The NJSIAA’s 32 district tournaments will take place this weekend.
The district tournaments are the feeders tournaments to the eight region tournaments. The top three finishers at each weight at the eight region tournaments will qualify for the NJSIAA Individual Championships, which will take place March 6-8 at Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City.
Tuesday, we took an early look at the main contenders in Region VI for the 106-145-pound weight classes.
Today, we are taking an early look at the main contenders in Region VI for the 152-heavyweight weight classes.
The decision by Southern to drop Matt Wilhelm in here makes this weight a lot less complicated, at least figuring out who is going to win it. The race for second and third is wide open.
1. Wilhelm. The region champion at 138 last year. He wrested at 160 most of the season and beat two of the top contenders there.
2. Jake Kaminsky (Manalapan). Unbeaten and has defeated five of the contenders here.
3. Andrew Meyers (Toms River East). Has beaten Brick Memorial’s Rob Ruggiero, Brick’s Nick Pollara, Lacey’s Matt Garrity. Lost to Kaminsky and was pinned by Middletown South’s Matt Best in overtime.
Other contenders: Josh Glantzman (Wall); Ruggiero; Dan Saraiva (Marlboro); Best; Pollara; T.J. Saldutti (Ocean); Matt Garrity (Lacey); Sean Leahey (Jackson Memorial); David Nocks (Howell) .
Very solid weight. Toms River South’s Antrez Clagon replaces Wilhelm here.
1. Cliff Ruggiero (Brick Memorial). A three-time region qualifier, this may finally be the time for Ruggiero to make noise on the state level. He has defeated both Brick’s Will Scott and Clagon and has been wrestling better than ever. He is a throwing machine. His matchup with Scott in the District 23 final will determine who earns the top seed for the region.
2. Will Scott (Brick). Fourth in the region last year at 145. He has been a technical fall machine this year with his ability to tilt. Losses are to Ruggiero and Wilhelm. Has a win over Clagon.
3. Clagon. A state qualifier last year, Clagon was at 170 most of the season, but got down to 160 one time and lost to Scott 5-1 when he was tilted in the first period. Very dangerous with throws.
Other contenders: Nino Gagliano (Freehold Township); Nick Bohal (Raritan); Jarret DiGiantomasso (Jackson Memorial); Thomas Anderson (Middletown North); Chris Koutzen (CBA); Sean Bowker (Southern); Anthony Pozsonyi (Howell); Mike Shohet (Long Branch).
The top three here are all state medal contenders with Brett Donner of Wall a state championship contender. With Clagon apparently going 160, there is less of a logjam here than there would have been. Ocean’s Zach Hertling, a two-time state top four finisher, is line to be the top seed here for the region tournament. Donner and Brick’s Kyle Wojtaszek will meet in the District 23 final and likely the region semifinal.
1. Donner . The state third-place finisher last year at 160, missed the first five weeks of the season with a high ankle sprain, but has been sharp in his six bouts since he returned.
2. Hertling. If he wins the District 22 title, as expected, he will be the top seed and that will mean he will only have to wrestle the winner of the Donner-Wojtaszek semifinal. His only loss was on Dec. 20 when he injury defaulted.
3. Wojtaszek. Seventh in the state last year at 170 last year and unbeaten this year. Could wrestle Donner twice in a week’s span.
Other contenders: Dylan DaSilva (Toms River North); Peyton Blauvelt (Southern); Tanner Kelly (Jackson Memorial); Steven Chandler (Manalapan); Nick Lurski (Howell); Joe Stowers (Brick Memorial); Fred Svenson (Middletown North); Lamont Reid (Long Branch).
The top three here have separated themselves from the rest of the field here.
1. Dean Sherry (Brick). The region champion last year at 170 and one win from earning a state medal last year. Unbeaten this year. Defeated Jackson Memorial’s Connor Bohringer, 4-3, last week.
2. Joe Salvato (Toms River South). The region fourth-place finisher last year at 160 and unbeaten this year.
3. Connor Bohringer (Jackson Memorial). Fourth in the region at this weight last year. His only loss is to Sherry. Very good on the mat.
Other contenders: Anthony Vetrano (Middletown North); Jack LaCorte (CBA); Tyler MacLaine (Toms River North); Austin Silverstein (Howell); Dylan Alt (Keansburg); Dom DiSalvo (Donovan Catholic); Jake Fioretti (Point Beach); Jake Paton (Central); Greg Schmalz (Barnegat); Jerald Goodman (Jackson Liberty).
Keansburg’s Tyree Sutton, sixth in the state and a semifinalist at this weight last year could have gone either here or 195. He has been pre-entered for the District 22 Tournament here.
1. Sutton (Keansburg). Athletic and strong. Unbeaten this year. He is a major state contender here and might have been favored in the state at 220.
2. Matt McKenzie (Wall). Fourth in the region last year at 170. Unbeaten this year. He too could be a state medalist.
3. Dean Helstowski (Brick). Was third in Region IV last year, when he was at St. Peter’s Prep.
Other contenders: Eric Keosseian (Howell); Calvin Beaty (St. John Vianney); Connor Owen (Brick Memorial); Quentin DeCarlo (Toms River South); Connor Scully (Southern); Pat McAteer (Colts Neck); Anthony Torrillo (Manalapan); Viet Le (Ocean); Anthony Terry (Lakewood).
With Sutton’s decision to go 195, Middletown North’s Chad Freshnock, second in the region last year at 182, has been pre-entered for the District 22 Tournament here.
1. Freshnock. Won two bouts in the state tournament last year. Missed the first month of the season with an injury and his only lost since he came back was to Sutton. Has a win over CBA’s Will Oxley/
2. Mike Siwiec (Toms River North). Was fourth in the region here last year. Is unbeaten, but missed time late in the season.
3. Pat Ferraro (Southern). Has alternated between wrestling here and heavyweight all season and has been solid.
Other contenders: Will Oxley (CBA); Joey Jasio (Long Branch); Ray Fattaruso (Brick); Dom Infante (Point Boro); Alex Shtindler (Marlboro).
Brick Memorial’s Nick Rivera and Jackson Memorial’s Brody Graham have separated themselves from the rest of the field here. They have split two bouts this year and Rivera defeated Graham twice last year. The race for third is wide open.
1. Graham. Has made major strides this season. Lost to Rivera Jan. 21, when he was riding Rivera, almost turned him and then Rivera put him on his back with a Peterson and recorded a 6-2 win. Graham beat Rivera 1-0 on Jan. 31 by riding him out in the third period. Graham is tough on top.
2. Rivera (Brick Memorial). The Region VI third-place finisher last year at heavyweight, his only loss is to Graham.
3. Darius Marrow (Central). The transfer from Lakewood, has been the most consistent of the rest of them here.
Other contenders: John Tomlinson (Long Branch); Ryan Demain (Howell); Malcolm Daniels (Raritan); Micah Clark (St. John Vianney); Josh Bento (Southern); Alex Petrocelli (CBA); Brian Olesen (Ocean).