I'm pretty sure I stunk up the place with my picks the previous two years, but I was on fire before that. Anyway... here we go.
106: I get called a homer for at least one of my picks every year, so let's just get it out of the way now.
PICK: Schutzenhofer (CBA) over Clark (Delbarton)
DARKHORSE: I just went with a 12 over a 6 in the finals. That is my darkhorse.
RESULT: Clark (Delbarton) over Alvarez (St Joseph's)
Got Clark in the finals right. Schutzenhofer finished 6th.
113: Manchio avenges his only loss and repeats.
PICK: Manchio (Seneca) over Mininno (Gateway)
DARKHORSE: Ventresca (Pope John)
RESULT: Mininno (Gateway) over Howard (Bergen Catholic)
Again, my finalist runner-up wins it all. Manchio finished 8th, and my darkhorse took 6th.
120: Third time is the charm for Glory.
PICK: Glory (Delbarton) over Revano (Camden Catholic)
DARKHORSE: Anyone in the top bracket that can upset Glory.
RESULT: Glory (Delbarton) over Aragona (Pope John)
My first winner! Revano went on to finish 5th
126: Raimo & Metzler - Round 3
PICK: Raimo (Hanover Park) over Metzler (West Morris Central)
DARKHORSE: Slendorn (Howell)
RESULT: Raimo (Hanover Park) over Slendorn (Howell)
Got the Champ right, and my darkhorse took 2nd. I can live with that. Metzler placed 7th
132: I think everyone knows where I was going with this one.
PICK: Ghione (Brick Memorial) over Kinner (Kingsway)
DARKHORSE: Burger (New Milford)
RESULT: Kinner (Kingsway) over Burger (New Milford)
Another one of my runner-ups wins it. My darkhorse takes 2nd, and my champ takes 3rd. I give myself an A- here.
138: I'm tempted here... really, really tempted.
PICK: Angelo (Bergen Catholic) over Benner (Ocean Township)
DARKHORSE: Carida (Hackettstown)
RESULT: Benner (Ocean Township) over Angelo (Bergen Catholic)
I should have given in to my temptation. Kidding, it was reverse psychology. I knew Benner was taking it all along!
145: The top bracket here is ridiculously stacked. I'd like 4 of 5 of these guys to come out of the bottom bracket. But, it is what it is.
PICK: Palumbo (Lenape Valley) over Cabanillas (DePaul)
DARKHORSE: Corrigan (TR South)
RESULT: Palumbo (Lenape Valley) over Cabanillas (DePaul)
Nailed it! Used the scientific formulas of picking the #1 over the #2.
152: I paid for my ticket to see Glasgow vs. Griffith!
PICK: Glasgow (Bound Brook) over Griffith (Bergen Catholic)
DARKHORSE: Fano (Montville)
RESULT: Glasgow (Bound Brook) over Griffith (Bergen Catholic)
Two in a row! And my darkhorse finishes 8th.
160: Would be nice too see them rig the "random" starting weight for the finals so they close with 152 and 160. Assuming the seeds hold, of course.
PICK: Lewis (Bound Brook) over Cochran (Paramus) - I changed that one 4 times.
DARKHORSE: Maxwell (Buena)
RESULT: Lewis (Bound Brook) over Cochran (Paramus)
Three in a row! Darkhorse takes 6th. I'm on fire! I even nailed them making the starting weight 170. I'll be giving lottery numbers tomorrow.
170: I just changed my pick at 160 again while looking at 170.
PICK: McLaughlin (Woodbridge) over Mandarino (Don Bosco)
DARKHORSE: Reitsma (Howell)
RESULT: Janzer (Delsea) over Mandarino (Don Bosco)
Got close to getting five finals in a row, but Janzer took out McLaughlin in Sudden Victory. McLaughlin placed 3rd. I'm giving my self a B- here.
182: Weight got a little more wide open with Kui withdrawing.
PICK: Mainiero (Queen of Peace) over Sosinsky (Northern Highlands)
DARKHORSE: Ilic (Parsippany)
RESULT: Walton (Bound Brook) over Wustefeld (Scotch Plains)
Big swing and a miss here. Mainiero took 3rd, but Sosinsky and Ilic did not place.
195: Of course I'm picking him.
PICK: McKenzie (Wall) over Lightner (Delaware Valley)
DARKHORSE: Quite a few I wanted to put here, but I'll say Taulane (Collingswood)
RESULT: Lightner (Delaware Valley) over Taulane (Collingswood)
My 2nd takes 1st, and my darkhorse takes 2nd. McKenzie gutted through a shoulder injury to take 7th.
220: I still remember the first match I saw Melise wrestle, but let's not talk about that one.
PICK: Melise (Phillipsburg) over O'Malley (Hasbrouck Heights)
DARKHORSE: Delvecchio (South Plainfield)
RESULT: Keosseian (Howell) over Acciardi (Don Bosco)
Happy to be wrong here. Melise took 5th, O'Malley 6th, Delvecchio 4th.
HWT: I was tempted to go with something really out there, but I'll stay relatively safe. Kind of.
PICK: Chakonis (Don Bosco) over Swartley (Cinnaminson)
DARKHORSE: Porcaro (Sayreville)
RESULT: Chakonis (Don Bosco) over LaGrippo (Woodbridge)
Got 6 champs right. Totally missed on LaGrippo. Swartley was 8th, Porcaro took 6th.