hristian Brothers Academy won its first NJSIAA district wrestling team championship last year in 46 seasons.
If form holds up in this year’s District 22 Tournament, the Colts would appear to be line to win a district team championship for the second consecutive season for the first time.
Ten of the 13 wrestlers CBA entered in the tournament are top three seeds, including four No. 1 seeds.
District 22 is the only one of Region VI’s four district tournaments that will be a two-day affair. Action begins Friday night at 5:30 at Red Bank Regional with the preliminary round and the quarterfinals.
The tournament concludes Saturday with the semifinals at 10 a.m., the third-place bouts at 2 p.m. and the championship bouts at 3 p.m.
The top three finishers at each of the 14 weight classes in districts 21-24 advance to the Region VI Tournament, which will take place next week at Pine Belt Arena on the campus of Toms River High School North.
CBA’s top seeds are freshman Richie Koehler (106), unbeaten junior Sebastian Rivera (113), the state fifth-place finisher at 106 last year; unbeaten junior Dylan VanSickell (126) and junior Jack LaCorte (182).
The Colts have two No. 2 seeds in senior Justin Kieslor (170) and junior Will Oxley (220) and four No. 3 seeds in junior Carl Vasti (120), senior Liam Gallagher (138), junior Garrett Fitzgerald (152) and junior Christopher Koutzen (160).
Long Branch has seven top three seeds, with just one top seed; Ocean has seven top three seeds with two No. 1 seeds and four No. 2 seeds; Raritan has six top three seeds with two No. 1 seeds and Middletown North has five top three seeds with two No. 1 seeds.
District 22 was also the district where some interesting decisions were made by state-caliber wrestlers.
Keansburg’s unbeaten senior Tyree Sutto (33-0), the state sixth-place finisher last year at 195, had the option of going either 195 or 220. He chose 195 even though he spent much of the season wrestling at 220. At 220, Sutton defeated Moorestown’s Tyreek Smith, the state eighth-place finisher at 220 last year and the only returning state medal winner from last yeat at that weight.
With Sutton’s decision to go 195, Middletown North junior Chad Freshnock, the Region VI runner-up at 182 last year, chose to go 220. The only loss this season for Freshnock, who missed the first month of the season with an injury, was 5-0 to Sutton at 220 on Feb. 7.
Freshnock’s decision to go 220 has created a competitive weight class in this district with himself CBA’s Will Oxley and Long Branch’s Joey Jasio.
Ocean senior Zach Hertling, a two-time state top four finisher who missed the post-season last year because of injury, decided late in the dual-meet season to go 170 after wrestling the first part of the season at 182.
At 170, Hertling will be competing on the region level with Wall’s Brett Donner, the state third-place finisher at 160 last year, and Brick’s Kyle Wojtaszek, the state seventh-place finisher at 152 last year.
Raritan’s Dylan Seidenberg was another wrestler here who made an interesting decision. Seidenberg decided to go 132 after there were indications early in the week he was going to go 138. That could make for one of the best finals in any of four districts in Region VI.
If form holds, Seidenberg would meet Rumson-Fair Haven’s Marcus Iwama in the final. Iwama, the Region VI champion at 132 last year, defeated Seidenberg, 7-5, earlier this season for Seidenberg’s only loss of the season.