2017 DISTRICT 20 PREVIEW
DISTRICT 20 @ South Brunswick
Teams: Bishop Ahr, Highland Park, Holmdel, Matawan, Monroe, New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, Raritan, South Brunswick
The team race here should come down to Monroe and Raritan, who are ranked #13 and #14 respectively in the final NJWWA Top 20.
106: Lots of wins in this group, as all eight wrestlers have at least 12 wins. Top-seeded Joseph Pacheco of Perth Amboy placed 2nd in D19 and 4th in R5 a year ago. He's the lone previous medal winner of the group. Fellow junior, Robert Taddeo of Raritan, is the #2 seed ahead of a group of frosh that are coming off nice rookie seasons in #3 Nicholas Ammirati of Holmdel (23-11), #4 Joseph Fiordalsio of Monroe (18-10), and #5 Cristian Diaz (17-11) of Bishop Ahr.
113: 2-time D19 Champion Gaven Ringwood of Bishop Ahr was the initial top-seed, but was jumped by Monroe's Nicholas DePalma (3rd D20 at 106 last year) because of DePalma's pinfall victory at the GMC Tournament. DePalma also holds a pinfall over #4 Arjun Khatri of South Brunswick. Raritan's Charles Barrale (2nd D22) enters as the 3-seed coming off a solid 23-1 regular season. If the seeds hold, it sets up a very semi matchup in Ringwood and Barrale.
120: The Top 4 here have combined for 108 wins on the season. #1 Norberto Torres of Perth Amboy is a 3-time District medal winner, and won a title in 2015. He defeated the #2 seed, David Loniewski of Bishop Ahr (1st D19 at 106 last season), 4-1 in the GMC Tournament. Torres also has a pinfall victory over #3 Jaleel Gopaul of Matawan (3rd D21) from earlier this season, which is Gopaul's only defeat of the year as he enters the tourney at 25-1. Holmdel's Tom Ammirati (26-8) is one of only two frosh in this bracket and claimed the 4th-seed.
126: Another strong weight, as the Top 5 all have at least 18 wins on the year. #1 Dylan O'Connor won D19 at this weight a year ago, and has wins this season against the #2 seed Andrew Lombard of Monroe, and the #5 Mathew Castimore. Lombard was originally the 5th seed, but jumped into #2 via his 4-3 win over the now #3 Alexis Soriano of Perth Amboy, a 3rd place finisher in D19 last year. The jump pushed Raritan's AJ Erven into the 4-seed and a 4/5 matchup with Castimore, a 3rd-place finisher in D20 last season.
132: 2016 State-qualifier Russell Benson of Raritan was the overwhelming top-seed here. Benson won the D22 title at 126 last year and went on to place 2nd in R6. #2 is Holmdel's Troy Gallo, a 3rd place finisher in D21 last year, who broke the school record for career wins earlier this season. In the 3-seed is Perth Amboy's talented frosh, James Rodriguez, who enters the tournament with a record of 28-6.
138: Monroe senior Donald Albach was the runner-up at this weight last season, and is the top-seed this year. The #2 seed went to Holmdel's Dean Gallo, who was 26-7 on the year for the Hornets. Raritan's Andrew Bohal could be a dangerous 4-seed, hes's battle-tested and spent much of the season wrestling up at 145/152.
145: Monroe senior is Nicholas Lombard is undefeated and one of the top-ranked 145-pounders in the State. He's a 2-time D20 champ, and after finishing 4th in R5 his first two seasons, he placed 2nd last year to advance to AC where he fell one win shy of a medal. #2 Jimmy VanFechtmann of Raritan has been a solid contributor for the Rockets for four years, and will be searching for his first District medal. #3 Yarinel Peralta of New Brunswick placed 3rd in D20 last year up a weight class at 152.
152: Holmdel's Scott Dupont, was a 2nd place finisher in D21 in 2016. He enters the Districts as the top seed and with 96 career wins. At #2 is Raritan's Anthony Aquilano. Barring an upset, we could be looking at an All-Shore final here.
160: Top-seed Chris Ammirati of Holmdel, who enters the tournament with an even 100 wins, will be looking for his first District medal, as is the rest of the field here, including #2 Nicholas Weikel of Monroe, and #3 Nicholas Polaco of Raritan, in what could be one of the more open weights.
170: Strong weight with four of the Top 5 having topped the 20-win mark. At #1 is Derrick Wiley of Matawan, a runner-up in D21 a year ago. In the 2-slot is Raritan's George Burdick. If the seeds hold and we get a Wiley/Burdick final, it would be a matchup between two of the Top 5 ranked 170's in the Shore. Perth Amboy's Adalphi Jimenez jumped from the 5-seed to #3 on the strength of his pin over New Brunswick's Jeffrey Garcia.
182: In what looks to be a pretty open weight, top-seed Gustavo Palacio of South Brunswick, a .500 wrestler, earned the top-seed. The 4-seed here, Justin Acevedo of Raritan, had some big wins this season for the Rockets and could be a sleeper here.
195: Very strong weight here. The Top 4 are a combined 101-11. At #1 is Matawan's Andrew Conzo, who is having a breakout year for the Huskies, going 29-1 during the regular season. #2 seed Kaylon Bradley placed 3rd in D20 at 182 last season. He is 24-2 on the year, with both losses coming to state-ranked Luke Niemeyer of South Plainfield. At #3 is Bishop Ahr's Andrew Brazicki, who won a D19 title last season and would go on to advance to Atlantic City after placing 3rd at 182 in R5. #4 Javon Mercado of New Brunswick finished 3rd in D20 at this weight last year. He faced Conzo earlier in the year, with Conzo winning 9-5.
220: #1 Ethan Wolf of Raritan went 24-5 during the regular season, seeing duty at 220 and Hwt. He's a pretty strong favorite here in a field that only has two other wrestlers over .500, including #2 seed Seamus Wood (22-10) of Holmdel.
Hwt: Could be a very tough Top 3 for the rest of the field to crack. #1 Lou Ceras of Monroe, a 2nd place finisher last year, already holds a pair of wins over #2 Ramiro Osuna of New Brunswick, a 7-2 decision, and a 3-2 win in the ultimate tiebreaker.