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Warde wins first five bouts; Platt breaks 600 win barrier as a team

Killingly went 3-0 at the Killingly Holiday Duals on Christmas Eve. (Photo courtesy Killingly wrestling)

Fairfield Warde is off to a 5-0 start after picking up three wins over Stamford, Brien McMahon and Norwalk on Thursday, Dec. 23. The Mustangs had seven pins in an 82-0 win over Stamford. Warde’s Ben Zuckerman (120), James Dean (132), Zach Strauser (138), Lucas Coleman (152) and William Ebert (170) each had two pins.

The Platt High wrestling program went over 600 wins in team history with five victories at the Rockville Duals in Vernon on Thursday. The Panthers (5-1) came away with victories over Portland, Bacon Academy, Rockville, Canton and Rocky Hill. Cesar Rodriguez (106), Nathaniel Ortiz (113), Caiden Talento (145) and Matt Merrigan (182) each went 5-0 for Platt on the day.

The Panthers, which fielded their first team in 1963-64, began the season with 598 wins as a program and are now up to 603. The state record for most wins for a program is currently held by Ledyard, which began the season with 886 wins, followed by Danbury with 857.

Results: Monday, Dec. 20 and Tuesday, Dec. 21
Results: Wednesday, Dec. 22
Results: Thursday, Dec. 23 and Friday, Dec. 24

Three football players had pins as Killingly won their first match of the season on Thursday with a 57-24 win over Fitch. Soren Rief (195), Seth Dootson (171) and Chris Berthiaume (145) each won by pin. It was Killingly’s first match of the season. NFA was kind enough to reschedule their opening day match with KHS on Dec. 15, which came four days after the football season ended when Killingly beat Rockville to win the Class M state championship.

“I’m all for us having a successful football season. The kids come to us with toughness. But you’d think they would do more to make everything compatible. It’s not fair to the kids. It’s not fair to all the winter sports,” Killingly head coach Rich Bowen told Mike DiMauro of The Day in New London. “It takes two to three weeks just to get the basics down. When football runs this late, they’re that much farther behind.”

A day later, Killingly picked up another three wins with victories over Stafford, Ellis Tech and Shepard Hills from Dudley, Mass., in the Killingly Holiday Duals on Christmas Eve. Killingly is off to a 4-0 start.

Results: Monday, Dec. 20 and Tuesday, Dec. 21
Results: Wednesday, Dec. 22
Results: Thursday, Dec. 23 and Friday, Dec. 24

Danbury’s Anthony Hackett (120) set a new state record for the fastest pin at 120 pounds with a six second pin over Wilton’s Joshua Keshet on Wednesday, Dec. 22. The previous record was eight seconds by Somers’ Anthony Andrade in 2012. Danbury had eight pins in an 84-0 win over Wilton.

Lyman Memorial/Windham Tech had seven pins in a 42-34 win over NFA on Wednesday. NFA had seven wins as well but just four were pins. It was Lyman’s first win over NFA since 2018.

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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