2011 State Open championshipComplete brackets
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Norwich Bulletin, Feb. 27: Bacon Academy holds off Hand for State Open championship

Connecticut Post, Feb. 27: Gillen wins 2nd straight Open title, closes in on state record for wins

Connecticut Wrestling Online, Feb. 26: Bacon wins first State Open championship; briefs on each weight class

Greenwich Time, Feb. 27: Greenwich's Ceci pleased with 2nd place finish

Danbury News Times, Feb. 27: Kirkegard wins title; New Milford takes strong third at State Open

Bristol Press, Feb. 27: Chase takes second at Open at 112; Eastern finishes seventh

New Britain Herald, Feb. 27: Three New Britain area wrestlers heading to New Englands

Norwich Bulletin, Feb. 27: Griswold's Brandon Walsh wins State Open championship

New London Day, Feb. 27, Bacon takes it spot on the podium as State Open champion

New Haven Register, Feb. 27: Thrilling championship win for Hand's Ed Carroll at State Open

Waterbury Republican American, Feb. 27: Tilbe is first BL wrestler to win two State Open titles
2011 State Open
At New Haven
Team results -- 1. Bacon Academy 98, 2. Daniel Hand 95, 3. New Milford 88, 4. South Windsor 64½ , 5. Glastonbury 63, 6. Xavier 62, 7. Bristol Eastern 61, 8. Griswold 50, 9. Conard 49, 10. Shelton and Fairfield Warde 47½ , 12. Old Saybrook/Westbrook 42, 13. Windham High 36, 14. Danbury and Nonnewaug 32, 16. Greenwich 31, 17. Ledyard 30, 18. Thomaston 29½, 19. Ridgefield 29, 20. Middletown 28, 21. NFA 27, 22. Bethel 26, 23. Newington 25, 24. Stamford 23½ , 25. Cheney Tech and Somers 22, 27. Brookfield 21, 28. Hale Ray and New Britain 20½ , 30. Berlin and Norwalk 20, 32. Plainville 19, 33. Guilford, Killingly and Darien 17, 36. Westhill 16½, 37. Trumbull 16, 38. Bristol Central 15, 39. Gilbert and Torrington 14, 41. Montville 13, 42. East Lyme 11½ , 43. Housatonic, New Fairfield and Northwestern 11, 46. Masuk 10, 47. Hartford Classical/Capital Prep and RHAM 9, 49. New Canaan 8, 50. Jonathan Law, Immaculate and Canton 7, 53. Waterford 6, 54. Fitch 5 and Hartford co-op 5, 56. Ellington, Wethersfield, Staples, Terryville, Lyman Mem/Windham Tech, Amity 4, 62. Stratford, Foran, Windsor, Avon, Coventy 3, 67. Portland 2½ , 68. Haddam Killingworth, Weston, PlattTech/Whaven, East Hartford, Manchester 2, 73. Oxford, Stafford, East Catholic 1, 76. East Windsor, Holy Cross, Farmington, Platt High, Seymour, Newtown, Wilton, Ellis Tech, Morgan, Goodwin Tech, Pomperaug, Granby 0
Individual results
Championship: Conor Kirkegard (New Milford) Dec William Crisco (Daniel Hand) 1-0; 3rd Place: Will Chowanek (Xavier) Dec Pascal Medor (Westhill) 8-3; 5th Place: Kevin Jack (Danbury) Dec Mark Failla (Shelton) 7-6
Championship: Tyler Keane (Glastonbury) Dec Andrew Chase (Bristol Eastern) 7-1; 3rd Place: Geovanni Medina (New Britain) dec. Alexander Thalassinos New Milford) 12-4; 5th Place: Brian Amato (Newington) Dec Johnny D'Elia (Greenwich) 5-2
Championship: Cody Keane (Glastonbury) Dec Dylan Bryant (Danbury) 6-2; 3rd Place: Joshua Dess (Bristol Eastern) Dec Eric Manuel (Wbrook/Saybrook) 6-0; 5th Place: Dom Ghi (Housatonic Reg) Inj.Def  Chris Catanzaro  (RHAM)
Championship: Tyler Tilbe (Nonnewaug) Dec Ben Pierre Saint (Stamford) 6-0; 3rd Place: Brandon Lopez (South Windsor) Dec. Nick Amorando (New Milford) 5-4; 5th Place: Nicholas Dodge (Bacon Academy) Dec Pharoah Eaton (Fairfield Warde) 10-2
Championship: Ed Carroll (Daniel Hand) Dec Miguel Calixto (Windham) 6-5; 3rd Place: Sean McAllister (Bacon Academy) Dec. Andrew Golden (New Milford) 2-0; 5th Place: Evan Fraser (Fairfield Warde) dec. Austin Hodges (Nonnewaug) 9-1
Championship: Brandon Walsh (Griswold) Dec Forest Dolby (Cheney Tech) 3-2; 3rd Place: Benjamin Anderson (Trumbull) Dec Jake Savoca (Daniel Hand) 8-3; 5th Place: Alek Smith (Gilbert) Dec Craig Sassu (Bristol Eastern) 5-1
Championship: Casey Mitchell (South Windsor) Dec Jack McKeever (Brookfield) 5-0; 3rd Place: Johnny Bello (Conard) Dec Lars Remole (Darien) 4-2; 5th Place: Will Matuszak (Berlin) Dec Dalton Ahern (Wbrook/Saybrook) 4-3
Championship: Lucas Muntz (Conard) dec. Anthony Terlizzi (New Milford) 12-4; 3rd Place: Tyler Cunningham (Xavier) Dec Zach Cooke (Killingly) 3-1; 5th Place: Dean Gilbert (Ledyard) dec. Brian Khzouz (New Canaan) 11-3
Championship: Jake Odell (South Windsor) Dec Nick Cipriano (NFA) 5-0; 3rd Place: Chris Chorzepa (Newington) Dec Timothy Proctor (Guilford) 9-4; 5th Place: Brandon McNeill (Griswold) Dec Alan Sanford (Thomaston) 7-2
Championship: Devin Covone (Bacon Academy) Dec Dillon Carter (Hale Ray) 2-1; 3rd Place: Daniel Kurasz (Montville) Dec Mike Sullivan Mike (Fairfield Warde) 6-3; 5th Place: Alexander Manwaring (Ledyard) Dec Elliot Antler (Xavier) 7-4
Championship: Devon Carrillo (Middletown) Dec Travis Tiger (Ridgefield) 6-5; 3rd Place: Dane Pallotto (Wbrook/Saybrook) Dec Nicholas Puchalsky (Glastonbury) 6-4; 5th Place: Alex Delaney (Fairfield Warde) Dec Aaron Wing (Griswold) 6-3
Championship: Aren Norman (Bacon Academy) Dec Ben Ceci (Greenwich) 7-1; 3rd Place: Brandon Riggins (Norwalk) Inj.Default over Mark Dilley (Thomaston) 8-0; 5th Place: Brandon Koch (Windham) dec. Duncan Cozens (Ridgefield) 14-5
Championship: Patrick Gillen (Shelton) pin Sean Marinan (Xavier) 1:00; 3rd Place: Ken Vollaro (Somers) Dec Dean Tsopanides (Torrington) 9-2; 5th Place: Erick Tucker (Masuk) Dec Matthew Piazza (Bristol Eastern) 4-3
Championship: Joseph Demichele (Daniel Hand) pin Christopher Valenti (Bethel) 1:00; 3rd Place: Dylan Kniska (Bacon Academy) pin Kevin Spence (Plainville) 2:14; 5th Place: Donald Sanderson  (Bristol Central) pin TIm Zeitler (Northwestern) 1:40

Outstanding wrestler: Patrick Gillen (Shelton), 215
Team effort lifts Bobcats to first
State Open title

Connecticut Wrestling Online
NEW HAVEN, Feb. 26 – When Bacon Academy wrestling coach Mike Voiland took over the Bobcats, the program wasn’t in stellar shape. In his first year (2000), they had just 10 wrestlers on the team, filled eight weight classes and went 2-26.

Today, they are the best team in Connecticut.

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. Danbury, who has won the last 10 Open titles, had only three wrestlers in the tournament and finished tied for 14th place with 32 points.

Devin Covone (160) and Aren Normen (189) won titles while Dylan Kniska (285) and Sean McAllister (130) each went 4-1 to finish third in their respective weight classes. Nick Dodge (125) went 3-2 to take fifth. Chris Elrod (112) and Matt McAllister (119) each won a match.

“I’m speechless,” Voiland said. He smiled. “We have these points because everyone was participating,” he said.

Take away a win or two from Elrod, Matt McAllister and the Bobcats would be looking up at first place.

“We told them not to check out (after a loss) and to keep wrestling,” Voiland said. “As long as we’re still wrestling, we can score points.”

Hand, a team that was second to Xavier in the Southern Connecticut Conference tournament and second to New Milford in the Class L tournament, came up a win or two short of its first-ever State Open championship.

Ed Carroll came up with a thrilling one-point win over defending Open champion Miguel Calixto of Windham in the final at 130 pounds while teammate Joe DeMichele (285) won a title with a pin. Freshman William Crisco (103) lost a 1-0 decision in the championship bout to New Milford’s Conor Kirkegard.

Jake Savoca (135) took fourth with a 3-2 record, dropping a 8-3 decision to Trumbull’s Brendan Anderson while Tucker MacGregor (125), Welles Sakmar (140) and Kevin Wivell (152) each had record of 1-2.

For New Milford, Kirkegard brought home a championship and Anthony Terlizzi (145) finished second. But the Green Wave’s hopes to win a title were hurt by three fourth place finishes from Alex Thalassinos (112), Nick Amorando (125) and Andrew Golden (130).

“It’s nice to see Connecticut get to a different level and see other teams in the mix,” New Milford coach Chris Piel said. “We brought eight kids and we saw that Danbury won last year with a single champion and a bunch of kids wrestling back (in the consolation round). I’m so pleased with how they have wrestled.”

The top four wrestlers in each weight class advance to the New England championships on Friday and Saturday in New Haven.

Bacon will bring a school-record four wrestlers to the tournament while Hand will come with four as well. New Milford will bring five athletes to the tournament.

Here is a brief rundown of action from each weight class.

A year ago, New Milford Conor Kirkegard saw his opportunity to win a State Open championship disappear in an overtime loss to Bristol Eastern’s Andrew Chase. This year, Kirkegard outlasted Hand freshman William Crisco, 1-0 to win the championship. Kirkegard escaped with 1:09 left in the second period.

In the third period, Kirkegard used legs to tie up Crisco and burn through period. Kirkegard (38-0) beat Crisco a week earlier in the Class L championship match, 6-2.

Crisco earned a spot in the final with a 6-5 win over Xavier’s Will Chowanek thanks to a takedown with 20 seconds left to give him the lead for good. In the other semifinal, Kirkegard had to got to triple overtime to slip past Westhill’s Pascal Medor, 6-3. In the third OT, Kirkegard turned Medor to earn three near fall points and the win.
Bristol Eastern’s Andrew Chase fell short in his quest to win a second straight Open championship. Chase (38-2) lost to Glastonbury’s Tyler Keane in the 112 pound final by a 7-1 score. Keane had three takedowns in the match to control it from start to finish.

Chase battled just to earn a spot in the final. He escaped with 12 seconds left in the third period to force overtime in his semifinal bout with New Britain’s Geovanni Medina. In overtime, Medina tried for a headlock but as he took Chase to the mat, Chase slipped out of the move and behind Medina for the takedown and the 7-5 victory.

Chase led 4-1 in the second period before Medina got a reversal to cut the lead to one. In the third period, he got Chase in a cradle for two near fall points and a 5-4 lead.

Medina finished third with a 12-4 win over New Milford’s Alex Thalassinos.

Glastonbury junior Cody Keane joined his brother Tyler on the victory stand after a 7-3 decision over Danbury junior Dylan Bryant. They are the first brothers with an Open title in the same tournament since New Fairfield’s Tom and Bob Serrano took home titles in 1996.

“They work hard with each other in the wrestling room,” Glastonbury coach Rob Levesque said of the Keane brothers. Cody avenged a loss to Bryant in last week’s Class LL semifinals.

“Cody took (Bryant) out of his game,” Levesque said. “That’s the way both of them wrestled. They force you to adjust.”

Keane’s semifinal against Housatonic’s Dom Ghi was a bit closer. It was 0-0 into the third period before Keane was able sink a beautiful single leg takedown and take a 2-0 lead on Ghi with about a minute to go. Keane prevailed, 5-0.

Bristol Eastern’s Joshua Dess won five straight matches in the consolation round including a 6-0 win over Old Saybrook/Westbrook’s Eric Manuel to finish third. Dess had lost to Keane, 9-1 in the opening match on Friday night.

Nonnewaug senior Tyler Tilbe doesn’t sit back and wait for things to happen on the wrestling mat. Tilbe (40-0) became the first Berkshire League wrestler to ever win a pair of State Open championships with a dominating 6-0 win over Stamford’s Ben Pierre Saint.

Not only did he hand Pierre Saint his first loss of the season after 38 straight wins but Tilbe outscored his four opponents by a 33-1 margin. He didn’t give up a point in winning his third straight Class S title a week ago or his fourth straight Berkshire League championship two weeks ago.

“I like the fact that he was very aggressive on his feet,” Nonnewaug coach David Green said. “At this level, it keeps the other person at bay. He’s the aggressive one scoring points.”

In his 5-1 semifinal win over South Windsor’s Brandon Lopez, Tilbe took a 2-0 lead with an early first period takedown. In the second period, he escaped to stretch his lead to 3-0. He extended the lead to 5-0 with another takedown.

Against Pierre Saint, Tilbe nearly gave up a takedown at the end of the first period but he didn’t panic, kept wrestling and time ran out in the period. Early in the second period, he turned Pierre Saint for a three-point near fall and a 3-0 lead. Tilbe added another takedown in the third period to ice the victory.

Lopez finished third with a 5-4 victory over New Milford’s Nick Amorando.

In a thrilling finish, Hand’s Ed Carroll held off Windham High sophomore Miguel Calixto for a 6-5 victory and his first State Open title. The match was tied 4-4 before Carroll got a takedown with 1:16 remaining to take a two-point lead. Calixto escaped with 41 seconds left to cut the lead to one.

Carroll nearly got a takedown with 16 seconds left, grabbing a single leg and turning it into a double leg takedown but the wrestlers were ruled out of bounds. Calixto nearly rolled Carroll onto his back in the final seconds but the officials said that the match was over.

“He wrestles hard,” Windham coach Pat Risley said of Calixto. “He likes to go to the last second. He doesn’t hold back and always provides some excitement.”

Carroll (37-1) fell to Nonnewaug’s Tyler Tilbe in overtime in the 125 pound final a year ago. “It means so much to me,” Carroll told the New Haven Register. “(Last year’s loss) is literally what kept me going. It pushed me throughout the whole offseason to train more, way more over this summer than any other summer. I really wanted to come back and win this tournament.”

Bacon Academy’s Sean McAllister edged New Milford’s Andrew Golden, 2-0 to finish third. Golden won four straight bouts in the consolation round after dropping a 6-4 decision to Nonnewaug’s Austin Hodges on Friday evening in the first match of the tournament.

Griswold junior Brandon Walsh hit a reversal with 1:06 left in the third period and hung on for a 3-2 victory over Cheney Tech’s Forest Dolby and an Open championship. Dolby got an early takedown to grab a 2-0 lead but Walsh escaped with about a second left in the first period. After a scoreless second period, Walsh began the third period in the down position.

Walsh literally hip checked Dolby and took the lead. “It’s not something we would ever tell our kids to do, jump over the hips,” Griswold coach Dana Cooke said. “It’s a bad idea. But for him to do that and come out with the two points, it was great.”

Walsh said, “It’s a matter of patience, keep working and not getting disappointed when things don’t work out.”

The bout paired Walsh, the Class S champion, with Dolby, who won in Class M. Dolby survived a 1-0 decision over Gilbert’s Alek Smith in the quarterfinals. Walsh had finished second at the Open a year ago, dropping a 7-1 decision in the 135 final.

Trumbull’s Brendan Anderson finished third with an 8-3 decision over Hand’s Jake Savoca.

An overtime loss in the finals at 130 pounds a year ago fueled South Windsor’s Casey Mitchell throughout the offeseason. Mitchell (41-4) completed his quest with a solid 5-0 win over Brookfield’s Jack McKeever (39-3).

Mitchell didn’t allow a point in his final three matches. He blanked Dalton Ahern of Westbrook/Old Saybrook, 5-0 in the semifinals and had a 2-0 lead when he won by pin in the quarterfinals.

Wrestling with a sore shoulder in the consolation final, Conard’s Johnny Bello got a reversal and two-point near fall with 1:27 left in the third period to take a 4-1 lead over Darien’s Lars Remole. Bello prevailed, 4-2. Remole had won four straight consolation round matches including two by pin to earn a spot in the consolation final.

After losing by one point in the Class L final in 2010 and one point in the Class LL final a week earlier, Conard’s Lucas Muntz finally won a state title with a 12-4 win over New Milford’s Anthony Terlizzi, scoring 10 points in the final two periods.

Muntz (39-2) had a pair of dramatic wins to get to the championship match. In the quarterfinals, he used a granby roll with five seconds remaining to escape and beat Class L champion Dean Gilbert of Ledyard, 6-5. Gilbert had tied the match with an escape and takedown.

In the semifinals, Muntz used an escape and takedown to tie his match with Fairfield Warde’s Brian Khzouz at 5-5 with about a minute to go. But Khzouz got a reversal with 29 seconds left to take a 7-5 lead. With five seconds left, Muntz got a reversal to send the match into overtime.
In the extra session, Muntz willed his way to a match-winning takedown and turned Khzouz to his back. Stunned that he given up the takedown and lost, Khzouz simply relaxed and was pinned.

“He has so much composure,” Conard coach Chris Glowacki said. “He doesn’t let anything rattle him. He’s as calm as he can be. He remains focused on what he needs to do.” Muntz is the first Conard wrestler to win an Open championship since 1998.

Terlizzi had a gutty semifinal win, too, with a 4-3 decision over Class LL champion Tyler Cunningham of Xavier. Cunningham finished third with a 3-1 win over Killingly's Zach Cooke, who won four straight consolation bouts to get the chance to wrestle for third place.

Like teammate Casey Mitchell, South Windsor senior Jake Odell was also haunted by a loss in the finals of the State Open a year ago. Odell’s overtime loss to P.J. Mickens of Bacon Academy in the 145 pound was one of seven bouts determined in OT a year ago. “That was a definite motivation in my training in the offeseason,” Odell said. “Not a day of practice went by when I didn’t think about (the OT loss.)”

Odell (41-0) can sleep a little easier today after his 5-0 win over NFA senior Nick Cipriano. It was part of a dominating day by the Bobcat senior, who didn’t allow a point scored against him all day. After a pin in his first match, Odell outscored his final three opponents by a 34-0 margin.

Newington’s Chris Chorzepa finished third with a 9-4 win over Guilford’s Timothy Proctor, avenging a 12-11 loss a week earlier at the Class L tournament.

Devin Covone of Bacon Academy and Dillon Carter of Hale Ray used to be neighbors in Colchester. In seventh grade, Covone tried to convince Carter to try wrestling. Six years later, they met in the State Open final.

Covone took down Carter with 58 seconds left in the match to earn a 2-1 victory. Carter, who wrestled just 12 regular season matches as a one-man team with Hale-Ray, took a 1-0 lead with an escape with 1:34 remaining in the third period.

“It woke me up a little,” admitted Covone. “I was just trying not to make any mistakes. (Once he scored), I took the gas to him. I knew I could take him down.”

A year ago, Carter (18-2) wrestled for Xavier and finished fifth at 152 pounds at the Open. This year, he wrestled for Hale-Ray and won a Class S championship a week ago.

Montville’s Daniel Kurasz finished third with a 6-3 win over Mike Sullivan of Fairfield Warde. Kurasz won five straight in the consolation round including three straight one-point decisions. He outlasted Ellington’s Matt Janiga, 1-0, slipped past Coventry’s Stephen German, 2-1 and beat Ledyard’s Alexander Manwaring in the consolation semifinals, 2-1.

With only six seconds left in his State Open championship match, junior Devon Carrillo gave up his first takedown of the year to Ridgefield’s Travis Tiger. And Carillo was OK with that since it helped him burn off the last few seconds of the match and give him his first State Open crown with a 7-5 victory over Tiger.

Carillo (33-0) led 4-1 early in the third period thanks to a first period takedown and a reversal. Tiger (44-2) cut the lead to one, 4-2, with an escape but Carillo took him right down again about 20 seconds later for a 6-2 lead. Tiger escaped with 16 seconds remaining and got another takedown with six seconds left but it was too little, too late.

Carillo gave up just one takedown this season and just 14 points – seven here at the State Open. “(Devon) got much better on top (controlling his opponent),” Middletown coach Mark Fong said. “Before this year, he was always a takedown guy.”

Carillo was second at the Open as a sophomore and third as a freshman. Old Saybrook/Westbrook’s Dane Pallotto finished third with a 6-4 win over Glastonbury’s Nicholas Puchalsky.

It was a difficult season for Bacon Academy senior Aren Norman. He missed a big chunk of it due to academic reasons. He won the ECC championship but finished third in Class M. But wrestled tough here at the Open. He outlasted Ridgefield’s Duncan Cozens in the first round, 6-4. Then, he beat Class L champion Brandon Riggins of Norwalk, 4-3 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, he had three takedowns in a 10-4 win over Class S champion Mark Dilley of Thomaston.

In the finals, Norman (17-2) had a takedown and near fall in the final five seconds of the second period to take a commanding 5-0 lead over Greenwich senior Ben Ceci on the way to a 7-1 victory.

“I feel on top of the world,” Norman said. “In my first few matches back I didn’t feel like myself. But I wanted this really badly and I’m starting to wrestle better.” And he’s improved in the classroom. With his most recent grades and this performance, Norman qualified to receive the Academic All-State award.

Ceci (43-3) used an escape with 1:23 left in the third period and held off the advances to Windham’s Brandon Koch to earn a 6-5 semifinal victory. In the consolation final, Riggins had an 8-0 lead over Dilley when the Thomaston wrestler got hurt trying to make a throw and had to default.

Shelton’s Patrick Gillen looked unstoppable on the way to his second straight State Open championship. Gillen (44-0) had three pins in four matches, including a 55 second pin of Xavier’s Sean Marinan in the championship bout to earn Outstanding Wrestler honors. Gillen, who will attend the University of Virginia on a wrestling scholarship, is four wins away from tying the state record for career wins. Gillen is 196-14. Ledyard’s T.J. Heburn was 200-4 from 2004-07.

Somers’ Ken Vollaro beat Torrington’s Dean Tsopanides, 9-2 to finish third. Tsopanides, a one-man team who trains with the team from Wolcott Tech across the street from THS, is the first Torrington wrestler to qualify for the New England championships.

Tsopanides (36-3) trailed by as many as four points in his first match of the tournament on Friday against NFA’s Michael Case. But he rallied to tie the match and won by a pin. In the quarterfinals, a first period takedown and a third period escape was the key in a 3-1 win over Jonathan Law’s Ted Kostopoulos.

Tsopanides earned a tough 5-2 win over Bristol Eastern’s Matt Piazza in the consolation round but lost in the consolation final to Vollaro. “It hurts to lose but that is part of wrestling,” Tsopanides said. “They got the best of me but champions don’t quit. I’m going to work my tail off this week.”

Joseph Demichele of Hand won the Open with a 42 second pin of Bethel’s Chris Valenti. Demichele won three of his four matches by pin. Valenti (38-3) won his first three bouts by pin. Bacon Academy’s Dylan Kniska pinned Plainville’s Kevin Spence to finish third. Demichele had finished third a year ago at the Open.

HISTORICAL NOTES: Glastonbury twins Cody and Tyler Keane (112) won titles, the first brothers to do that since the Serrano brothers (Tom and Bob) won Open titles in 1996. …. Years from now, fans will look up the score from this tournament and see that many newspapers reported that Hand scored 91 points, not 95. Why? Tournament organizers distributed the final team totals to reporters on site but failed to include the result of the final bout of the night at 135 pounds, a win by Hand’s Ed Carroll. KapWrestling.com, who handled the scoring, immediately corrected the score once they were notified on Sunday. For the record, Hand finished with 95 points. ... Six wrestlers that won Sunday finished second a year ago and four lost in overtime (Kirkegard, Carroll, Mitchell and Odell).