2017 DISTRICT 23 PREVIEW
DISTRICT 23 @ Wall
Teams: Asbury Park, Delran, Freehold Boro, Hightstown, Lakewood, Long Branch, Manasquan, Pt Beach, Steinert, Wall
106: Just a six person bracket, and it's hard to see someone breaking through to disrupt the potential final between #1 Ryan Zimmerman of Long Branch and #2 Nico Messina of Freehold Boro, who have been two of the top 106-pounders all season long.
113: Beach's Will Jarvis has wrestled at 106 at times this season, but will be going 113 for the postseason. He jumped into the #1 seed on the strength of his pin over #2 Christian Charache of Hightstown, a 3rd place finisher in D25 last year. At #3 is LB's Rey Guzman, while Delran frosh Burhan Kahraman received the 4-seed.
120: Carlos Irizzary of Long Branch was a 3rd place finisher in D22 last season and earned the top seed here. The 2nd-seeded Kether Thornton, a freshman out of Hightstown, owns a pinfall victory over fellow frosh #3 Jesse Bowers of Pt Beach. Bowers holds wins over #4 Michael Gagliardo of Freehold Boro (6-5 dec.) and #5 William Bruno of Manasquan (pinfall).
126: Nine entrants here who all finished the regular season at .500 or better. Sophomore Brian Miraglia had a strong postseason run in 2016 that culminated with a trip to AC after finishing 3rd in R7. He gets the top seed over #2 Chris Dean of Long Branch, a 2-time District medalist. Beach's 24-4 junior Jude Lovgren is the 3-seed, while Steinert's Dan Conti is at #4. Conti will face Wall's Shane Golomb, who had some nice wins down the stretch, in the 4/5 matchup.
132: There was a little bit of seed jumping in this weight, but Beach's Roddy Rupp, a 2-time D23 medalist, was the solid #1. Freehold's Sean Neely is at the #2 seed, and Asbury Park's Tyrone Bailey received the #3 seed after a solid 16-3 regular season. Long Branch's Ryan Carey jumped all the way from the 10th seed to #4 by virtue of his head to head win over now #5 Ethan Dzenis of Manasquan, while Steinert's Jordan Zenquis jumped Lakewood's Japhet Campillo on the strength of a 3-0 decision win back in December.
138: Top-seeded Nick Wagner of Wall is one of those wrestlers who could have used the decision to allow the 4th place finishers in Regions to advance to Atlantic City a little bit earlier. The senior finished 4th in R6 each of the past two years. Long Branch's Isaac Shohet outpointed Delran's Anthony Cameron (3rd D26) for the #2 seed. Lakewood's Marco Morales is at the 4-seed and gets Beach's Jared Hoeler in the 4/5.
145: Wall's Jack Kelly, a 2-time D23 runner-up and a 4th place finisher in R6 last season, enters the tournament at 19-1 and is the top seed. He holds a pair of decision wins over the #2 seed, Luke Arnold of Long Branch. Arnold edged out #3 Jason Sherlock of Pt Beach for the 2nd spot by a single seeding point.
152: #1 Robert Kanniard of Wall is a returning D23 Champ, and punched a ticket to AC last season with a 3rd place finish in the Region. He's 29-1 this season and already holds a pinfall win over #2 Francis Marshall of Manasquan. Marshall jumped into the #2 seed on the strength of his 3-1 decision over #3 Jimmy Sherlock of Pt Beach, who enters the tourney at 28-2. This could be a tough Top 3 to crack.
160: A very strong Top 5 here that all have at least 18 wins. Top-seeded Chad McClelland of Wall won a D23 title back in 2014, missed the tournament due to injury in 2015, and finished 2nd a year ago. At the #2 seed is Manasquan's Joe Ostberg, who is one of the Warriors' best shot at getting their first District medal since 2013. Delran's Jake Sundermier (18-6) is in the 3-seed. The 4/5 matchup between Beach's Jason Bowers and Hightstown's Christopher Rosenberger will be a rematch of a bout won by Bowers by pinfall back in mid-January.
170: State-ranked Phil Rogers of Delran is the top seed here. Rogers, a 3-time D26 Champion, has twice qualified for the State Tournament after winning R7 in 2016, and finishing 2nd in 2015. It's a strong field here with the top 7 seeds all being +.500 wrestlers, but he'll be the strong favorite to claim his 4th District title here.
182: Another deep weight with the top 8 seeds all above .500 and with at least 13 wins. The top seed here is Long Branch's Peter Wersinger, a 3rd place finisher in D22 a year ago. At #2 is Beach's Jack Baker who enters the tournament at 28-1, with the lone loss coming while wrestling up at 195. Baker, was a 3rd place finisher in D23 and 4th place finisher in R6 in 2016. Sophomore Berkant Haliloglu is the #3 seed, and finished 3rd in D26 last year. In the 4th spot is Hightstown's Johnny Andre. Andre, the D25 champ at 195 in 2016, enters the Districts with a record of 32-2, but the two losses came to Baker and Haliloglu which dropped him down to the #4 slot. That sets up a solid 4/5 between Andre and Freehold Boro's John Downey, a 3rd place finisher in D21 last season. Should be an interesting weight to watch.
195: While this is actually a very deep weight (9 wrestlers over .500), it should be all #1 Matt McKenzie of Wall here. The battle for 2nd and 3rd should be wide open though, and there was lots of seed jumping with head to heads and such. But again, I'm going all in on McKenzie here.
220: Wall's Shane Davis received the top seed here, while Long Branch's Hunter Marhan is at #2. The pair did not face each other during either of the Wall/LB duals this season, but Davis did edge Marhan in the dual last season, 2-1. At #3 is Delran's Anthony Grozozski, a 2nd place finisher in D26 a year ago. Grozozski faced Marhan back in January, with Marhan getting the victory by fall. #4 Reid Osolin has had some nice wins for Freehold wrestling at 220/Hwt and could be a sleeper here. He has a tough bout with #5 Dan Teman of Hightstown out of the gate though.
Hwt: This could be a wild one. All eight of the heavies entered here are above .500. The top-seed, Cade Watkins of Beach, is ranked #2 in the Shore and has had some real big wins. He's been pushed though, including a close 1-0 win over Asbury Park's Jalen Paige who is seeded #3 here. Like Watkins, LB's #2 Kevin Cerruti has had some nice wins, but should be tested early with 20-bout winner Juan Astudillo of Hightstown in the quarters. The 4/5 between Wall's Darryl Valme and Manasquan's Dylan Ownes will be a rematch of a bout won by Valme, 6-0. Keep an eye on the 6-seed here, Kevin Rybakowski of Lakewood, who is the top freshman heavy in the Shore. Should be a fun weight.