2017 DISTRICT 19 PREVIEW
DISTRICT 19 @ Old Bridge
Teams: Delaware Valley, Edison, Marlboro, Old Bridge, Pingry, Princeton, Rumson, St John Vianney. Sayreville, West Windsor Plainsboro North
There's teams with plenty of good individual talent here, but for the total package, it's going to be very hard to outpoint the Group 2 Champion Terriers.
106: Top-seeded Tyler Pepe has been one of the best frosh in the Shore this season, and will be a strong faorite to reach the finals. Edison's Michael O'Brien, the 2nd-seed, won 33 bouts this year and finished 4th at this weight in this District last year. If the seeds hold, he could get a good test from Del Val's Dylan Uderman, but it's tough to project something other than a Pepe/O'Brien final.
113: This bracket opened up a bit with the season-ending injury suffered by SJV's Luke Ecklof, who would have been a strong favorite here. As is, the top-seed is Old Bridge junior Jake Wiatroski, a State-qualifier last season. #2 is Brandon Spellman of Pingry, a D18 runner-up a year ago.
120: Very strong Top 2 here, and then some pretty good balance. Top-seeded AJ DeRosa of DelVal punched a ticket to AC last year after finishing 2nd in D17 & R5. #2 Mike Botte was a D20 champ a year ago. He met DeRosa in a dual a couple weeks back, and dropped a narrow 2-0 decision.
126: #1 Thomas Tarantino of Pingry was a runner-up in D18 a year ago. #2 Julian Burke of Edison finished 3rd at 120 in D19 in 2016. He faced #3 Alec Meyers of Old Bridge in the GMC Tournament, pulling out a 2-1 win. Burke and Meyers jumped into the 2nd and 3rd seeds on the strength of Meyers head to head win over initial #2 seed, Gage Crater of Del Val. Meyers defeated Crater, 4-2, in a dual on Feb. 4th. Lurking at the #5 seed, is undefeated Alec Bobchin of Princeton, who finished 2nd in D17 last season. Could be a very entertaining and wide open weight.
132: Returning State-qualifier Connor Mills, who also won a D17 title and finished 2nd in R5, is the top seed. He faced #2 Aidan Dillon earlier this season, and recorded a 12-5 win. Dillon, placed 3rd in D18 last season. The 4th-seeded Charles Peterson of SJV placed 3rd in D24 last year while wrestling for Barnegat.
138: At 33-1, top-seeded Matthew Kolonia has been a monster in the lineup for Del Val this season. He cruised to the D17 title last season, punched a ticket to AC with a 3rd place finish in R5, and ended up one win shy of a spot on the Boardwalk Hall podium in 2016. He's a strong favorite here. If the seeds hold, there could be some Shore on Shore action in the semis with #2 Jack McLafferty of SJV and #3 Mike Doukas of Marlboro.
145: Del Val senior Rhys Zigich had a real breakout year for the Terriers. He's the lone guy here with a District medal to his credit, and already has a pinfall win over #2 Ryan Nadiuk of Edison, making him another strong top-seed favorite.
152: A very solid Top 4 here. Top-seeded Francis Dillon on Pingry was a D18 runner-up a year ago. #2 Peter Tomasino of Edison, a 31-bout winner, placed 3rd in D19. #3 Tanner McLaughlin dropped a 7-1 decision to Dillon, but picked up enough big wins along the way to outpoint Rumson's Nick Addison (3rd D22) for the 3-seed. That makes Addison a very dangerous 4-seed that's capable of making a run here.
160: After just missing out on a Region medal last season, top-seeded James Verbeyst of Princeton is off to a perfect 30-0 start. There was quite a bit of shuffling after the pre-seeding was completed. Sayreville's Corey Knoth jumped from #5 to #2 due to his win over #3 TJ Angstadt of Old Bridge who swapped spots with Del Val's Chase Bauberger by virtue of his 5-4 win a couple weeks back.
170: Top-seeded Nick Caracappa of SJV has been the top-ranked 170-pounder in the Shore all season long. A 3rd place finisher in D21 a year ago, he's top-seed and strong favorite here. Checking in at the #2 seed is Rumson's freshman Liam Horan, who has had a nice 21-win rookie campaign.
182: Probably the most wide open weight here, with none of the participants having any previous District medals. Josiah Walker is the lone 20-bout winner here and picked up some quality wins over the season, wrestling up at 195, that allowed him to outpoint the rest of the field for the #1 seed.
195: #1 seed Kyle Lightner is another Del Val wrestler coming off a monster regular season. The senior went 30-2 for the Terriers, with his two losses coming by a total of 3 points. A D17 champ and R5 runner-up, Lightner was a win away from a medal at States last season. In the #2 slot is Rumson's Theo Addison, a D22 runner-up a year ago, who is 29-1 on the year with his lone loss coming against Michael Okaro of St. Benedict's Prep way back on December 17th.
220: SJV's Steven Giannios, a D21 runner-up a year ago and the only wrestler here with a previous medal, outpointed Edison's Christopher Cuevas for the #1 seed.
Hwt: Top-seeded Michael Porcaro of Sayreville is one of the top heavies in the State and is expected to contend for a spot at the top of the Boardwalk Hall podium. This might not be a cake walk for him though. He has defeated the #2 seed, Jack Karvaski of Edison, twice this season, winning one bout by fall, but the other was a 5-3 in sudden victory.