SOUTHINGTON, March 20 – Simsbury junior Joey Martin, who had to beat two defending champions to win the New England championship at 119 pounds, was named at the Connecticut wrestler of the year by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association’s (CHSCA) annual All-State and Academic All-State wrestling banquet.
Martin, a three-time Class LL and State Open champion, beat Lowell’s Casey Boyle to win a New England title. He went 49-0 this winter and is 145-2 in his career. The coaching staffs from state champion Danbury (Class LL), Ledyard (Class L), Waterford (Class M) and Northwestern (Class S) were honored as head coach and assistant coaches of the year. One hundred athletes were honored on the Academic All-State teams.
Daily news brief
State news at a glance
n Morgan High wrestling coach Jim McCusker has been selected as the Connecticut High School Coaches Association’s coach of the year for 2003-04. The Huskies finished 13-8 this season and 7th in Class S. McCusker led Morgan to a Class S championship in 1999 and the Huskies finished second in 2001 and 2003. He led Morgan to back-to-back 20-win seasons in 2004 (21-5) and 2003 (20-3).
n Wrestling standings for each Connecticut league have been compiled. Click on the link to view league standings.
New England Tournament
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass., March 5 – For the first time since 1990, Danbury has a New England champion in their midst. Senior Matt Tricarico (171) had four pins and won the tournament’s MVP award for his championship win to help lead Danbury to a third place finish. “It’s been a good day,” Danbury coach Ricky Shook said. “I couldn’t be more happier. They’ve wrestled above their ability level.”
Timberlane, N.H., outlasted Mt. Anthony, Vt., 96-90 to win the title with Danbury third with a team-record 77 points. Connecticut had 10 wrestlers in the finals and four won titles – the most since 1998. South Windsor freshman Anthony Valles (103), Waterford’s Ken Fratus (112) and Simsbury’s Joey Martin (119) also brought home titles. Each finished undefeated -- the first Connecticut wrestlers to achieve that since 1998.
State coaches poll
Danbury tops coaches poll for record 9th straight year
For the ninth straight year, Danbury ends the season as the top-ranked wrestling team in Connecticut. The Hatters received all nine first place votes in the state coaches poll. Waterford, which finished second to Danbury at the State Open and won the Class M title, finished second in the poll while Class L champion Ledyard was seeded third. Fairfield Warde, which was second in Class LL, finished fourth. Class S champion Northwestern Regional achieved its highest rank ever, coming in at No. 7.
NEW HAVEN, Feb. 19 – Danbury had six wrestlers qualify for the New England Tournament and eight win medals as the Hatters won their fifth straight State Open title with a record 60-point victory over Waterford, 161-101. The Hatters also set a new tournament record for most points scored. Simsbury’s Joey Martin (119) became just the 10th wrestler in state history to win his third straight Open championship.
Windham’s Kurtis Strout (145) and Bran Crudden (160) each defended their titles along with Danbury’s Matt Tricarico (171) and Waterford’s Shawn Karasevicz (215). Strout’s victory may have been the most thrilling match of the night as he escaped with five seconds left in double overtime to beat Danbury’s Jeff Marra, 6-5. Five teams (Danbury, Northwestern Regional, Fairfield Warde, Waterford, Windham) had two champions each.
State champions were crowned in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. In Massachusetts, Lowell’s Casey Boyle (119) hit a reversal with 32 seconds left in regulation to snap a scoreless tie and beat Dracut’s Peter Nolan, 2-1 to win his fourth All-State title in a battle of defending New England champions. In Vermont, defending New England champion Mt. Anthony had 10 wrestlers in the finals and had eight champions to win their 17th straight state title. In New Hampshire, Timberlane had 11 wrestlers in the finals and six champions to win by 127 points.
Danbury, Ledyard repeat in Class LL and L
Northwestern wins 1st title, Waterford wins 1st since '85
In the closest finish in Class S history, Northwestern and Griswold each had three champions. But the difference was that in the finals, one Highlander wrestler pinned and another won by technical fall as Northwestern edged Griswold by two points, 174.5 to 172.5. Northwestern’s Joel Webster (130) won his third straight Class S title while teammate Chris Marks (152) won his second in a row. Windham Tech’s Billy Williams (189) also won his second straight title. In Class M, Waterford won its first state championship since 1985 outlasting defending ‘M’ champion Windham by 19 points, 219-200. Berlin had six wrestlers qualify for the State Open and had two finalists but was a distant third with 184½ points. … In Class LL, Danbury extended its own state record with its ninth straight Class LL championship. FCIAC rival Fairfield Warde was second. … In Class L, Ledyard won a state-record 15th championship with a 207½ to 181½ victory over ECC rival Montville. For the Colonials, it was their second straight Class L crown and fourth in the last seven years. Ledyard sophomore T.J. Hepburn (125) won his second straight title and was named the tournament MVP.
NEWINGTON, Oct. 30 – The father of wrestling in Newington died tragically in a house fire Saturday night. Richard C. Hastings III, 45, was the first wrestling coach at Newington High, beginning the program in 1987-88. The Newington Blackhawks posted a tribute to Hastings on its Web site, “It is fair to say that coach Hastings WAS Newington wrestling. During the time he was coach, and even after he left the program, Coach Hastings was an inspiration to many of Newington's young people. He not only coached the sport of wrestling, but taught his team and all the young people of our town about thinking big, believing in themselves, and about character.”
He coached the Indians for 12 years, posting a career record of 170-109-2. Newington won a pair of CCC South championships in 1994 and 1995 and had 10 straight winning seasons under Hastings. In 1993, the Indians were 18-3 and finished fourth in Class LL. They had the most wins in team history in 1999 – his final season – with a 24-9 mark. He coached three state champions.
New England's return to Connecticut in 2006
NEW HAVEN, Oct. 14, 2005 -- The New England Tournament is coming back to Connecticut. The New England Principals Association awarded the 2006 New England wrestling tournament to New Haven and its Athletic Center on the Hillhouse campus. It will be in Connecticut for the second time in three years and for the fourth time in its 42-year history. The tournament will be March 3-4. Timberlane, N.H. is the defending New England champion.
Former Killingly wrestler killed in Iraq
KILLINGLY, June 23, 2005 – Former Killingly High wrestler Christopher Hoskins, 21, died on Tuesday in Iraq. Hoskins died when his unit came under small arms fire. "He didn't have to go, but he went," his mother, Claudia Hoskins, told the Norwich Bulletin. "He stepped up to it. The military gave him direction. He felt like a man amongst men. He was very proud of his accomplishments." Hoskins joined the Killingly High wrestling team as a junior despite having no previous wrestling experience. As a senior, he earned a spot in the starting lineup for the 2001 Killingly team that won an ECC Tournament championship.
"He wasn't real fiery. He just came to practice each day, probably didn't say two or three words, if that," Killingly High coach Rich Bowen told the Associated Press Thursday. "I think to him it was just a challenge. He was a very quiet kid, laid back." He is the 27th serviceman or civilian with Connecticut ties to die in Iraq or Afghanistan since March 2002.
Danbury assistant coach dies at his home
DANBURY, May 25 -- Danbury High assistant Stephen Kaplanis died of an apparent heart attack on May 24 at his home. A longtime youth football coach in Danbury, he had coached the Immaculate High varsity football team since 1997. He was 50. He was a football player, wrestler and baseball player at Danbury where he graduated from in 1973.
Tricarico is state winner of Dave Schultz award
DANBURY, May 25 – Danbury High’s Matt Tricarico has been chosen as the Connecticut recipient for the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award. It is awarded annually to a senior based on wrestling success, scholastic achievement and community service.
Nine state men inducted in national Hall of Fame
UNCASVILLE, April 23 -- Nine state men were inducted in the Connecticut chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame recently. Former Waterford coach Glenn Rupert, East Lyme coach Rick Sherman, Montville’s Art Ziegler and New Fairfield’s Robert Serrano received Lifetime Service to Wrestling awards and were inducted. Southington’s David Kanute received a lifetime service award for his service to club and youth wrestling along with Joseph Alissi. Mark Lawrence and Andrew Levitt were honored with the Medal of Courage award while Weston’s Erik Weinhenmayer, the first blind man to climb Mt. Everest, received the Hall of Outstanding Americans award.
Seras honored by USA wrestling
FAIRFIELD, April 26 -- Sacred Heart University coach Andy Seras was named the 2004 Greco-Roman Coach of the Year by USA Wrestling for the second time since 2001. Seras, who has coached at SHU for three years, was the an coach of the U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling team in Athens in 2004 and was head coach of the 2002 U.S. World team. SHU is the only Division I wrestling program in the state.
NHSCA national championships
CLEVELAND, Ohio, April 3 – New Milford junior Thomas Ferrell (275) lost in the quarterfinals by a point to the eventual national champion but it didn’t slow him down at the National High School Coaches Association’s junior national championship. Ferrell won three straight consolation bouts including a semifinal bout on a tiebreaker to earn All-American honors by taking fourth place.
Nine Connecticut wrestlers competed in the 16th annual NHSCA’s senior national championships but none placed in the top eight. Northwestern’s Joel Webster (130) had the most success going 4-2. Connecticut finished 38th as a team in the event. No other Connecticut wrestler won more than one bout.
Souza wins national title
Shaw finishes second in national tournament
LAKE ORION, Mich., March 20 --- Waterford senior Stefenie Shaw, the top-ranked girls wrestler in the country at 144 pounds, finished second in the U.S. Girls Wrestling Association (USGWA) national championship tournament. Shaw lost to Elina Pirozhkov of Greenfield, Mass., in the finals at 152 pounds, 7-4. Shaw was second at 144 as a junior and won a national title at 138 as a sophomore. Lauren Tallman finished ninth at 110 pounds. Brooklyn sophomore Dyami Souza (114) and junior Megan Corden (122) of Woodstock each lost in the quarterfinals and were eliminated by dropping their initial consolation bracket bout. Corden was ranked No. 7 in the country entering the tournament.
Souza won the national championship in the collegiate division at 114 pounds with a 4-3 victory over Victoria Gallardo of the U.S. Military Academy.