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Xavier is unanimous pick for No. 1; New Milford wins own tournament

Teammates of Avon’s Kai Logan are thrilled  to see him put Middletown’s Sean McCall on his back in their 144 pound match on Friday. Logan won with a pin.

For the first time this season, Xavier is the unanimous choice as the top team in the state in voting by state coaches and media members in Connecticut Wrestling Online’s top 10 state poll.

The Falcons (9-2), who won their own Colter Abely tournament this past weekend for the fourth consecutive time, received all 17 votes. The last unanimous pick for No. 1 came at the end of last season when Xavier was voted No. 1 for the second straight year.

No. 2 Newtown (13-0) received all 17 votes for second place. Danbury (8-0) swapped places with East Hartford (8-0), moving up one spot to No. 3 after a two-week stay at No. 4.

The only other movement in the top 10 this week came with Ridgefield moving back into the poll at No. 10 with RHAM slipping one spot to No. 11. Xavier has been ranked No. 1 in the Connecticut Wrestling Online poll for 19 weeks, dating back to January 2022.

A look at what happened over the weekend and last week:

No. 1 Xavier (9-2) had three individual champions and six finalists to win the Colter Abely Midseason Classic at Mercy High in Middletown for the fourth time in five years. The tournament was cancelled when the 2021 season was wiped out due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Xavier had a tournament record 386½ points, erasing their own record of 359 set a year ago. No. 2 Newtown was second with 338 points with No. 7 Simsbury finishing third with 308 points.

Raekwon Shabazz (113) and Kyle Levesque (144) each won for the second straight year with Charles Weidman (215) winning in the tournament for the first time. Kevin Kasperowski (132), Anthony Basile (138) and John Lagna (157) each finished second.

The Colter Abely is a unique high school event. Wrestlers are broken up into four pools of four wrestlers each. Everyone wrestles at least three times.

The wrestler that wins the pool goes to the championship pool where the top four finishers are determined. The wrestlers that finish second in each four-person pool go to the consolation pool to determine places 5 through 8.

No. 2 Newtown (13-0) tied the record for most points ever for a second place team at the Colter Abely Midseason Classic. Chelmsford, Mass., also had 338 points a year ago.

The Nighthawks had two individual winners in the tournament with Jon DaSilva (285) and Fisher Stites (165) winning championships.

Three Newtown wrestlers finished second with Tommy Milligan (106) dropping a 6-3 decision to Robert Newtown of Scituate, R.I. in the final, Kenna Gioffre (120) losing to Ridgefield’s Dominic Barrella, 7-4 and Antonio Arguello (144) dropping a 3-2 decision to Xavier’s Levesque thanks to a takedown with 1:27 left in the match.

No. 3 Danbury (8-0) had the weekend off but remained undefeated with a 45-27 win over No. 9 Trumbull on Wednesday night. After Trumbull took a 12-0 lead with pins in the first two matches, Danbury had seven pins in the remaining 12 bouts to secure the victory.

No. 4 East Hartford (8-0, 3-0 CCC North) took another big step toward another CCC North championship with a 59-18 win over defending Class M champion Avon on Wednesday. On Saturday, the Hornets finished fifth at the Colter Abely tournament with Jaeckez Mendez (138) winning a second straight individual title at 138 pounds.

Sammy Montovani (215) finished second behind Xavier’s Charles Weidman, who won by tech fall in four minutes, 18-2. Usman Akhta (132) was fourth for East Hartford.

Results: Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024
Results: Friday, Jan. 19, 2024

No. 5 Fairfield Warde (13-1) picked four wins last week with victories over St. Joseph, 82-0, New Canaan, 51-24, Foran, 57-15 and Shelton, 64-13.

With three individual champions and seven finalists, No. 6 New Milford (8-1) won their own New Milford Tournament for a record 19th time with a 235-184½ win over then-No. 10 RHAM.

Adian Photopoulos (120). Colby Shears (190) and Chris Reiss (215) won individual titles for the Green Wave while Ryder Langlois (150), Danilo Scalizitti (165) and Adam Oberc (175) each finished second. Oberc dropped a 7-6 decision to Stratford’s Justin Duhancik in the finals.

Norwalk’s Phoenix Gardella (132) won his third straight New Milford Tournament championship with a pin of RHAM’s Kyle Currier in 4:44.

No. 7 Simsbury (10-0) picked up a tough 36-29 win over Berlin on Wednesday and then finished third at the Colter Abely Midseason Classic with 308 points, the most ever for a third place team in the tournament. It was the most points Simsbury has earned in the tournament.

Chad Mairano (157) won for Simsbury with a 7-1 win over Xavier’s John Lagana in the final. Max Konopka (190) finished second.

Against Berlin, Collin Sullivan (113) had a pin and Mason Arborio (120) won with a tech fall to pull the visiting Redcoats within one point of Simsbury, 30-29, with one match remaining. But Simsbury’s Coleman Finn (126) came up a pin to win it for the Trojans.

Results: Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024
Results: Friday, Jan. 19, 2024

No. 8 Killingly (24-0) is filling up their trophy case this season. Killingly won their fifth regular season tournament by winning the Shoreline Scuffle Duals in Branford. KHS beat Fairfield Prep, 60-19, Morgan, 84-0, and Newington, 72-6 before topping Bristol Eastern, 46-27 in the championship match.

Killingly has also won their own Holiday Duals tournament, their own New Year’s Duals tournament, the Lawman Duals in Milford and the Greater Hartford Invitational.

Killingly’s school-record dual meet win streak is now at 51 in a row, dating back to the final weekend of the 2022 season. Killingly is tied for the fifth-longest winning streak in state history with Bristol Eastern, who won 51 in a row from 2018-19, according to the Connecticut High School Wrestling Record Book.

The fourth longest winning streak is 61 in a row by Manchester (1994-97) and New Milford (2009-12). The state record is 96 in a row by Danbury from 1996 through 2001.

No. 9 Trumbull (23-2) dropped a 45-27 decision to then-No. 4 Danbury and finished 11th at the Colter Abely Tournament.

After a one-week absence, Ridgefield (11-2) returned to the top 10 at No. 10. The Tigers beat Wilton last week, 58-24 and finished fourth at Colter Abely.

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Canton’s Reese Titus, left, and Platt’s Adrian Gonzalez each got their 100th career win in the same dual meet Saturday in Meriden. (Photo courtesy Joshua Bristol)

In a dual meet on Saturday, two wrestlers earned their 100th career victories just minutes apart from each other.

Canton’s Reese Titus (138) earned his 100th career win with a pin over Platt’s Adrian Gonzalez. A few minutes later, Platt’s Caiden Talento (175) registered his 100th career win with a pin of Canton’s Steven Rudnick.

Platt won the dual meet 63-16 over the Warriors and won four of five matches on Saturday. The Panthers (20-4) beat Nonnewaug, 66-9, Canton, Windham 42-27 and East Haven, 67-12 but lost to Central High from Providence, 42-39.

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NFA won the third annual Carl Snitkin Duals for the first time on Saturday with a 48-31 win over Notre Dame-West Haven in the finals. Bristol Central was third with a 42-30 win over Ledyard.

Glastonbury went 5-0 to win the second annual Arrigoni Classic Duals in Portland with host Portland/Cromwell finishing second with a 4-1 record.

Results: Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024
Results: Friday, Jan. 19, 2024

* * * *

A pair of sophomore twins from Somers are off to an outstanding start for their season. Somers’ William Accorsi (113) and Harrison Accorsi (126) both won 16 of their first 17 matches of the season. The Spartans are coached by Noey Guerra. Harrison Accorsi was named Outstanding Wrestler at the recent Warrior Invitational in Canton, winning the event for the second straight year.

* * * *

Ledyard’s Tatianna Irizzary has been wrestling since she was three years old. She made history last February when she became the first girl in state history to win a match at the State Open. She went 4-0 with four pins on Saturday at the Snitkin Duals at NFA. What’s next? It’s up to her.

The Hartford Courant’s Lori Riley visits with Irizzary in the bomb shelter – that’s what the Ledyard wrestling room is named.

* * * *

Greens Farms Academy (7-2) of Westport has spent their entire wrestling season on the road. So, the Dragons were excited to host Christian Brothers Academy from New Jersey at home last Friday. But, Christian Brothers never made it due difficult travel conditions, including some snow.

The following day, the Dragons dominated to win the 49th Brunswick Invitational in Greenwich. The Dragons had 514 points with Trinity Pawling in second place with 252½ points. GFA had 10 individual champions and 17 finalists. Five finals included a pair of GFA wrestlers.

* * * *

Lyman Memorial/Windham Tech likes to call themselves The CoOp in their posts on X, formerly known as Twitter. The Bulldogs (17-3) went 3-0 over the weekend with victories over three schools from Massachusetts. They beat Winchester, Mass., 81-6, Nashoba Valley Tech, 48-27 and slipped past Greater Lowell Tech, 37-36.

Results: Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024
Results: Friday, Jan. 19, 2024

Weekly top 10 poll

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 23, 2024 (Week 4)

Team Rec. TW Pts LW Class
1. Xavier (17) 9-2 3 510 1 L
2. Newtown 13-0 2 476 2 L
3. Danbury 8-0 1 408 4 LL
4. East Hartford 8-0 3 384 3 LL
5. Fairfield Warde 13-1 2 378 5 LL
6. New Milford 8-1 3 330 6 L
7. Simsbury 10-0 1 316 7 L
8. Killingly 24-0 5 267 8 S
9. Trumbull 23-2 2 196 9 LL
10. Ridgefield 11-2 1 183 nr LL
Also receiving votes: RHAM (11-2) 171, NFA (17-3) 101, Southington (7-2) 86, Foran (23-4) 45, Platt (20-4) 38, Berlin (10-5) 36, Fairfield Ludlowe (8-2) 29, Guilford (11-5) 21, Avon (11-5) 9, Notre Dame-West Haven (15-8) 7
TW: Wins in dual meet or individual tournaments as a team
Also voting: 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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