2014 State Open championships         Complete brackets
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2014 State Open

Media coverage
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Danbury News Times, March 2: Danbury back on top in Connecticut after winning the State Open

New London Day, March 2: Caskey, Dowler, MarcAurele finish second at State Open

Hartford Courant, March 2: Southington's Maxwell leaves no doubt with 2nd straight Open title

Norwich Bulletin, March 2: Bacon's Kilpatrick wins second straight Open championship

New Haven Register, March 2: Xavier's Will Chowanec wins first State Open title in final seconds

Meriden Record Journal, March 2: Southington finishes strong with 6th place finish at State Open

Waterbury Republican American, March 2: Two Nonnewaug wrestlers finish second at Open

Bristol Press, March 2: Eastern's Porter finishes second at State Open

2014 State Open
At New Haven
Team results -- 1. Danbury 141; 2. New Milford 114.5; 3. Fairfield Warde 92; 4. Xavier 89; 5. Trumbull 88; 6. Southington 85; 7. Simsbury 80; 8. Windham 72; 9. Newtown 71.5; 10. Montville 71; 11. Nonnewaug 60; 12. Bristol Eastern 56.5; 13. South Windsor 49; 14. Farmington 48; 15. Fairfield Ludlo 44.5; 16. Daniel Hand 40.5; 17. Middletown 40; 18. Ledyard 39; 19. Foran 36; 20. Bacon Academy 35; 21. Oxford 35; 22. Bristol Central 33; 23. Canton 32; 24. Haddam-Killingw 30; 25. Immaculate/Joel 28; 26. Suffield/W.Lock 28; 27. Maloney 26; 28. Newington 26; 29. Somers 25; 30. Glastonbury 23; 31. St. Bernard/Nor 23; 32. Terryville 22.5; 33. Platt 22; 34. Weaver/Hartford 22; 35. Fitch 21; 36. Fairfield Prep 20; 37. Holy Cross 20; 38. Westbrook/Old S 19; 39. Manchester 17; 40. Berlin 16; 41. Cheshire 16; 42. Woodstock Acade 15.5; 43. Lyman Memorial/ 15; 44. New Fairfield 15; 45. Shelton 14.5; 46. Bethel 13; 47. Branford 13; 48. New Britain 13; 49. Brien McMahon 12.5; 50. Derby 12; 51. Masuk 12; 52. Westhill 12; 53. Killingly 11; 54. Ridgefield 11; 55. Wilton 11; 56. Hall 10; 57. New London 10; 58. Old Lyme 9; 59. Portland 9; 60. Morgan 8; 61. Ellis Tech 7; 62. Gilbert 7; 63. Griswold 7; 64. New Haven Wrest 7; 65. Waterford 7; 66. Windsor 7; 67. Avon 6; 68. Conard 6; 69. Norwich Free Ac 6; 70. Rockville 6; 71. Bunnell 5; 72. E.O. Smith 5; 73. Greenwich 5; 74. East Catholic 4; 75. Guilford 4; 76. Housatonic Regi 4; 77. Vinal Tech 4; 78. Pomperaug 3; 79. Wolcott Tech 3; 80. Northwestern 2; 81. Amity 1; 82. East Haven 1; 83. Jonathan Law 1; 84. Stratford 1; 85. East Lyme, East Windsor, Enfield, Goodwin Tech,  Lyman Hall, Norwalk, Plainville, Seymour and Weston 0
Individual results
1st: Paulo Freitas, Danbury, dec. Matthew Dowler, St. Bernard/Norwich Tech (7-1)  3rd: Ryan Pantalena, Maloney, dec. Zachary Murillo, Southington (6-4)  5th: Halim Bourjeli, New Milford Forfeit George Wales, Fairfield Ludlowe
1st: Kyle Lindner, New Milford, def. Timmy Kane, Fairfield Warde (Pin4:49)  3rd: Jeremy Fields, Danbury def. Jacob Pouliot, Foran (Forfeit) 5th: Jacob Martin, Windham, dec. Joel Morth, Montville (5-3)
1st: Chris Bryant, Danbury, dec. Zachary Bylykbashi, Southington (1-0)  3rd: Sebastian Ruffino, Windham, dec. Keith Penney, Simsbury (2-1)  5th: Benjamin Batulanon, Fairfield Ludlowe, dec. Marlon Argueta, Platt (4-2)
1st: Kevin Jack, Danbury, Mdec. Cross Cannone, Trumbull (11-2)  3rd: Daniel Ebert, Fairfield Warde def. Thomas Wynosky, Montville (Forfeit) 5th: Niko Stefanatos, New Milford, dec. Mason Rambarose, Portland (4-3)
1st: Conor Caffrey, South Windsor, dec. Kieran Duggan, Nonnewaug (6-4)  3rd: Emmett LiCastri, Immaculate/Joel Barlow, def. James Leuci, Newtown (Pin3:30)  5th: Kevin Cecio, Trumbull, dec. Kevin Side, Ridgefield (6-5)
1st: Will Chowanec, Xavier, dec. Jacob Caskey, Montville (3-2)  3rd: David Colvin, Westbrook/Old Saybrook, dec. Ashton Gyenizs, Daniel Hand (10-3)  5th: Zachary Arnold, New Milford, dec. Joseph Martone, Branford (6-5)
1st: Howard Kilpatrick, Bacon Academy, dec. Favion Williams, Weaver/Hartford Public (10-7)  3rd: Ryan Henderson, Haddam-Killingworth, dec. Brett Leonard, New Milford (4-3)  5th: Graysen Deluca, Woodstock Academy, dec. Ryan Rigney, Farmington (1-0)
1st: Anthony Falbo, Newtown, dec. Max Odell, South Windsor (7-3)  3rd: Bryan Burnette, Holy Cross, dec. Christian Zotti, Newington (4-3)  5th: Steven Briganti, Trumbull, dec. Jonah Swett, Lyman Memorial/Windham Tech (3-0)
1st: Dakota Fleming, Windham, dec. Benjamin Onofrio, Daniel Hand (3-1)  3rd: Steve Persson, Oxford, dec. Alexander Martin, Southington (6-2)  5th: Andrew D'Amico, New Fairfield, dec. Brandon Dufour, Bacon Academy (4-3)
1st: Juan Garcia, Danbury, dec. Devon MarcAurele, Ledyard (5-1)  3rd: Ian Gonzalez, Bristol Central, dec. Dovydas Simanskis, Farmington (4-2)  5th: Seve Burgos, Xavier def. Gabe Vega, Cheshire (Forfeit)
1st: Khamri Thomas, Suffield/W.Locks/E.Granby, dec. John D'Agostino, Nonnewaug (7-2)  3rd: Cody Carrillo, Middletown, dec. Colin Cunningham, Xavier (4-0)  5th: Jordan Kenyon, Fitch, dec. Brendan MacIntyre, Bethel (3-2)
1st: Zachary Maxwell, Southington, dec. Jacob Feldman, Simsbury (7-3)  3rd: Adam Patsun, Somers, dec. Fjoralb Cekici, Nonnewaug (2-0)  5th: Zachary Hubler, Foran, Mdec. Justin Pronovost, Terryville (14-5)
1st: Andrew Marino, Trumbull, dec. Andrew Cavanna Glastonbury (4-3)  3rd: Skylar Lang, Canton, def. Chidiebere Broderick, Xavier (Pin2:00)  5th: Jamar Jones, Middletown, dec. Justis Lewis, Brien McMahon (7-2)
1st: Ahmed Hourani, Fairfield Warde, def. Kyle Porter, Bristol Eastern (Pin2:29)  3rd: Bradley Helmkamp, Simsbury, dec. Nicholas Crowle, Fairfield Prep (3-1)  5th: Daniel Carbonaro, Oxford, pin Vincent Stevens, Farmington, 0:54
Outstanding wrestler: Howie Kilpatricks, Bacon (145)
Fast fall: Not awarded
FULL BRACKETS: 2014 State Open

Danbury makes history with another Open championship

Connecticut Wrestling Online
NEW HAVEN – In the hours after Newtown High celebrated with its first state championship, wrestlers on the Danbury stewed. But there was nothing they could do. Despite five individual state champions, the Hatters finished third behind Newtown and Xavier in the Class LL tournament.

All they could do was prepare for their next opportunity at the State Open. And perhaps make some history. No team had ever won a State Open championship without winning a Class LL, L, M or S title the previous week.

With four individual champions, Danbury easily won its 12th State Open title in 14 years pulling away from Class L champion New Milford by nearly 30 points, 141 to 114½. Fairfield Warde was third with 92 points with Xavier taking fourth with 89.

Danbury senior Kevin Jack (126) became just the 12th wrestler in state history to win three State Open titles with a 11-2 win over Trumbull’s Cross Cannone in a rematch of the Class LL final.

Teammates Juan Garcia (170), Paulo Freitas (106) and Chris Bryant (120) also won championships for the Hatters. Jeremy Fields (113) finished third with four straight wins in the consolation bracket. All eight Danbury wrestlers won at least one match.

“This is go great,” Bryant said. “I hate how (others) thought we were going downhill (after losing in Class LL). It could happen to anyone. We wanted to kill it here.”

Danbury coach Ricky Shook was confident could contend. “This is a hard tournament and we’ve wrestled in some hard tournaments this year,” he said, referring to the Eastern States Classic in New York, a tournament in Clarkstown, N.Y. and tough dual meets with defending New England champion Mt. Anthony, Vt., and Timberlane, N.H.

“I knew if we wrestled well, we could do this,” he said. “These guys have carried us this year and they did it again here. I’m proud of that they did and how they handled themselves.”

In the Class LL tournament, where every team had the opportunity to enter 14 wrestlers, Danbury was missing entrants in two weight classes. One wrestler left the team while Matthew Adam (182) broke his hand just before the FCIAC tournament. And in the Class LL meet, Marcus Joyner (195) got hurt on Friday and couldn’t continue. Meanwhile, Newtown was racking points pinning to build its lead. Even with five champions and eight medalists, it wasn’t enough for Danbury.

Things went better at the Open for the Hatters.

Jack had little trouble in the tournament, giving up two intentional escapes to Cannone in his four victories. He admitted it was nice to pick up this championship after the Class LL tournament. “There wasn’t too much pressure on us,” he said. “We knew what we had to do and we did our jobs.”

Bryant pitched shutouts in three of his four victories to earn his first Open championship. An escape with 1:31 left in the second period was the difference in his victory over Southington’s Zach Bylykbashi in the final. Bryant did a good job to tie up Bylybashi in the third period.

“Being my first time in the state finals, I was a little nervous,” Bryant admitted. “I’ve always dreamed of this since I was little.”

Freitas, a junior, had a solid 7-1 decision over Matthew Dowler of St. Bernard/Norwich Tech in the final at 106.

Garcia, also a junior, had a 5-1 decision over Class M champion Devon MarcAurele of Ledyard in the 170 pound final. A takedown with 32 seconds left in the second period gave Garcia a 3-0 lead. MarcAurele cut the lead to two with an escape midway through the third period but Garcia clinched the win with another takedown with 38 seconds remaining.

Four individual champions for Danbury was the most since the Hatters had four in 2004. The Hatters are the fourth team in state history with four Open champions in one tournament. The state record is five set by Greenwich (1965) and Conard (1968).

The following is a brief summary of action in other weight classes at the State Open. The top four wrestlers in each weight class qualify for this weekend's New England championship tournament in Providence.
n Bacon Academy's Howard Kilpatrick puts Hartford's Favion Williams on his back in the finals at 145 pounds. Kilpatrick won his second straight State Open title and was voted the tournament's outstanding wrestler.
Class LL champion Paulo Freitas of Danbury gave up just four points in the tournament and rolled to a 7-1 decision over Matthew Dowler, the Class M champion from St. Bernard/Norwich Tech.

Maloney’s Ryan Pantalena outdueled Southington’s Zach Murillo, 6-4 to finish third. Dowler beat Murillo in the semifinals, 9-2 and topped Pantalena in the quarterfinals, 15-4.

In a rematch of the Class L final, New Milford’s Kyle Linder (42-2) won for the second straight week with a pin in 4:49 over Timothy Kane of Fairfield Warde. A week ago, Linder prevailed, 11-7.

At the Open, Kane led 3-2 after one period thanks to a takedown with 37 seconds left in the period. Linder took a 4-3 lead with an early second period takedown only to see Kane escape and get a takedown with 18 seconds left to take a 6-4 lead.

In the third period, Kane chose to be down. Linder wanted to be on his feet so he intentionally let him escape to swell Kane’s lead to three, 7-4. But Linder got a takedown and got Kane into a cradle and pinned him with 1:14 remaining to win the championship.

Danbury’s Jeremy Fields took third on a medical default over Foran’s Jacob Pouliot. Fields, who lost to Kane 6-0 in the quarterfinals, won three straight consolation round bouts to take third.

Danbury’s Chris Bryant (33-4) used an escape with 1:31 left in the second period to beat Southington’s Zach Bylybashi in the final. The rest of the match, Bryant tied up the Southington grappler to control him and prevent him from scoring any points.

Class S champion Sebby Ruffino of Windham took third with a 2-1 decision over Simsbury’s Keith Penney.

Danbury’s Kevin Jack (39-1) won his third straight State Open title with an 11-2 win over Trumbull’s Cross Cannone. Jack beat Cannone a week earlier in the Class LL final, 14-3. The last man to bring home a third Open title was Danbury’s Charlie Costanzo in 2010. Jack had three pins in the tournament, including two under 43 seconds.

Cannone had a tight 2-0 decision over Class L champion Daniel Ebert of Fairfield Warde in the semifinals. Ebert took third with a medical default win over Montville’s Thomas Wynosky.

In a battle of two underclassmen, junior Conor Caffrey of South Windsor beat Nonnewaug sophomore Kieran Duggan, 6-4 in overtime. Duggan went in for a two-point takedown in overtime but Caffrey was able to deflect it, hold Duggan at bay and eventually get a two-point takedown for the win.

A takedown with 50 seconds left in the second period gave Duggan a 4-2 lead. In the third period, Duggan tried to ride out the period and nearly did it. But Caffrey got a two-point reversal with two seconds remaining in the third period to force OT.

Duggan (41-4) beat Immaculate/Joel Barlow’s Emmett LiCastri, 6-4 with a two-point reversal with one second to go. In the semifinals against Class LL champion James Leuci of Newtown, Leuci cut the lead to one in the third period but Duggan picked up a takedown to secure the win.
LiCasti pinned Leuci of Newtown in 3:30 to take third.

In a thrilling finish, Xavier senior Will Chowanec escaped with one second remaining to beat Montville’s Jacob Caskey, 3-2. “He wrestled a smart tournament,” Xavier coach Mike Cunningham said of Chowanec. “He has begun to wrestle smarter in the last two or three weeks. He knows what things not to do and what works for him.”

Chowanec (44-3) finished third here as a freshman and was fourth as a sophomore. The loss was the first of the season for Caskey (47-1), the Class S champion.

David Colvin of Old Saybrook/Westbrook, who was second in Class S a week ago, took third with a 10-3 win over Class L champion Ashton Gyenizs of Hand.

Bacon Academy’s Howard Kilpatrick is confident in throwing his opponent to the mat. He does it every day in practice to his teammates. So when Kilpatrick tried to throw Hartford’s Favion Williams to the mat, he landed on back twice and gave up two takedowns.

But he wasn’t deterred. He tried another throw with 10 seconds left in the second period and hit it to tie the match. In the third period, Kilpatrick threw Williams to his back and scored five points to clinch a 10-7 victory in the finals at 145 pounds.

It was the second straight State Open championship for the senior – a first in Bobcat wrestling history.

“He is at his best on his feet,” Bacon Academy’s first-year coach Sean Smith said. “He stays low and keeps his feet on the mat. People shoot in on him and he throws them. I’m proud of him. He worked his butt off all year.”

Kilpatrick, now 37-0, credited the practice with his teammates for his success throwing opponents to the mat. He knew Williams (38-2) would be coming after him in the third period.

“His speed is impressive,” Kilpatrick said. “I knew he would blast in on those double leg takedowns. It was now or never (on the throw).”
Class S champion Ryan Henderson nipped New Milford’s Brett Leonard, 4-3 to finish third.

Newtown’s Anthony Falbo is no ordinary freshman. Few freshmen start their wrestling career in the middle weights. And even fewer are successful against upperclassmen.

But Falbo (27-0) capped off an impressive rookie campaign with a dominating 7-3 win over South Windsor sophomore Max Odell. Falbo took a 2-0 lead on a second period reversal before Odell escaped.

Faldo intentionally let Odell escape to open the third period, tying the bout at 2-2. But within 20 seconds, he had a takedown and put Odell to his back to take command of the match.

“He never stops going,” Newtown head coach Chris Bray said. “He is always moving forward. No matter what the situation is, he is wrestling the same.”

Holy Cross senior Bryan Burnette (26-2) rebounded after a tough semifinal loss to Falbo to win two straight consolation round matches and finish third.

Burnette looked sharp in his first two wins but fell behind to Falbo in an 11-3 decision. But Burnette flattened Trumbull’s Stephen Briganti in 51 seconds and gutted out a tough 4-3 win over Newington’s Christian Zotti in the consolation final.

Tied at 2-2 in the third period against Zotti, Burnette got a quick two-point reversal to take a 4-2 lead. Zotti escaped about 30 seconds later but he couldn’t take down Burnette.

“He has been wrestling well on his feet, on top and the bottom,” Holy Cross coach Steve LaBranche said. “Outside of the Falbo match, he was aggressive with his takedowns and controlled the match.”
“You need to learn from your losses,” Burnette said. “You have to come back and get whatever you can.”

Windham’s Dakota Fleming wasn’t bothered with close decisions. He won four matches and his first State Open championship winning by a combined total of eight points. He beat Hand’s Ben Onofrio in the championship match, 3-1, building a three-point lead on a first period takedown and a second period escape.

Fleming outlasted Southington’s Alex Martin, 2-0 in the semifinals with a first period takedown and slipped past Trumbull’s Joseph Ryan in the quarterfinals, 3-2. Again, Fleming had the first takedown and built a 3-0 lead.

“There is no better feeling than winning the Open,” Fleming said. “I got the early takdown and did what I had to do to get it done. The early takedown was huge and riding is my forte.”

Fleming, one of five brothers to have wrestled for coach Pat Risley at Windham, is the only one to win a State Open title. “He worked hard and stayed focused,” Risley said. “It couldn’t have happened to a better kid.”

Oxford’s Steve Persson finished third with a 6-2 victory over Martin. Persson is the first wrestler from Oxford to qualify for the New England tournament. A two-time Class S champion, he finished second at 160 pounds in the Class S tournament two weeks ago losing to Fleming.

At the Open, Persson (37-4) won five straight consolation round matches to finish third. Persson’s only loss was a 9-7 loss in overtime to Masuk’s Otton Velez, 9-7. “Steve turned a page,” Oxford coach Ben Blue said. “He came back focused with the attitude that this was it. There were some close scrambles but he was in charge.”

Persson, an All-State tailback with the Oxford High football team owns the school record for career victories at 119.

Danbury’s Juan Garcia (37-6) looked sharp in winning his first State Open title, handing Ledyard’s Devon MarcAurele his first loss of the season, 5-1. Garcia picked up a takedown with 32 seconds left in the second period to take a 3-0 lead. He extended the lead to 5-1 with a takedown with 38 seconds remaining.

It was a strong tournament for Garcia, who had a pin and two major decisions in his other three Open matches.

MarcAurele (42-1) was pleased with his tournament. He had a 5-4 victory over Westhill’s Martin Chobyanvan in the quarterfinals thanks to an escape in the final seconds of the bout.

Bristol Central’s Ian Gonzalez, who was fifth in the Class L tournament, finished third with a 4-2 decision over Class L champion Dovydas Simanski of Farmington. Gonalaez went 7-1 in the tournament. His first loss on Friday was a two-point loss to Simanski, 8-6. After that, Gonzalez won six straight including a 2-1 decision over Cheshire’s Gabe Vega in the consolation round.

Junior Khamri Thomas is wearing a new singlet, representing a new team. But he is still as dominant on the mat. A year ago, he was a one-man team from Windsor Locks and won the State Open title at 160 pounds. This year, Thomas (36-1) is wrestling for the co-op team of Suffield, Windsor Locks and East Granby or ESW as it is displayed on the black and white singlet.

Thomas gave up just four points in the tournament. He beat Class LL champion Colin Cunningham of Xavier in the semifinals, 6-1 and beat Class S champion John D’Agostino of Nonnewaug in the finals, 7-2.
“I’m really aiming for a New England title,” Thomas said. “I’m working hard on that.”

D’Agostino was close to grabbing an early takedown and taking a two-point lead in his match with Thomas, the only person to beat D’Agostino this season. But it was Thomas who ended up with the takedown and it gave him control of the match that he eventually won, 7-2.

“The thing I liked (about D’Agostino’s match) was that he went and wrestled,” Nonnewaug coach David Green said. “He took a lot of shots (at takedowns) and was going all the time. We wanted to push the pace.”

D’Agostino (41-2) won some tough matches along the way. He was trailing in the third period of his semifinal bout with Class L champion Cody Carillo of Middletown but scored six straight points to secure a 8-3 decision. “That was gut-check match for him,” Green said. “It was something he had to do for himself and he did it.”

Middletown’s Cody Carillo finished third with a 4-0 decision over Cunningham.

All-State linebacker Zach Maxwell (30-1) became the first Southington wrestler to win back-to-back State Open titles with a dominating 7-3 decision over Simsbury’s Jacob Feldman. Maxwell led Simsbury’s Jacob Feldman by one point after one period but got a quick two-point reversal to seize command in the second period.

“He had a good tournament,” Southington coach Derek Dion said. “I would have liked him to be a little more aggressive in the final. When he opens up his offense and gets after it, he is impressive.”

Maxwell pinned Terryville’s Justin Pronovost in 40 seconds in the semifinals and outlasted Somers’ Adam Patsun in the quarterfinals, 4-2. Maxwell won his opening round bout with a 51 second pin.

Maxwell was fifth in New England a year ago. Dion and Maxwell have their eyes on a New England championship – which would be a first for Southington.

Patsun finished third with a 2-0 decision over Nonnewaug’s Albi Cekici, who beat Berkshire League rival Pronovost, 4-1 in the consolation semifinals to earn his ticket to the New England tournament.

In the past two weeks, Trumbull’s Andrew Marino hasn’t wilted under the lights of the big stage. After a disappointing loss in the Class LL quarterfinals, Marino won four in a row to take third. Marino has now won seven in a row after grabbing another four victories including a stunning 4-3 win over defending State Open and New England champion Andrew Cavanna of Glastonbury in three overtimes.

“It was something we knew he was capable of all the time,” Trumbull coach Nikko Filippakis said.

Cavanna tied the match at 1-1 with a third period escape. Neither scored in the first one-minute OT.

In the second OT, Marino took a 2-1 lead with an escape in the first 30 second session. In the second 30-second session, Cavanna took a 3-2 lead with a reversal with 11 seconds remaining but he couldn’t hold on. Marino escaped with five seconds left to force a third OT.

In the third OT, Marino chose down and escaped in 10 seconds to win the title. It was his first win in three tries this year against Cavanna, now 34-1.

Marino (42-4) earned a spot in the finals by pinning Xavier’s Chidiebere Broderick in 3:38

Class S champion Skylar Lang of Canton became the first wrestler from his school to earn a medal and a berth in the New England tournament since 2002 by finishing third. Lang (41-1) pinned Broderick in 2:00. Lang lost his first match of the season in the second round in a 5-2 loss to Marino.

After the loss, Lang had four straight pins to take third. Lang was 5-1 in the tournament with five pins.

Fairfield Warde’s Ahmed Hourani (39-0) took care of business and won his first State Open title by pinning Bristol Eastern’s Kyle Porter in 2:29. Hourani earned his 100th career win in the quarterfinals. Hourani had four pins in the tournament – two in less than a minute.

Simsbury’s Brad Helmkamp, the All-State linebacker for the Trojans, took third with a 3-1 decision over Class LL champion Nicholas Crowe of Fairfield Prep, 3-1.