Two state wrestlers win world titles
BUDAPEST, Hungary, Sept. 21 -- Two Connecticut wrestlers won world freestyle titles on Friday at the Veterans World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Coventry’s Shirzad Ahmadi, the long-time wrestling coach at Stafford High, went 4-0 to win his eighth Veterans world title at 63 kilograms (139 pounds) in Division F (ages 61-65). Also winning a world title was South Windsor’s Steven Turgeon at 58 kg (127 pounds) in Division E (ages 56-60).
Jack earns medal at Super 32 tournament
GREENSBORO, N.C., Oct. 21 – Danbury’s Kevin Jack (120) was one of several Connecticut wrestlers participating in the Super 32 preseason national wrestling tournament this weekend. Jack went 6-3 but finished sixth, the only state wrestler to earn a medal.
South Windsor’s Casey Mitchell (152) and Newington’s Chris Chorzepa (170) each went 3-2 in the tournament but didn’t medal. Newington's Brian Amato was 4-2. Nonnewaug’s John Dagostino (160), Fairfield Warde's Charles Kane and Barlow's Emmett LiCastri were each 1-2 while Xavier’s Elliott Antler (170) and New Milford's Halim Bourjeili were 0-2.
The two-day tournament features some of the top high school wrestlers in the nation, including 182 state champions. There were 1,900 high school and middle school wrestlers in the tournament competing on 27 mats.
Perry named coach at NFA
NORWICH, Sept. 1 -- Former NFA wrestler Greg Perry was been hired as the new wrestling coach at NFA in early August after coach Roy Wentworth decided to retire. Perry was an assistant coach at NFA from 2001-03 and is currently teaching health at NFA.
Two former wrestling coaches inducted in coaches Hall of Fame
SOUTHINGTON, Sept. 1 -- Two former wrestling coaches were inducted into the Connecticut High School Coaches Association’s (CHSCA) Hall of Fame at its 36th annual induction ceremony on Nov. 15, at the Aqua Turf in Southington at 7 p.m. Conard’s Rob Cersosimo and Bulkeley-Hartford coach Peter Kokinis are among 9 coaches and one sportswriter to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Cersosimo was the head wrestling coach at Conard for 8 seasons compiling a record of 101-54, including 6 straight winning seasons from 1996-2001. He led Conard to a 3rd place finish in Class LL in 1999. Cersosimo also coached football and tennis at Conard. Kokinis coached wrestling at Bulkeley for several years and one year at Wethersfield High. He also coached football and baseball at Bulkeley, winning over 250 games on the diamond and 15 straight city championships.
Induction dinner is April 20, 2013
Six men selected for Hall of Fame
Six outstanding individuals have been selected for induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. The Connecticut chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame will hold an induction dinner on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at MGM Grand Hotel at Foxwoods Resort Casino to honor these men for their contribution to the sport of wrestling and our communities. The six men to be honored are:
n John Chacho, the former coach at Staples High in Westport and former official
n Frank Chaves, the former coach at Simsbury High and a current official
n Ken DeStefanis, the former coach at Central Connecticut State University and current youth wrestling club coach
n Staff Sergeant Joseph Kapacziewski, a former wrestler at Bristol Eastern High, who is currently an Army Ranger. He has been on multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
n Bernard Nasser, a long-time official and former coach at Fitch High in Groton
n Ricky Shook, the coach at Danbury High School
Chacho, Chaves, DeStefanis, Nasser and Shook will receive a Lifetime Achievement award. Kapacziewski is being honored with a Medal of Courage award. Make your plans now and save the date to attend the 2013 induction dinner. Tickets will go on sale in October.
Kirkegard, Walsh receive scholarships
New Milford's Conor Kirkegard and Griswold's Brandon Walsh selected to receive $750 college scholarships from the Connecticut chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Former Staples wrestlers honored
WESTPORT, June 2 -- Three men with ties to the Staples High wrestling program in Westport were recognized recently by the Sportsmen of Westport at their annual award dinner. Mike Breen, who won three straight Class LL and State Open titles for Staples, was honored with a Sportsmen Award along with Andrew Lobesnz, who finished second in Class LL and fourth in New England in 1985, helping the Wreckers win the FCIAC championship. Also recognized was former Staples High wrestler Nick Garoffolo, who became the fourth Staples High wrestling coach to earn the Coaching Award.
22 Connecticut wrestlers named to Academic
HARTFORD, May 22 -- Twenty-two wrestlers from Connecticut named to the Academic All-American team by the National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA). Including four from Bacon Academy and three from Griswold. See what the CT kids did to earn this recognition.
LaBeef selected as state's Dave Schultz winner
HARTFORD, May 1 -- R.J. LaBeef of Pomfret School has been selected as the Connecticut winner of the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum. The award is named in honor of Olympic and world champion Dave Schultz and each award recipient is evaluated on excellence in wrestling, scholastic achievement, citizenship and community service.
LaBeef will wrestle at Cleveland State in the fall. LaBeef began his high school career by becoming the first state champion in school history by winning the State Open title at Woodstock Academy at 103 pounds in 2008 with a 46-2 record. Then, he spent four years at the Pomfret School, winning three New England championships and earning All-American honors three times at the Prep School national championships, finishing fourth, eighth (125 pounds) and fifth (138) in 2009, 2011 and 2012, respectively.
Garoffolo to be honored in Westport by Sportsmen
WESTPORT, May 3 -- Fairfield Ludlowe and Staples wrestling coach Nick Garoffolo will be among the honorees when the Sportsmen of Westport host their 51st annual Dinner of Champions on May 22 in Westport. Garoffolo graduated from Staples and coached the Wreckers for eight years, winning over 100 matches, a Class L title in 1990, 7 FCIAC Eastern Division titles and unofficially finishing second in the State Open twice. He has been coaching at Fairfield Ludlowe since 2005.
Tugman to coach at Wesleyan
MADISON, April 27 -- Hand co-coach Blair Tugman has taken a position as assistant coach at Wesleyan University, according to Hand wrestling's Facebook page. Tugman and Erik Delehanty have coached the Tigers for the past two seasons as co-coaches. This season, they led Hand to its first state title since 1995 when the Tigers won the Class L championship. In two seasons, Hand has gone 47-2, finished 2nd in the State Open twice and second and third in New England. The Tigers were second in Class L in 2011. Tugman and Delehanty led Hand to two SCC Division A titles and a pair of second place finishes in the SCC Tournament.
Norman wins Ohio TOC
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Former Bacon Academy wrestler Aren Norman, a freshman at Tiffin University in Ohio, won the 220 pound class in the Open Division at the annual Ohio Tournament of Champions on April 20 in Columbus. Norman went 4-0 and didn’t give up a point, beating Ohio’s Zach Miller in the finals, 2-0. In the semifinals, Norman beat Andy Lamancusa, 2-0. Lamancusa is a graduate of Mercyhurst College where he was a three-time All-American.
Retirement party for Gabordi
Former Ledyard High coach Lou Gabordi is retiring as principal at LHS this year. His wrestling teams won 5 state titles and 6 ECC titles in 7 years with a dual meet record of 103-10-1. Twenty-three wrestlers won class or State Open titles. A retirement party for Lou was held June 15.
Saturday, April 1
Masuk's Tucker earns
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., April 1 -- Masuk's Eric Tucker earned All-American honors by finishing eighth at 220 pounds at the National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) Senior National wrestling championships Saturday. Tucker won two matches before losing in the quarterfinals. He earned a tight 2-1 decision over Dortanyia McIntyre of Louisiana to earn All-American honors. He finished 3-3 in the tournament.
Pomfret's R.J. LaBeef (132), Griswold's Brandon Walsh (138) and Griswold's Aaron Wing (182) came up one win short of earning All-American honors. LaBeef won three straight consolation round matches but dropped a 2-1 decision in OT to get eliminated. Walsh advanced to the quarterfinals with a pair of wins but dropped two straight to get eliminated. Wing also won three in a row in the consolation bracket.
In Philadelphia, four Connecticut wrestlers remain alive in the consolation brackets at the 2012 FloNationals wrestling tournament at Drexel University. Hand junior Jake Savoca (138), Old Saybrook/Westbrook senior Dalton Ahern (152), Xavier junior Elliot Antler (160) and East Haven junior Julius Fenoila (285) were still competing this morning. Antler advanced as far as the quarterfinals with three straight wins before losing a match. Ahern has won three straight consolation round bouts.
Friday, March 30
Four wrestlers earn All-American honors
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., March 30 – Four Connecticut wrestlers have earned All-American honors by finishing in the top eight of their respective weight classes at the National High School Coaches Association’s (NHSCA) national tournament. Danbury’s Johnny Garcia finished third at 152 pounds in the NHSCA’s Freshman National tournament while teammate Kevin Jack took sixth at 106 pounds in the NSCHA’s Sophomore Nationals.
In the Junior National tournament, New Britain’s Geovanni Medina (126) and Hartford Classical’s Chris Samboy (195) both finished eighth to earn All-American honors. In the Senior National tournament, New Milford's Conor Kirkegard (113), Griswold’s Brandon Walsh (138) and Masuk’s Eric Tucker (220) remain in the championship bracket and will wrestle Saturday morning in the round of 16.
Saturday, March 17
Wrestlers win four bouts at NCAA tourney
ST. LOUIS, March 17 – Middletown High graduate Richard Perry won two matches at the NCAA Division I wrestling championships competing for Bloomsburg University at 197 pounds this week. Former Greenwich High wrestler Brandon Williamson (285) also wnet 2-2 wrestling for West Virginia in the tournament. Click on the link for more information on the two Nutmeg State grapplers.
Hepburn wins NCAA Div. 2 national title
PUEBLO, Colo, March 10 - -Ledyard’s T.J. Hepburn won the NCAA Division II national championship Saturday night wrestling for the University of Nebraska-Kearney. Hepburn (36-3) pinned senior Jarrod Shaw of West Liberty University in 2:17 to win the title at 157 pounds and earn All-American honors for the third time.
Hepburn was one of three individual champions for Nebraska-Kearney, which won its first national championship since 2008. The Lopers had seven All-Americans (top 8 finishers) and 107 points. St. Cloud State was second with 95 points while Grand Canyon and Findlay were tied for third with 58.
Nebraska-Kearney teammates Dalton Jensen (141) and Raufeon Stots (149) won titles before Hepburn came to the mat. Hepburn’s pin clinched the title for the Lopers. “I told my teammates I was going for the headlock to get the pin in the first period,” Hepburn told the Pueblo Chieftain. “I can’t even explain the emotions I had when I got that pin and won the national championship for the team. It was just incredible.”
After a relentless attack, Hepburn got a cradle and a pin for the victory over Shaw. “The last half hour I was having a hard time catching my breath,” Hepburn told NCAA.com. “I’ve been here before, but no matter how many times you are in a situation like this you get excited. When Dalton got that pin my lungs opened up. To be the guy to clinch it feels awesome. Just a great way to go out.”
Hepburn, a senior, ended his collegiate career on a 26-match win streak and finished 118-16 at Nebraska-Kearney. Hepburn had to go to overtime to win his semifinal match with a 4-2 decision over top-ranked Dillon Bera (20-1) of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Unable to finish a pair of shots in regulation, Hepburn found paydirt in OT.
Saturday, March 3
Six state wrestlers win New England titles
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Connecticut had the most finalists (12) and most medalwinners (27) at the 2012 New England championships Saturday in Providence. Six Connecticut wrestlers came home with New England championships – Westhill’s Pascal Medor (106), Hand’s William Crisco (120), Newington’s Chris Chorzepa (170), Middletown’s Devon Carrillo (182), Norwalk’s Brandon Riggins (195) and Xavier’s Sean Marinan (220).
There were five rematches of finals from the State Open. Hand finished a strong second to Timberlane, N.H., which won a record fifth straight New England championship. More coming Sunday from Connecticut Wrestling Online.
Monday, Feb. 27
Xavier is top ranked team in final state poll
NORWICH, Feb. 27 – For the first time in school history, the Xavier High wrestling team is the No. 1 ranked team in the final state coaches poll of the season. The Falcons, who won the Class LL and State Open tournaments, received 14 of 15 first place votes. Danbury, which went undefeated in the regular season with a 20-0 record including dominant wins over Xavier and Class L champion Hand, received the other first place vote and finished third. Class M champion Ledyard was ranked fourth and Class S champion Old Saybrook/Westbrook was ranked 12th.
Results from other states
Results and brackets from state championship meets in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Maine are posted on the site. Top six in each weight class from MA and top 3 from RI, VT, NH and ME qualify for this weekend's New England championships.
Saturday, Feb. 25
Xavier gets past Hand to capture first title
NEW HAVEN, Feb. 25 – With five medalists and two individual champions, Class LL champion Xavier rallied to win its first-ever State Open championship, beating Hand by 9½ points. Danbury was third with New Milford a distant fourth. Tyler Cunningham (160) and Sean Marinian (220) won titles for Xavier. Hand had six medalists and three finalists. Xavier and its 11 wrestlers had 34 wins in the tournament while Hand with its nine wrestlers had 27 victories. Five wrestlers won their second straight State Open title. New Milford’s Conor Kirkegard (113), Glastonbury’s Tyler Keane (120), Griswold’s Brandon Walsh (138), Middletown’s Devon Carillo (182) and Hand’s Joe Demichele (285) each won their second Open title.
Friday, Feb. 24
Only half point seperates Danbury, Xavier at Open
NEW HAVEN, Feb. 24 -- After day 1, only a half point seperates Danbury and Xavier at the State Open wrestling championships. Danbury has 52.5 points while Xavier has 50. Both teams have seven wrestlers in the quarterfinals. The only difference is that Danbury has three wrestlers left in the consolation round while Xavier has four. You can follow the tournament live on KapWrestling.net. You must register but it is free.
Monday, Feb 20
Open seeds released
The CIAC has released its tentative seeding list for the State Open. Twenty-four wrestlers will be competing in all four weight classes. Overall records do not include results from respective league tournaments. ... With two individual champions and five finalists, host Northfield Mount Hermon won the 65th annual New England Prep School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) wrestling tournament this weekend in Gill, Mass. Avon Old Farms was the top Connecticut team, tied for fifth place. The top 7 finishers in each weight class qualify for the Prep School national tournament on Feb. 23-25 in Lehigh, Pa.
Saturday, Feb. 18
Xavier, Hand, Ledyard, Old Saybrook/Westbrook win titles
It was a thrilling day of wrestling at the CIAC state championship wrestling tournaments. Click on the respective links for brackets and placewinners. We'll have more information on each tournament on Sunday. Xavier outlasted Danbury in Class LL for the second straight year, Hand won its first Class L title and first crown since 1995, Ledyard won its state-record 18th state title and Old Saybrook/Westbrook became the first co-op team to win a wrestling state title.
Six wrestlers will qualify for State Open
Six wrestlers from each weight class from the CIAC's Class LL, L, M and S tournaments will qualify for next week's State Open at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven. It's the first expansion in the number of wrestlers participating in the tournament since 1988.