Stafford's Ahmadi wins 7th world title
COVENTRY, Oct. 15 -- Stafford High wrestling coach Shirzad Ahmadi won his seventh Veterans Freestyle world championship on Friday at 63 kilograms in Tirana, Albania. Ahmadi defeated fellow American Jack Hornbuckle of Oklahoma, 2-0 and 5-0 to win the title in Division F (ages 61-65). Ahmadi lives in Coventry.
Former CCSU mentor George Redman dies
NEW BRITAIN, Oct. 12 -- George Redman, a former wrestling and football coach at Bristol Central High and Central Connecticut State, died on Monday, Oct. 10. Redman coached at BC for five years (1965-69), posting a 36-15 record. At CCSU, his wrestling teams won 162 of 211 matches and he had 7 All-Americans and 22 All-New England wrestlers in 15 seasons.
McDougall passes away
TRUMBULL, Oct. 12 -- Jerry McDougall, best known as the long-time football and baseball coach at Trumbull High died Wednesday morning at the age of 76. When he stepped down as football coach in 1998, he held the state record for most career wins (265). McDougall also started the Trumbull High wrestling program and coached it for a year as well.
Malone to wrestle
GRANBY, Oct. 5 -- Granby native Dominick Malone has announced that he will attend Northwestern University in Chicago on a wrestling scholarship. Malone, who is expected to wrestle at 119 pounds this winter, competes for Wyoming Seminary in Pennslyvania. He won the national title at the National Prep School tournament at 119 pounds as a junior after finishing second as a sophomore and third as a freshman. Malone earned All-American honors in July at the ASICS/Vaughan U.S. amateur wrestling junior and cadet national championship tournament at the Fargo, North Dakota, by finishing fifth at 105 pounds in the Cadet Division
Wrestling teams at six Tech schools to be eliminated
HARTFORD, July 15 -- To deal with a reduction in funding and the laying off of state employees to balance the state budget, the Connecticut Board of Technical High Schools has decided to eliminate all interscholastic sports at the state’s 17 technical high schools for the next two years to save $3 million. Adult education programs, art and music programs are also being eliminated, according to the Connecticut Mirror. "We can't cut mandated programs, graduation requirements or our trade technologies," Patricia Ciccone, superintendent of the technical high schools told The Register Citizen. "Our primary mission is to prepare the workforce for Connecticut." Six wrestling teams from Wolcott Tech, Platt Tech/West Haven, Vinal Tech, Cheney Tech, Ellis Tech and Lyman Memorial/Windham Tech would be eliminated. More coverage from The Register Citizen and Connecticut Mirror
NOTE: As of October 21, 2011, all fall sports had been restored. There was no official word about winter and spring sports, including wrestling. However, matches were being scheduled for the Tech school teams acccording to the CIAC website indicating that there would be teams this winter.
Manchester honored for its sportsmanship
MANCHESTER, July 11 -- Manchester High and its wrestling coach Lou LaGuardia was recently recognized with a National Sportsmanship Award for their actions in a 30-24 loss to rival East Catholic in February 2010. East Catholic’s five wrestlers each won to give their team a six-point lead with four matches remaining. But the Eagles had no wrestlers left in the remaining four weight classes and three forfeit victories would have given Manchester the win. But MHS coach Lou LaGuardia decided to forfeit the remaining four weight classes and the Eagles earned the victory. “It’s not about winning and losing,” East Catholic coach Jason Marsh said. “It is what we are teaching these kids.” The National Sportsmanship Awards showcase extraordinary examples of selflessness, civility, kindness and integrity. The sixth annual event was held in St.
Weight classes adjusted upward
for 2011-12 season
INDIANAPOLIS, IN, April 26 – When the 2011-12 wrestling season begins, there will be 10 new weight classes after the wrestling rules committee of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) approved 17 wrestling rules revisions. The lightest weight class will rise from 103 pounds to 106 pounds. By the end of the season, it will be up to 108 pounds.
The new weight classifications have just three weight classes from 125 to 145 pounds when there used to be four and there will be five weight classes from 171 to 285 instead of four. The new weight classes will be 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and 285.
The rules committee has been considering this shift for several years. Many of the governing bodies for high school athletics across the country supported the change.
“The change in weight classes resulted from a three-to-four year process utilizing data from the National Wrestling Coaches Association Optimal Performance Calculator,” said Dale Pleimann, chair of the NFHS Wrestling Rules Committee. “The rules committee was able to analyze data from almost 200,000 wrestlers across the country, with the goal to create weight classes that have approximately 7 percent of the wrestlers in each weight class.
The last wholesale shift in weight classes occurred in 1988, when the lowest weight class was increased from 98 to 103 pounds. In 2002, the number of classes went from 13 to 14 and the 215-pound weight class became mandatory. In 2006, the 275-pound class was increased to 285 pounds.
Several of the new weight classes aren’t new. In the late 1970s, the weight classes in Connecticut were 98, 105, 112, 119, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 171, 189 and unlimited.
Gillen is state winner of Dave Schultz award
Shelton’s Patrick Gillen has been named as the Connecticut recipient of the Dave Schultz Excellence Award from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum. The award recognizes excellence in wrestling and scholastic achievement along with citizenship and community service.
Gillen finished second in the nation at 215 pounds at the recent National High School Coaches Association national tournament and finished with a state record 204 career wins. He was 53-1 this season and won his second straight New England and State Open championship. He was a four-time NHSCA All-American. He will attend the University of Virginia next fall and will be on the Cavalier wrestling team.
Shelton's Gillen finishes 2nd at 215
VIRGINIA BEACH, April 3 – Nick Gwiazdowski of Duanesburg, N.Y., denied Shelton’s Pat Gillen in the championship match of the National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) tournament on Sunday night. Gwiazdowski won the 215 pound championship by pinning Gillen in 4:57.
It was the first loss of the season Gillen (53-1), a four-time NHSCA All-American, who finishes with a career record of 204-15. Gwiazdowski, who will attend Binghamton University in the fall, was named the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler. He has 47 pins on the season and finishes at 55-0.
Three CT wrestlers earn All-American honors at nationals
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., March 31 – Three Connecticut wrestlers earned All-American status by finishing in the top eight of their respective weight class at the National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) wrestling tournaments Thursday.
In the Junior National tournament, Middletown’s Devon Carrillo (171) and Hand’s Joe DeMichele (285) earned All-American honors. Windham’s Miguel Calixto (130) earned All-American honors in the Sophomore National tournament.
2011 All-State banquet
Gillen named wrestler of the year
SOUTHINGTON, March 13 – Shelton’s Patrick Gillen was named Connecticut’s wrestler of the year in balloting by state wrestling coaches at the annual All-State wrestling banquet at the AquaTurf. Gillen, a two-time New England champion at 215 pounds, won two State Open and two Class LL championships. He went 49-0 this season. Bacon Academy, which won its first State Open championship, was honored as the state’s team of the year. Click on the following link for coaches of the year, All-State wrestlers and Academic All-State wrestlers.
Hepburn falls in NCAA finals in triple OT
KEARNEY, Neb., March 12 – Former Ledyard star T.J. Hepburn used a win in overtime to earn a spot in the NCAA Division II championship match at 149 pounds. But Hepburn, a junior wrestling for the University of Nebraska-Kearney, fell in triple overtime, 4-2 to Nick Walpole of Indianapolis.
Hepburn earned a spot in the final with a 3-1 semifinal win over Augustana’s Nate Herda with a takedown with 13 seconds left in the third OT period. In the championship match against Walpole, Hepburn trailed 1-0 after two periods.
Hepburn took a 2-1 lead with a third period reversal and built up 55 seconds of riding time before Walpole escaped to tie the match at 2-2. In the third OT, Walpole got a takedown for the victory.
Hepburn finishes the year at 38-4. A year ago, he was third at the NCAA Division II national tournament. This year, Nebraska-Kearney finished eighth in Division II behind Nebraska-Omaha, which won its third straight title.
Two Connecticut wrestlers competed at the NCAA Division III tournament but neither placed in the top eight. Waterford’s Brennan Ward, a senior with Johnson and Wales, won the New England Wrestling Association title at 184 pounds to earn a spot in the tournament. Williams’ Corey Paulish (149) won the NEWA title and qualified with a record of 25-7.
Five New England champions for CT
Gillen dominates, wins 2nd straight New England title
NEW HAVEN, March 5 – In a dominating performance, Shelton’s Patrick Gillen (215) won his second straight New England championship Saturday night to cap off his scholastic wrestling career in the state. Gillen (49-0) won two matches by tech fall and two by pin. For the third straight week, he was voted as the outstanding wrestler of the tournament.
Gillen was one of five Connecticut wrestlers to win New England championships. Griswold’s Brandon Walsh (135) became the first Wolverine in school history to win a New England title with a takedown 10 seconds into overtime. New Milford’s Conor Kirkegard (103) won a title with a pin while Glastonbury’s Tyler Keane (112) became the first New England champion from his school after an 11-1 victory. Hand’s Joseph DeMichele won a championship with an escape in triple overtime.
With two finals and three medalwinners, Hand was the top state team in the tournament with 70 points. New Milford was tied for eighth with 47 points. With two individual champions and six wrestlers winning medals, Timberlane, N.H. won its record fourth straight New England championship with a convincing 133-76 win over Mt. Anthony, Vt.
Monday, February 28
Coaches vote Bacon as No. 1 team in state
For the first time in 14 years, there is a new No. 1 team in the final Norwich Bulletin’ state coaches poll of the season. After its State Open championship, Bacon Academy was voted as the No. 1 team in the state for the first time. The Bobcats finished as high as No. 3 in 2008. Danbury, which had been No. 1 for the past 14 years, slipped to No. 5, its lowest final ranking since 1996 when they finished fourth. Hatter fans shouldn't worry too much. This year’s team was a young team.
New Milford, which spent the entire season at No. 1, finishes No. 2 and received a first place vote. It’s the highest final ranking for the Green Wave in school history. They were third in 2010 and 2006.
Xavier, which won its first Class LL title, had its highest ever final ranking by finishing third. Hand, Danbury, Bristol Eastern, Ledyard and Fairfield Warde finished in the top 10. Class S champion Griswold grabbed the No. 10 spot.
Saturday, February 26
Bacon Academy wins Open championship
NEW HAVEN, Feb. 26 -- With two individual champions, three wrestlers that finished in the top five and seven wrestlers that won matches, Bacon Academy outdueled Hand and New Milford to win its first-ever State Open championship. The Bobcats beat Hand by three points, 98-95 with New Milford in third place with 88 points in the most competitive Open tournament since team scoring resumed in 2001.
Saturday, February 19
Xavier, New Milford, Bacon, Griswold win state championships
The CIAC hosted its four state championship meets on Saturday. In Class LL, Xavier topped Danbury to win its first state championship; New Milford won its first state title in Class L after years of close calls; Bacon Academy won its second straight title in Class M while Griswold outlasted Old Saybrook/Westbrook to win its third Class S championship.
Northfield wins prep tourney
Northfield Mount Herman beat Phillips Academy by 64 points to win the New England Prep School Athletic Council (NEPAC) wrestling championship tournament on Saturday. The Hoggers had six individual champions.
17 state wrestlers named to NHSCA
Seventeen wrestlers from Connecticut are among the 47 selections from across the country to the National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) All-Academic team. To be considered for selection, athletes had to have a grade point average of 3.4 or more on a scale of 4.0, be a state tournament placewinner and have earned All-State honors.
Shelton’s Patrick Gillen (215), a four-time NHSCA All-American, was one of three wrestlers that earned All-American honors on the squad. Gillen finished second in the NHSCA national tournament in April. Four wrestlers from Hand earned NHSCA All-Academic honors along with three each from Old Saybrook/Westbrook and Farmington. Two wrestlers each from Bacon Academy, Griswold and Newington were also recognized. Click on this link for the CT delegation and what they accomplished
Zboray takes 7th in Junior freestyle
FARGO, N.D., July 19 -- Manchester's Taylor Zboray earned All-American honors at the 2011 Cadet/Junior Nationals by taking seventh in the Junior Women's Freestyle competition at 112 pounds. Athletes in grades 9-12 compete in the Junior tournaments.
Group wants to establish wrestling programs in cities
HARTFORD, May 4 -- A USA Wrestling program to get inner city athletes interested in wrestling is trying to establish programs in Hartford and New Haven with the goal of eventually establishing programs in Waterbury, Norwich, Willimantic and other Connecticut cities. Beat the Streets Connecticut is looking to help at-risk boys and girls through discipline, structure and life-long skills that can be learned through wrestling.
"The purpose is to get kids off the streets and introduce them to a sport that doesn’t always get introduced in the cities,” said Nathan Stadig, chairperson of Beat the Streets Connecticut. “By getting kids involved early (at the elementary or middle-school age), Beat the Streets helps city youth stay physically active, develop discipline and a good work ethic and make friends in a positive, team-oriented environment.”
Stadig is looking for individuals, coaches and volunteers to help get programs in Hartford and New Haven running by September. Part of the program will include a 45-minute study and homework session for the athletes.
The cost hasn’t been determined although Stadig hopes to keep it minimal. “If we can get a facility with a mat, the cost would be drastically inexpensive,” he said. “Hopefully, if we can get enough sponsorship and donations, there will be no costs for the participants. Otherwise, there would be a minimal cost for shoes and headgear.”
In New York, Beat the Streets has helped establish 60 middle school wrestling programs and increase the number of high school teams in the Public School Athletic League from 20 to 62. A similar program in Philadelphia cost participants $75 a year. Stadig is looking for help to establish Beat the Street programs in Connecticut. You can reach him at 203-248-2484 or learn more about Beat the Streets Connecticut at their Facebook page.