NEW HAVEN, March 6, 2004 — Hosting the New England championships for just the third time, Connecticut felt mighty comfortable in the semifinals. The Nutmeg State placed a tourney-high nine wrestlers in the finals of the 40th annual New England Tournament Saturday at the New Haven Athletic Center.
But only Amity senior Brandon Stavola was able to acquire a New England championship with a 5-1 victory over New Hampshire champion Devon Hanson of Timberlane.
Plainville’s Jesse Cavallaro (119) lost in double OT, Northwestern’s Joel Webster (130) fell by one point, Glastonbury’s Gordon Holden (140) fell in OT while Killingly’s Larry Loomis (160) lost for the first time all year by one on a last-second reversal.
“At this level, there is very little that separates the top 10 wrestlers,” Avon High coach John McLaughlin said. “It is who is having a good day and who has the mental toughness at this time.
Vermont’s Mt. Anthony Union won the New England title for the first time since 2002 and for the fourth time in the last eight years, outlasting Timberlane, N.H., 98½ to 78. Danbury was third with 69½ points the highest finish for a Connecticut school since East Lyme finished third in 1997. Windham was seventh with 37.
“We had some heartbreaking losses on Friday but the kids wrestled back with a ton of heart,” Mt. Anthony coach Scott Legacy said. “We’re an aggressive team. Sometimes it pays off. Sometimes it doesn’t. But most of the time it does.” The Patriots, who kept Brad Betit (135) off the mat for disciplinary reasons, had one champion and five other wrestlers that finished in the top six.
Danbury coach Ricky Shook was pleased with his team’s efforts. Mike Silvestri (103) finished third while Jeff Marra (145) was fourth and Tim Ferriera (275) was fifth.
“We finished right where I expected we would unless we got lucky<” he said. “Our goal was the top four and we took third. Mt. Anthony had 13 guys (in the tournament) and it’s hard to beat that.”
The city of New Haven was a wonderful host and the tournament will be back at the Athletic Center again next year. Berlin coach Jim Day, New Fairfield coach Bob Serrano and Simsbury coach Frank Chaves were inducted into the New England Council’s Hall of Fame before the finals.
A quick look at some of the tournament highlights.
Massachusetts champion Rollie Peterkin of Wellesley was aggressive and took a 4-0 lead on Simsbury’s Joey Martin in a 6-1 victory. It was the first loss of the year for Martin (47-1), who could only manage a single escape. “He was an all-around good wrestler and he was always moving which made it hard to set up moves,” Martin said. “He started being real aggressive and I forgot a lot of what I know.”
Two weeks ago, Plainville’s Jesse Cavallaro had to go to overtime to win the Class S tournament. The following week, PHS coach Sean Kelly had a heart-to-heart talk with Cavallaro. “We talked about getting refocused and not having any regrets when you look back at this opportunity,” Kelly said.
In the quarterfinals, Cavallaro avenged an earlier loss this season to Mt. Anthony’s Corey Greene with an 8-6 win and outlasted Eduardo Hopp of Central High in Providence, 6-4 in the semifinals.
In the final against Massachusetts champion Casey Boyle of Lowell, Cavallaro trailed 3-0 late in the second period before cutting the lead to two with an escape. In the third, Boyle let Cavallaro go to begin the second period and reducing his lead to 3-2. Cavallaro had a solid double leg takedown with 1:20 left to take a 4-3 lead but Boyle tied the bout with another escape 19 seconds later.
Cavallaro (49-3) had two solid takedown attempts in the final 25 seconds but Boyle successfully was able to counter them. Boyle also fended off another two Cavallaro attempts in OT. In the second OT, Boyle was able to reverse Cavallaro to prevail, 6-4.
“He definitely set the tone and was more active,” Kelly said. “He went down giving it everything he had.” The 119 final was voted the most exciting of the finals.
Navare Jones (46-5) of Windham doesn’t back down to a challenge. He won an ECC title, lost the Class M title in overtime and took fourth in the State Open. With a pair of one-point decisions in the first round and quarterfinals, Jones earned a spot in the final. But he couldn’t hold off Mt. Anthony’s Robert LaBrake in a 5-3 defeat. Jones did make things interesting in the final seconds after LaBrake was penalized for stalling but he couldn’t scamper behind for a takedown.
A more-relaxed Joel Webster of Northwestern earned a spot in the finals with four straight wins, including a 6-4 semifinal win over Rob Doherty of Woburn, Mass. Webster counted a shot from Doherty and secured his first takedown of the match with four seconds left to win and become the first Berkshire League wrestler since 1991 to make a New England final.
“He seems to be wrestling very relaxed,” Regional coach Gerry Trieshmann said. “He is a zone, a very good zone. To date, it is the best he has wrestled this season. It’s like there is no pressure on him.”
But in the final, Webster ran out of gas in a 4-3 loss to Vermont champion James Beane of Mt. Mansfield. Tied 2-2 after one period, Beane took a 4-2 lead on a reversal in the second period. In the third, Beane continually wrapped up Webster, who faded as the match wore on. Beane was penalized a point for stalling with 26 seconds left to cut the lead to one, 4-3 but Webster couldn’t get free to score the equalizer.
Amity’s Brandon Stavola capped off his high school career with a solid 5-1 win over Timberlane’s Devon Hansen, clinching the win with a takedown with 30 seconds left. His first takedown of the match came on an ankle pick, the first time this year that he has successfully thrown that move in a match. “It feels so good,” said Stavola, who improved to 49-1 and earned his 161st career victory.
Glastonbury’s Gordon Holden is looking forward to playing lacrosse at the Division I level at Vermont. But the Tomahawks were pleased when a wrist injury that forced him to miss three weeks of the season healed enough to allow him to finish out the season. Working out with former Glastonbury wrester Kevin Egolf at practice also gave the senior additional confidence and skill that helped him win a Class LL championship and finish second in the State Open.
He looked solid Saturday especially after an 8-7 win over Mt. Anthony’s Kainen Mattison in the quarterfinals. In the finals, Holden led 3-2 after two periods but Natick’s Wes Parker tied the match with 55 seconds left on an escape. In overtime, Holden went for the takedown. But as they fell to the mat, Parker was able to pull his head out of a headlock and slip behind Holden for the winning points.
Decota Cotton (61-0) won his second straight New England championship with a dominating 13-5 win over RHAM’s Greg Dussol. Cotton, who was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler, had six takedowns. Cotton hasn’t lost a match in the past two seasons, won 12 tournaments this season and claimed his 180th high school victory.
Dussol (46-1) had a pair of one-point decisions just to get to the championship bout. He nipped Mt. Anthony’s Vince Chiorgno, 3-2 in the quarterfinals and topped C.J. Colace of Franklin, Mass., 5-4 in the semifinals.
It was a frustrating final bout for Killingly’s Larry Loomis, looking to become the first state wrestler to go undefeated since Tom Serrano of New Fairfield in 1997. Loomis (50-1) trailed 3-2 to Joe Bellini of Burrillville, R.I. in the final but he took a 4-3 lead with a sharp, driving takedown with 1:29 left in the third period. But Bellini didn’t give up and reversed Loomis with four seconds left in regulation. Loomis immediately tried to reverse Bellini but didn’t complete it in time and lost for the first time this season.
Still, it was a superb season for Loomis, who stepped up to lead Killingly after the loss of James Therrien, who got hurt playing football last fall. “We needed another person to step up and he has become the leader of the team,” Killingly coach Rich Bowen said. “He is a hard-working kid. He doesn’t have the most talent but he works hard and it has paid off. I’m really proud of how he carried the load.”
Loomis’ season really began to fly once he won the Silk City Classic in January, beating Mt. Anthony’s Scott Crawford, 7-0 in the finals. “He was close last year, losing in the semifinals and in overtime at the Open. That showed him how close he was.”
Phil Moricone of Pinkerton, N.H. was in control as he beat Danbury’s Matt Tricarico, 8-2. Tricario, the only Danbury wrestler to make the finals, trailed 2-1 early in the bout but he gave up two more takedowns to fall behind, 6-1. “He is a very good wrestler,” Tricario told the Danbury News Times. “I just started to break down. It was a mental game and I lost.”
2004 New England Tournament
At New Haven
Team results: 1. Mt. Anthony Union (VT) 95½ 2, . Timberland (NH) 78, 3. Danbury 69½, 4. Central Catholic (MA) 65½, 5. Lowell (MA) 58½, 6. Mt. Mansfield (VT) 40, 7. Windham High 37, 8. Pinkerton (NH) 34½, 9. Natick (MA) 34, 10. Woburn (MA) 33, 11. Needham (MA) 30½, 12. Glastonbury 30, 13. Amity 27½, 14. Dracut (MA), Noble (ME), Northwestern Regional 27; 17. Killingly 26, 18. Wellesley (MA) 25½, 19. Camden Hills (ME), St John’s Shrewsbury (MA), Burrillville (RI) 24, 22. Kennebunk (ME), Quabbin (MA), 21, 24. Mt. Pleasant (RI), Plainville,
Plymouth (MA), Simsbury 20; 28. RHAM, Salem (MA) 19; 30. Avon, Cumberland (RI), Waterford 18; 33. Cohassett (MA) 17; 34. Enfield, Ledyard 16, 36. Central High-Providence (RI) 15½, 37. Sharon (MA) 15, 38. Carver (MA), East Providence (RI), Foxboro (MA), Malden Catholic (MA), New Bedford (MA) 14; 43. Exeter-West Greenwich (RI) 13; 44. Ludlow (MA), Mansfield (MA), Westbrook (ME) 12; 47. Franklin (MA), Mt. Valley (ME) , Woodstock Academy 11, 50. Conard, Middletown (RI), New Milford, Weston (MA) 9; 54. Marlboro (MA) 8, 55. Bridgewater Raynham (MA), Lisbon (ME), Nashua (NH), Weymouth (MA) 7, 59. Burlington (MA), Manchester Memorial (NH) 6½, 61. Holliston-Brookline (MA) 6
Other Connecticut scores
62. New London, St. Bernard’s 5; 66. Bristol Central, New Fairfield 4; 75. Fairfield High 3, 80. East Hartford, Jonathan Law 2
Championship: Peter Nolin, Dracut, Mass. dec. Eric Morrill, Timberlane, NH,6-1; 3. Mike Silvestri, Danbury pin Ben Mandelbraut, Sharon, Mass., 2:58;5. Adam Olin, Mt. Anthony dec. Aaron Kalil, Salem, Mass., 3-2
Championship: Rollie Peterkin, Wellseley, Mass. dec. Joey Martin, Simsbury,6-1; .3. T.J. Hepburn, Ledyard dec. Justin Belanger, Exeter WG, 3-2; 5. JonArchambeau, Ludlow, Mass., pin Steve Goncalves, Cumberland, RI, 3:42
Championship: Casey Boyle, Lowell, Mass. dec. Jesse Cavallaro, Plainville,6-4, 2 OT; 3. Eduardo Hopp, Central High, Providence, RI dec. Corey Greene,Mt. Anthony, 3-1; 5. Nick Miragliuolo, Woodstock Academy pin Devon Hennessey, Bridgewater Raynham (Mass.), 3:38
Championship: Rob LaBrake, Mt. Anthony dec. Navare Jones, Windham, 5-3; 3.Sam Gauvine, Enfield dec. Patrick Wayne, Lowell, Mass., 1-1, 2 OT,criteria; 5. Tim Gammons, Natick, Mass., dec.
Dylan Tuz, New Milford, 4-2, OT
Championship: James Beane, Mt. Mansfield, Vt., dec. Joel Webster, Northwestern Regional, 4-3; 3. T.J. Maroney, Mt. Anthony dec. Sean Nye, Quabbin, Mass., 3-0; 5. B.J. Allen, Pinkerton, NH dec. Rob Doherty, Woburn, Mass., 8-5
Championship: Brandon Stavola, Amity dec. Devon Hanson, Timberlane, NH,5-1; Brian Parlow, Malden Catholic (Mass.) dec. John Marsh, New Bedford, Mass., 3-1; 5. Aaron Horowitz, Weston, Mass., dec. Derek Giusto, Lisbon,13-10
Championship: Wes Parker, Natick, Mass., dec. Gordon Holden, Glastonbury,5-3, OT; 3. Rob Tolk, Avon dec. Mike Dumas, Kennebunk, ME, 6-5; 5. Brian Sheehan, Lowell, Mass., pin Chris Lauria, Nashua, NH, 4:18
Championship: Tony Pallaria, Central Catholic (Mass.) dec. Chris Remsen, Camden, ME, 7-3; 3. Bran Crudden, Windham dec. Jeff Marra, Danbury, 4-2; 5. Jesse Wrubel, Conard dec. Ken Volkmer, Mt. Anthony, 10-5
Championship: Decota Cotton, Noble, ME dec. Greg Dussol, RHAM, 13-5; 3. Dan Rokas, Central Catholic (Mass.) dec. Vince Chiorgno, Mt. Anthony, 8-0; 5.C.J. Colace, Franklin, Mass., pin Chris Marks, Northwestern Regional, 2:31
Championship: Joe Bellini, Burrillville, RI dec. Larry Loomis, Killingly, 5-4; 3. Jonathan Brown, Mt. Mansfield, Vt., dec. Brendan Casey, Lowell, Mass., 5-0; 5. Joe Carrier, Salem, Mass., dec. Scott Lashmit, Marlboro, Mass., 4-3
Championship: Phil Moricone, Pinkerton, NH dec. Matt Tricarico, Danbury, 8-2; 3. Sobhan Namvar, Needham, Mass., dec. Jesse Leighton, Foxboro, Mass., 8-2; 5. Andrew Keefe, Weymouth, Mass., dec. Matt Cameron, Middletown, RI, 8-7
Championship: Brian Siafakis, Woburn, Mass. dec. James Sullivan, Timberlane, NH, 13-9; 3. Shawn Karasevicz, Waterford dec. Dan Cofone, Westbrook, ME, 4-0; 5. Dan Fox, Needham, Mass. dec. Tony Couitt, East Providence, RI, 10-3
Championship: Joe Fendone, Central Catholic (Mass.) dec. Dan Pasquarelle, Plymouth, NH , 5-1; 3. Zach Zdrada, Timberlane, NH dec. Matt Baroudi, Cohasset, Mass., 2-1; 5.Ross Massey, Glastonbury dec. Will Thorng, Quabbin, Mass., 5-1
Championship: James McGillicuddy, St. John’s-Shrewsbury, Mass. dec. Erick Alvarez, Mt. Pleasant, RI, 3-0; 3. Joe Donnelly, Carver, Mass. dec. Jim Connors, Mansfield, Mass., 3-1; 5. Tim Ferreira, Danbury dec. Dave Smith, Mt. Valley, Me., 3-1
Outstanding wrestler: Decota Noble (152)
Best finals match: 119 pounds