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Quick look at State Open championships

Gilbert’s Kyle Matthews battles Montville’s Ian Anderson (152) in Saturday night’s Class S championship meet.

NEW HAVEN, February 20 — Wrestling begins Friday at the 55th annual State Open wrestling championships at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven.

Danbury, ranked No. 1 in the most recent Connecticut Wrestling Online top 10 poll, will be looking for their fifth straight State Open championship but the Hatters will be challenged by No. 2 Simsbury, No. 3 Trumbull, No. 4 Bristol Eastern and Southington and Fairfield Warde, who are tied at No. 5.

2019 State Open championships
At New Haven
Site: Floyd Little Athletic Center at Hillhouse High
Last year:
1. Danbury 149½; 2. Fairfield Warde, Bristol Eastern and Killingly 95; 5. Southington 94½; 6. Xavier-Middletown 90½; 7. Fitch 75; 8. Foran-Milford 71½; 9. New Milford 70; 10 New Canaan 59½

This year’s state champions: Danbury (LL), Bristol Eastern (L), Killingly (M), Gilbert (S)
2019 seeds

Returning champions: Travis Longo (113), Trumbull (wrestled for Wilton last year); Ryan Jack (126), Danbury; Joe Gjinaj, Fairfield Warde (195)

Outlook: Danbury has won four of the last six State Open titles so they know how to get it done. The Hatters will begin the tournament with 11 wrestlers, the most of any team in the state but it won’t mean much without wins on the mat. Trumbull is bringing 10 wrestlers from the Class LL tournament while Simsbury, Xavier and Gilbert will be bringing nine wrestlers each.

Notable: Jack is looking for his third State Open title, something that just 17 wrestlers in state history have achieved. Jack is ranked No. 4 in the nation in the latest Flo Wrestling high school rankings. … Wrestling begins on Friday at 3:15 p.m. with quarterfinals set to begin at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, wrestling begins at 10 a.m. with championship semifinals beginning at 12:15 p.m. The parade of past champions will begin at 4 p.m. with the finals, consolation finals and fifth place bouts beginning at 4:15 p.m. …. The top five finishes move onto the New England tournament on March 2-3 in Providence.

Last year’s championship matches
106: Travis Longo (Wilton) dec. Thomas Finn (Simsbury), 4-1
113: Jarod Kosman (Fitch) dec. Alejandro Garcia (Windham), 7-3
120:  Ryan Jack (Danbury) dec. William Chase Parrot (Westhill), 6-2
126:  Melquisedec Ortiz (New Milford) dec. Sean Johnson (Ellis Tech), 3-2
132: Noah Caskey (Montville) dec. Demetre Carnot (Maloney), 7-2
138: Ryan Angers (Tolland) dec. Tyler Sung (New Canaan), 7-2
145: A.J. Kovacs (Danbury) pin Zack Burgess (Killingly), 3:52
152: Ryan Luth (Foran) dec. Cooper Fleming (Granby), 13-8
160: Izaake Zuckerman (Fairfield Warde) dec. Michael Angers (Tolland), 4-3
170: Ryan Devivo (Xavier) dec. Paul Calo (Southington), 6-4
182: Ben Stratton (Platt) pin Zach Caffrey (Killingly), 1:55
195: Joe Gjinaj (Fairfield Warde) dec. Trinidad Gonzalez (Bristol Eastern), 4-1, 2 OT
220: Dakota Grover (Fitch) pin Isaiah Jiminian (East Hartford), 3:14
285: Michael Burchell (Daniel Hand) pin Sergio Ferreira (Stratford), 4:00
Outstanding wrestler: Ryan Angers, Tolland (138)

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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