AVON, Jan. 18, 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 third week in January — over the last 20 years.
Five years ago (2016)
In Rockville, East Hartford won the 17th annual John Williams Duals at Rockville High by going undefeated in a snow-shortened tournament. Only five of the eight teams were able to attend and the Hornets beat all four of their opponents including a 63-11 win over Avon, which finished second with a 3-1 record. It is the first tournament title for the Hornets since 2005 when they won the Greater Hartford Invitational. … Newtown had five individual champions and eight wrestlers in the top four of their respective weight classes as they finished second at the Timberlane Invitational. Host Timberlane won with 241 points with Newtown second with 173. … Ledyard won seven of the first eight matches to build a lead and hand No. 9 Ellis Tech its first loss of the season Friday night in Danielson. … Bristol Central’s Chris Trelli won twice to improve to 12-3 on the season as the Rams beat Manchester, 66-12 and lost to No. 3 Fairfield Warde, 38-24. … Sophomore Ryan Luth (138) and junior Gina Esposito (113) each had three wins as No. 10 Foran (22-3) earned wins over Coventry, RI, Westerly RI and Waterford Friday night…. On Thursday night, No. 6 Middletown remained undefeated with a 17-0 record after a dominating 51-12 victory over Platt High. … Forecasts for snow on the weekend wiped out Saturday’s wrestling across Connecticut including the 34th annual New Milford Invitational, the Cougar Invitational at Haddam-Killingworth, the Husky Invitational at Morgan in Clinton and several multi-team meets. . … Pomperaug’s Will Foschi major decision victory at 195 pounds in the final match was enough to lift the Panthers to a 37-36 win over Masuk (13-10) on Wednesday night. Teammate Tim Cocchiola (152) also picked up a key major decision win and an extra point for Pomperaug, now 6-6. … No. 3 Fairfield Warde (7-0) had 10 pins and a tech fall in a 65-15 decision over New Canaan. … No. 8 Bristol Eastern (4-1) prevailed in the final match of the day to earn a 42-35 decision over Simsbury. … No. 10 Foran improved to 19-3 with a tight 32-30 victory over Hand…. It’s been a week of milestones at Jonathan Law in Milford. The Lawman earned the 550th victory in team history Wednesday night in a 42-30 win over Amity. On Saturday, head coach Matt Schoonmaker became the all-time leader in career wins at Law when he earned his 223rd career win. He took over the team in 2005. Roy Lenz was 220-154-1 from 1987 through 2001 at Law. . … No. 1 Danbury won the first seven matches to build up a 28-point lead to beat Mt. Anthony Union from Bennington, Vt., Monday night in Danbury, 34-23. It was first win by the undefeated Hatters (7-0) over the visiting Patriots since 2012 and just the fifth since the series began in 2001. Chris Sam (120) and Peterson Souza (132) each picked up an extra point with a major decision. Danbury’s Jakob Camacho (113) opened the meet with a 5-4 win while teammate Jeremy Fields (138) got a takedown with 10 seconds left for a 4-2 victory. … Danbury remained the No. 1 team in the state for the third straight week in the Norwich Bulletin’s state coaches poll but Ellis Tech joined the top 10 for the first time at No. 9. Ellis Tech is 15-0 and is the first technical school program to reach the top 10 since at least 1996.
Ten years ago (2011)
With five individual champions, top-ranked New Milford won its 29th annual New Milford Tournament with a dominating victory. The Green Wave beat No. 9 Greenwich by 118 points. Brookfield’s Alex Neal (130) was the most outstanding wrestler. New Milford’s Nick Amorando (125) became the first New Milford wrestler and fourth athlete to win the tournament four times. … Farmington (16-1) dominated and won the Charter Oak Duals in Wethersfield with wins over Conard, Wethersfield and Terryville. … Trumbull’s Brandon Liscinsky (112) had four pins while Tim Douthit (135/140) and Ben Anderson (135/140) each had three wins and a tech fall to lead Trumbull to four victories and the championship in the Legends Duals at Fairfield Ludlowe. … Ludlowe finished third at the Legends Duals with a 33-32 win over Hall as Peter Clark (125) got a takedown the final second to give him a 4-3 decision. Teammate Ben Brzoski (152) had a 6-5 win in the final match. … No. 4 Hand topped Middletown, 52-18 to win the Morgan Duals for the second straight year. … No. 6 Bacon Academy beat two Massachusetts teams ranked in the top 10. Bacon beat No. 7 Framingham, 52-20 and No. 7 St. John’s Prep, 34-22. Top-ranked Springfield Central beat the Bobcats, 44-20. … Terryville cut an 18-point lead to seven but Nonnewaug (15-2, 5-0 BL) won the final three matches to earn a 46-23 victory and move to the doorstep of its 12th Berkshire League title in the last 15 years. … Trumbull (14-3, 6-1 FCIAC) won 11 of 14 weight classes in a 62-18 victory over Ridgefield on Friday as THS coach Charlie Anderson earned his 200th career victory. . … No. 4 Hand rallied from a 30-point deficit and won eight straight matches, using a pin from Welles Sakmar (140) in the final bout to stun No. 3 Xavier, 34-30 on Wednesday. … Out of eight matches contested on the mat, New Fairfield had four pins and a tech fall to slip past Pomperaug (8-4, 6-2 SWC) by a 41-39 score. It was the Rebels’ first win over Pomperaug since 2006. … After Simsbury won two of the first three matches, Conard (10-9, 1-2 CCC West) had eight victories including four pins in the final 11 bouts to pull away from Simsbury, 49-20 in a CCC West contest. … Berlin won four of the final five matches to erase a nine-point deficit to beat Bristol Central, 39-36 in a CCC South match. Anthony Vinci (189), Mason Powers (215) and Ethan Greider (103) had key pins for Berlin to lift the Redcoats. Richie Schlichting (112) beat Central’s Matt Trelli, 6-0 in the final match to clinch the win…. With nine pins, Avon (6-6, 4-0 NCCC) beat East Windsor, 72-9 to win its 24th straight league match. … In the 11th meeting between the two New England rivals, host Mt. Anthony, Vt., handed No. 2 Danbury a 43-12 defeat Monday night in Bennington. It was the fourth win in the last five years for the Patriots, who lead the overall series, 8-3. “They outwrestled us. They wanted it more than our guys,” Danbury coach Rick Shook told the Bennington Banner. “We lost too many one-point matches and gave them away.”
15 years ago (2006)
No. 13 Conard (17-3, 4-0 CCC West) erased a 26-point lead with seven straight wins from 140 to 215 pounds to beat Farmington, 40-30 and win the Charter Oak Duals in Wethersfield. The Chieftains also took control in the CCC West with a 48-25 victory over Wethersfield (8-3, 3-1) by dominating in the middle weights. Farmington improves to 17-3. … After slipping past Middletown, 35-34 on criteria, in the semifinals (most takedowns), No. 14 Bacon Academy (16-4) built a 31-0 lead and held off a furious rally from No. 9 Hand to win the Morgan Duals, 35-33. Bacon’s lost the final four matches by a tech fall, major decision and two decisions. If any of those four wrestlers had been pinned, Hand (18-2) would have won. … No. 3 Ledyard (21-0) was impressive with three victories Saturday over No. 2 Waterford, 43-21, Glastonbury, 37-23 and No. 4 Bristol Eastern, 38-27. The Colonels had leads of 30-0 and 43-12 over Waterford. Against Eastern (13-3), Ledyard trailed 27-23 with four matches left but won them all to earn the victory. Waterford won two of the final three matches to slip past Eastern, 38-31 but was upset by Glastonbury, 40-32. … Mt. Anthony, Vt., won the Eagle Classic for the 10th straight year. … No. 2 Waterford rallied from a 23-point deficit by using two forfeits and two pins in the final four matches to earn a thrilling 39-38 win over Fitch. “That match was absolutely unbelievable,” Fitch coach Mark Kosman told the New London Day. “The kids wrestled fantastic. … They keep getting better as the weeks go on.” …. In a battle of undefeated teams in the Berkshire League, Nonnewaug (11-5, 5-0 BL) won the first six matches, three by pin to build a 29-point lead and cruise past Terryville (9-3, 4-1) for the 15th straight year, 47-24. … Cheshire (14-5, 7-0 SCC) remained unbeaten in the league with a dominating 62-3 win over Branford. The Rams had seven pins in the victory. … Danbury sophomore Dean Smith (135) pinned Mt. Anthony senior Ted Randall as No. 1 Danbury (10-0) won two of the three final bouts by pin to earn a 41-34 win over the Patriots (14-1) in the annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Day battle. “This was a great see-saw battle,” Danbury coach Ricky Shook told the Danbury News Times. “We wanted to get this in for the fans. This was probably the biggest crowd we have ever had.”
20 years ago (2001)
Berlin’s Aaron Trusty won his third straight Eagle Classic title while teammate Mike Laroche (160) was named outstanding wrestler as the No. 7 Redcoats put five wrestlers in the finals. But Mt. Anthony, Vt., still easily won the tournament for the fifth straight year with a 278-182½ win over Berlin. Mt. Anthony, despite losing 10 starters from a year ago, placed 11 wrestlers in the finals and won eight titles. … Gilbert clinched a tie for their first Berkshire League championship since 1996 with a dominating 51-29 win over Wolcott Tech. … No. 6 NFA (10-0-1) won nine matches by pin outlast Ledyard, 52-24. … Fitch (12-0) remained undefeated with a 63-15 win over Woodstock Academy. … Bridgeport Central had 10 pins in an 81-0 win over Westhill while Brien McMahon had 10 pins in a 60-24 victory over Ridgefield.