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Two state wrestlers capture NHSCA national titles

Fitch’s Jarod Kosman won a Senior National title Sunday in Virginia.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., March 25 – Fitch senior Jarod Kosman and New Canaan freshman Justin Mastroianni each won national championships Sunday at the National High School Coaches Association’s (NHSCA) national tournaments.

They join a select group of four state wrestlers to win a NHSCA national title. Kosman (113 pounds) is the first Connecticut wrestler to win a Senior Nationals title while Mastroianni is the first wrestler to win a Freshman National title.

Newtown’s Anthony Falbo is the most recent national champion from Connecticut, winning a Junior National title in 2015.

Seven state wrestlers earned All-American honors by finishing in the top eight of their respective weight classes. New Milford senior Mel Ortiz (126) and Foran senior Ryan Luth (152) earned All-American honors along with sophomores A.J. Kovacs (145) of Danbury, Ryan Jack (120) of Danbury and Tyler Sung (138) of New Canaan.

Luth earned NHSCHA All-American honors for the third time while Kosman, Kovacs, Jack, Sung and Ortiz each earned All-American honors for the second time.

Kosman (57-0, 5-0 NHSCA) came from behind to beat Florida’s Ryan Chauvin, 5-4, in a thrilling finish to win his first national title. Chauvin from Lake Highland, Fla., near Orlando, took a 4-1 after one period thanks to a pair of takedowns.

In the third period, Kosman escaped with 1:35 remaining to cut the lead to 4-2. Kosman was awarded a point for Chauvin stalling with six seconds left and successfully got a two-point takedown at the buzzer to win the national title.

Kosman, who won the State Open and New England titles earlier this month, won five bouts to win the tournament. He had three takedowns in a 16-2 opening round win over Alabama’s Andrew Smith. In the round of 16, Kosman got a takedown with 12 seconds left in the match to beat Maryland’s Zach Bryant, 10-9.

In the quarterfinals, he beat California’s Jonathan Pinta, 7-0 and topped Massachusetts’ Kyle Randall (Newton North) in the semifinals, 7-2. Kosman beat Randall in the New England finals three weeks ago, 10-8.

New Canaan’s Justin Mastroroianni won a freshman national title at 126 pounds.

Mastroianni (50-5, 6-0 NHSCA) spent the high school season competing at 126 pounds. At the Freshman Nationals, he moved up to 132 pounds and won his first national title with a 1-0 decision over Pennsylvania’s Jagger Condomitti (Northampton, Pa.). An escape six seconds into the second period that was the difference for Mastroianni.

Mastroianni beat Kentucky’s Thomas Ketcha-Carter, 6-5 in the round of 16 thanks to a takedown and near fall in the final 15 seconds to advance. He beat Missouri’s Grayston DiBlasi, 9-6 in the quarterfinal and used two takedowns in the final 1:11 to beat Washington’s Ethan Davis, 5-0.

It’s his first tournament win since taking the FCIAC Tournament title in February. He was second in Class L and at the New England championships to New Milford’s Mel Ortiz.

Ortiz (55-4) went 7-1 at 126 pounds to finish third. A takedown with 42 seconds left in the third period clinched a 5-4 win over Caleb Brooks of Ohio. Ortiz won his first four matches of the tournament including a 6-5 win over Colorado’s Nicholas Gonzalez in the round of 16 thanks to a pair of second period takedowns.

After beating Virginia’s Levin Englman in the quarterfinals, 11-4, Ortiz dropped a 7-5 semifinal match to Oregon’s Hunter Sparks in overtime. Sparks tied the match with a takedown with 13 seconds left in the third period and got the winning takedown with 20 seconds gone in OT.

Luth (58-4) won six of eight matches to finish fifth and earn All-American honors for the third time – the fourth wrestler in state history to do so. Danbury’s Kevin Jack (2012-14), Newtown’s Anthony Falbo (2014-16) and Windham’s Miguel Calixto (2010-11, 2013) earned NHSCA All-American honors three times.

In a weight class with more than 128 competitors, Luth (152) won his five matches to earn a spot in the semifinals. In the quarterfinals, Luth beat Michigan’s Dustin Gross, 5-3 in 3 OT with a reversal with eight seconds left. Luth sent the bout into OT with an escape with 1:36 left in the third period.

However, in the semifinals, Luth dropped a 3-1 OT decision to South Carolina’s Jake Hart, who got a takedown with eight seconds left in OT for the victory. Luth beat North Carolina’s Mikey Vernagatto, 8-5 to finish fifth.

In the Sophomore Nationals tournament, Ryan Jack (49-5) had to win nine bouts including six straight in the consolation round to finish third at 120 and earn NHSCHA All-American honors for the second consecutive year. Jack beat New York’s Zachary Redding, 5-4 to finish fifth. He had a 5-1 lead after one period.

Jack had a few tight calls along the way. He had a takedown with 24 seconds left to beat Jace Palmer of West Virginia, 3-2 and had a takedown with 12 seconds remaining to secure a 5-2 win over Nebraska’s Maxx Mayfield. Jack had a near fall with 53 seconds left in the third period to beat New York’s Logan Patterson in the consolation semifinals, 8-6.

Danbury’s A.J. Kovacs (43-8, 5-3 NHSCA) had three wins and two pins to get to the quarterfinals at 145 pounds before dropping a 5-4 decision to Georgia’s Charles Darracott with a reversal with 1:11 left in the match. Kovacs went 2-2 in the consolation bracket to finish sixth. He dropped a 12-8 decision to Arkansas’ Hayden Lieb in the fifth place bout.

New Canaan’s Tyler Sung (43-12, 5-2 NHSCA) won three bouts to get to the quarterfinals where he dropped a 5-3 OT decision to West Virginia’s John Martin Best. Sung forced OT with an escape with 1:33 left in the third period but Best got a takedown 27 seconds in OT to earn the win. Sung went 2-1 in the consolation bracket and finished seventh with a 4-0 win over Florida’s Noah Castillo.

Complete brackets
2018 NHSCA Senior Nationals
2018 NHSCA Junior Nationals
2018 NHSCA Soph.  Nationals
2018 NHSCA Frosh. Nationals

2018 NHSCA Middle School Nationals

NHSCA Tournaments
Connecticut entrants
​Connecticut: 5th place, 127½ points
Jordon Champagne, Bristol Eastern, 2-2
Jarod Kosman, Fitch, 5-0, national champion
Steven Reyes, Shelton, 2-2
Brandon Leonard, New Milford, 2-2
Nicolas Savo, Danbury, 0-2
Chris Trelli, Bristol Central, 2-3
Mel Ortiz, New Milford, 7-1, third place
Sebastein Stultz, Windham, 0-2
Christopher Tyler Schultz, New Milford, 2-2
Noah Caskey, Montville, 4-2
Jesse Walker, Ridgefield, 2-2
Gabriel Ortiz, Immaculate, 0-2
Nathaniel Jean, NFA, 0-2
Dylan Vertefeuille-Decarli, Lyman Memorial/WT, 2-2
Michael Barrett, Bristol Eastern, 2-2
Jacob Colley, New Milford, 0-2
Ryan Luth, Foran, 6-2, third place
Vincent Rago, New Milford, 0-2
Gabe Samaha, Lyman Memorial/WT 0-2
Tagan Welch, Southington, 0-2
Alexander Richardson, New Milford 1-2
Izaake Zuckerman, Fairfield Warde, 4-2
Zach Cash, Branford, 0-2
Gino Baratta, Danbury, 3-2
Ryan Devivo, Xavier, 3-2
Mason Laflam, Lyman Memorial/WT, 1-2
Marc Thelusma, NFA, 1-2
Zach Caffrey, Killingly, 2-2
Brett Nutter, Trumbull, 1-2
Dakota Grover, Fitch, 3-2
Nick Kortman, New Canaan, 0-2
Collin Malloy, Xavier, 1-2
Joseph Reihl, Lyman Memorial/WT 0-2
Julian Reza, New Milford, 1-2
Derrick Pommills, Jr., Notre Dame-WH, 0-2
Kyle Zalewski, Branford, 1-2
Sergio Ferreira, Stratford, 3-2

​Connecticut: 25th place, 70.5 points
Daniel Charron, Killingly, 1-2
Jacob Marselli, East Catholic, 1-2
Logan Smith, Waterford, 1-2
Michael Charron, Killingly, 2-2
Jeffrey Bracale, Notre Dame, 0-2
Jonathan Kosak, Trumbull, 1-2
Ben Leblanc, Danbury, 1-2
Chase Parrott, Westhill, 3-2
Kyle Fields, Danbury, 4-2
Trevor Johnson, Killingly, 1-2
Sean Johnson, Ellis Tech, 6-2
Ben Smart, Ridgefield, 2-2
Gabriel Soucy, Bristol Eastern, 1-2
Grant Barber, Xavier, 0-2
David Castaldo, Trumbull, 0-2
Matthew Ryan, Trumbull, 1-2
Jacob Cardozo, Southington, 0-2
Jake McGurk, Trumbull, 1-2
Christian Fillion, Notre Dame, 0-2
Shamar Schand, Manchester, 3-2
Eamon Toland-Matos, Bethel, 0-2
Elijah Eckert, Simsbury, 0-2
Ian Anderson, Montville, 2-1
William Holmes, Trumbull, 0-2
Connor Massey, Notre Dame, 0-2
Tyler Stanko, Foran, 0-2
Leonardo Amaro, Jr., Bacon Academy, 0-2
Leonardo Fernandez, Bristol Eastern, 0-2
Lazar Agoev, Ridgefield, 1-2
Keith McDonald, Fitch, 0-2
James Robert, Ellis Tech, 1-2
Gregory Gosselin, Killingly, 0-2
Paul Calo, Southington, 4-2
Dylan Sousa, Xavier, 3-2
Joseph Palmieri, Trumbull, 3-2
Trinidad Gonzalez, Bristol Eastern, 1-2
Montez Osbey, Danbury, 0-2
Rene Bernier, Killingly, 0-2
Kamren Snodgrass, NFA, 1-2
George Harrington, Staples, 3-2
Hayden Minski, Ellis Tech 1-2

​Connecticut: 17th place, 92 points
Tyler Johnson, Danbury, 2-2
Brandon Neri, Trumbull, 0-2
Jack Ryan, Danbury, 2-2
Trent Thompson, Bristol Eastern, 2-2
Elijah Vertefeuille, Windham, 1-2
Caleb Brick, Southington, 2-2
Quinn Bond, Montville, 0-2
Peter Coniglio, New Milord, 0-2
Ryan Jack, Danbury, 9-1, 3rd place
Matthew Putnam, Simsbury, 0-2
David Charron, Killingly 0-2
Quinn Moynihan, Xavier, 1-2
Logan Starr, St. Bernard, 0-2
Isaac Bean, Killingly, 0-2
Quin Rogers, E.O. Smith, 0-2
Noah Pryzbek, Simsbury, 0-2
A.J. Caba, Danbury, 3-2
Tyler Sung, New Canaan, 5-2, 7th place
A.J. Kovacs, Danbury, 5-3, 6th place
Richard Morrell, New Milford, 0-2
Theran Vanase, NFA, 2-2
Brett Araniti, Simsbury, 0-2
David Thomas, Lyman/WT, 0-2
Alexander Barbour, Notre Dame-WH, 1-2
Jesse Patton, Danbury, 0-2
Jordan Agosto, Danbury, 1-2
Roark Ryan, Norwich Tech, 1-2

Connecticut: 16th place, 68 points
Josh Brault, Joel Barlow, 0-2
Kevin Carse III, Morgan, 0-2
Ty Finn, Simsbury, 3-2
Liam Knight, Danbury, 1-2
Mason Lishness, Bristol Eastern, 0-2
Matthew Lucas, Danbury 0-2
Nico Provo, Green Farms Academy, 3-1
Michael Rapuano, Xavier, 1-2
C.J. Shea, Green Farms Academy, 2-2
Louis Bradley, Morgan, 3-2
Christopher Grube, NFA, 0-2
Saul Pera, Simsbury, 1-2
Caleb Ferland, Ellis Tech, 2-2
Tommy Nichols, Bristol Eastern, 0-2
Dominic Renfree, NFA 1-2
Dylan Kortman, New Canaan 0-2
Sawyer Kury, Montville, 1-2
Breon Phifer, Weston, 0-2
Justin Mastroianni, New Canaan, 6-0, 1st place
Ethan Edmondson, Foran, 1-2
Daniel Camacho, Dabury, 0-2
Nick Bell, Brunswick, 0-2
Connor Brown, Ridgefield, 0-2
Ioanni Cobena, Montville, 0-2
Jaylen Hawkins, Danbury, 2-2
Liam Keppler, Ridgefield, 0-2

Middle School
Connecticut: 15th place, 95 points
Gianni Liguori (135), 6th place

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of Connecticut Wrestling Online. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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