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Quick look at this weekend’s 2020 state championship tournaments

126: Aaron Morocho (BE) tech fall Jake Leone, 18-2,

Bristol Eastern’s Aaron Morocho is in control of his 126-pound match with Bristol Central’s Jake Leone earlier this month.

The four CIAC championship meets will be held this Saturday. The Class LL meet will be in Trumbull, the Class L championships will be at Bristol Central, the Class M event will be at Guilford and the Class S meet will be held at Killingly High.

Wrestling begins Friday at 4:30 p.m. at all four locations. On Saturday, action begins at 9 a.m. The semifinals begin Saturday at 1 p.m. at all four locations with the medal round, including the finals, beginning at 4:30 p.m.

The seeds for the four tournaments have been announced and can be found below. The official records do not include any results from Saturday’s conference tournaments.

The top six individuals in each weight class at all four meets will earn an invitation to the State Open championships on Friday, February 28 and Saturday, February 29 at the Floyd Little Athletic Center on the campus of Hillhouse High in New Haven.

The CIAC will host their first-ever girls state championship tournament at the Open.

Class LL championships
At Trumbull
Last year: Danbury 250, Trumbull 210½, Southington 175
2020 seeds
Outlook: No. 1 Danbury has won the last four Class LL championship meets and five of the last seven. The Hatters will be challenged by No. 3 Fairfield Warde (19-1), No. 6 Southington (17-2) and No. 7 Staples (22-5) but it is unlikely anyone has the depth to beat Danbury, which won three tournaments and went undefeated (16-0) during the dual meet portion of the schedule.
Notable: Danbury’s Ryan Jack, the top seed at 138 pounds (22-1), is looking to be the second wrestler to win a fourth straight Class LL title. The only wrestler to achieve this was East Hartford’s John Knapp from 1986-89. Only 11 wrestlers in state history have won four consecutive state titles in Class LL, L, M and S. The last wrestler to win four in a row was Ellis Tech’s Sean Johnson, who won four straight Class M titles (2016-19).

Class L championships
At Bristol Central
Last year: Bristol Eastern 204½, Simsbury 204, Xavier 194
2020 seeds
Outlook: A year, Bristol Eastern won their third straight Class L title over Simsbury by a ½ point, the closest tournament in Class L history. This year looks to be just as competitive. No. 2 Simsbury is looking for their first state championship since 1997 and will be challenged by No. 4 Xavier and No. 5 Bristol Eastern. Simsbury (14-1) has won four tournaments, beat Eastern in the New Fairfield Duals final, 39-23 and upended the top team in New Hampshire, Timberlane Regional, 29-28. Xavier (8-0) has won five tournaments including the SCC along with the Mid-Hudson Classic in New York and the Methuen (Mass.) Invitational. Eastern went 12-1 this season with their only loss coming to Simsbury.
Notable: New Canaan’s Tyler Sung is looking for a third straight Class L crown.

Class M championships
At Guilford
Last year: Killingly 202½, Foran 161, Avon 151
2020 seeds
Outlook: Defending champion Killingly has moved down to Class S leaving the door wide open for No. 10 Branford (23-1), Foran (27-7), East Haven (18-6) and Suffield/Windsor Locks (15-4), which was very impressive in winning last week’s NCCC championship – their first conference title since 2007. Foran has finished in the top three for the last seven years in Class M, bringing home titles in 2016 and 2018. Suffield/Windsor Locks, East Haven and Branford are looking for their first-ever state title. The three teams have never finished in the top three of a state tournament.
Notable: Joel Barlow’s Carson LiCastri, the top seed at 182, is looking for his fourth consecutive Class M championship. LiCastri is 22-1.

Class S championships
At Killingly
Last year: Gilbert 193½, Montville 190, Haddam-Killingworth 162
2020 seeds
Outlook: A year ago, Killingly won their first state championship since 2009 when they captured their second Class M championship. Defending champion Gilbert outlasted Montville by 3½ points to win their first-ever state championship. The Yellowjackets have three No. 1 seeds but will need help from the rest of their lineup if they hope to defend their title. Killingly was very sharp at Saturday’s ECC tournament as they won their third straight title with 11 wrestlers finishing in the top six of their respective weight classes in a tough tournament. Windham could be a spoiler. The Whippets were ninth at Saturday’s ECC championships but have a history of rebounding with strong performances a week later at the Class S championships.
Notable: Windham has won five of the last seven Class S titles. Killingly has won four state titles and hopes to bring home back-to-back titles for the first time since 2008 and 2009 when they won a pair of Class S championships. … Killingly is hosting the Class S championship tournament for the first time.

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 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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