2005 Class L Championships
At Bristol Central
Team results – 1. Ledyard 207½, 2. Montville 181½, 3. Bristol Eastern 159½, 4. Conard 132, 5. Ridgefield 121, 6. Bristol Central 119½, 7. Pomperaug 107, 8. Fitch and Fermi 98½, 10. Farmington 93, 11. Platt 85, 12. Middletown 78, 13. Maloney 64½, 14. Rockville 61, 15. Masuk 57½, 16. Bunnell 53, 17. Guilford 52, 19. Wilton 45, 20. Staples 42, 21. Windsor 40, 22. New Canaan 39, 23. Warren Harding and East Haven 36, 25. East Lyme 27½, 26. Wethersfield 19, 27. Brien McMahon 15
1 Chris Lombardi, Bristol Central dec. Matt Mazzaccaro, Platt, 11-2; 3. Charles Satti, Ledyard, dec. Casey Leslie, Middletown, 4-0; 5 Alexender Blank, Ridgefield, pin Joshua Go, Montville, 2:53
1 Shawn McKenna, Pomperaug, dec. Corey Paulish, Ridgefield, 5-3; 3 Ryan Garrity, Fermi, dec. William Heller, Montville, 5-2; 5 Mike Brignano, Farmington, dec. Jose Negron, Rockville, 11-0
1 William Heuschneider, Ledyard, dec. Brett Kalbacher, Conard, 12-1; 3 Kyle Dess, Bristol Central, dec. Andy Au, Middletown, 6-0; 5 Peter Menchaca, Staples, dec. Alex Helbling, Branford, 6-2
1 T.J. Hepburn, Ledyard, dec. Patrick Ryan, Montville, 12-0; 3 Luke Raithel, Ridgefield, dec. Dennis Bogusky, Bunnell, 11-4; 5 Matthew Barnes, Windsor, pin Corey Zadrozny, Bristol Eastern, 3:14
1 Justin Dess, Bristol Eastern, dec. Nick Wilson, Montville, 5-3; 3 Chase Verzello, Pomperaug, dec. Dan Makowicki, Bunnell, 9-4; 5 Jeremy Clark, Middletown, dec. John Krause, Farmington, 2-0
1 Joey Bullard, Harding, dec. Robert Rahusen, Montville, 5-0; 3 Xan Shapiro, Guilford, pin Brendan Cleary, Ridgefield, 2:38; 5 Josh Miller, Ledyard, dec. Colin Gibson, East Lyme, 8-3
1 Mike Fiorini, Bristol Central, dec. Steve Nelson, Montville, 9-3; 3 Ken Ford, Maloney, default over Adrian Gonzalez, Fitch; 5. Greg Cheverier, Conard, default over Dylan Eldridge, New Canaan
1 Justin Dodge, East Haven dec. Andrew Brown, Ledyard, 3-0; 3 Jon Wenderoth, Fitch, pin Sam Molina, Masuk, 3:30; 5 Tom Cedio, Montville, dec. Ed Lapointe, Rockville, 5-4
1 Mike Caleca, Pomperaug, dec. Nathan Leger, Bristol Eastern, 4-3; 3 Dan Fowler, Ledyard, dec. 4 Brian Webster, Montville, 12-5; 5 John Jensen, New Canaan, dec. Washington Gordon, Bunnell, 6-5
1 Daniel Strong, Bristol Eastern, dec. Jesse Koproski, Wilton, 1-0; 3 Kyle Nuland, Ridgefield, dec. Luke Gabordi, Ledyard, 3-1; 5 Brandon Sundwall, Guilford, default over Charlie Feliciano, Platt
1 Fielding Pagel, Fitch, pin Chris Dryburgh, Fermi, 2:53; 3 Italo Marino, Bristol Eastern, Forfeit; 4 None; 5 Dan Mingrino, Platt, dec. Andrew Frazer, Conard, 10-8
1 John Ragno, Fermi, pin John Curry, Platt, 1:59; 3 Matt Dabrowski, Bristol Central dec. Juan Castro, Windsor, 9-0; 5 Michael Harris, Montville, dec. Josh Peterson, Rockville, 4-2
1 Tim Murphy, Farmington, pin Steve Travaglino, Branford, 2:34; 3 Robert Schmitt, Ledyard, dec. 4 Keith Kanyar, Conard, 7-1; 5 Evan James, Staples, default over Chris Scoppetta, Bristol Eastern
1 Wille Brown, Maloney, pin Nick Macca, Conard, 4:44; 3 Paul Fenaroli, Masuk, pin Nathan McNeese, Ledyard, 2;50; 5 Morgan Wanzer, Fermi, dec. Joshua Burkhalter, Fitch. 4-0
Fast fall: Fielding Pagel, Fitch (171), 4 pins in 9:39
Outstanding wrestler: T.J. Hepburn (125), Ledyard
Connecticut Wrestling Online
BRISTOL, Feb. 19 – The competition was familiar. But Ledyard was able to come hold off upstart Montville to claim its second straight Class L championship Saturday and claim a state-record 15th state championship.
Ledyard outlasted ECC rival Montville by 26 points, 207½ to 181½ while Bristol Eastern was a distant third with 159½. Only a week earlier, Montville, a Class S school that petitioned to compete in Class L, had finished fourth in the ECC Tournament. “They were tough and they hang in there. I have to give them a lot of credit,” Ledyard coach Steve Bilheimer told the New London Day.
Ledyard had only two champions – senior Bill Heuschneider (119) and sophomore T.J. Hepburn (125), who each won for the second straight year. Ledyard won the tournament with strong wrestling in the consolation brackets.
Montville actually led by 17 points halfway through the consolation semifinal round but the Colonels won when it counted. Three Ledyard wrestlers finished third, two took fourth and one finished fifth. Andrew Brown (145) was second. On the mat, Ledyard went 5-2 against Montville.
Hepburn was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler after winning 12-0 over Montville’s Patrick Ryan.
HOMETOWN PRIDE: Bristol Central’s Mike Fiorini gave the home crowd something to cheer about with a 9-3 win over Montville’s Steve Nelson at 140 pounds. He became the first Ram wrestler to win back-to-back titles since Curt Lombardi in 1976-77.
Bristol Eastern’s Justin Dess won a championship with a 5-3 win over Montville’s Nick Wilson at 130 pounds despite a painful knee that he hurt in an auto accident three weeks ago. He’ll get it checked out after the State Open. “I never got it checked out because I didn’t want it to keep me from wrestling,” Dess told The Hartford Courant. “I’ll worry about it later.”
MURPH LEADS FHS: Coming off its most successful dual meet season ever, Farmington finished 10th in the talented field. Senior Tim Murphy (215) pinned Branford’s Steve Travaglia in 3:24 to claim the title. "I’ve expected big things out of him," Farmington coach Eric Misko told The Herald Press. "He wrestled a great tournament. He just worked so hard, and it was nice to see that come through."
Murphy had a thrilling semifinal victory. Trailing 3-2, he took down Ledyard’s Robert Schmitt in the final seconds of the match to claim a 4-3 victory and a spot in the championship match.
BACK TO BACK FOR McKENNA: For the second straight year, Pomperaug’s Shawn McKenna found himself facing Ridgefield’s Corey Paulish in the final. After giving up a first period takedown, the top-seeded McKenna (31-3) took control in the final two periods with an escape and a pair of takedowns to win his second straight Class L title with a 5-3 victory.
Panther teammate Mike Caleca (152) won his first state championship with a 4-3 decision over Bristol Eastern’s Nate Ledger. Pomperaug finished seventh in Class L with 107 points – its best finish since 1996 when they were fifth in Class M. It is the best that the Panthers have ever done in Class L.
“Shawn was prepared for (Paulish),” Pomperaug coach Mike O’Keefe said. “He knew that (Paulish) would be strong on top trying to use his legs. And we knew Shawn would be strong on his feet (with takedowns).”
McKenna is only the second Panther wrestler to win back-to-back state titles. Josh Feldman won a pair of Class L crowns in 2002 and 2003.
Caleca’s toughest match may have come in his first match against Rockville’s Tim Gardiner. Out most of the season with a knee injury, he was seeded 18th but gave Caleca a battle before falling 7-4. Trailing late in the third period, Caleca (33-2) hit a reversal to take the lead and added some near fall points to add to his lead.
The final against Ledger was a deliberate one and Ledger led 3-2 in the third period. But Caleca hit a reversal with about a minute to go to grab a 4-3 lead. “Mike has a powerful switch and he rode out the match,” O’Keefe said.
QUICK BROWN TAKES A TITLE: Top-seeded Willie Brown (31-1) won the first state championship for Maloney in six years with a victory by pin over Conard’s Nick Macca at 275 pounds. But Brown isn’t satisfied, yet. "Just another match. It's not that big a deal till I win New Englands," Brown told the Meriden Record Journal. "I'm not saying it wasn't good, but I still I have a long way to go. It's not finished until I win New Englands." Brown, who weighed in at only 237 pounds, used his quickness to pin his first two opponents and slip past Paul Fenaroli of Masuk, 9-7.
Material from the New London Day, Hartford Courant, Meriden Record Journal and personal notes used to compile this report.