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This week in Connecticut wrestling history

This week in Connecticut wrestling history looks at the second week in January with images from 2006, left, 2016, center and 2011.

AVON, Jan. 12, 2020 — This winter, Connecticut Wrestling Online is celebrating its 20th anniversary. As part of our celebration efforts and in light of the fact that scholastic wrestling is on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we thought we would take a look back and some of the wrestling highlights that have occurred  this week — the second week in January — over the last 20 years.

Five years ago (2016)

Danbury finished 10th at the 14th annual Eastern States Classic in Loch Sheldrake, N.Y. with Jakob Camacho finishing seventh at 113 pounds. Kyle Fields (130) and Peterson Souza (142) each went 4-2 in the tournament. Pennsylvania’s Wyoming Seminary, the No. 1 ranked high school team in the nation, won the event by 114 points. Hakim Fleming of Notre Dame-Fairfield (285) finished sixth, going 5-2. He advanced as far as the semifinals. New Milford’s Bryan Rojas (138) also finished seventh. … For the first time, Killingly won the Griswold Mid-Season Invitational with four individual champions, led by Austin Caffrey (182), who was named the outstanding wrestler. Dillon Knupp (170), Josh Angel (285) and James Lantigua (120) also won for Killingly. … Noah Sylvester (120), John Grazsis (126), Andre Rogers (132) and Jordan Baker (138) had pins and teammates Isiah King (145) and Tom Gatti (152) picked up hard-fought two-point decisions as No. 10 Middletown remained undefeated (15-0) with a 33-24 decision over No. 11 Ledyard (14-2) on Friday night. The Dragons also beat Conard and Guilford. … State wrestling rules interpreter Brian Manzi notified the ECC that Killingly has been named the winner of a Dec. 30 dual meet over Montville, 37-36 due to an ineligible wrestler, who been disqualified at last weekend’s RHAM Duals.  … Earlier in the week, Middletown beat No. 8 Bristol Eastern for the first time since 2008 with a 33-25 victory to take control of the CCC South race. … Platt rallied from a 22-point deficit to take a 30-28 lead with an overtime win by Nick Martone at 285 pounds but Southington got a pair of major decisions from Jake Cardozo (106) and Tagan Welch (113) to edge the Panthers, 36-30 in a thriller. … With five pins and 13 victories, No. 1 Danbury dominated No. 4 Trumbull, 55-7 in a FCIAC match. …  Conard High coach Chris Glowacki earned his 300th career win as the Chieftains beat New Britain, 54-21. … No. 9 Newtown’s match with No. 2 New Milford was postponed after an afternoon lockdown at Newtown High. Newtown police responded to a situation with across the street from the school at a car dealership with a man who police said was suicidal and threatening others.

Ten years ago (2011)

In a see-saw battle decided in the final match, No. 1 New Milford outlasted No. 8 Bacon Academy, 35-29. Karl Bradshaw’s pin at 171 pounds gave undefeated New Milford (17-0) the victory. The Green Wave also beat Bristol Central, 63-9, and Fitch, 70-10 to extend its school-record dual meet win streak to 48 matches. … No. 3 Xavier (12-2) beat Windham High, 42-18 in the semifinals and dominated Guilford, 55-12 in the championship match to win the Xavier Duals at Mercy High in Middletown. Windham handled NFA, 49-15 to finish third. … Staples’ Jeremy Sherman (125), Michael O’Day (130) and Chris Giunta (215) came up with key decisions to lift Staples to a 33-31 win over Montville. Sherman beat Montville’s Nick Bellarose, 3-2 while and Giunta earned a 3-0 decision over Brian McMahon. Staples (6-4) also beat Brien McMahon, 47-28 and host E.O. Smith, 43-30. … Seven Farmington wrestlers went 5-0 on the day to lead the Indians (11-1) to the championship in the 3rd annual Duals on the Farmington River tournament. Farmington head coach Eric Misko earned his 250th career victory. … Fairfield Warde and Shelton combined to place 12 wrestlers in the finals and come home with eight champions to dominate the Merrimack (N.H.) Hall of Fame tournament. Warde (241.5) easily won the tournament with three champions and 10 wrestlers in the top four. Shelton (141) was second with four champions, including outstanding wrester Patrick Gillen (285) … With four individual champions and nine finalists, Greenwich won the 8th annual Greater Hartford Invitational with a comfortable 244.5 to 182 margin over Conard. Plainville’s Matt Tanner (145) earned outstanding wrestler honors for his 4-3 win over previously undefeated Lucas Muntz of Conard in the finals. …Griswold had four champions and six finalists to capture its own Mid-Season Invitational for the first time since 2001. The Wolverines slipped past Thomaston, 197.5 to 182.5. The Bears, who had three champions, finished second for the third straight year. … Griswold (5-0, 4-0 ECC Small) is the only undefeated team in the Small Division after winning the final three matches to beat Windham High (12-5, 3-1) by a score of 37-30. Brandon Walsh’s escape gave him a 3-2 win over Miguel Calixto (135) and then Nick Boots (140) and Kyle Dombrowski (145) closed out the bout with wins for Griswold.

15 years ago (2006)

No. 2 Waterford rolled to capture the 18th annual Art Powers Duals in Berlin for the first time with a dominating 42-30 win over No. 10 Hand (14-1). Waterford (9-0) won the first seven bouts of the match to take a 30-0 lead. … After finishing second for the first two years of the tournament, Bristol Eastern captured the Greater Hartford Invitational for the first time by outlasting rival Southington, 198½ to 179. Eastern’s Nick Tennan (140) won a championship in OT while teammates Vinny Spinelli (112) and Italo Marino (160) and Justin Dionne (189) finished second. Southington’s Jeff Solomon (112) beat Spinelli in OT, 6-4 while Trevor Ritchie(130) also won. Four wrestlers won titles in OT. Tennan was hit for stalling with 7 seconds left in regulation but he won on a takedown 10 seconds into OT. Plainville’s Nick Cavallaro(125) was the outstanding wrestler. … Bacon Academy’s Sam Cox (160) beat Griswold’s Justin Bernard in the final, 6-0, to help lift Bacon Academy to a 2½ win over host Griswold at Griswold’s Mid-Season Invitational. Bacon had five champions in the event. … Jake Brungard (189) and Julian Hightowner (215) not only won by they won by pin to help No. 4 Ledyard slip past previously undefeated No. 3 Montville, 33-32. . … No. 7 Bristol Central rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat No. 6 Southington, 38-36 in a key CCC South bout. Central (9-2, 2-0) won the match in the middle weights (140 to 160) with three straight pins and a major decision. … Bacon Academy (12-3) stunned No. 16 Berlin with a 34-33 decision in Colchester. Berlin rallied from an 16-0 deficit with 4 pins in 5 matches to take a 27-16 lead. Berlin led 33-19 but Bacon won the final three bouts with Sam Cox (160) beating Craig Osakowicz, 6-2 and Jerry Thompson (171) and Sean Burgess (189) winning by pin. … Cheshire (9-4, 5-0 SCC) remained undefeated in the SCC with a 51-15 win over East Haven. The Rams had 5 pins and won three other bouts.

20 years ago (2001)

A balanced team effort helped lift Griswold High to the championship of its inaugural Griswold Midseason Tournament. Jake Bauer (140) and Shawn Cavanaugh (215) finished first while the Wolverines received third-place finishes from Ricky Latham (112), Christian Berry (171) and Henry Manken (275). Griswold beat St. Bernard, 165-148 to win the tournament with Avon (140) taking third. … Danbury’s Scott Fay won at 189 pounds as Danbury finished second to Timberlane, N.H., in the Tournament of Champions in North Attleboro, Mass. Timberlane won with 239 points with the Hatters second at 155 points. Fay and NFA’s Brett Piscitello (125) were the only Connecticut wrestlers to claim titles. … Heavyweight wrestler Matt Vose stopped the upset hopes of No. 9 Simsbury to lift No. 3 Southington to a 39-34 victory over the Trojans and to the championship in the 12th annual Art Powers Duals tournament in Berlin.

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 35 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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