2017 DISTRICT 21 PREVIEW
DISTRICT 21 @ Manalapan
Teams: Bordentown, Brick Memorial, Burlington City, Burlington Twp, Colts Neck, Manalapan, New Egypt, Pt Boro, Trenton
106: Coming off a great rookie campaign that saw him place 2nd in D26 and punch a ticket to AC with a 3rd place finish in R7, Craig Cook of Burlington Twp went 28-3 in 2017 and earned the top-seed. At #2 is Manalapan's Paul Santomarco who himself had a strong 2017, going 30-3 in the regular season. Frosh AJ Beck of New Egpyt is the 3-seed, while a pair of juniors, Joe Rotondo of Brick Memorial and Tavon Rogers of Trenton Central are in the 4/5 slots.
113: Top-seeded Joey King of Colts Neck is a 2-time D21 medal winner, and advanced to AC in 2015 after finishing 2nd in R6. He'll be looking for, and strongly favored, to win his first D21 title. At #2 is Pt Boro's Ben Sabo, a 2-time D23 medalist. More Shore flavor at the 3-seed in Manalapan's AJ Sortino and 5-seed with Mike Richardson of Brick Memorial. They sandwich #4 Kyle Kaluhiokalani, an 18-5 junior out of Burlington City.
120: 2-time D26 Champion Billy Moore of Bordentown is the top-seed. He holds decision wins over both #2 Kareem Ghaida of Manalapan and #3 Alexander LoPrinzi of Burlington Twp, and also owns a pinfall over #4 Joseph Brown of New Egypt. A darkhorse here could be Colts Neck's Justin Pierre-Louise at #6, who went 13-3 despite missing a good portion of the season.
126: Trenton Central's Herbert Edwards received the top-seed here, but keep an eye on #2 Verlensky Joachim of Bordentown, who reached AC in 2016 after finishing 3rd in both D26 and R7. Colts Neck's Dyon Womack is the 3-seed here, while Pt Boro's talented frosh, Ty Bailey, earned the 4th seed.
132: The top seed here, Gianni Ghione of Brick Memorial, he's pretty good. The undefeated Ghione will be the heavy favorite here in a field that includes #2 Matt Potash (2nd D26) of Bordentown, #3 Alex Baran of Manalapan, and #4 Anthony Lombardo of Colts Neck.
138: Strong field here as the top 8 seeds are all over the .500 mark. At #1 is Burlington Twp's Kyle Leinheiser, a D26 3rd-place finisher in 2015. At #2 is Manalapan's Anthony Coposky, who just outpointed #3 Steven Kramer of Colts Neck, a big pinner who will be looking to close his career with at least his first District medal. Spencer Robinson of Pt Boro, who finished 2nd in D23 last season is a very tough 4-seed.
145: Another weight that should be very competitive, and is filled with wrestlers all looking for their first District hardware. #1 Matt Mustillo of Manalapan has had a great turnaround season. After going 10-21 a year ago, he enters this tournament at 22-11. Colts Neck's 26-5 senior Ben Sammarco is in the 2-spot, while 24-bout winner Michael Limone of Burlington Twp is at #3.
152: Very solid weight, as the Top 5 here all have 20 or more wins. At #1 is Manalapan's Ronny Ghaida, the defending champion at this weight class. Brick Memorial's Chris Richardson earned the #2 seed by half a point over #3 Brandon Felkins of Burlinton Twp, who placed 2nd in D26 a year ago. Dominick Esposito of Colts Neck is a dangerous 4-seed, who dropped a close 4-2 decision to Richardson back in December's TCNJ Pride Tournament. He gets 20-bout winner Messiah Cook of Trenton Central in the 4/5 opener.
160: The 152-pound D26 runner-up, Christian Hannigan of Burlington Twp is the top seed here. 15-5 sophomore Ean Mueller of Brick Memorial, who has been out of the lineup since 1/26, is expected to return and will be the #2 seed. He owns a 9-2 decision over #3 seed Nicholas Cilea of Colts Neck. In the 4th slot is Manalapan's Matt Benedetti who will face #5 Yajaziel Reyes of Trenton Central in his opener.
170: Deep field as the top 8 seeds here are all over .500 from #1 Jake Staklinski of Manalapan, down to #8 Ryan Sansone of Pt Boro. Staklinski has been a solid starter for the Braves over the past three years, and will be looking for his first District medal. Isaiah Wesley, an 18-3 senior from Burlington City, is the 2-seed and placed 3rd in D26 last season. There's potential for a good All-Shore 3/6 matchup between #3 Samuel Williams of Brick Memorial and #6 Kenneth Koenig of Colts Neck.
182: Top-seeded Justin Obermeyer of Manalapan was the D21 3rd place finisher at 170 last season. Colts Neck sophomore Michael Jannucci missed some time due to injury, but his 16-4 season was enough to get him the 2-seed. In the 3-slot is another sophomore, TreVonne Black of Burlington Twp. At #4, is Dylan Ippolito for Pt Boro. A potential darkhorse at the 6-seed in Brick Memorial's Ronald Hopping.
195: It's an All-Shore top 3 here. #1 Billy Borowsky, a sophomore, finished 3rd in D23 a year ago. AJ Royle jumped from the #5 spot all the way up to #2 on the strength of his pinfall win over Manalapan's Stephen Byrne, who jumped ahead of Ryan Brazill of Bordentown for the #3 seed by virtue of his 1st period pin in the Braves dual win over the Scotties.
220: Another wide open weight. Pre-seed #1 Jajuan Hayes of Bordentown was jumped by pre-seed #4 Eric Saunders of Burlington Twp because of Saunders pin over him back in mid-January. There really doesn't appear to be any favorite here, so you have to take Saunders, Hayes, and add in #3 Jared Heller of New Egypt, #4 Gabe Fattizzi of Pt Boro, and #5 Rayshawn Austell of Trenton Central, and say they're all in the hunt here.
Hwt: Brick Memorial senior Nick Rivera is a 3-time District Champ, a 2-time Region Champ, and was the State runner-up in 2015. After last year's disappointing finish, you have to think he'll be on a mission here. In the #2 seed is another talented heavy in Pt Boro junior Anthony Bonavito, who holds a 3-2 decision win over #3 Vincent Garguilo of Colts Neck, a 3rd place D21 finisher last season.