean Township
After a rare losing season in 2016, the Spartans bounced back with a 19-win campaign in 2017. Outside of senior Clayton Oates, Ocean were very inexperienced in the upper half of the lineup, which probably cost them a couple extra wins, but they got outstanding performances from the bottom half of the lineup, including a 42-1 State Title season out of 138-pounder Jake Benner, the 3rd State Title in the program's history. Benner, along with senior Nick Villapiano and freshman Alex Poniros each won District Titles for the Spartans and were three of a total eight medal winners that helped lead the Spartans to the District 24 Team Title, the 12th in the school's history and first since 2012. A few key pieces will be lost to graduation in 2018 in Oates, Villapiano, and John Santos, but a there is a strong group coming back. In addition to Benner and Poniros, District medalists Jack Nies (30 wins as a frosh at 106), Adam Manzo (25 wins / 120), and Saif Ali (23 wins at 145) are all back, as is heavyweight Christian Wilson who showed some potential with some nice individual wins during the regular season. If the underclassmen that were thrust into the upper half of the lineup can take the next step in 2018, Ocean could be a pretty tough out next year.

While numbers and overall depth probably cost Pinelands a chance at their first winning season since 2010, there were still many positives to take away from the 2017 season. We start at the top of the list with the performance of senior Christopher Nielsen. After winning his 2nd District Title, Nielsen became the Wildcats's first Region since Mike Molosky in 2002, and would go on to the reach the Boardwalk Hall podium with an 8th-place finish at 182, giving the Wildcats their 2nd State medal in the last 15 years. Also putting together a strong season was junior Brennan Richardson who won 24 matches, finished 2nd at Districts and 6th in the Region. While Richardson is back in 2018, the Wildcats will take a decent hit to graduation. Nielsen will leave tied for 3rd program's all time wins list, and 22-match winner Kelly Lutz (160) and 19-bout winner Rob Hart (220), as well as lowerweights Riley Stephenson and Danny Diaz Jr. will also depart to graduation. Among the potential key names back next year are Jacob Mena and Evan Burton, who each won 14 bouts, lowerweights Hayden Jeanotte, Sam Cardillo, and Dylan Imbrenda, as well as Maski Avery who manned the heavyweight slot as a frosh this season.

Pt Beach
Another big year for the Gulls, as they captured their 2nd consecutive CJG1 Sectional Championship, their 20th Divisional Title, finished with 22 wins (the 5th time since 2009 they've had at least 20 wins), and finished 9th in the final Shore Conference Top 10 11. Not bad for one of the State's smallest schools. The Gulls received strong seasons throughout the lineup, that included six District medal winners. Among them was senior Jack Baker, who punched a ticket to Atlantic City by winning the 182-pound Title at Regions, the 10th Region Title in program history. Baker was joined in AC by heavyweight Cade Watkins, a 29-win senior that made it to the boardwalk as an injury replacement after finishing 5th in the Regions. Senior Roddy Rupp finished the year with 32 wins, and along with Baker, gave Beach multiple District Champs for the first time since Dylan Kelly and Andrew Gross in 2011. Also passing the 30-win mark this season for Beach, was junior Jimmy Sherlock who recorded 32 wins at 152. Sherlock will be among the key returners for Beach in 2018 as they look to successfully defend their Sectional and Divisional crown. Sherlock will be joined by younger brother Jason, who won 23 matches as a frosh at 145, 20+-bout winners Will Jarvis (106/113) and Jude Lovgren (126), Sean Gould (15 wins / 170) and Nick Kenmure (19 wins / 220), as well as Jesse Bowers, who won 19 matches in his rookie season at 120.

Pt Boro
While the Panthers claimed their 7th Divisional Title since 2005, we again highlight their season with a victory in what has become THE rivalry dual of the season in the Shore, as they defeated crosstown rival Pt Beach in front of a wild, sold out crowd, 31-26 in a matchup that came down to the final bout. As a team, the Panthers finished 8th in the Shore Conference Top 10 11, 3rd in District 21, and qualified for the State Sectionals for the 7th straight year. Individually, sophomore Billy Borowsky made it 21 years in a row for Boro with a District Champion, as he won the 195-pound title at D21, one of six medal winners in total for the Panthers. Sophomore Spencer Robinson (138) and junior Anthony Bonavito (Hwt) each finished 4th at Regions to give Boro their first State Tournament qualifiers since 2014. For 2018, all six of the Panthers District medal winners: Borowsky, Robinson, Bonavito, Ben Sabo (113), John McTaggart (145), and Dylan Ippolito (182). Also returning will be Ryan Sansone (14 wins / 170) and Gabe Fattizzi (14 wins / 220) and Ty Bailey (126) and James Latendorf (106), who won 21 and 11 bouts respectively as frosh this year, giving the Panthers a very strong core coming back in 2018.

Another big year out of Hazlet for the Green Machine. The Rockets rolled to their 16th Divisional Title (their 13th in the last 14 seasons), won their 8th District Team Title, advanced to the CJG2 Sectional Finals, and made it to the finals of the Shore Conference Tournament for the first time in program history. They finished the season ranked #14 in the NJWWA Top 20, and #2 in the Shore Conference Top 10 11. The Rockets ran away from the field at the District 20, clinching the team title about halfway through the semifinals. Four champions were crowned in juniors Robert Taddeo (113), Russell Benson (132), and Ethan Wolf (220), as well as sophomore Charles Barrale (113). In all, Raritan had 11 medal winners in the tournament with four 2nd's and three 3rd's to go along with their four champs. Benson went on to become the 7th Region Champ in program history, and first since Ryan Lynch in 2011, to advance to Atlantic City for the 2nd consecutive season, where he finished one win shy of a medal. As strong a season the Rockets had in 2017, things look like they could be even bigger in 2018 as they will return 11 of their starters, and have a wealth of young talent looking to step in and make immediate impact. All signs point to another big season in 2018.

Red Bank Catholic
With an influx of promising young talent coming into the program the last two seasons, the Caseys put up their highest win total since 2014. The lone senior starter of this year's team, Ethan Byrne, capped a nice 4-year run as a starter with the Caseys by earning his 2nd District medal and finishing with 85 career wins. Also winning a medal for RBC at this year's Districts was 170-pounder Steven Cmielewski, one of six sophomores in the starting lineup, who also led the team in wins with 22. With all but one starter returning, the Caseys are looking to take advantage of the recent surge of experienced young wrestlers entering the program that they have not really had over the years. They have the potential to a have nice upper half of the lineup in 2018 with Cmielewski, John Columbia, Geno Tartamella, Christian Pritzlaff, and Michael Griggs, a 19-bout winner at heavyweight this season. If the youngsters down low take the next step, and they can add a few more experienced newcomers, RBC can continue to rise as a team.

Red Bank Regional
With just a handful of seniors in the lineup this season, Red Bank was another program with an eye on the future in 2017. Leading the charge for the young Bucs was junior Finn Smith, who advanced to the Region 5 Tournament after placing 3rd at 120 in District 18. Smith was the co-leader in wins, with 21, along with fellow junior Sam Goldzweig. They were a part of a nice third-year class that included 20-bout winner Luke Devine, 16-match winner Edison Quesada, and double digit winners Ray Elcano and Alex Peregrino, that should give RBR a strong senior core to build a lineup around in 2018. Also back next year is Tucker Cochrane, who had a 20-win freshman season wrestling at 106. This is another team that, if they put the work in this off-season, has the potential to have a pretty successful 2018.

A hard working group mostly consisting of a promising underclassmen, the Bulldogs put up their highest win total in over a decade. Leading the charge for Rumson was one of only two seniors in the lineup, Theo Addison, who advanced to Atlantic City after placing 2nd in both District 19 and Region 5 at 195. Addison's State Tournament appearance marked the 5th time in 6 years the Bulldogs had a State Tournament qualifier. As mentioned, this was a very young lineup, and while the team will miss Addison (91 career wins) and Coleman Gould, there is a strong group returning that will look to keep the program trending upward in 2018. Among the key returners in 2018 will be District 19 Champion Nick Addison, a 29-bout winner, and 16-match winner Joe Afflitto, both sophomores in 2017, as well as Tristan Rizzo (16 wins), Mike Ponenti (22 wins), and Liam Horan (21 wins) who are all coming back after strong freshmen campaigns.

St John Vianney
If there were a trophy for Most Snake Bitten Team in 2017, I'd have to (unfortunately) hand it to the Lancers in a landslide. They lost State medalist Luke Ecklof and starting 132-pounder Pat Smith to season ending injuries, and Micah Clark, one of the top heavies in the State, left the program in mid-January as he enrolled early at Rutgers University to begin his college football career. So while the overall dual season might not have turned out to be what it could have been, SJV still put together a terrific run in the postseason. The team matched a program record with four District Champions in frosh Tyler Pepe, and juniors Nick Caracappa, Josiah Walker, and Steven Giannios. Those four, along with senior Jack McLafferty, all advanced to Atlantic City via Caracappa winning the 4th Region Championship in program history, Pepe and Giannios finishing 3rd, and McLafferty and Walker placing 4th in Region 5. With four of Vianney's program-record five State qualifiers returning, as well as a strong supporting cast and some talented newcomers, the Lancers look towards big things again in 2018.

St Rose
Sometimes, especially in this sport, victories don't necessarily come up in the "W" column. With just 13 wrestlers in the room, and only three under 145, dual wins are hard to come by, but the kids at St. Rose battled all year long. They'll be losing some seniors to graduation that have helped the program get back to varsity status, among them is 106-pounder Alexi Nunez, a co-recipient of the Rich Dunnells Courage Award, who has undergone multiple surgeries after being born with a disability that affected the use of his legs. He came back from a season-ending shoulder injury last year to lead the team in victories this season. The hope for 2018 will be that the numbers can rise and the program can continue to build itself up.

Shore Regional
A bit of a rebuilding year, a 19-win rebuilding year that is, as the Blue Devils had to replace six starters with at least 23 wins. With just a few seniors in this year's lineup, including Austin Cannon (29-1) and Dean Smolokoff (22 wins), Shore relied on significant contributions from a very youthful group. Among them was freshman Al DeSantis (39-7) who became the program's first State Tournament qualifier since 2011 by placing 4th at 120 in the Region 6 Tournament. Sophomores Matt Klemser and Jack McCrae, both Region qualifiers, were tied for 3rd on the team with wins with 28 each. With that trio returning, as well as Brad Smuro, Jarret Weir, and Mike Rosati, who combined for 75 wins in their junior seasons, the Blue Devils have a very solid core back in 2018. With the other young guys looking to take the next step after a full year of varsity experience, and some more young talent coming into the program, the Blue Devils should be continuing their winning ways and could be capable of some big things in 2018.

Another team that had to replace a large number of starters from a year ago, the Rams once again showed off their ability to restock the lineup from their deep talent pool. After winning the A-South Championship, their 3rd Divisional Title in 4 years and 9th overall, the Rams were forced to withdraw from the State Sectionals after advancing to the semifinals. They returned to the mats for Districts, where they won 10 medals, including two 1st Place medals from Nicholas O'Connell and Dan Lynch, on route to winning the program's 19th District Team Title. O'Connell and Matt Barnett would go on to advance to the State Tournament where O'Connell placed 8th at 145. Looking ahead to 2018, the Rams will once again graduate some key pieces to their lineup, but will return a very strong core from this year's team: O'Connell, Barnett, Jayson Scerbo, Owen Kretschmer, Sebastian Delligatti, Nick Pepe, Dan Gorman, John Stout, Vin Miele, and Matt Mackanic, to name a few, and should have plenty of new faces ready to step in as usual as they look to keep their place as one of the Shore's top programs.

TR East
Another one of the younger teams in the Shore this season, as the Raiders had just three senior starters in their lineup. Among those seniors was AJ Meyers, who will depart as one of the wrestlers to come out of the program. In Meyers 3 seasons in the lineup, he amassed 105 wins (9th all-time), was a 2-time District Champ (3 time medalist), a Region Champ (3 time medalist), and a 2-time State Medal winner. With Meyers departure, the 2018 Raiders will turn to several key returners for leadership as they try and get back to their old winning ways. Among them will be Joseph Gamboa, who was 2nd on the team in wins with 17, heavyweight Brandon Austin (15 wins), District medalist Alexander Gorlin, and Dominic Tangredi, who won 15 bouts in his frosh season at 126.

TR North
A little easier schedule, and the Mariners would have certainly put together a winning season. As is, they faced a very tough slate that, while it may led them to a one win under .500 season, prepared them for the individual post season where they had a very strong showing. Nick Reilly, Nick Boggiano, and Michael DeGennaro won District Titles, and four others medaled, as the Mariners finished 2nd as a team in District 28. Boggiano and Patrick O'Donnell went on to medal at the Regions to give TRN multiple representatives in Atlantic City for the first time since 2009. Some key members of this year's lineup will be lost to graduation, including O'Donnell, who will graduate 7th all-time in wins for the Mariners, as well as DeGennaro, James Cauldwell, Kevin Ryan, and Mike Johns. There's a strong group returning down low for 2018, headlined by Boggiano and Reilly, who will be joined by Ryan Rosenthal, Sergio Borda, Jack Oleske, and Eddie Hernandez, as all six starters from 106-138 will be back. In the upper half, North will have the Nakanos, Juan and Michael, returning. Both placed 2nd in the Districts with Juan at 152 and Michael at 182.

TR South
After a slow start that saw the lineup thinned out due to injuries, South finally started to get healthy and closed the regular season by winning their final five duals. Junior Cole Corrigan had another strong season, leading the team in wins with 35, winning his 3rd District Title, and advancing to AC for the 3rd time after winning his first Region Championship. Senior Jon Kobus closed out his career for the Indians by winning 26 bouts and capturing the D28 heavyweight crown, making it nine seasons in a row with multiple District Champs for South. Along with Kobus, Zach Martin, Dave Maldonado, Vin Merlo, and Josh Mendez will be lost to graduation, so the Indians will need some newcomers to step up into the lineup. They'll have a good trio of senior leadership to help lad the way in 2018 with Corrigan, Nicholas Gallicchio (2-time District Champ / 3-time medal winner), and William Cox. Riley Cheong, and Matt and Tim Yuro, from this season's group of underclassmen, will also be a part of the core returning for South.

This year's lineup can basically looked at as two different halves. You had the proven hammers in the upper half of the lineup, and their promising group of youngsters in the lower half. Robert Kanniard, winner of the JSIWA's award for Top Sophomore in the Shore, put together a huge 2017, winning his 2nd District Title and advancing to AC for the 2nd time after winning his first Region Title. Kanniard, who finished 4th at 152, was one of a program record six Knights that made the trip to Boardwalk Hall this season. Joining him was senior Matt McKenzie, who battled through a shoulder injury to finish 7th in the State at 195. McKenzie closed out his career as the school's all-time wins leader with 145 victories to go along with 3 State medals, 4 Region medals, and 4 District medals, 3 of which were 1st place medals. McKenzie was part of a very strong senior class that will be sorely missed that included Region 6 and D23 Champion Chad McClelland, as well as fellow District Champs and Region medal winners Nick Wagner and Shane Davis, and heavyweight Darryl Valme. While the Knights will have some work to do to replace their graduating class, there is a great core returning with Kanniard, and Jack Kelly (1st D23, 2nd R6), along with a good number of young frosh that cracked the lineup this season including 20-match winner Shane Golomb (3rd D23), Augustus Setteducato, and Tyler Ferris.