AVON, Jan. 25, 2020 — This winter, Connecticut Wrestling Online is celebrating its 20th anniversary. We thought we would take a look back and some of the wrestling highlights that have occurred this week — the fourth week in January — over the last 20 years.
Five years ago (2016)
No. 5 Trumbull had six finalists and three individual champions to capture the seventh annual Connecticut Challenge for the first time with a 18-point win over Cumberland, R.I. Matt Ryan (106), Mike Mirmina (126) and Joey Ryan (160) won for Trumbull. With four finalists and one champion, Simsbury finished third. … Guilford’s Colin Rook (132) pinned Cameron Louis in the final match to give Guilford a 41-37 win over Ellis Tech. Guilford had four pins, a tech fall and picked up two forfeits to earn the win. Guilford also beat Avon and Lyman Memorial/Windham Tech … No. 4 Windham had 10 pins in an 84-0 shutout of Rocky Hill. The Whippets also topped ECC rival Killingly, 48-18. … Leading by one point, No. 1 Danbury won three of the final four matches to beat Timberlane, N.H., 33-23. Ben LeBlanc’s third period reversal gave him a 2-0 win at 106 while Jakob Camacho (113) won by pin and Joey Hulse (126) earned a two-point for the Hatters, now 12-0. Danbury also beat Xavier, 50-15 and Nashoba Valley from Westford, Mass., 58-12. …. No. 8 Bristol Eastern swept three bouts including two against top 10 opponents. The Lancers beat No. 3 Fairfield Warde, 53-21 and No. 9 Ledyard, 32-29. A one-point victory by Zach Marquis (182) and a pin by Justin Marshall (120) in the final match of the bout lifted Eastern past Ledyard. … At the Hornet Duals in East Hartford, No. 2 New Milford won four bouts including a 57-15 decision over East Hartford in the championship bout. …. No. 7 New Fairfield went 6-for-6 in the finals to win the 34th annual Edgemont Tournament in Scarsdale, N.Y. Alex Opsal (103), Avery Shay (138), Andrew D’Amico (160), Billy Magrino (182), Justin Garden (195) and A.J. Pearl (285) won for the Rebels. …Brunswick won its 19th straight Fairchester Athletic Association (FAA) title with four wins Saturday over Rye Country Day, Hopkins of New Haven, Greens Farms Academy of Westport and Hamden Hall. The Bruins (18-0) won the FAA title for the 31st time in 32 years. … On Wednesday, No. 3 Fairfield Warde led by two with two matches remaining but Danbury’s Jakob Camacho (113) and Kyle Fields (120) came up with pins to lead No. 1 Danbury (9-0) to a 37-27 win over the Mustangs in a match televised live on HAN Network. It was the first loss of the year for the Mustangs (10-1), wrestling without Charlie Kane (152), who hurt his shoulder. … Trailing by eight, No. 2 New Milford (10-0) won five of the final seven matches by pin to beat No. 7 New Fairfield., 41-28 in a Southwest Conference clash. It was the first loss of the season for the Rebels (6-1).
Ten years ago (2011)
Conor Kirkegard (103) and Karl Bradshaw (171) won individual titles and No. 1 New Milford had six other wrestlers finish in the top four to capture the second annual MassConn Fusion tournament at Southington High. The Green Wave pulled away from No. 6 Bacon Academy and won 172½-148 with the top-ranked team in Massachusetts, Springfield Central, taking third with 139½ points. … Ledyard’s Rob Drury (119) slipped past Bristol Eastern’s Josh Deff, 8-6 while teammate Josh Lawrence (215) beat Eastern’s Mike Piazza, 8-1 to lift the No. 7 Colonels to a 37-34 victory over No. 5 Bristol Eastern. Drury and Lawrence had each lost to their opponents earlier this year. Ledyard won six of the first 7 bouts to take a 28-6 lead. Ledyard also beat No. 10 Fairfield Warde, 43-33. … Farmington (20-2) beat Agawam, South Hadley and Pomperaug to finish third at the Northeast Duals in Springfield, Mass. The Indians only loss was to eventual champion Ballston Spa, N.Y. … Darien (19-3) beat Brookfield, Cheney Tech, Wolcott Tech and Vinal Tech to set a new single-season record for wins. …Two pins in the final two matches from Ben Durst (112) and Alex Kozieradzki lifted Simsbury to a 36-30 win over Nonnewaug. Simsbury won four of the last six matches with three pins and a 3-2 decision by Stephon King (189) over Paul Caisse. … An OT win from Ted Kostopolous (215) clinched Jonathan Law’s 36-33 win over Guilford enabling the Lawmen (26-2) to win the Saul Pollock Duals with a 5-0 record. Law coach Matt Schoonmaker earned his 150th career victory. … Earlier in the week, Jonathan Law’s Stephon Davis (189) pinned Mackenzie Thompson in the final match of the night to lift Law (21-2) to a 39-32 victory over Shelton in a SCC Large Division contest on Monday night. … Cheshire (10-6, 2-0 SCC Small) won its fifth straight match as John O’Reilly (285) clinched the match with a pin to lift the Rams to a 43-30 decision over Branford. The Rams won six straight bouts from 135 to 171 to seize control of the match.
15 years ago (2006)
MacArthur High in Levittown, N.Y. and East Meadow, N.Y. High each beat No. 1 Danbury Saturday in a five-team meet in Norwich. The Hatters went undefeated against three Connecticut schools but slipped to 17-2 overall. MacArthur had 7 pins against Danbury to hand DHS its worst loss (58-12) since 1991 in the Virginia Duals. “We’re used to winning almost every dual meet,” Danbury’s Tyler Howe told the New London Day, “so when somebody that good comes in, it’s tough for us. This is why we do this. Other teams are 22-0, but this is why we beat them. Because we wrestle harder matches.”… Pins from Craig Babcock (125) and Beau Richard (119) in the final two matches helped surging NFA top Waterford, 33-32. …Despite winning the final five bouts of the match, Ledyard couldn’t erase a 25-point deficit and lost to Lowell, Mass., 35-31. Defending New England champion Timberlane, N.H. also beat the Colonials, 51-19. … Fairfield Warde’s Matt Anania (215) had a key pin while J.J. Casagrande (189) won by tech fall as the Mustangs held off Bristol Eastern, 35-33. The Lancers won five of the final eight bouts but it wasn’t enough. … Windham High won the John Williams Duals in Rockville for the seventh straight year with a 40-22 victory over Avon. Bran Crudden (171) had 3 pins Saturday with 2 under a minute. Morgan topped Plainville, 50-29 to finish third. … Bacon Academy (20-5) swept Wethersfield, 46-24 and Nonnewaug, 45-27 to capture the third Portland Duals Tournament. … After losing its first SCC bout in over three years on opening night against Hand, three-time defending league champion Amity (11-5, 4-1 SCC) continues to show that they are a contender. The aggressive Spartans had the initial takedown in 10 of 14 bouts to hand Cheshire (17-6, 7-1) its first loss in the SCC. … Waterford’s Bryan Grote (275) won by a point over Matt Chalmers, 6-5 as the Lancers (12-2, 4-0 ECC Small) slipped past Bacon Academy (16-5, 2-1) in a 30-27 thriller. …. Derby coach Buster Jadach became just the fifth coach in state history to win 400 matches as the Red Raiders beat Platt Tech/West Haven, 54-15. Jadach, who began coaching Derby in 1980, is 400-169-5. … Plainville (11-2, 5-0 NWC) moved within one win of its second league title in the last three years with a crucial 32-29 win over Middletown (14-6, 3-1). The Devils had three pins and one technical fall to earn the win while Middletown had seven wins but just one pin. … Former Simsbury High wrestler Joey Martin (119) is eligible to wrestle in Nevada for Durango High (4-2). He won by pin in 2:19 Wednesday night, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.
20 years ago (2001)
Cory Kozuch (145) and Mike Drury (189) each earned 3-2 decisions to help Bristol Central outlast Hand and win the championship match of the Jonathan Law Duals, 39-30. Nick Therriault (103) went 5-0 on the day with five pins. Pat Fanelli (119), John Valenta (140) and Cory Kozuch were each 5-0 while Mike Drury (189) and A.J. Boi (103) were each 4-1. The Rams improve to 17-3. … Two-time Charter Oak Conference champion RHAM is on track to win a third straight COC title this winter. The Sachems (15-1) have been ranked in the top 10 of the state’s coaches poll for most of the season. “They don’t quit,” said RHAM coach Kevin Kanaitis, now in his fourth year as head coach and 60-16 overall. “Our philosophy is to work until the third period whistle goes off. It you give it all on the mat, you’ll get your points and you’ll get your wins. … It’s been an outstanding season for East Catholic’s Chris Scheinberg (125). Scheinberg has won three tournaments — Skip Arden Invitational in Manchester, Bristol Central Invitational and Eagle Classic. He was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler at Skip Arden and in Bristol. He won the Eagle Classic with a thrilling 6-3 victory over Mount Anthony’s Kyle Willard, the top seed.