Connecticut teams have won just three New England championships since they began competing in the event in 1987 but Danbury High coach Ricky Shook knows his state champion Hatters can be contenders at this weekend’s 55th annual New England championships at the Providence Career and Technical Academy.
Danbury will have seven wrestlers competing including a pair of state champions – junior Ryan Jack (126) and Kyle Fields (132). Jack, who is one of three ranked wrestlers in the tournament, will be looking to win a second straight New England title.
“It is a year where the New Englands can be won by three guys depending on your draw,” Shook said. “I think the New Englands are wide open this year. We’ll be in the hunt.”
Springfield Central (Massachusetts), Timberlane Regional (NH), Bishop Hendricksen (RI) and Mt. Anthony (Vermont) look to be contenders for the title. Springfield Central won their third Massachusetts’ All-State tournament since 2014 and will have seven wrestlers in the tournament.
Mt. Anthony won their 31st consecutive state title in Vermont and will be bringing 11 wrestlers to the tournament. Timberlane brought home their 16th straight Meet of Champions crown in New Hampshire and will bring eight wrestlers into the tournament.
Rhode Island’s Bishop Hendricken, defending New England champion Ponaganset and Chariho are each bringing six wrestlers to the tournament.
However, like all tournaments, what matters is how many wins you pick up – especially in the consolation bracket when your dreams of winning a New England title have been dashed.
Danbury is the last Connecticut team to win a New England, taking the championship in 2017.
Connecticut has fared well at the New England tournament in recent years. The Nutmeg State had six individual champions the past two years and a record nine individual champions in 2016.
The tournament will be broadcast live on FloWrestling.com.
2019 New England championships
At Providence (RI)
Site: Providence Career and Technical Academy
Friday schedule: Round 1 from 5-6:30 p.m. and Round 2 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. First round of consolation bouts begins at 8:30 a.m.
Saturday schedule: Championship quarterfinals, 9 a.m.; Championship semifinals, 12:30 p.m.; Championship matches, consolation finals, fifth place matches, 4:45 p.m.
Live brackets: FloArena
This year’s state champions: Danbury (CT), Springfield Central (MA), Bishop Hendricken (RI), Mt. Anthony (Vt.), Timberlane (NH). State tournament results (MA, NH, RI, VT, ME)
Last year: 1. Ponaganset, R.I. 83, 2. Mt. Anthony, Vt. 80, 3. Danbury 75, 4. Timberlane Regional-Plaistow, N.H. and Bishop Hendricken, R.I. 58½, 6. Coventry R.I. 49½, 7. Nashoba, Mass. 48, 8. Southington 47½, 9. Fitch-Groton 45½, 10. Danvers Mass. 45
Ranked wrestlers: There are three wrestlers scheduled to compete ranked in FloWrestling.com top 20. Danbury junior Ryan Jack (126) is ranked No. 4 in the country, Timberlane (N.H.) Regional senior Connor McGonnagle (132) is ranked No. 5 in the nation and North Attleboro (Mass.) senior Mateusz Kudra (285) is ranked No. 15 in the country. McGonnagle has committed to attend Lehigh while Kudra has committed to attend Virginia.
Qualifying: The top 7 wrestlers from Massachusetts’ All-State meet qualified to attend with the top five from Connecticut’s State Open. The top three wrestlers from the state championship meets in Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Maine earned invitations to the New England championships.
Connecticut champions: 103: Michael Rapuano, Xavier (48-4), 113: Elijah Cyr, Middletown (42-1); 120: Sam White, Norwalk (35-3); 126: Ryan Jack, Danbury (36-0); 132: Kyle Fields, Danbury (39-4); 138: Justin Mastroianni, New Canaan (24-0); 145: Tyler Sung, New Canaan (43-1); 152: Hunter Adams, Suffield/Windsor Locks (44-1); 160: Michael Angers, Tolland (37-0); 170: Cooper Nodden, South Windsor (43-1); 182: Carson LiCastri, Joel Barlow (48-0); 195: Joe Gjinaj, Fairfield Warde (45-1); 220: Trinidad Gonzalez, Bristol Eastern (40-1); 285: Jaylin Houston, New Haven (27-8)
Notable: Jack, junior Hunter Adrian (113) of Melrose, MA and Mt. Anthony’s (VT) Sam Wilkins (195) will be looking to win back-to-back New England titles. … McGonagle (132) is looking to win a third straight New England title, which is an automatic entry into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame. … Connecticut teams have won the New England title three times with Danbury winning in 1990 and 2017 and Windham winning in 1992. … Timberlane holds the record for most New England titles with 10 with Mt. Anthony with nine. … The meet will held in Providence for the seventh time in the last eight years.
New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame: Induction ceremonies for the Hall of Fame will begin at 4:30 p.m. Middletown High graduate Richard Perry, a member of the U.S. national team, will be one of the inductees into the Hall of Fame.
2018 New England championship matches
106: Hunter Adrian, Melrose MA dec. Joziah Fry, Coventry RI, 2-1, OT
113: Jared Kosman, Fitch dec. Kyle Randall, Newton North MA, 10-8
120: Ryan Jack, Danbury dec. Jack Darling, Masconomet MA, 3-1
126: Mel Ortiz, New Milford dec. Justin Mastroianni, New Canaan, 12-10
132: Connor McGonagle, Timberlane NH dec. Ramazan Attasauov, Wayland MA, 3-0
138: Sam Lynch, Ponaganset RI dec. Dylan Disano, Bishop Hendricken RI, 5-2
145: Cole McGill, Ponaganset RI dec. Noah Strout, Oyster River NH, 6-3
152: Ryan Luth, Foran dec. Devin Rivet, Bishop Hendricken MA, 3-2, 3 OT
160: Lucas Cordio, Nashoba MA dec. Colby Holland, Danvers MA, 11-4
170: Paul Calo, Southington dec. Sam Anderson, Sanford ME, 9-0
182: Ryan Fredette, Winslow ME pin Tommy Wrzesien, Chariho RI, 4:32
195: Sam Wilkins, Mt. Anthony VT dec. Malib Pastrana, Greater Lawrence MA, 7-2
220: Andrew Marshall, Lincoln-Sudbury MA pin Omar Eldaly, Shawsheen MA, 1:05
285: Michael Burchell, Hand pin Ryan Higgins, Billerica MA, 0:41