140 – Final: 1. Robert Butcher (Morgan) dec. Aashen Arango (Hartford Classical), 6-3; 3. Jon Bonnett (Housatonic) dec. John Stroud (Portland), 7-4; 5. Jeff Merli (Granby) win by forfeit over Dana Nappi (Canton)
145 – Final: T.J. Magnoli (Rocky Hill) win by injury default over Shawn Larkin (East Windsor); 3. Justin Bernard (Griswold) dec. Joel Lasko (Housatonic), 13-2; 5. Justin Grabarz (Derby) dec. James Mullaly (Terryville), 9-5
152 – Final: Sean Fisher (Griswold) pin Collin Platt (Thomaston), 1:52; 3. Christian Mulcahy (St. Bernard) pin Samuel Schwartz (Housatonic), 3:16; 5. Dan Grady (Derby) win by forfeit over Scott Wolfe (Shepaug)
160 – Final: Tim Vollaro (Somers) pin Justin Chapman (Thomaston), 5:32; 3. Ryan Gwiazdowski (Griswold) pin Mike Zabala (Hartford Classical), 1:48; 5. Jeff Bridge (Suffield) pin Sean Haddad (Immaculate), 1:19
215 – Final: Kyle Kiaunis (Morgan) pin Chris Marino (Holy Cross), 0:42; 3. Dave Baldyga (Terryville) dec. Nick Petroni (East Catholic), 8-5; 5. Omar Diaz (New London). Sixth place wrestler thrown out of tournament for unsportsmanlike conduct
Fast fall award: Tyler Foley (Thomaston, 103) 5 pins in 7:26
Defending champion Wolverines have something to prove
By GERRY deSIMAS, JR.
Connecticut Wrestling Online
UNCASVILLE, Conn., Feb. 17 – When Dana Cooke, coach of the defending Class S champion Griswold High wrestling team, looked at the seeds for the tournament, he added the potential points a team would receive if the seeds were accurate.
He found that the Wolverines wouldn’t have finished first. “I told the kids that they would have to wrestle hard and do it the old fashioned way – on the mat,” Cooke said. “They took it to heart and wrestled hard both days.”
Griswold easily won its second straight Class S title with a dominant victory over Thomaston, 193½-152½. Griswold had three champions – Tyler Banks (125), Brock Coutu (130) and Sean Fisher (152) while Sam Wilcox (135) finished second. Banks and Fisher won their second straight titles and Banks was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler.
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Berkshire League champion Thomaston had three finalists and six medalists as they finished second for the first time. Derby was third with 146 points. The sixth-year team had never finished higher than 10th.
“We wanted it today,” said Thomaston’s Collin Platt, who lost in the finals at 152 pounds. “Everyone showed they wanted it. We all wrestled with heart.”
Justin Chapman (160) and Brad Hackert (171) also lost in the finals. Freshman Tyler Foley (103) and sophomore Francis Gelada (135) each finished third while Chris Bordner (125) took fifth. Foley won the tournament’s fast fall award with five pins in 7:26.
“They all stepped up,” Perrucci said. “These kids should be proud. They wrestled tough.”
Griswold senior Sean Fisher (152) won his second straight Class S title by pinning Platt in 1:52. Platt had upset No. 3 seed in the quarterfinals with a solid 12-4 victory.
In the 160 final, Chapman had a tough time with Somers’ Tim Vollaro, who won by pin in 5:32. At 171, Hackert was tied with East Windsor’s Fred Parlos at 2-2 after one period but Parlos tripped Hackert, who fell to his back and Parlos tied him up to win by pin in 3:13.
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Two second-year teams finished in the top five. Hartford Classical was fourth with 133.5 points while Immaculate-Danbury was fifth with 126 points.
Julian Christe (39-1) outlasted Griswold’s Sam Wilcox, 7-6 to win the first state title in Immaculate history at 135 pounds. Aashen Arrango (140) was the first Classical wrestler to compete in the finals but he dropped a tough 6-3 decision to Morgan’s Robert Butcher.
Leading 3-1 in the third period, Arrango got a hard-fought takedown to tie the match at 3-3. He let Boucher go a few seconds later to try and get another takedown but never really made a good attempt until the waning seconds of the match when Boucher was able to deflect a takedown attempt and get another two points at the buzzer.
Senior Omar Gordon won Classical’s first state title with a 8-7 win over Derby’s Eddie Ortiz at 189 pounds. Gordon’s takedown with 31 seconds left in the third period was the game-winner.
Classical’s Keonta Crawford (285) lost in the finals to Derby’s Tom Izzo, who won his third straight Class S title with a pin in 3:52.
“I’m thrilled,” Classical coach Marco Tirillo said. “They really came alive today. I knew they had the potential. I just wasn’t sure if they could bring it out.”
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Holy Cross had two wrestlers in the finals but both Matt Brouillard (130) and Chris Marino (215) were defeated. Still, the Crusaders were able to finish 10th for its best finish as a team since 1989 when they were fourth in Class LL. Ten of the 11 wrestlers that Cross brought to the tournament had at least one win. Brian Cobbol (125) finished fourth.
Brouillard (37-4) was brimming with confidence when he faced Griswold’s Brock Coutu in the finals. Brouillard had a takedown and trailed by just two, 5-3 after one period. But Coutu was too strong and pinned Brouillard in 3:00.
“He got on a roll at the end of last year,” Holy Cross coach Mike Diorio said of Brouillard. “He was the 12th seed here last year and he finished third. He picked up some confidence. He never panics and goes about his business.”
Marino (30-6) missed two weeks with a shoulder injury in the middle of the season but recovered enough to earn a spot in the finals. But Morgan’s Kyle Kiaunis won by pin in 42 seconds.
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Housatonic had four wrestlers qualify for the State Open as the Mountaineers finished finished 11th with 93.5 points for its best performance since they finished sixth in 1992. Jon Bonnett (140) finished third for the second year in a row. He dropped a three-point decision in the quarterfinals but rallied to win four straight decisions in the consolation round capped off with a 7-4 decision over Portland’s John Stroud to take third.
Teammates Joel Lasko (140), Sam Schwartz (152) and Brad Visconti (171) each finished fourth. “They wrestled great,” Housatonic coach Ameen Abo-Hamzy said. “I can’t be any prouder.”
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Two Terryville wrestlers finished third. Terryville’s Justin Cronan (189) had a heartbreaking 7-5 overtime loss in the semifinals but he rallied with a pair of victories including a hard-fought 4-3 decision over St. Bernard’s Kyle Brahm to finish third.
Kanagross teammate Dave Baldyga beat East Catholic’s Nick Petroni, 8-5 to finish third.
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Four Nonnewaug wrestlers won medals led by Drew Stomski, who took third at 119 pounds. Stomski, the No. 1 seed at 119, nearly pulled off a huge comeback in the semifinals against St. Bernard’s Michael Daly.
Trailing by six points with 15 seconds left in the third period, Stomski escaped and threw a headlock on Daly, throwing his opponent to his back and tying the match at 10-10. But in overtime, Daly got the takedown to advance to the final.
Nonnewaug’s Robert Basile (112) took fourth while Marsel Bebo (189) was fifth and Keegan Mulready (130) took sixth.
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He may not have had the most impressive record but Rocky Hill junior T.J. Magnoli was ready to wrestle. Magnoli came into the Class S finals at 145 pounds against East Windsor senior Shawn Larkin with seven losses. But he wasn’t worried. “We wrestle a tough schedule,” he said.
Magnoli dominated to win his first championship by injury default. Larkin was bleeding and used up all of his injury time late in the third period. But the correct champion was crowned because Magnoli was in total control with a 13-1 lead.
He is Rocky Hill’s first state champion since Mo Osman won at 160 pounds in 2004. Rocky Hill finished 20th in the 33-team field with 47 points.
“He wrestled real confident and real relaxed,” Rocky Hill coach Joe Gaboury said. “This year, he can score points even on the good, good kids. He is everything who want in a wrestler. He is a student of the game and he works hard.”
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Suffield’s Dale Rollet (32-1) was the top seed at 135 pounds but he didn’t participate because was he was academically ineligible. … St. Bernard’s Jake Kniska, the No. 3 seed at 215 pounds, was thrown out of the tournament after he pushed over a referee after a match. Kniska was upset after losing a consolation quarterfinal match to Terryville’s Dave Baldyga, 5-2. He yelled at the referee after the mat and stormed off. A few minutes later, he returned and shoved the ref to the mat. His ejection cost the Saints 17 points. … Shepaug’s Scott Wolfe, who trains with New Milford, earned a medal by taking sixth at 152 pounds. He won twice before losing a tough 8-0 decision to top-seeded Sean Fisher of Griswold in the semifinals. ... Somers' Tim Vollaro improved to 42-0 with his dominant win at 152 pounds. Freshman teammate Troy Zachary (103) also had a dominant victory to win a title.