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At a glance: Piel gets milestone win; No. 1 Xavier to wrestle at National Duals

New Milford High coach Chris Piel, right, recently earned his 200th dual meet victory in Connecticut.

New Milford High wrestling coach Chris Piel has earned his 200th career victory in Connecticut. Piel picked up the milestone win in a 57-21 victory over Notre Dame-West Haven on Dec. 30.

The No. 6 Green Wave are 6-1 on the season after beating Joel Barlow on Wednesday with 12 pins. The only loss of the season came on Dec. 22 when East Hartford snapped New Milford’s 11-match winning streak dating back to January 2022 with a 45-30 victory.

Piel is now in his 16th season coaching New Milford and has a record of 201-16 for a .925 winning percentage. His record with the Green Wave includes five Class L championships (2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) and three undefeated seasons (21-0 in 2010, 21-0 in 2011 and 8-0 in 2023). The Green Wave have won 12 of the last 14 Southwest Conference championships.

Piel’s overall career coaching record is 232-24 with .905 winning percentage, which is the fourth best in state history according to the Connecticut High School Wrestling Record Book. He coached two seasons in the San Francisco area at St. Ignaitus High School in 1991-92 and 1992-93 with records of 14-0 and 17-8, respectively. Piel’s first season in New Milford was 2008-09.

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For the second consecutive year, No. 1 Xavier will be in Wisconsin to participate in the National High School Wrestling Duals in LaCrosse, Wisc., or The Clash. 

Xavier will face Stillwater, Minnesota on Friday morning at 9 a.m. and then wrestles at 11 a.m. against either Bettendorf, Iowa or Caledonia, Minnesota in their second match. Xavier will have a third match at 1 p.m. in their eight-team bracket with potential opponents from Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

There are three other brackets in the 32-team event. Results on Friday will determine the three teams that Xavier will face on Saturday.

A year ago, Xavier went 2-4 in the tournament with Charles Weidman (182) earning All-Tournament honors.

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No. 9 Trumbull set a new state record for most pins a dual meet with 14 in an 84-0 over a young E.O. Smith team on Wednesday, Jan. 3. Nine of the pins came in under a minute. Trumbull coach Charlie Anderson praised the Panthers for scheduling the defending Class LL champions.

Three state teams have 13 pins in a match. Danbury, Stafford and New Milford each recorded 13 pins in a single dual meet. Danbury did it in 2004 against Fairfield Ludlowe, Stafford did it against Somers in 2003 and New Milford did it against East Windsor in 1990.

Scores and boxscores: Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024

Scores and boxscores: Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024

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Fairfield Warde’s Dominic Spadaro picked up his 100th career victory on Wednesday with a pin in a dual meet against No. 10 Ridgefield.

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Fairfield Ludlowe finished eighth out of 17 teams on Saturday, Dec. 30 at the Hunterdon Central Invitational in Hunterdon, New Jersey. Ludlowe was the lone out-of-state team in the tournament.

Ludlowe’s Dylan Sherman won his weight class at 144 pounds while teammate Donnell Young dropped a 5-3 decision in overtime in the finals at 157 pounds to Drew Rosco of Delran, New Jersey.

Sebastian Guzman (215) and Yuri Agadjanian (285) each finished sixth for Ludlowe in the tournament.

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The 41st annual Bristol Central Invitational will be held at Bristol Central High on Saturday. The host Rams have won a record 11 times with cross-town rival Bristol Eastern having taken home nine championship trophies.

The last two years have been two of the closest tournaments in its long history. New Fairfield won by just a half-point over New Milford in 2022 while New Milford slipped past East Hartford by two points (197-195)  a year ago.

No. 3 Danbury will be at the 54th annual Spartan Wrestling Tournament, more commonly known as SWAT, in Sanford, Maine this weekend. The Hatters will be looking for their fourth straight tournament victory. They won in 2023, 2020 and 2019. The tournament was cancelled in 2021 and 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scores and boxscores: Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024

Scores and boxscores: Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024

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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