56th annual New England championships
At Meuthen, Mass.
Date: Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8
Participants: Top 7 wrestlers from Massachusetts; top 5 from Connecticut, top 3 from Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island
Saturday’s schedule: Wrestling begins at 10 a.m. (round 1). Noon, round of 16; 2:30 p.m., consolation round; 4 p.m., Quarterfinals and consolation round 2; 6:30 p.m., consolation round 3
Sunday’s schedule: Wrestling begins at 11 a.m. (semifinals and consolation quarterfinals); 1:15 p.m., consolation semifinals. 2:15 p.m., Hall of Fame presentations; 2:30 p.m., Championship matches, third place and fifth place bouts.
Defending champions returning: Joziah Fry 120 (Coventry, RI); Hunter Adrian 120 (Melrose, MA); Ryan Jack 138 (Danbury), Tyler Sung 152 (New Canaan); Carson LiCastri 195 (Joel Barlow); Beau Dillon, 220 (Salem, NH)
State championship meets: 2020 state championship results from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Rhode Island
Last year: 1. Danbury 88½, 2. Bishop Hendricken-Warwick, RI 71½, 3. Coventry RI 68½, 4. Salem, N.H. 68, 5. Springfield (MA) Central 55
Last year’s championship matches
106: Joziah Fry (Coventry RI) dec. Tyler Knox (Pentucket, MA), 9-5
113: Hunter Adrian (Melrose, MA) dec. Elijah Cyr (Middletown), 5-2
120: Andrew Fallon (Bishop Hendricken, RI) dec. Maximillian Leete (Danvers, MA), 3-1 OT
126: Ryan Jack (Danbury) pin Angelo Folino (Northwestern), 3:38
132: Connor McGonagle (Timberlane, NH) dec. Kyle Fields (Danbury), 1-0
138: Sean Johnson (Ellis Tech) dec. Justin Mastroianni (New Canaan), 7-4
145: Tyler Sung (New Canaan) dec. Sean Caltagirone (Coventry RI), 3-2
152: Hunter Adams (Suffield/Windsor Locks) dec. Noah Strout (Oyster River. NH), 4-3
160: Cesar Alvan (Springfield Central, MA) dec. Tristen Cabinta (Salem NH), 9-4
170: Jayden Curley (Mansfield, MA) dec. Ben Dougherty (Chariho, RI), 7-5
182: Carson Licastri (Joel Barlow) dec. Cory Grifka (Mt. Hope, RI), 8-1
195: Beau Dillon (Salem NH) dec. Joe Gjinaj (Fairfield Warde), 9-1
220: Omar Eldaly (Shawsheen, MA) dec. Ray Weiner (Shelton), 5-4, 2 OT
285: Mattuez Kudra (North Attleborough, MA) dec. David Gross Bucksport, (Bucksport, ME), 5-4
Outlook: Danbury has won the New England tournament two of the last three years and will be looking for another New England championship. The Hatters had eight wrestlers qualify for the New England tournament while Fairfield Warde had seven wrestlers qualify. It’s the most New England qualifiers for both schools. Danbury will be challenged by New Hampshire state champion Timberlane Regional, who had nine wrestlers and Vermont champion Mt. Anthony with eight qualifiers. The Hatters will need a solid effort across the board to win again.
Essex finished second in Vermont but qualified 12 wrestlers for the tournament. Rhode Island champion Cumberland is coming with seven wrestlers while Bishop Henricken has just four – who each won state titles. Salem, N.H., is coming with six wrestlers but four have at least 50 wins already this season. Massachusetts champion Springfield Central has six wrestlers in the tournament. Among Connecticut schools, look for Fairfield Warde, Xavier and possibly Simsbury to contend.
Danbury’s Ryan Jack (138) and Melrose, Mass., Hunter Adrian (120) each have the opportunity to win a third straight New England title. Jack is looking to become the second Connecticut wrestler to win three New England titles. The last wrestler to do that was T.J. MarcAurele of NFA and Ledyard, who won titles in 1989, 1990 and 1992. Winning three New England titles earns a wrestler an automatic entry into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame.
New Canaan’s Tyler Sung (152) and Joel Barlow’s Carson LiCastri (195) are looking for their second straight New England championships. Only 16 wrestlers in state history have won multiple New England championships.
More news: It will be the final tournament for long-time Timberlane coach Barry Chooljian, who is retiring at the end of the season. His Owls have won the last 17 Meet of Champion meets in New Hampshire, the Granite State’s answer to Connecticut’s State Open championships. … Connecticut’s inductee into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame will be the late Ray Southland, who died last summer. Southland was a long-time official in Connecticut and New England. … The tournament moves to Massachusetts for the first time since 2014 when it was in North Adams. The tournament has been in Providence, Rhode Island for seven of the last eight years. This is Methuen’s first time hosting the event. … The last time the New England tournament was in Connecticut was 2011 in New Haven at Hillhouse.