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Impressive win by No. 1 Xavier in Maryland; Little movement in top 10 poll

East Hartford’s Jaeckez Mendez was named Outstanding Wrestler at the Greater Hartford Open on Saturday.

fter three weeks, the voters in the Connecticut Wrestling Online top 10 poll have gotten comfortable with the teams in the top 10. Nine of the 10 teams have been in the poll all three weeks led by Xavier, who received 15 of 17 votes by state coaches and sportswriters.

No. 2 Newtown received two first place votes in this week’s poll that saw undefeated Killingly join the top 10 for the first time this season at No. 8.

East Hartford, Danbury and Fairfield Warde round out the top five.

All 10 teams were in action over the weekend with some outstanding results.

For the second consecutive week, No. 1 Xavier (8-2) won an out-of-state tournament. Two weeks ago, they won the Mid-Hudson Tournament in New York State. This past weekend, the Falcons captured the 22nd War on the Shore in Berlin, Maryland with a 30½-point win over Mount Saint Joseph from Baltimore, a team that won their eighth straight Maryland Independent Schools state championship last March and was ranked No. 1 in Maryland earlier this month.

Xavier had two individual champions and four finalists. Raekwon Shabazz (24-2) won with a pin at 113 and Charles Weidman (20-4) won with a pin at 215 pounds. Anthony Basile (138) and Kyle Levesque (144) each finished second with Braylon Gonzalez (126) taking third and Vincent Rivera (150) and Alden Gaboury (285) each finishing fourth.

Xavier had a tournament-high 27 pins led by Weidman with four pins. Shabazz, Levesque, Max Morse (175) and Gaboury each had three pins for the Falcons.

No. 2 Newtown (12-0) had wrestlers in two tournaments on Saturday. The Nighthawks had eight wrestlers at the Eastern States Classic in Loch Sheldrake, N.Y. and wrestlers at the John Gorman Tournament in Cumberland, R.I.

No Nighthawk wrestler earned a medal but Jake Maddox (152) went 3-2 and Fisher Stites (170), Marc Maurath (160), John DaSilva (285) and Kenna Gioffe (116) each went 2-2 to help Newtown finish 11th in the field, the top team from Connecticut in 2024.

Thomas Morgan (190) finished third for Newtown at the John Gorman tournament.

No. 3 East Hartford beat RHAM (then ranked No. 8) last Wednesday with a 56-13 win that included nine straight wins. The Hornets finished second behind Killingly at the Greater Hartford Open on Saturday with three individual champions and four finalists.

Issac Quiles (126), Jaeckez Mendez (138) and Dravyn Roberts (174) each won their respective weight classes with first period pins. Yaxier Rivera (165) dropped a 10-7 decision to Plainville’s Cooper Theriault-Dinielli. Mendez was named as the Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament.

No. 4 Danbury (6-0) finished 29th at the Eastern States Classic, led by Cristian Pote, who finished third with an overtime victory.

Results: Saturday, January 13, 2024

No. 5 Fairfield Warde (9-1) picked up three victories on Saturday with easy victories over New Haven, 69-6, Cheshire, 76-6 and Joel Barlow, 67-9.

No. 6 New Milford (6-2) won their second tournament of the season with a 253-179 win over Bristol Eastern at the John D. Gorman tournament in Cumberland, R.I.  The Green Wave won the tournament for the first time since 2017 and had the most points in the event dating back to 2010.

Tyler Roussel (132), Adam Oberc (175), Chris Reiss (215) and Riccardi Fernandez (285) each won individual titles for the Green Wave with Caden Reynolds (113) and Adrian Photopoulos (120) each finishing second. Alex Oberc (126) finished third.

Bristol Eastern (7-1) had their best finish in the tournament since finishing second in 2019. The Lancers had one individual champion – Yussuf Bah (106) – and three wrestlers that made the finals – Luke Viens (132), Aidyn Davies (190) and Rio Fernandez (215).

Results: Saturday, January 13, 2024

No. 7 Simsbury (8-0) had four wins to win the John Chacho Duals for the first time at Staples in Westport. The Trojans beat Foran, Northwestern, Westhill and Fairfield Prep, giving up a total of 18 points in the victories over Northwestern, Westhill and Fairfield Prep. The most competitive match for Simsbury was a 42-33 win over Foran.

No. 8 Killingly (19-0) had three dual meet tournaments before heading to Saturday’s Greater Hartford Open. Killingly had won their own Killingly Holiday Duals, the New Year’s Duals and Lawman Duals at Jonathan Law.

With three individual champions and five wrestlers in the top four of their respective weight classes, Killingly won the Greater Hartford Open for the first time since 2020 with an 8½-point win over East Hartford, 202-193½.

Brady Zadora (132), Soren Reif (215) and Anthony Oakes (285) won titles for Killingly with Reif and Oakes picking up some crucial extra points with pins in the finals. Bradey Jonasch (106) was third for Killingly with teammate Max Richardson (113) finishing fourth.

Killingly currently has a school-record 45 match winning streak.

Results: Saturday, January 13, 2024

No. 9 Trumbull (23-1) has more dual meet wins than any team in the state. The Eagles picked up another six victories on Saturday as they won the Ben Aleks Duals at Enfield High for the third straight year.

Trumbull swept Longmeadow, Mass., Farmington, Enfield, Ledyard, Rockville and Rocky Hill. The closest match in terms of a final score was a 54-30 win over Ledyard.

No. 10 RHAM (11-2) wrestled tough to win the 35th annual Art Powers Duals in Berlin for the third time and the first time since 2019 with a 42-39 win over host Berlin.

It wasn’t easy in the pool portion of the tournament for the Raptors with a 47-34 win over Bristol Central and a 43-42 win over Branford.

In the finals against Berlin, the Raptors used seven pins to secure the championship while Berlin had six pins and a three-point decision. RHAM’s Michael Guerriero (150) lost to Berlin’s Hiram Sepulveda but he didn’t get pinned and gave up just three points in a 3-1 loss.

Bristol Central finished third in the tournament with a 57-22 win over Lyman Memorial/Windham Tech.

Results: Saturday, January 13, 2024

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Two Connecticut wrestlers earned sixth place medals at the Eastern State Classic. New Fairfield’s Joe Mahoney (124) and Ridgefield’s Victor Petkov (145) each finished sixth.

Fairfield Warde’s Dominick Spadaro (131) and Fairfield Ludlowe’s Dylan Sherman (145) each finished seventh.

Two Connecticut girls won at the Eastern States Classic. Cali Gilchrist, who wrestles for Choate Rosemary Hall, won at 114 pounds with a pin in 49 seconds. She was 3-0 in the tournament with three pins. Stratford’s Lindsey Rywolt (126) won a championship with an 11-5 victory. Rywolt also went 3-0 with a pair of pins.

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Trumbull had three individual champions to beat Maloney, 95-84 and capture the first Griswold Girls Tri-State tournament on Sunday. Jonathan Law and Platt tied for third with 73 points in this all-girls tournament with wrestlers from Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Emma Rial (126), Jillian Blake (132) and Marangelie Teixeira (165) each won for Trumbull.

Results: Sunday, January 14, 2024

The Gilbert/Torrington co-op team finished second at the Taconic Invitational in Pittsfield.

Avon had two individual champions and three finalists to win the 21st Griswold Mid-Season Invitational for the first time with a 235-189 win over Barrington, Rhode Island. Elijah Fagin (132) and Gavin Fallon (190) won individual titles for Avon.
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With two individual champions and five finalists, the Gilbert/Torrington co-op team finished second at the Taconic Invitational in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Ludlow, Mass., won the tournament with 167 points with the Yellowjackets earning 159. Tournament MVP Sam Goncalves (138) won a title along with teammate Evan Schibi (150). Wolcott Tech’s Dylan Desanti, who trains with the Gilbert/Torrington squad, won a championship at 120.

Results: Saturday, January 13, 2024

Few notable matches this week
There is one match between top 10 teams on Wednesday night when No. 9 Trumbull hosts No. 4 Danbury at 5 p.m. On Saturday, four top 10 teams will be at the Colter Abeley Midseason Classic at Mercy High in Middletown. No. 1 Xavier is hosting the event that will include No. 2 Newtown, No. 3 East Hartford, No. 9 Trumbull and No. 11 Ridgefield.

Connecticut Wrestling Online’s top 10 high school wrestling poll for the 2022-23 season. First-place votes in parentheses, record through Saturday, points tabulated on a 30-28-26-24-22-20-18-16-14-12-11-10-9-8-7 basis, and last week’s poll ranking.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024 (Week 3)


Team Rec. TW Pts LW Class
1. Xavier (15) 8-2 2 502 1 L
2. Newtown (2) 12-0 3 478 2 L
3. East Hartford 7-0 3 418 3 LL
4. Danbury 6-0 1 406 4 LL
5. Fairfield Warde 9-1 2 376 5 LL
6. New Milford 6-2 2 328 6 L
7. Simsbury 8-0 0 279 7 L
8. Killingly 19-0 4 249 nr S
9. Trumbull 23-1 3 237 9 LL
10. RHAM 11-2 3 223 8 M
Also receiving votes: Ridgefield (10-2) 147, NFA (12-3) 105, Southington (6-2) 100, Platt (16-3) 88, Foran (19-4) 79, Fairfield Ludlowe (8-2) 28, Avon (8-4) 25, Berlin (9-4) 24, Bristol Eastern (8-1) 23
TW: Individual or dual meet tournaments won as a team
Voting this week: Charlie Anderson, Trumbull; Matt Boissonneault, Bristol Central; Mike Cunningham, Xavier; Gerry deSimas, Jr., Connecticut Wrestling Online; Derek Dion, Southington; Chris Gamble, Waterford; David Green, Nonnewaug; Tim Jensen, Patch Media; Chris Piel, New Milford; Patrick Risley, Windham High; Matt Schoonmaker, Jonathan Law-Milford; Jason Shaughnessy, Fairfield Warde; T.J. Silva, Simsbury; David Stewart,, Jimmy Zanor, Norwich Bulletin; Paul Musso, New Fairfield

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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