Follow Bob Badders on Twitter for scores and news from around the Shore.

 

2015 NJSIAA District 23 Tournament

Saturday Feb. 21 at Brick Memorial 

Click here for brackets

Prelims and quarterfinals, 10 a.m.

Semifinals, 1 p.m.

Finals, 4 p.m.

Defending team champion: Brick Memorial

Returning individual champions: Denzel Tovar, Sr., 120, Wall; Dan Nobbs, Sr., 126, Point Boro; Alec Donovan, Sr., 145, Brick Memorial; Brett Donner, Jr., 170, Wall; Kyle Wojtaszek, Sr., 170, Brick; Dean Sherry, Sr., 182, Brick; Nick Rivera, So., Hwt, Brick Memorial.

 

Brick senior Kyle Wojtaszek (above) is one five wrestlers who enter the District 23 tournament unbeaten. (Photo by Ray Richardson).

 

Teams

Asbury Park

Team titles: none

District champions: six

Last champion: Domingo Perez (2013).

 

Brick Memorial

Team titles: 28 (Last: 2014)

District champions: 157

Last champion(s): Joe Ghione, Alec Donovan, Nick Costa, Tyler Poling, Nick Rivera (2014).

 

Brick

Team titles: none

District champions: 54

Last champion(s): Dan Rackliffe, Kyle Wojtaszek, Dean Sherry (2014).

 

Manasquan

Team titles: one (1979)

District champions: 26

Last champion: Todd Rinaldo (2004).

 

Monmouth Regional

Team titles: none

District champions: 13

Last champion: Cory Sellers (2008).

 

Neptune

Team titles: six (Last: 1986)

District champions: 71

Last champion(s): Karl Waldron, Dae’Sean Brown (2013)

 

Point Beach

Team titles: none

District champions: 31

Last champion: Riley Kelly (2013).

 

Point Boro

Team titles: four (Last: 1991)

District champions: 87

Last champion(s): Dan Nobbs, Ryan Budzek (2014).

 

Shore Regional

Team titles: none

District champions: 19

Last champion(s): Derek Arnette, Luke Bush (2011).

 

Wall

Team titles: seven (Last: 2005)

District champions: 102

Last champion(s): Denzel Tovar, Chad McClelland, Brett Donner, Tyler Romanelli (2014).

 

Weights to Watch

126

District 23 is pretty top-heavy, and 126 is one of the few weights where there will be at least some drama regarding who reaches the final. Point Boro senior Dan Nobbs (22-2) is a returning champion and heavy favorite to reach the final in the top half of the bracket. The likely semifinal in the bottom half will be Wall sophomore Nick Wagner (24-4) versus Brick Memorial senior Jose Bocalman (20-5). Wagner pinned Bocalman back at the Mustang Classic in December. Both have wrestled great down the stretch, so that should be a very good match. Nobbs is the favorite, but any of the top three could take the title. All three should advance.

Prediction: 1-Nobbs; 2-Bocalman; 3-Wagner.

 

138

The deepest weight in the district where any combination of the top six could conceivably advance. Brick sophomore Jack McLafferty (20-7) earned the top seed based on his win over No. 2 seed Anthony Mitchell (19-4) of Brick Memorial. Point Beach junior Giancarlo Crivelli (27-3) is the No. 3 seed and has a very tough quarterfinal bout with sixth-seeded Jack Wishart (14-4) of Wall. Manasquan senior Benjamin Meseroll (24-7) is the fourth seed and Neptune senior Eliezer Santiago (15-5) is the No. 5 seed, and those two will meet in the quarterfinals. This is a close one to call, but the edge goes to Mitchell because he is always a split-second from throwing someone to their back.

Prediction: 1-Mitchell; 2-McLafferty; 3-Wishart.

 

152

Breaking up the top three seeds here is highly unlikely, but it’s anybody’s guess as to what order they will finish in. Wall junior Josh Glantzman (24-3) jumped Brick Memorial senior Rob Ruggiero (20-5) for the top seed based on a decision win during the Shore Conference Tournament, while Ruggiero got the No. 2 seed because of an overtime win over Brick senior Nick Pollara during the regular season. Glantzman also has a win over Pollara. All bets are off when judo players Ruggiero and Pollara wrestle each other, so that should be a high-flying semifinal bout.

Prediction: 1-Ruggiero; 2-Glantzman; 3-Pollara.

 

Heavy Favorites

113: Gianni Ghione, So., Brick Memorial (26-1)

145: Alec Donovan, Sr., Brick Memorial (26-1)

182: Dean Sherry, Sr., Brick (28-0).

Hwt: Nick Rivera, So., Brick Memorial (23-1).

 

Solid Favorites

106: Chris Dean, Fr., Shore (31-4).

120: Denzel Tovar, Sr., Wall (29-0)

 

Collision Course

160: 1-Cliff Ruggiero, Sr., Brick Memorial (25-3) vs. 2-Will Scott, Sr., Brick (26-2)

170: 1-Brett Donner, Jr., Wall (7-0) vs. 2-Kyle Wojtaszek, Sr., Brick (28-0)

195: 1-Matt McKenzie, So., Wall (28-0) vs. 2-Dean Helstowski, So., Brick (22-4)

220: 1-Dominic Infante, Jr., Point Boro (23-4) vs. 2-Ray Fattaruso, Sr., Brick (8-1).

 

Wide Open

132: 1-Luke Vescovi, Jr., Brick Memorial (16-6); 2-Joe Demuner, Jr., Wall (21-9); 3-John Finnerty, Jr., Point Beach (25-1); 4-Thomas Wright, Sr., Brick (17-12).