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Seventeen state wrestlers earn NHSCA Academic All-American honors

Seventeen Connecticut wrestlers have been named to the 27th annual National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) Academic All-American team for the 2019-20 school year.

“This year’s Academic All Americans are the epitome of what a student-athlete is. Not only do they excel (athletically), but they also excel in the classroom” stated NHSCA CEO Bobby Ferraro. “These student-athletes are leaders in and out of the classroom and are the future leaders of tomorrow. We are proud to deem them Academic All Americans.”

Three freshmen – Newtown’s Luca Manfredi, Fairfield Warde’s Lucas Coleman and Southington’s Colton Thorpe – earned Academic All-American honors along with Southington sophomore Benjamin Gorr and juniors Nate Cuoco (Fairfield Warde), Ethan Edmondson (Foran) and Steven Leuci (Newtown).

Seniors from Connecticut earning Academic All-American honors included Enfield’s Justin Beiler, Southington’s Caleb Brick, Southington’s William Carr, Enfield’s Alex Martinex, Newtown’s Fritz Maurath, Fairfield Warde’s Alex Nardone, Lyman Memorial’s Ryan Powers, Fairfield Warde’s Cole Shaughnessy, Southington’s Jacob Vecchio and Newtown’s Steve Vournazos.

To qualify, an athlete must carry at least a 3.6 grade point average on a 4.0 scale and be a state tournament place-winner or be selected as All-State athlete at least once during their high school career.

Southington had five Academic All-American selections under head coach Derek Dion while Fairfield Warde had four selections. Newtown had three with Enfield having two selections each.

Carr and Vecchio earned Academic All-American honors for the second straight season. Southington also had five Academic All-Americans last year.

Manfredi, who had a GPA of 3.9 in the classroom, finished third in Class LL at 106 for Newtown and had a record of 39-9. Thorpe, who had a GPA of 4.0, finished fifth in Class LL at 106 and was 26-10 on the year for Southington. Coleman finished second at 113 pounds in Class LL for Fairfield Warde. Coleman, who has an 3.8 GPA, finished the year with a record of 39-7.

Gorr finished sixth at 126 pounds in the Class LL tournament and was 36-12 on the year and 76-25 in his two years with Southington. He has a 4.0 average in the classroom.

Cuoco, a junior at Fairfield Warde, was second in Class LL and fifth at the State Open at 132 pounds. He was 40-10 this season and has a career record of 69-27. He has a GPA of 3.8.

Edmondson was fourth at 152 pounds at the Class M championships and was 43-6 on the year. He has a career record of 116-35. In the classroom, Edmondson has a 4.0 GPA at Foran in Milford and is ranked No. 6 in his class.

Leuci, a junior, finished third in Class LL at 152 for Newtown. He went 30-12 this year and has a career record of 69-42. He has a 3.9 GPA.

Beiler, a senior at Enfield, was fourth at 126 pounds at the Class LL tournament. He went 36-9 this year and finishes his career with more than 100 wins (102-45). He has a 3.7 GPA and is ranked No. 57 in his class. He will attend Southern Maine in the fall.

Brick, a senior at Southington, finished second at 145 pounds in the Class LL tournament. He finished 25-7 this season and had a career record of 120-43. Brick has a GPA of 4.0 and will attend the Milwaukee School of Engineering in the fall.

Carr is a two-time Class LL champion and won his first State Open championship this winter at 182 pounds. A senior from Southington, he was 43-7 this season and finished with a career record of 107-29. Carr has a GPA of 4.0.

Martinez finished sixth at 285 pounds for Enfield this season. He was 30-15 and finished with a career record of 60-43. Martinez had a 3.6 GPA and will attend UMass in the fall.

Maurath was fourth at 145 in Class LL for Newtown, finishing with a record of 42-14 this season and a career record of 81-41. He has a GPA of 3.9 and is ranked in the top 10 percent of his class. He hopes to study mechanical engineering in college.

Nardone was fifth at 220 pounds in the Class LL tournament for Fairfield Warde. He finished with a record of 39-13 this season and a career record of 84-34. He has a 4.0 GPA and will attend Duke.

Powers, a student at Lyman Memorial, won the Class S title at 170 pounds, took second at the State Open and finished fifth in New England. Powers finished with a 51-3 record and concludes his career with a mark of 116-36. He has a 4.0 GPA at Lyman and is ranked No. 3 in his class.

Shaughnessy, a senior at Fairfield Warde, won the Class LL championship at 152 pounds, finished second at the State Open and was fourth in New England. He was 45-4 this season and finishes with a career record of 152-37. He has a 3.6 GPA.

Vecchio was third in Class LL and the State Open at 220 pounds for Southington. He went 41-11 this season. He has a GPA of 4.0 and is ranked No. 26 in his class. He will attend Coast Guard Academy in New London in the fall.

Vournazos finished sixth in Class LL at 160 pounds for Newtown. He went 25-6 this season and has a career record of 44-17. He has a GPA of 3.9 and would like to study engineering in college.

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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