2007 New England Tournament
At New Haven
Team results – 1. Lowell, MA 73, 2. Salem NH 52.5, 3. Danbury 51, 4. St. John’s Prep, MA 48.5, 5. Ledyard 42, 6. Massabesic, ME 41, 7. Mt. Anthony, VT 40, 8. Timberlane, NH 39.5, 9. Concord, NH 37, 10. Bishop Hendricken, RI 36
Other Connecticut teams
13. Griswold 27, 17. Platt 24.5, 23. Fitch 23, 28. Avon 20, 31. Ridgefield and RHAM 19, 33. Masuk, Norwalk and NFA 18; 39. New Milford 17; 45. Newington 13, 50. Berlin 12; 56. Stamford and Wethersfield 9; 64. Amity 8.5; 66. SouthWindsor 7; 68. Montville 5; 73. Simsbury, Somers, Weaver 1; 86. Bacon Academy 1
Final: Simon Kitzis (Newton South, MA) dec. Ken Anderson (Billerica, MA), 2-1; 3. Brendan Gauthier (Lowell, MA) pin Noah Smutnick (Woodstock Academy), 2:36; 5. West Johnson (Platt) injury default over Ken Velez (Wethersfield)
Final: Sean Boyle (Lowell, MA) dec. Jeremiah Barkac (Dexter, ME), 6-4; 3. Jacob Shortt (Mt. Anthony, VT) dec. Jose Cabrera (Springfield Central, MA), 11-2; 5. Josh Huber (Winnacunnet, NH) dec. Jake Longley (Noble, ME), 6-0
Final:Aaron Kalil (Salem, NH) dec. Este Lara (Avon), 1-0; 3. John Coutoumas (Waltham, MA) dec. Ben Ersing (St. John’s Prep, MA), 10-3; 5. Mike Testa (Wayland, MA) injury default over Chris Smith (Deering, ME)
Final: Trevor Deardon (Salem, NH) pin Colin Feeley (Bishop Henricken, RI), 2:35; 3. Tyler Banks (Griswold) dec. Nate Recoulle (South Hadley, MA), 10-0; 5. Sam Webber (Mt. Blue, ME) dec. Scott Legacy (Mt. Anthony, VT), 3-1
Final: Tyler Saltsman (Concord, NH) dec. Corey Paulish (Ridgefield), 4-1; 3. Tim Rich (Chelmsford, MA) dec. Nelson Gonzalez (Platt), 3-2; 5. Andy Paolucci (North Kingstown, RI) dec. Matt Gauthier (Lowell), 8-7, OT
Final: Craig Carpenter (Central Catholic, MA) dec. Charlie Simone (Bishop Henricken, RI), 6-3; 3. Evan Connors (Lowell, MA) dec. Shane Day (Berlin), 5-1; 5. Sam Wilcox (Griswold) dec. Alex Buessing (Concord, NH), 9-2
Final: T.J. Hepburn (Ledyard) dec. Chad Jaramillo (Bridgewater-Raynham, MA), 12-0; 3. Joey Eon (Massabesic, ME) pin Cory Black (Keene, NH), 1:20; 5. Matt Dempsey (Mt. Everett, MA) pin Ethan Raymond (Middlebury, VT), 1:45
Final: T.J. Meagher (Bow, NH) tech fall Eric Campbell (RHAM), 18-2, 4:25; 3. Dean Smith (Danbury) dec. Mike Bellagamba (New Milford), 6-0; 5. Chris DelaRosa (Greater Lawrence, MA) dec. Ryan Donovan (Franklin, MA), 1-0
Final:Vinnie Reneaut (Plymouth South, MA) dec. Adrian Gonzalez (Fitch), 8-7; 3. Tyler Howe (Danbury) dec. Alfred Raymond (Cranston West, RI), 5-2; 5. Jacob Berry (Camden Hills, ME) injury default over John Hussey (Marshwood, ME)
Final: Robert Hamlin (Mt. Mansfield, VT) dec. Don McNeil (King Phillip, MA), 7-4; 3. Jeff Brodeur (Mt. Greylock, MA) dec. George Hargrove (Springfield Central, MA), 2-1; 5. Harry Paul (Concord, NH) dec. Ryan Roddy (Amity), 1-0
Final:Derek Sickel (Timberlane, MA) dec. Josh Eon (Massabesic, ME), 5-2; 3. Nick DiAntonio (Milford, MA) dec. Anthony Kaponis (Newington), 10-9; 5. Andrew Jardim (Carver, MA) injury default over Richie Zschoche (Danbury)
Final: Ryan Malo (St. John’s Prep, MA) dec. Nicholas Murphy (NFA), 2-1, 2 OT; 3. Julian Hightower (Ledyard) dec. Jesse Rayworth (Noble, ME), 8-5; 5. Chris Rideout (Londonderry, NH) injury default Mike Leavitt (Central Catholic, MA)
Final: Pat Walsh (Stoughton, MA) dec. Jake Kirk-Elkin (Rutland, VT), 5-4; 3. Platon Koukides (Norwalk) dec. Matt Barron (North Attleboro, MA), 5-0; 5. Jared Andrade (Exeter-West Greenwich, RI) dec. Cody Rideout (Londonderry, NH), 3-2
Final: Phil Kelley (North Quincy, MA) dec. Matt Sidebottom (Franklin, MA), 4-3; 3. Paul Fenaroli (Masuk) dec. Greg Vaughn (Hingham, MA), 3-1; 5. Ross Hayden (Hudson, MA) pin Rich Wapenyi (Bridgewater Raynham, MA), 4:38
Outstanding wrestler: T.J. Hepburn (140), Ledyard and D.J. Meagher (145), Bow
Outstanding final: 152 pounds
103: Noah Smutnick (Woodstock Academy) vs. Ken Anderson (Billerica, MA)
119: Este Lara (Avon) vs. Mike Testa (Wayland, Mass)
125: Tyler Banks (Griswold) vs. Trevor Deardon (Salem NH)
130: Nelson Gonzalez (Platt) vs. Tyler Saltsman (Concord NH)
130: Corey Paulish (Ridgefield) vs. Andy Paolucci (North Kingstown RI)
135: Shane Day (Berlin) vs. Charlie Simone (Hendricken RI)
140: T.J. Hepburn (Ledyard) vs. Cory Black (Keene NH)
145: Eric Campbell (RHAM) vs. Chris DelaRosa (Greater Lawrence, MA)
152: Adrian Gonzalez (Fitch) vs. Jacob Berry (Camden Hill, ME)
171: Richie Zschoche (Danbury) vs. Derek Sickel (Timberlane, NH)
171: Anthony Kaponis (Newington) vs. Josh Eon (Massabesic ME)
189: Nicholas Murphy (NFA) vs. Mike Leavitt (Central Catholic, MA)
215: Platon Koukides (Norwalk) vs. Pat Walsh (Stoughton, MA)
275: Paul Fenaroli (Masuk) vs. Phil Kelley (North Quincy, Mass.)
New England title
By GERRY deSIMAS, JR.
Connecticut Wrestling Online
NEW HAVEN, March 3 – Ledyard’s T.J. Hepburn (140) savored the moments Saturday at the New England wrestling tournament. The senior has been the best wrestler in the state for two seasons now and carries the huge expectations thanks to his performance as a junior that included an undefeated season, a New England championship and a national championship.
So in the midst of a New England final, an intense Hepburn scooted around the mat chasing after Massachusetts champion Chad Jaramillo of Bridgewater Raynham, who was doing his best to keep away from the Colonial wrestler. But he found time to smile.
“It was my last match in Connecticut,” Hepburn said. “I just had to make the best of it. I had a blast.”
Hepburn (49-0, 194-3) was the only Connecticut wrestler to win a championship and he became just the fifth wrestler in state history to win a pair of New England titles. Five other state wrestlers lost in the finals.
Lowell, Mass. won its first New England title since 1987 while Danbury finished third for the fourth consecutive year.
Hepburn was asked if he was disappointed that he didn’t get a pin. He smiled and looked around at the bleachers of fans, including his peers. “They didn’t come to watch a quick match,” he said. “They came to watch a show.”
There were just 40 seconds left in the first period before Hepburn got his first takedown after a stoppage in play. When wrestling resumed, he leapt like a cat at Jaramillo, slammed into him, lifted him a few inches off the mat and drove him back to earth.
“He just keeps going after people because he knows eventually he’s going to get stuff,” Ledyard coach Steve Bilheimer said.
Hepburn capped off the victory with a takedown with two seconds left, keeping his toes in bounds as he drove Jaramillo off the mat. He shared the outstanding wrestler award with two-time champion T.J. Meagher of Bow, N.H.
“He is definitely one of the best I’ve ever seen in New England,” Bilheimer said.
Hepburn will wrestle in the National High School Coaches Association’s Senior National Tournament in Virginia Beach later this month.
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Lowell became the first Massachusetts school since Carver, Mass., in 1994 to win a New England championship. Sophomore transfer Sean Boyle (112), who attended Loomis Chaffee a year ago, won a championship by beating Jeremiah Barkac of Dexter, Maine, 6-4 to improve to 51-0.
Four Lowell wrestlers won medals and all seven scored points.
Danbury coach Ricky Shook was proud of his team’s performance. They were in second place until Salem, N.H., had two wrestlers win New England titles.
The Hatters had no finalists, yet they nearly finished second. Salem scored 52½ points while Danbury scored 51.
Tyler Howe (152) and Dean Smith (145) each finished third while Richie Zschoche (171) was sixth.
“We knew it would be difficult,” Shook said. “This showed that my kids wrestled back (through the consolation rounds) hard. We finished ahead of Mt. Anthony (7th) and Timberlane (8th) and we haven’t done that in ages.”
* * * *
A look at some highlights from the respective weight classes.
Woodstock Academy’s Noah Smutnick won three straight bouts, including a 2-1 decision over Vermont champion Jordan Gray to earn a spot in the semifinals. But Massachusetts champion Ken Anderson of Billerica beat Smutnick in the semifinals, 8-1.
In the consolation semifinals, Smutnick of Woodstock Academy built a 14-2 lead in the second period but Wethersfield’s Kenny Velez rallied putting Smutnick on his back twice in the third period. Velez came close to getting the pin but couldn’t get it and he was beaten 16-9.
Smutnick went on to finish fourth, getting pinned by Lowell’s Brandon Gauthier in the consolation finals. Platt’s West Johnson finished fifth when Velez couldn’t continue due to a undisclosed injury. In the championship match, freshman Simon Kitzis of Newton South, Mass., hit a reversal with 16 seconds left to beat Anderson.
Connecticut had no semifinalists and no medal winners in this weight class. Lowell sophomore Sean Boyle (51-0) beat four-time Maine champion Jeremiah Barkac of Dexter, 6-4.
In a strategic battle, Aaron Kalil of Salem, N.H., had an escape two seconds into the third period and that was enough for a 1-0 victory over Avon’s Este Lara and his second straight New England championship
By successfully using his head, hands and body, Kalil (50-3, 181-9) was able to keep the shorter Lara (43-2) from taking any good shots. “I just tried to stay in good position and use my head for defense,” Kalil said. “I had to stay lower than usual.”
Lara won a thrilling 3-2 decision in triple OT over Mike Testa of Wayland, Mass., in the semifinals, escaping with 20 seconds left . Lara took a 2-1 lead with a reversal in the second period but Testa tied the bout when Lara let him escape to open the third period.
Griswold’s Tyler Banks lost to New Hampshire champion Trevor Deardon of Salem, 4-2 in the semifinals but he rebounded with a two solid wins in the consolation bracket to finish third. Banks didn’t allow a point in his final two matches, beating Scott Legacy of Mt. Anthony, Vt., 12-0 and topping Nate Recoulle of South Hadley, Mass., in the consolation final, 13-0.
Recoulle almost nailed Banks with a headlock in the final seconds of the bout but Banks wiggled his way out of trouble.
Deardon won the New England title with a pin.
Four-time New Hampshire champion Tyler Saltsman erased an early 1-0 deficit with a pair of takedowns to beat Ridgefield’s Corey Paulish, 4-2 in the championship bout.
A second period escape gave Paulish a 1-0 lead but Saltsman was able to get a takedown in the waning seconds of the period for a 2-1 lead. Despite several shots, Paulish couldn’t take the lead in the third period. Saltsman (48-0, 160-10) wrapped up the win with a takedown with 18 seconds to go.
A takedown with 53 seconds left in the third period helped lift Paulish to a 6-4 victory in the semifinals over Andy Paolucci of North Kingstown, Rhode Island. It was the third straight win by decision for Paulish (50-2, 168-33).
“It is a definitely a heart breaking loss but once I have a chance to take a breath, I’ll remember that it was a great career and he has meant so much to our program,” Ridgefield coach Gary Tiger said. He is the first Ridgefield wrestler to earn a spot in the New England finals.
Platt’s Nelson Gonzalez, who lost in the semifinals to Saltsman, 9-2, finished fourth after dropping a tight 3-2 decision to Tim Rich of Chelmsford, Mass. Rich had an escape and takedown in the second period and rode out the third period to earn the win.
State Open champion Shane Day of Berlin finished fourth after giving up a two-point takedown and two-point near fall with 27 seconds left in the third period of a 5-1 loss to Lowell’s Evan Connors.
Day (50-2) was in position to finish third. It was 1-1 but Connors was able to get the takedown and throw Day to his back. “He went for the win as opposed to remaining conservative,” said Berlin coach Jim Day about his son. “That is what I taught him to do.”
Day advanced to the semifinals but was stopped by Rhode Island champion Charlie Simone of Bishop Hendricken in Warwick, who turned in a dominating 7-0 victory. After grabbing a single leg early in the match, Simone turned that into a takedown and seized control of the bout. Exceptionally strong, Simone virtually turned Day over with one hand on his wrist to take a 5-0 lead in the final seconds of the first period.
But Day earned a spot in the consolation final with a 10-3 win over Griswold’s Brock Coutu, 10-3 with five takedowns. “He has always been able to operate with a short memory, recover and wrestle back,” Jim Day said.
Hepburn won his first match by technical fall, 18-0 over Nick Stewart of Sharon, Mass., beat Joey Eon of Massabesic, Maine, 9-3 in the quarterfinals and eliminated Cory Black of Keene, N.H., in the semifinals by technical fall, 16-1. The one point was an intentional escape.
D.J. Meagher of Bow, N.H., was too strong in a dominating performance in the finals against RHAM’s Eric Campbell (43-4). Meagher (162-9) won by technical fall, 18-2 in 4:25.
Campbell’s takedown with five seconds left in the second period was enough to give him a tight 3-2 semifinal victory over Massachusetts’ runnerup Chris DelaRosa of Greater Lawrence. DelaRosa escaped with 1:41 left to cut the lead to one but couldn’t get the match-tying takedown.
Dean Smith of Danbury dominated New Milford’s Mike Bellagamba, 6-0 to finish third. Smith won four straight bouts in the consolation round.
Massachusetts champion Vinny Renaut of Plymouth South got a takedown at the edge of the mat with two seconds left to hand Fitch’s Adrian Gonzalez (54-1) his first defeat of the year, 8-7 and win his second straight New England title.
It was 6-6 with less than a minute to go and a takedown attempt by Gonzalez with 25 seconds left failed.
Gonzalez hurt his wrist early in his 11-2 semifinal victory over Jacob Berry of Camden Hill, Maine but he bore down to seize of the match. Gonzalez had two pins in the tournament and looked a lot sharper this week than a week ago when he won the State Open championship.
Tyler Howe of Danbury won three straight bouts in the consolation round, including a 5-2 victory over Alfred Raymond of Cranston West, RI to finish third.
Connecticut had two wrestlers in the semifinals but both lost. Danbury’s Richie Zschoche lost to Timberlane’s Derek Sickel while Newington’s Anthony Kaponis was woozy after hitting the mat hard early in the first period of his 8-6 loss to Josh Eon of Massabesic, Maine.
Kaponis finished fourth after dropping a bizarre 10-9 decision to Nick DiAntonio of Milford, Mass. Originally, Kaponis’ match ended in a flurry of action that saw DiAntonio get a takedown with 28 seconds left, Kaponis get a reversal with 12 seconds to go that tied the score at 10-10 and DiAntonio escape with 8 seconds to go to earn a 11-10 victory.
But Newington coach Matt Rossi correctly pointed out that the match referee had called DiAntonio for locking hands after he got his takedown. The whistle should have blown and Kaponis should have been awarded a penalty point.
After a long discussion, the referees put 34 seconds back on the clock with DiAntonio in control with a 10-9 lead. But Kaponis couldn’t take advantage of his second chance. He tried to escape but DiAntonio stubbornly held on to one ankle for dear life to earn the win.
Kaponis (39-3) rolled into the semifinals but he was stunned early in a 8-6 loss to Maine champion Josh Eon from Massabesic. Early in the match, the two wrestlers had their arms locked together and as they fell to the mat, Kaponis’ foot slipped and his head slammed into the mat.
“My whole head was spinning the entire match,” Kaponis said. “I was just going on feel. Honestly, I couldn’t see that well." Zschoche finished sixth after injuring his shoulder in the consolation semifinals.
NFA’s Nicholas Murphy won in overtime in the semifinals to earn the right to face Massachusetts champion Ryan Malo of St. John’s Prep but couldn’t repeat the feat in the championship match.
Malo escaped from Murphy with 20 seconds left in the second OT to earn a 2-1 victory. Murphy had tied the match with an escape with 15 seconds left in the third period to send it to overtime. Malo (58-0) has been a pinning machine this year with 49 pins, one tech fall, two major decisions, one decision and five forfeits. It was his first OT match of the year.
Murphy won a hard-fought semifinal over Central Catholic’s Mike Leavitt. Murphy tied the score at 1-1 early in the third period when Leavitt let him go for an escape. In overtime, Leavitt shot and Murphy sprawled pushing the Massachusetts down. Murphy was able to spin behind to win the bout.
Norwalk’s Platon Koukides finished third with a 5-0 win over Matt Barron of North Attleboro, Mass.
Koukides made it to the semifinals but eventual champion Pat Walsh of Stoughton, Mass., broke open a tight bout with a takedown with 36 seconds left in the third period to beat Koukides. Trailing 6-5, Koukides let Walsh escape to get the opportunity for a match-tying takedown. Koukides got the shot but when he relaxed for a second, Walsh drove into him and knocked him backwards to get the takedown and a 9-5 victory.
Massachusetts runnerup Phil Quigley of North Quincy snapped a 3-3 tie with a takedown and near fall to beat State Open champion Paul Fenaroli of Masuk-Monroe in the semifinals, 5-3.
Fenaroli rebounded with two more victories including a 3-1 win over Greg Vaughn of Hingham, Mass. to finish third.