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LiCastri wins Eastern States Classic championship; Danbury finishes third

Joel Barlow’s Carson LiCastri, right, won his first Eastern States Classic title Saturday night in New York State.

LOCH SHELDRAKE, N.Y., January 11 – Joel Barlow’s Carson LiCastri can make successful moves in the waning seconds of a two-minute period.

LiCastri made two big moves in his semifinal victory over Matt Kelly of Iona Prep to earn a spot in the championship match of the 2020 Eastern States Classic. In the finals, LiCastri had three takedowns and a two-point reversal to beat Springfield Central’s Darby McLaughlin, 10-2, and win his first Eastern States Classic championship at 195 pounds Saturday night at Sullivan Community College.

Joel Barlow’s Carson LiCastri, center,  on the medal stand. (Photo courtesy Harold Prather)

LiCastri is the second public school wrestler from Connecticut outside of Danbury to win an individual title at the Eastern States Classic. New Canaan’s Tyler Sung (145) won an individual championship last year.

Danbury’s Ryan Jack (132) saw his bid to win a second straight Eastern States Classic championship fall short in an 8-6 loss to Zach Redding of Eastport South Manor. Xavier’s Michael Rapuano finished third at 113 pounds while Danbury’s Kai O’Dell (113) was seventh. Joel Barlow’s Josh Brault (106), Danbury’s Tyler Johnson (126) and Fairfield Warde’s Hunter Rassmussen (170) each finished eighth.

Danbury finished third with 77 points – the highest finish for a Connecticut team in the tournament’s 18-year history. Joel Barlow was 14th in the field of more than 170 teams while Xavier finished 28th. Fairfield Warde was 67th with 19 points. New Milford was 94th with 12 points.

LiCastri won his first two matches by pin before facing Matt Kelly of Iona Prep in the semifinals. LiCastri got a takedown with six seconds left in the second period to take a 4-2 lead after two periods. In the third period, it was Kelly with a takedown with 44 seconds left in the match to tie the bout at 4-4.

But LiCastri got a two-point reversal with 14 seconds remaining for a 6-4 lead and held on for the victory.

Jack was dominant early. He had four pins – three in the second period. Jack was pushed by Jayden Scott of Rush-Henrietta in a 6-5 semifinal victory. Scott got a takedown with 1:27 remaining in the match to tie the match, 5-5 but Jack got an escape seven seconds later to take the lead. He held Scott at bay to earn a spot in the finals.

In the championship match, Redding took a big lead with three takedowns to grab a 7-3 lead after two periods. In the third period, Jack escaped and got a takedown with 53 seconds left to cut the lead to one, 7-6, but Jack couldn’t turn Redding to take the lead.

Rapuano went 5-1 and finished third with a 11-2 win over Jeremiah Echevarmalong of Long Beach, N.Y. Rapuano gave up just one point in his first three matches but dropped a 5-1 semifinal decision to Daniel Geishinger of Norwich, N.Y. before winning two consolation round matches to finish third.

Wyoming Seminary had six individual champions and seven finalists to win the tournament for the second time in three years and the sixth time overall with 233½ points. Shenendowa, N.Y. was second with 88½ points with Danbury finishing third with 77 points. Springfield Central was fifth with 64 points.

The Hatters had finished fourth on three other occasions (2019, 2013, 2004).

2020 Eastern States Classic
At Loch Sheldrake, N.Y.
Team results (top 10) – 1. Wyoming Seminary-Kingston, PA 233½, 2. Shenendehowa, N.Y. 88½, 3. Danbury 77, 4. Minisink Valley 74, 5. Springfield (MA) Central 64, 6. Norwich 61½, 7. Commack and Massapequa, N.Y. 52, 9. Cold Spring Harbor 51½, 10. Hauppauge 48½
Other CT teams – 14. Joel Barlow 44; 28. Xavier-Middletown 32; 67. Fairfield Warde 19; 94. New Milford 12
Individual results
99 PJ Duke (Carmel) pin Vince Bouzakis (Wyoming Sem.), 3:16; 3.
Jake Dailey (Wyoming Sem.) dec. Joseph Manfredi (Herricks), 6-0
106 Brandon Cannon (Wyoming Sem.) dec. Andrew Lucinski (Newfane), 5-0; 3. Max Gallagher (Bayport-Blue Point) dec. Cameron Soda (Burlington, MA), 5-0; 7. Jace Schafer (Pal Mac) dec. Josh Brault (Joel Barlow), 5-3
113 Stevo Poulin (Shenendehowa) dec. Dante Geislinger (Norwich), 7-3; 3. Michael Rapuano (Xavier) MD Jeremiah Echevarria (Long Beach), 11-2; 7. Kai Odell (Danbury) dec. Jackson Polo (Cold Spring Harbor), 1-0
120 Jordan Titus (Center Moriches) dec. Anthony Noto (Honeoye Falls-lima), 9-4; 3. Hunter Adrian (Melrose) dec. Len Balducci (Pleasantville), 7-3
126 Nic Bouzakis (Wyoming Sem.) tech fall Ivan Garcia (Port Chester), 18-3 5:07; 3. Anthony Dibartolo (Hauppauge) dec. Rocco Camillaci (Hilton), 3-2; 7. David Correa (Tottenville) dec. Tyler Johnson (Danbury), 5-3
132 Zach Redding (Eastport- S Manor) dec. Ryan Jack (Danbury), 8-6; 3. Jayden Scott (Rush-Henrietta) dec. Gage Denatale (Locust Valley), 5-2
138 Beau Bartlett (Wyoming Sem.) dec. Ryan Burgos (Hilton), 10-4; 3. Justin Mcdougald (Niagara Wheatfield) dec. Logan Sciotto (Rocky Point), 4-1
145 Lachlan Mcneil (Wyoming Sem.) dec. Willie McDougald (Niagara Falls), 5-4; 3. Kole Mulhauser (Central Square) dec. Nick Sanko (Pittsford), 9-3
152 Tommy Askey (Pine Bush) dec. Dennis Robin (Arlington), 5-3; 3. Christian Hansen (Cold Spring Harbor) dec. Bryce Smith (Saranac), 7-0
160 Jacob Null (Dolgeville) dec. Brevin Cassella (Nashoba), 3-2; 3. aven Bell (Cold Spring Harbor) pin Joe McGinty (Monroe Woodbury), 2:12
170 Andrew Donahue (Wyoming Sem.) tech fall Tyler Albis (John Jay-ef), 15-0 6:00; 3. Mikey Squires (Norwich) pin JD Moore (Levitttown Division), 1:23; 7. Peter Meshkov (Niskayuna) pin Hunter Rasmussen (Fairfield Warde), 2:27
182 Brock Delsignore (Shenendehowa) dec. Ethan Cooper (Cobleskill-richmondville), 3-1; 3. Ryan Stencel (Lancaster) pin Alex Behar (Byram Hills), 1:38
195 Carson Licastri (Joel Barlow) dec. Darby Mclaughlin (Springfield Central-MA), 10-2; 3. Matt Kelly (Iona Prep) forfeit over Nick Franco (Farmingdale)
220 Kolby Franklin (Wyoming Sem.) tech fall Sebastian Garibaldi (White Plains), 18-3 4:52; 3. Alex Semenenko (McKee Staten Island Tech) dec. Malik Leftenant (Copiague), 1-0
285 Sam Khodaparest (Massapequa) dec. London Castillo (Brentwood), 8-6; 3. Adam Fenner (Minisink Valley) dec. Greg Harris (Springfield Central-MA), 5-1

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.



  1. Pete Johnson

    January 12, 2020 at 7:52 am

    Tyler Sung from New Canaan won an Eastern States title last year

    • Gerry deSimas, Jr. , Connecticut Wrestling Online

      January 12, 2020 at 8:06 am

      Thank you. Yes. Tyler did. I will fix that ASAP.

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