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Tolland’s Ryan Angers, who won a State Open title in 2018, has died

Tolland’s Ryan Angers, top, battles with Montville’s Joel Morth during the 2017 State Open championships in New Haven. Angers finished third at 132 pounds in 2017.

Tolland’s Ryan G. Angers, who won a State Open championship at 138 pounds in 2018, has passed away at the age of 23. He died unexpectedly on Monday, Jan. 16, according to his obituary.

Angers and his brother, Michael, were a two-man team that represented Tolland when they were in high school. They trained during the season with South Windsor High and in the offseason with the KT Kidz club.

Ryan Angers had a great season as a senior at Tolland in 2018. He won the Central Connecticut Conference title and captured his first state championship by finishing first at the Class M meet.

At the State Open, Angers beat New Canaan’s Tyler Sung, 7-2 by scoring five points in the final 23 seconds of the match to win the title. Angers was named the Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament.

It looked the match might be going into overtime. It was tied 2-2 in the third period before Angers got a takedown with 23 seconds left and turned Sung to his back with 15 seconds remaining to win his first State Open championship.

“That was pretty exciting,” a breathless Angers told Connecticut Wrestling Online afterwards. “I’ve been looking for (a State Open title) for a long time. I’m glad I made it happen. All of that hard work paid off.”

Sung led 1-0 after two periods but Angers opened the third period with a reversal with 16 seconds gone to take a 2-1 lead. Sung tied it up with an escape of his own about 15 seconds later.

“I just kept wrestling my match,” Angers said after the match. “I just wanted to stay calm, stay composed. That’s all it takes. I saw the (takedown) was there so I took it. He doesn’t give up much. He’s a heady wrestler.”

Angers became the first State Open champion from Tolland, which doesn’t have a wrestling team. Angers brother, Michael, finished second at the Open at 160 pounds in 2018. The two brothers earned enough points to give Tolland a top 15 finish. The Eagles finished 13th as a team.

In all four years of high school, Ryan Angers medaled at the State Open. He was third at 132 pounds in 2017, fourth at 132 pounds in 2016 and sixth at 120 pounds in 2015. He won over 40 matches three times, going 43-6 as a senior and 161-29 in four years.

His obituary stated, “He lived his short life to the fullest, making sure to put his dreams into action. Whether it be traveling the world, cliff jumping, rock climbing, or backcountry snowboarding–he was sure to make friends wherever he went. He always had a warm smile on his face and welcomed everyone with open arms. Ryan was an amazing son, brother, cousin, and friend who will always be deeply missed.”

A Go Fund Me initiative in 2022 raised more than $11,000 after Ryan Angers was injured in Colorado when he was hit by a car in February 2022.

Ryan Angers is survived by his mother, Kathie, and his two siblings: Josephine and Michael, all of Tolland; his grandfather, John Palmieri; and all of the members of the Linnehan, Walsh, Palmieri, Greenhaw, Angers, and Miller families.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Monday, January 23, 2023 at 11 a.m. at St. Matthew Church, 111 Tolland Green Ext. in Tollland.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the THS Scholarship Fund and sent to Liberty Square Group, PO Box 459, Tolland, CT. 06084. With memo for the Tommy Leahy Memorial Scholarship.

For online condolences please visit

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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