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Three state wrestlers earn first team NWCA All-American honors

Former Ellis Tech wrestler Jo Jo Gonzalez earned All-American honors from the NWCA. (Photo courtesy American International College)

Three wrestlers raised in Connecticut earned first team All-American honors in balloting by the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA).

Former Ellis Tech wrestler Jo Jo Gonzalez (Willimantic) became the first American International College wrestler since 2012 to earn All-American honors when he was named to the NWCA’s Division II first team at 157 pounds.

In Division III, Berlin’s Nicholas Arborio (125) of Western New England University was named to the NWCA’s Division III All-American team along with Foran’s Ryan Luth (157) of Washington and Lee.

Wesleyan’s Marco Gaita (174) earned first team All-American honors along with Coast Guard’s Paul Detwiler (184), Jon Wagner (197) and Patrick Irwin (285).

All three NCAA national wrestling tournaments (Division I, II, III) were cancelled in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gonzalez (38-6) had one of the best performances in the history of the AIC program this winter. At the NCAA Division II Super Region I tournament, he became the first Yellowjacket to win a regional title since 2001.

His 38 wins was most in the country in Division II at 157 pounds. He also had 131 takedowns and 16 pins. Against Division I opponents, he was 7-3 with three pins.

“JoJo’s work ethic and commitment to excel has made his dreams become a reality,” said head coach Rich Hasenfus. “I’m so proud of his accomplishments.”

Aborio went 21-0 at 125 this winter for Western New England University and won his first NCAA Northeast Regional title with a 6-4 win over Southern Maine’s Peter Del Gallo.

Luth, a sophomore at 157 pounds, earned All-American honors after going 24-2. He won the NCAA Southeast Regional to qualify for the NCAA Division III national championships where he was seeded seventh. Luth won the Centennial Conference title at 157.

A 2020 NWCA Scholar All-American, Luth has compiled a 46-5 overall record across his first two seasons.

Wesleyan’s Gaita (174) excelled in 2019-20 as he posted an incredible 32-4 record and became Wesleyan’s third Northeast Regional Champion in the past three seasons.

Throughout the course of the season, the sophomore from Long Valley, N.J. went 13-1 in dual meets, recorded a team-high eight pins, and defeated three returning All-Americans. He earned the No. 7 seed at the NCAA Division III wrestling championships prior to its cancellation.

Detwiler (184), compiled a 28-0 record this season that included 18 bonus point victories. He also became only the second Coast Guard wrestler to win the All Academy championship. Wagner (197) won a Northeast Regional title while Irwin (285) was second in the Northeast Regional.

Three state wrestlers earned second team NWCA All-American honors. Montville’s Noah Caskey (141) of the Coast Guard and Glastonbury’s Joseph Rossetti (141) of Williams were recognized as NCWA Division III All-Americans.

Danbury’s Jakob Camacho (141) of North Carolina State was named to the NWCA All-American team at the Division I level. Camacho went 20-6 at 141 pounds, winning eight of his final nine dual meets and winning the ACC Tournament title where he took Outstanding Wrestler honors.

Bristol Central’s Chris Trelli (Springfield, 133), Fairfield Ludlowe’s Austin Sherman (Muhlenberg, 149) and Fairfield’s Izaake Zuckerman (NYU, 174) were named to the NWCA’s All-American third team.

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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