16 NJSIAA Wrestling District Finals We Want to See from Districts 17 to 25 & 32
All 32 of the 2022 NJSIAA District Tournaments have been seeded and after looking at the brackets for the 10 districts involving Shore Conference teams, several weights stand out for potential finals that fans should be eager to watch.
Below are 16 district finals we'd love to see on Saturday afternoon.
District 17, 106: St. John Vianney's Patrick O'Keefe vs. Hunterdon Central's Anthony Rossi
Rossi is 30-2 on the season and the sophomore enters after finishing second in the Central Super Region last season. Both of his losses came at the Beast of the East. O'Keefe, who is ranked No. 1 in the Shore at 106, has been a buzzsaw during a freshman season that has him at 25-6 with all six losses at either the Beast of the East, Sam Cali Invitational, and Escape the Rock Tournament. O'Keefe split bouts with Livingston state fifth-place finisher Aidan Carmody during the season and also beat returning state runner-up Logan Wadle of North Hunterdon. Can Rossi make it a match or will O'Keefe roll to a district crown?
District 17, 157: Hunterdon Central's Tanner Peake vs. St. John Vianney's Jasiah Queen
This will be the feature bout of the entire District 17 bout as long as the seeds hold. It would be a major, major upset if they somehow didn't. Peake, who is the top seed, is 31-3 on the year with all three losses coming at the Beast of the East. He is a two-time district champion and a three-time state qualifier who finished sixth in the state at 152 pounds last season. Queen is 14-1 after transferring from Elizabeth where he was a two-time state qualifier and a region runner-up last season.
District 19, 190: Rumson-Fair Haven's Hudson Skove vs. Marlboro's Mike Malucelli
Skove is the top seed, a returning super region runner-up who won a bout at the state tournament, 28-2 on the season, and ranked No. 1 in the Shore at 190 pounds. Both of those losses came at the Beast of the East. Malucelli, who was fifth in the Central Super Region at 170 pounds last season, is 23-0 and has been a bonus-point machine this season with 18 pins, a major decision, and four wins by forfeit.
District 20, 106: Matawan's Ricky Gomez vs. Middletown North's Brady Klinsky
Gomez, a junior, is a returning state qualifier and the Shore's No. 2-ranked 106-pounder. He is 25-1 on the season with his only loss coming at 120 pounds. Klinsky, a sophomore, was a region qualifier last season who is 21-5 on the season with several quality wins in the 106-pound weight class while also bumping up to challenge some top 113-pounders.
District 20, 132: Red Bank's Phil Stolfa vs. Raritan's Braden Kmak
Stolfa is 30-2 and the No. 1 seed who is on the verge of becoming Red Bank's all-time wins leader. He is a returning state qualifier, a two-time district third-place finisher, and a three-time region medalist. He is the favorite in the bracket but Kmak, the No. 2 seed, is a dangerous pinner who was instrumental in Raritan's run to the Group 2 state title.
District 20, 138: Middletown South's Robert Generelli vs. Raritan's Zach Reilley
A likely matchup of the No. 3 and No. 4 ranked 138-pounders in the Shore should be a good one. Genrellii is 22-4 and was a region fifth-place finisher at 132 pounds last season while Reilley reached the first round of wrestlebacks as a freshman at least season's Central Super Region Tournament.
District 20, 215: Red Bank Catholic's Davin Brewton vs. Raritan's Nick Burns
Burns and Brewton have been among the Shore's top 215-pounders all season and have a good chance to meet in the final as long as Burns can get through Middletown South's Matt Cody in the semifinals. Brewton (18-3) handed Burns (28-2) one of his two losses on the year when he won by fall on Feb. 4. Burns is surely looking forward to a rematch.
District 21, 106: Jackson Liberty's Anthony Urso vs. Point Boro's Joey DeAngelo or CBA's Tyler Venet
Urso (19-3) is ranked No. 4 in the Shore, Venet (17-7) is ranked 6th and DeAngelo (20-3) is ranked 10th. Urso defeated DeAngelo during the regular season. There are just six wrestlers in the bracket and Urso and DeAngelo get byes into the semifinals. A DeAngelo vs. Venet semifinal should be an entertaining bout.
District 21, 157: CBA's Zander Silva vs. Ocean's Shane Cartagena-Walsh
Silva (21-4) is the No. 1 seed and Cartagena-Walsh (15-0) is the No. 2 seed. Silva was a district champion as a freshman and is a two-time state qualifier. Cartagena-Walsh didn't make his season debut until December but has been excellent so far with a 15-0 record. He was 6th in the super region at 160 pounds last season. Silva is ranked No. 1 in the Shore and Cartagena-Walsh is No. 4 in the Shore.
District 21, 215: Jackson Liberty's Jake Klein vs. CBA's Robert Canterino
Klein was ranked No. 5 in the Shore at 190 pounds but has decided to go 215 for the individual postseason. He is 20-4 on the year and was a district third-place finisher as a sophomore. Canterino is ranked No. 3 and has had a breakout year for the Colts, going 24-4 and emerging as one of the Shore's top upperweights.
District 23, 285: Asbury Park's Stevens Cajulus vs. Brick Memorial's Sam Azzaretti
This potential final would pit two top-10 heavyweights in the Shore against one another. Cajulus (20-5) was third in the district as a sophomore and is looking to become Asbury Park's first district champ since 2018. After a promising freshman season, Azzaretti missed each of the last two seasons but has come back with authority as a senior to post a 23-4 record entering the individual postseason. He was a major piece during Brick Memorial's run to the Group 4 final.
District 24, 144: Monroe's Anthony Profaci vs. Jackson Memorial's Kael Huxford
Huxford, sophomore who is 24-5 on the season, will look for a breakthrough tournament after not being selected for the super region tournaments as a freshman. If he reaches the final it will almost certainly be against Profaci, a senior with a 32-3 record who was a a district third-place finisher at 145 as a sophomore and a region qualifier last season.
District 25, 113: Lacey's Brady Carter vs. Donovan Catholic's Dezmond Lenaghan
A career that started with so much promise before being derailed by injuries is now down to its final postseason. Carter was a district and region runner-up as a freshman at 106 pounds but missed nearly all of his sophomore season with an injury and wasn't healthy for much of last season when he finished fifth in the region at 120 pounds. He was off to an 8-2 record this season before an injury knocked him out of action on Jan. 15. It was unknown if he would be back for districts but he is entered and received the No. 1 seec. Can he put together another run to reach the state tournament? Lenaghan, a freshman, is 21-2 on the season and ranked No. 7 in the Shore. Donovan Catholic is an up-and-coming program and Lenaghan is one of the Griffins' young standouts. These two westled on Jan. 12 with Carter winning by 8-0 major decision, so Lenaghan has work to do to make up ground if Carter is healthy.
District 25, 144: Toms River East's Nick Delorenzo vs. Southern's Nick Bennet
Delorenzo, a junior, is 21-4 and earned the top seed over Bennet, also a junior who is 20-4 on the year. Both are ranked on the top 10 in the Shore at 144 with Bennet No. 4 and DeLorenzo No. 8, but neither has any region criteria from the past two seasons. Bennet is a wrestler to watch this postseason. After being mainly a dual-meet chess piece as a freshman sophomore, he has blossomed into a very good full-time starter who has the ability to make a fruitful postseason run.
District 25, 215: Central's Cosmo Zaccaro vs. Southern's Riley O'Boyle or Donovan Catholic's Levi Wilkins
As far as district upper weights go, this is a very deep class with Zaccaro as the No. 1 seed, O'Boyle No. 2, and Wilkins No. 3. Zaccaro, a junior, is the Shore's No. 1-ranked 215-pounder and enters with a 24-1 record. He is unbeaten vs. Shore Conference opponents with his only defeat coming against Delsea's Luke Maxwell. O'Boyle, also a junior, is 21-4, while Wilkins, a senior, is 21-3, with one of those losses coming to Zaccaro by 6-3 decision on opening day.
District 32, 126: St. Augustine's D'Amani Almodovar vs. Pinelands' Mason Livio
Pinelands and Barnegat are the Shore's only teams in Region 8 with both being aligned in District 32. Livio (Jr., 26-2) is the No. 3 seed in a beastly bracket that gives little hope to anyone seeded outside the top three of making it to regions. D'Almodovar (16-4), a three-time state qualifier, is the No. 1 seed and looking for his first district title. He would be a major challenge for Livio, but he'll have to get through Oakcrest senior Hogan Horsey in the semifinals first. Horsey is 31-2 and in 2020 was a district champion and state qualifier. Livio should advance but is surely looking for more than just a third-place finish.