BRISTOL, R.I., March 3, 2002 — Opponents didn’t have a lot to go on when facing NFA’s Jason Pagan in the New England Tournament. Two years ago, he missed most of the season with a broken arm. A year ago, he finished second in Class LL and didn’t qualify for the New England meet.
Pagan (145 pounds) made his only trip worthwhile becoming NFA’s first champion in eight years with a 3-0 win over Brandon Monce of Mt. Anthony, Vt. A second period escape and a two-point near fall in the waning seconds of the match clinched the victory for Pagan (47-1), the Class LL and State Open champion.
“I never imagined I’d get this (far). I imagined I’d come to New Englands and place, but No. 1, I never imagined being that,” he told the Norwich Bulletin.
One of Pagan’s toughest wins came in the quarterfinals where Pagan prevailed over Rhode Island champion Rich Boudreau of Warwick, 4-2 in overtime.
“He’s been a hard worker ever since he’s been on my team,” NFA coach Roy Wentworth told the Norwich Bulletin. “When you work as hard as he does, anything is possible.”
Tony Gizio was NFA’s last New England champion in 1994.
KARASEVICZ SECOND: Waterford’s Adam Karasevicz finished second at 189 pounds, dropping a 13-3 decision to Mike Pedro of St. John’s Prep (Massachusetts). Pedro (61-0, 54 pins) is one of the most celebrated wrestlers in Massachusetts history with a state record 213 career wins.
Pedro, a three-time Massachusetts state champion, won his second New England championship despite suffering a knee injury in the opening minutes of the match.
”I heard something pop early,” Pedro told the Boston Globe. ”And I was just going on adrenaline the rest of the way. I had to guard my leg the rest of the way, wrestled pretty cautiously, and still he never really tested me.”
Karasevicz, the Class M and State Open champion, finishes the season at 50-1.
HAYES TAKES SECOND: A perfect season was foiled for Danbury sophomore Anthony Hayes (130) in an 8-4 loss to Frank Sforza of Rockland, Mass. in the finals. Hayes (43-1). Sforza, the Massachusetts champion, controlled the final and finished 41-0. Hayes survived a tough 5-4, double OT win over Rhode Island’s Anthony Turelli in the quarterfinals to reach the final.
LONG ROAD FOR PACE: Bethel’s Greg Pace, who finished third in last week’s State Open, took a long road to the finals at 119 pounds.
He began with a win over the No. 3 finisher from Winchester, Mass., Steve Gregory and then beat Maine champion Lew Emery of Westbrook, 10-6. Pace outlasted the No. 2 wrestler from Massachusetts, Jason Phachansir of Quabbin Regional, 6-2 in the quarterfinals before beating Killingly rival James Therrien, 3-2 in the semifinals
Therrien had beaten the Vermont champion Paul Monick of Mt. Anthony, 2-1 and slipped past Pomperaug’s Josh Feldman, 3-1 in overtime in the quarterfinals.
In the finals, New Hampshire champion Andy Lacroix of Salem, N.H. pinned Pace in 3:17 to finish the year 43-1 and win his second straight New England title.
LAST SECOND WIN FOR BEANE: Defending New England champion Lee Beane of Bridgewater-Raynham beat Greenwich’s John Sullivan, 3-2 with a takedown as time expired in the finals at 275 pounds. Trailing 2-1 with six seconds left in the third period, Beane made a desperate lunge and took down Sullivan for the win.
”All I could think was, `I have to get a damn takedown,”’ Beane (47-1) told the Boston Globe. ”He was so big and strong that it would have been easy to get frustrated.”
TOUGH LOSS: Hand’s Brett Scholnick lost in the final seconds of a dramatic match at 171 pounds. Leading 7-4 with 12 seconds remaining, Mt. Anthony’s Joe Dimick managed to take down Scholnick and turned him to his back for a three point near fall and a 9-7 lead. Scholnick escaped at the buzzer to lose by one, 9-8. Scholnick, the two-time State Open champion, finishes the season with a 48-1 record.
FOUR-TIME CHAMPION: Timberline’s Matt Smith (125) became only the second wrestler in New England Tournament history to win four straight titles. Smith pinned Mike Murphy of Quincy, Mass. in 3:43 to earn the honor.
The last wrestler to win four New England titles in a row was Dan Smith of Coventry, R.I. in 1986-89. Smith was immediately inducted in the New England high school wrestling Hall of Fame after the match was over.
“I’ve been coming to this tourney for 32 years, and he’s the best wrestler I’ve ever seen,” Essex (Vt.) coach Mike Baker told the Lawrence Eagle Tribune. “There’s been nobody better. Relax for a second, he’ll have you.”
Smith, who was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler, never lost a match in New England. He finished his career with a 181-6 record. He was 47-1 this season, the only loss a 1-0 double overtime defeat in the Mid-Atlantic Classic finals against Mark Moos of Ohio, the No. 1 ranked 125-pounder in the country.
TITLE WON BY DQ: John Goss of St. John’s (Shrewsbury, Mass.) earned his 160-pound New England championship after his opponent was disqualified. Trailing 5-0 in the second period, Ron Wright of Mt. Anthony’s (Vt.), got Goss in a chokehold and Goss fainted. Wright was disqualified and Goss was the champion.
”I tried to fight the choke and then I was out,” Goss told the Boston Globe. ”Next thing I knew, I was awake on the mat. I said, `Am I New England champ?’ and they said, `Yes.’ And I said, `Cool.”’
Wright was ejected from the tournament and Mt. Anthony lost the 20 points he had earned.
VERMONT TEAM WINS TITLE: Mt. Anthony won its fifth New England title since 1993 and its first since 1999. Mt. Anthony had 115½ points thanks to a pair of champions, five finalists and seven wrestlers that took home medals. Salem, N.H. was second with 63 points and defending champion Timberline, N.H. third with 60½ points.
Danbury was the top Connecticut team in seventh place with 43 points while RHAM was 10th with 35. Mt. Anthony is now tied with Coventry, R.I. for the most New England championships.
AROUND THE MAT: Plainville’s Jesse Cavallaro (103) lost his first match of the tournament, 10-3 on Friday night but he rallied to win four straight matches including a 8-4 win over State Open champion Nick Weyer of Danbury to earn a spot in the consolation final. But Cavallaro came up short in a 4-3 loss to Scott King of Chelmsford (Mass.) … RHAM’s Trevor Brown (112), Platt’s Luis Murillo (119), Weaver’s Dana Cleveland (130), Fairfield’s Lee Mannion (135) and RHAM’s Greg Dussol (145) each finished third. … Fifteen Connecticut wrestlers were in the semifinals and six made the finals. … Brown won four in a row to take third. Murillo won four in a row in the consolation bracket to finish third at 119.
Information for this report was obtained from the Boston Globe, Norwich Bulletin, Lawrence Eagle Tribune, Burlington Free Press, Bennington Banner and Hartford Courant and personal notes.
Complete New England 2002 tournament brackets (Courtesy Berkshire Wrestling)
2002 New England Tournament
At Bristol, Rhode Island
Team results: 1, Mt. Anthony, Vt., 115.50; 2, Salem, N.H., 63; 3, Timberlane, N.H., 60.50; 4, Lowell, Mass., 53.50; 5, Central Catholic, Mass., 53; 6, Bridgewater-Raynham, Mass., 45; 7. Danbury 43, 8, St. John’s, Mass., 37; 9, Quincy, Mass., 36.50; 10, RHAM, 35; 11, Pinkerton, N.H., 33; 12, Bethel, 32; 13, Foxboro, Mass., 31; 14, Greenwich, 31; 15, Warwick, RI, 30.50; 16, Plymouth Mass., 30; 17, Ludlow, Mass., St. John’s Private, 28; 19, Hendricken, 26.50; 20, Rockland, Mass., 24.50; 21, Johnston, 24; 22, NFA., 22; 23, Cranston East, RI., 21; 24, Spaulding, N.H., 21; 25, Waterford, 21; 26, Weymouth, Mass., 21. 27, Bridgeport Central, 20; 28, Fairfield High, Hand-Madison, 20; 30, Souhegan, N.H., 20; 31, Fitchburg, Mass., 18; 32, North Kingstown, R.I., 18; 33, Platt-Meriden, 31; 34, Walpole, Mass., 18; 35, Agawam, Mass., Guilford, Conn., 16; 37, East Providence, 15.50; 38, Chelmsford, Mass., 14; 39, Weaver-Hartford, 14; 40, Gr. Lowell, 13; 41, Camden Hill, 12; 42, tie between Dexter and Marshwoods, 11; 44, tie among Deering, Killingly, Plainville, Reading, 10; 48, tie among Fair Haven, Springfield and Stratford, 9.
Other Connecticut teams: 52. Bulkeley 8, 72. Pomperaug 2, 82. Derby 1
Final: Patrick Feeley, Johnston, R.I. dec. Chris Pruden, Mt. Anthony, 8-4
Third place: Scott King, Chelmsford, Mass. dec. Jesse Cavallaro, Plainville 4-3
Fifth place: Nick Weyer, Danbury pin Chris Barkac, Dexter, Maine, 1:55
Final: Nathan Myers, Hendricken, R.I. dec. Zach Thorne, Spaulding, N.H., 6-4 OT
Third place: Trevor Brown, RHAM dec. Matt Martin, East Providence, 5-3
Fifth place: Robert LaBrake, Mt. Anthony, Vt., dec. Dan Villanova, Weymouth, Mass., 7-3
Final: Andy Lacroix, Salem, N.H. pin Greg Pace, Bethel, 3:17
Third place: Luis Murillo, Platt dec. Paul Monick, Mt. Anthony, 9-2
Fifth place: James Therrien, Killingly dec. Mike Arone, Waltham, Mass., 14-2
Final: Matt Smith, Timberline, N.H. pin Mike Murphy, Quincy, Mass., 2:43
Third place: Mike Robichaud, Souhegan, N.H. dec. Provost, Ludlow, 4-1.
Fifth place: Chris Coppola, Fitch dec. Mark McCauley, Guilford, 3-1
Final: Frank Sforza, Rockland, Mass. dec. Anthony Hayes, Danbury, 8-4
Third place: Dana Cleveland, Weaver, def. Marquis Brewster, Cranston East, R.I.,. 6-4.
Fifth place: Matt Hicks, Salem, N.H., dec. Pat Howard Marshwood, Maine, 4-3
Final: Nick Dalicando, Salem N.H. dec. Robbie LeRoux, Bridgewater-Raynham, Mass., 3-2
Third place: Lee Mannion, Fairfield dec. Tony McDonald, Weymouth, 5-2.
Fifth place: Chris Remsen, Camden Hills, Maine, dec. Miguel Figeroa, Bulkeley, 4-2
Final: Ben Lackey, Mt. Anthony dec. Tony Pallaria, Central Catholic, Mass., 11-1
Third place: Dave Provencher, Lowell, def. Jake Doerfler, Timberlane, 6-0.
Fifth place: Derek Hanley, Wilmington, Mass., dec. Anthony Corvino, Stratford, Conn., 8-5
Final: Jason Pagan, NFA dec. Brendan Mance, Mt. Anthony, Vt., 3-0
Third place: Greg Dussol, RHAM, def. Bill Murray, Central Catholic, Mass., 3-2
Fifth place: Rich Boudreau, Warwick Veterans, R.I., dec. Brian Bumpus, Hollis-Brookline, Mass.
Final: Phil Moricone, Pinkerton, N.H. dec. Kevin Greener, Walpole, Mass., 13-2
Third place: Joe Hern, Quincy, Mass., dec. Mike Ragusa, Foxboro, 5-0.
Fifth place: Dennis Stone, Danbury pin Jason Bakanowski, St. John’s-Shrewsbury, Mass., 3:19
Final: John Goss, St. John’s, Mass., dec. Ron Wright, Mt. Anthony, disqualification
Third place: Jon Dolan, Lowell, Mass., dec. Carlos Lopez, Greater Lowell, Mass.,Tech, 3-1.
Fifth place: Chuck Connolly, Pinkerton, N.H., dec. Will Deveau, Fitch, 8-7
Final: Joe Dimick, Mt. Anthony, Vt., dec. Brett Scholnick, Hand, 9-8
Third place: Patrick Sheehan, Lowell, Mass., def. John DaCruz, Ludlow, 7-3.
Fifth place: Jon Kane, Deering, Maine dec. Carl Higbie, Greenwich, 9-2
Final: Mike Pedro, St. John’s (Mass.) dec. Adam Karasevicz, Waterford, 13-3
Third place: Joe Gravina, Warwick, RI. dec. Brian Pederson, Agawam, Mass., 6-2.
Fifth place: Jay Leckey, Guilford dec. Josh Gardiner, Reading, Mass., 8-4
Final: Mike Blair, Plymouth, N.H. dec. Joe Fendone, Central Catholic, Mass., 6-5
Third place: Jamie Ranney, Timberlane, N.H. pin Andy Palermo, Bethel, 4:11
Fifth place: Garvin Headley, Springfield, Mass., dec. Wigberto Diaz, Bridgeport Central, 5-3
Final: Lee Beane, Bridgewater-Raynham (Mass.) dec. John Sullivan, Greenwich, 3-2
Third place: Jeff Parker, Foxboro, def. Chris Hannon, N. Kingstown, R.I., 5-1.
Fifth place: Joe Bushey, Fair Haven, Vt., dec. Dave Paniccia, Bridgeport Central, 1-0 (OT criteria)
Outstanding wrestler: Matt Smith, Timberlane (125)
119: Greg Pace, Bethel vs. Andy Lacroix, Salem, N.H.
130: Anthony Hayes, Danbury vs. Frank Sforza, Rockland, Mass.
145: Jason Pagan, NFA vs. Brendan Mance, Mt. Anthony, Vt.
171: Brett Scholnick, Hand vs. Joe Dimick, Mt. Anthony, Vt.
189: Adam Karasevicz, Waterford vs. Mike Pedro, St. John’s (Mass.)
275: John Sullivan, Greenwich vs. Lee Beane, Bridgewater-Raynham (Mass.)
103: Nick Weyer, Danbury (3-0)
119: James Therrian, Killingly 3-0; Greg Pace, Bethel, 3-0
125: Chris Coppolo, Fitch, 3-0
130: Anthony Hayes, Danbury, 2-0
135: Miguel Figueroa, Bulkeley, 2-0
140: Anthony Corvinio, Stratford, 2-0
145: Greg Dussol, RHAM 3-0, Jason Pagan, NFA 2-0
171: Carl Higbie, Greenwich, 2-0, Brett Scholnick, Hand, 2-0
189: Adam Karasevicz, Waterford, 2-0
215: Wigberto Diaz, Bridgeport Central, 2-0
275: Dave Paniccia, Bridgeport Central 3-0, John Sullivan, Greenwich 2-0
2002 New England results, top 6
Connecticut wrestlers results, day 1
Results courtesy of the Hartford Courant
Preliminaries (pre), first round (fr) and quarterfinal (qtr) matches held Friday.
*-denotes still alive in the main draw.
*-Nick Weyer, Danbury: beat Travis Tremblay, Winchester (Mass.) 5-0 (pre); pinned Nick Lavine, Westbrook (Maine), 1:08 (fr); beat Casey Boyle, Lowell (Mass.), 6-4 (qtr).
Jesse Cavallaro, Plainville: lost to Chris Barkac, Dexter (Maine), 10-3 (fr).
Jason Vermes, East Windsor: lost to Rollie Peterkin, Wellesley (Mass.), 5-3 (fr).
Josh Trujillo, Bridgeport Central: lost to Frank Lombardo, LaSalle (R.I.), 4-3 (pre).
Trevor Brown, RHAM-Hebron: beat Luis Espinoza, Harding-Bridgeport, 8-0 (fr); lost to Matt Martin, East Providence (R.I.), 5-1 (qtr).
Ian Kessler, New Fairfield: pinned by Jon Blackham, Winchester (Mass.), 1:29 (pre).
Chris Malarkey, Killingly: lost to Ryan Gracia, Bridge-Raynham (Mass.), 5-3 (pre).
Luis Espinoza, Harding-Bridgeport: beat Micah Naylor, Springfield Central (Mass.), 3-2 (pre); lost to Trevor Brown, RHAM-Hebron, 8-0 (fr).
*-James Therrian, Killingly: beat Jose Orsini, Greater Lawrence (Mass.), 9-4 (pre); beat Paul Monick, Mt. Anthony (Vt.), 2-1 (fr); beat Josh Feldman, Pomperaug-Southbury, 3-1 (OT) (qtr).
*-Greg Pace, Bethel: beat Steve Gregory, Winchester (Mass.), 11-7 (pre); beat Lew Emery, Westbrook (Maine), 10-6 (fr); beat Jason Phachansir, Quabbin (Mass.), 6-2 (qtr).
Luis Murillo, Platt-Meriden: pinned Paul McNeil, Lowell (Mass.), 2:38 (fr); lost to Mike Arone, Waltham (Mass.), 6-4 (qtr).
Josh Feldman, Pomperaug-Southbury: beat Devon Hanson, Winnisquam (N.H.), 11-1 (pre); beat Alex Rey, Cranston East (R.I.), 8-7 (fr); lost to James Therrian, Killingly, 3-1 (OT).
*-Chris Coppolo, Fitch-Groton: beat Jerry Rico, Cranston East (R.I.), 5-1 (pre); won by injury default over Kyle McCarthy, Duxbury (Mass.), (fr); beat Mark McCauley Guilford, 7-4 (qtr).
Mark McCauley, Guilford: beat Ben Davis, Bonny Eagle (Maine), 8-3 (fr); lost to Chris Coppola, Fitch-Groton, 7-4 (qtr).
Jeff Oldham, Bethel: lost to Nate Monterio, Woburn (Mass.), 9-5 (fr).
Brandon Stavola, Amity-Woodbridge: pinned Will Vice, Lisbon (Maine), 2:12 (pre); lost to Kyle Willard, Mt. Anthony (Vt.), 6-3 (fr).
*-Anthony Hayes, Danbury: beat John Salisbury, Coventry (R.I.), 6-0 (fr); beat Anthony Turilli, Hendricken (R.I.), 5-4 (qtr).
Clayton Torres, Platt: lost to Dave Maquire, Bucksport (Maine), 17-2 (fr).
Dana Cleveland, Weaver: beat Ben Madigan, Mt. Valley (Maine), 10-0 (pre); pinned by Marquis Brewster, Cranston East (R.I.), 1:12, (fr).
J.P. Gilbert, Fitch: beat Ryan Foss, Longmeadow (Mass.), 3-2 (pre); lost to Matt Hicks, Salem (N.H.), 7-1 (fr).
*-Miquel Figueroa, Bulkeley-Hartford: beat Scott Tranquair, Colchester (Vt.), 10-1 (fr); beat Jason Miele, LaSalle (R.I.), 4-2, (qtr).
Lee Mannion, Fairfield: pinned Scott Salvucci, Milford (Mass.), 4:25 (fr); lost to Tony McDonald, Salem (N.H.), 5-4 (qtr).
Justin Gilbert, Killingly: beat Jim Merriam, Mt. Greylock (Mass.), 5-2 (pre); lost to Robbie LeRoux, Bridge-Raynham (Mass.), 16-4 (fr).
Ramel Murphy, New London: beat David Button, Manchester West (N.H.), 13-6 (pre); lost to Chris Remsen, Camden Hills (Maine), 6-3 (fr).
*-Anthony Corvino, Stratford: pinned Shaun Vacher, North Attleboro (Mass.), :29 (fr); beat Dave Provencher, Lowell (Mass.), 6-5 (qtr).
Louis Grano, RHAM: beat Dan Fiorenza, Winchester (Mass.), 14-8 (fr); lost to Tony Pallaria, Central Catholic (Mass.), 5-4 (qtr).
Sean Caselli, New Milford: lost to Chris Conley, Catholic Memorial (Mass.), 10-1 (pre).
Josh Kaplan, Canton: beat Brandon Scotti, Cranston East (R.I.), 7-0 (pre); lost to Dave Provencher, Lowell (Mass.), 7-2 (fr).
*-Jason Pagan, NFA: beat Art Privendenyak, Ludlow (Mass.), 8-4 (fr); beat Rich Boudreau, Warwick (R.I.), 4-2 (OT) (qtr).
*-Greg Dussol, RHAM: beat Pat Werner, Lowell (Mass.), 8-4 (pre); beat Bill Murray, Central Catholic (Mass.), 3-1 (OT) (fr); beat Ben Goulette, Morse (Maine), 7-5 (qtr).
Dave Stec, Derby: beat Bill McDermott, Tyngsboro (Mass.), 5-4 (pre); lost to Brendan Mance, Mt. Anthony (Vt.), 7-5 (fr).
Dennis Stone, Danbury: beat Dan Rokas, Central Catholic (Mass.), 6-0 (fr); lost to Jason Bakanowski, St. Johns (Mass.), 10-8 (qtr).
Bryan Hawes, Windham: lost to Kevin Greener, Walpole (Mass.), 6-1 (pre).
Devin Schibi, Gilbert-Winsted: lost to Mike Ragusa, Foxboro (Mass.), 10-5 (pre).
Alex Ohrn, New Canaan: lost to Brandon Black, Keene (N.H.), 5-1 (pre).
Dan Taylor, Greenwich: pinned Nick Gurney, Dirigo (Maine), 4:35 (fr); lost to Jon Dolan, Lowell (Mass.), 15-0 (qtr).
Larry Liseo, Southington: pinned by John Goss, St. Johns (Mass.), 2:17 (fr).
Will Deveau, Fitch: beat Joe Chece, Masters (R.I.), 11-4 (pre); lost to Jon Dolan, Lowell (Mass.), 9-2 (fr).
Steve Hoffsis, Simsbury: pinned by Nick Legere, Sanford (Maine), 3:50 (pre).
*-Brett Scholnick, Hand-Madison: pin Matt Cameron, Middletown (R.I.), 4:41 (fr); beat Pat Sheehan, Lowell (Mass.), 8-4 (qtr).
*-Carl Higbie, Greenwich: beat Josh Bishop, Dexter (Maine), 5-1 (fr); beat John DaCruz, Ludlow (Mass.), 7-5 (qtr).
Joe Bavolacco, Bunnell-Stratford: pinned Eric Wagner, Belfast (Maine), 4:30 (pre); lost to Matt Robinson, East Providence (R.I.), 10-7 (fr).
Conor Manley, Wilton: pinned by Brian Siafakas, Woburn (Mass.), 2:11 (pre).
*-Adam Karasevicz, Waterford: pinned Chris Jansky, Hamilton-Wenham (Mass.), 4:02 (fr); beat Josh Gardiner, Reading (Mass.), 11-1 (qtr).
Max Pazdan, Fairfield: beat Chaz Barberi, Spaulding (Vt.), 7-5 (fr); lost to Joe Gravina, Warwick (R.I.), 13-7 (qtr).
Jay Leckey, Guilford: won by forfeit over Tom Lashmit, Marlboro (Mass.), (pre); pinned by Mike Pedro, St. Johns (Mass.), 2:34 (fr).
Andre Williams, Stratford: beat Shawn St. Cyr, White Mountain (N.H.), 5-4 (pre); beat by Cody Lightfoot, Marshwoods (Maine), 5-1 (fr).
*-Wigberto Diaz, Bridgeport Central: pinned Chris Garvey, Southwick (Mass.), 2:24 (fr); pinned George Foster, Rutland (Vt.) 2:09 (qtr).
Andy Palermo, Bethel: beat Sean Bradburn, York (Maine), 7-5 (fr); lost to Joe Fendone, Central Catholic (Mass.), 13-7 (qtr).
*-John Sullivan, Greenwich: pinned Jason LeBarron, Mt. Greylock (Mass.), :15 (fr); beat Chris Hannon, North Kingstown (R.I.), 8-2 (qtr).
Brian Dubiel, Avon: pinned Eric Golden, Marlboro (Mass.), 2:06 (pre); lost to Lee Beane, Bridge-Raynham (Mass.), 5-1 (fr).
Dave Paniccia, Bridgeport Central: pinned Lee Barbarossa, Dracut (Mass.), 3:37 (pre); beat Joe Bushey, Fair Haven (Vt.), 5-2 (fr);
Dan Puccini, Ridgefield: pinned by Jason LeBarron, Mt. Greylock (Mass.), 4:34 (pre).