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Danbury is No. 1 in final Connecticut Wrestling Online poll of season

For the fifth straight year, Danbury is the No. 1 team in the final top 10 poll of the season.

The Danbury High wrestling team ran the table this season with a 16-0 record in dual meets and victories in consecutive weeks in the FCIAC Tournament, Class LL championship tournament and the State Open tournament.

The Hatters have also run the table in the Connecticut Wrestling Online top 10 poll of wrestling teams in Connecticut. Danbury is the unanimous choice of coaches and writers around the state as the No. 1 team in the state in the final poll of the season. They have been the unanimous choice as the top team each week this season.

It’s the third straight year that Danbury has been the top team in Connecticut Wrestling Online’s final poll of the season. The Hatters have been No. 1 in the final state poll of the season for the last five consecutive years. The Norwich Bulletin conducted the poll until the 2017 season.

“This is one of the most fun teams I have coached,” long-time Hall of Fame coach Ricky Shook said. “They are workers. They aren’t the best team I have coached but they are workers and it shows.”

Danbury won the State Open for the fifth straight year on Saturday and will send a record nine people to this weekend’s New England championships. The Hatters, who are the defending New England champions, have won the event in two of the past three seasons.

“I’ve enjoyed this team a lot,” said Danbury’s Ryan Jack, who became just the third wrestler in state history to win four straight State Open championships. “We’re very close. We’re like a family. We love each other and we always help each out. When someone loses, we don’t (criticize them). We talk about this how you can fix it.”

Fairfield Warde spent the postseason chasing the Hatters. The Mustangs finished second at the FCIAC championships, Class LL championships and Saturday’s State Open. “We focused on making ourselves better and doing our best performance,” Warde coach Jason Shaughnessy, also a member of the Connecticut chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame along with Shook. Warde is sending seven wrestlers to the New England tournament.

Warde (19-1) moved up one spot to No. 2 in the final poll – their best finish since taking second in the final poll in 2010.

Xavier (8-0), who beat Simsbury by 2½ points for the Class L championship, moved up one spot to No. 3. The Falcons won five tournaments this winter, including out-of-state events in Massachusetts and New York.

Simsbury (14-1) dropped two spots to No. 4 after finishing second in Class L and fourth at the State Open. Bristol Eastern (12-1) remained at No. 5 in the final poll and Southington (17-2) remained at No. 6.

Class S champion Killingly (25-3) moved up four spots to finish at No. 7 while New Milford (7-1) returned to the top 10 after a two-year absence at No. 8. The Green Wave was third in a tough Class L tournament and eighth at the State Open.

Suffield/Windsor Locks (15-4) earned a spot in the top 10 for the first time at No. 9. The Wildcats won their first Class M championship by beating Foran. Trumbull (18-7) dropped two spots to No. 10.

Final, Wednesday, March 4

The final Connecticut Wrestling Online’s top 10 high school wrestling poll for the 2019-20 season. First-place votes in parentheses, record through Saturday, points tabulated on a 30-28-26-24-22-20-18-16-14-12-11-10-9-8-7 basis, and last week’s poll ranking.

Team Record Pts LW Class
1. Danbury (15) 16-0 450 1 LL
2. Fairfield Warde 19-1 416 3 LL
3. Xavier 8-0 394 4 L
4. Simsbury 14-1 358 2 L
5. Bristol Eastern 12-1 310 5 L
6. Southington 17-2 286 6 LL
7. Killingly 25-3 241 11 S
8. New Milford 7-1 216 14 L
9. Suffield/Windsor Locks 15-4 198 nr M
10. Trumbull 18-7 173 8 LL
Also receiving votes: Foran (27-7) 124, Bristol Central (22-2) 119, Staples (22-5) 78, Joel Barlow (7-11) 75, Haddam-Killingworth (9-3) 71, Glastonbury (11-6) and Branford (23-1) 39, Ledyard (21-7) 32, Wethersfield (11-2) 8, New Haven 7
Voters: Charlie Anderson, Trumbull; Matt Boissonneault, Bristol Central; Mike Cunningham, Xavier; Gerry deSimas, Jr., Connecticut Wrestling Online; Derek Dion, Southington; Chris Gamble, Waterford; David Green, Nonnewaug; Tim Jensen, Patch Media; Paul Musso, New Fairfield; Chris Piel, New Milford; Patrick Risley, Windham High; Matt Schoonmaker, Jonathan Law-Milford; Jason Shaughnessy, Fairfield Warde; Ricky Shook, Danbury; T.J. Silva, Simsbury; Jimmy Zanor, Norwich Bulletin. Not voting this week: Patrick Risley, Windham High; Bryan McCarty, Platt-Meriden

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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