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Shaughnessy earns 400th career win as No. 5 Fairfield Warde wins four matches

Fairfield Warde head coach Jason Shaughnessy is just the tenth wrestling coach in state history with more than 400 career wins. (Photo courtesy Fairfield Warde wrestling)

FAIRFIELD, January 31 – Fairfield Warde’s Jason Shaughnessy became just the tenth wrestling coach in state history to earn 400 career victories when the No. 5 Mustangs picked up four victories on Thursday night.

Fairfield Warde improved to 18-1 on the year with victories over Greenwich, 35-31, Norwalk, 62-12, Fairfield Prep, 72-9 and Darien, 84-0. With three pins and five hard-fought decisions, Warde outlasted Greenwich.

Warde’s Sean Rodriguez (160) beat Greenwich’s Cristobal Isaacs by one point, 4-3 while teammates Matt Sullivan (152) and Joe Gjinaj (195) each came away with tight two-point victories. Sullivan beat Devlin Gustamar, 4-2 and Gjinaj outlasted Jackson Blanchard, 3-1.

With the wins over Norwalk and Darien, Warde (18-1, 5-0 FCIAC East) moves one victory away from claiming the FCIAC Eastern Division title. Warde will host cross-town rival Fairfield Ludlowe on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Shaughnessy, who began coaching at Fairfield High in 1998, has a career record of 403-92.

“I am very proud to have built a program who has been consistently performing at a high level,” he said. “I am fortunate to be a teacher and coach at Fairfield and have the opportunity to run a youth program which can contribute to the success at Warde.”

Shaughnessy founded and runs the Fairfield PAL (Police Athletic League) wrestling program that provides opportunities for elementary and middle school students in Fairfield to become involved in wrestling – a building block for his program at Warde and cross-town rival Fairfield Ludlowe.

He graduated from Springfield College and has helped to rebuild wrestling in Fairfield during his tenure as head coach at Fairfield High and then at Fairfield Warde beginning in 2005. He has led the Mustangs to three Class L titles and a FCIAC championship in 2010, snapping a 23-year Danbury winning streak. Fairfield Warde has finished second in the Class L or Class LL tournament five times in the last six years and the Mustangs were third in New England in 2015.

Shaughnessy is soon to be a Hall of Fame coach.

He will be one of six men inducted into the Connecticut chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame on May 4 at the MGM Hotel at Foxwoods for their contributions to the sport of wrestling and our communities. Tickets are now on sale.

Results and boxscores, Thursday, January 31

Southington’s Jacob Cardozo (145) works to get a pin in Thursday night’s match with Simsbury.

No. 6 Simsbury erased an 18-point deficit and beat No. 3 Southington with a pin in the final match, 38-31 to take command of the CCC West race. Simsbury (10-1, 5-0 CCC West) can win their first league title since 2015 with a win over Farmington on Wednesday.

No. 10 Avon (19-0, 5-0 CCC North) won their first CCC North championship and their first league title since 2015 with a 53-20 victory over Manchester. This is Avon’s fourth year in the CCC after nearly 30 years in the NCCC.

The Falcons have won 23 consecutive dual meets and the 19-0 start to the season is the best in school history.

Results and boxscores, Thursday, January 31

Montville (17-2, 4-0 ECC Div. III) won three of the final four matches to beat Griswold, 46-31. The victory gives Montville an advantage over Griswold (11-9, 3-1 ECC DIv. III) in the race for the ECC Division III championship. Teams earn one point for each dual meet victory and one point for each Division III team they beat at the ECC championship meet next weekend.

Norwich Free Academy (16-8, 2-0 ECC Div. I) put themselves in the driver’s seat for the ECC Division I title with a 41-33 win over New London (5-9, 2-1 ECC Div. I). The Wildcats face East Lyme on Monday in their final Division I match of the regular season.

Ledyard (19-6, 3-0 ECC DIv. II) will have the advantage from the dual meet season in the race for the Division II championship. Ledyard finished the Division II season undefeated Thursday with a 64-12 win over Bacon Academy. Killingly (20-2, 2-1 ECC Div. II) earned two points in the regular season.

Results and boxscores, Thursday, January 31

Joel Barlow (18-5, 5-0 SWC Colonial) remained undefeated in the Southwest Conference’s Colonial Division with a 67-4 win over Stratford. Barlow picked up five pins in the victory.

Canton (16-3, 6-0 NCCC) picked up a 79-0 win over East Windsor and moved one victory away from their first league championship in 17 years. The Warriors can win their first NCCC title since 2002 with a win over Granby on Saturday.

Results and boxscores, Thursday, January 31

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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