2016 New England championships                       Complete brackets
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Tourney seeds
2016 New England seeds

2016 champions from other New England states

Media coverage

Waterbury Republican American, March 6: Duggan wins first New England championship

Danbury News Times, March 6: Southwest CT wrestlers do well at New England championships

Norwich Bulletin, March 6: Gonzalez wins first New England title for Ellis Tech

n  Above, Ellis Tech's Jo Jo Gonzalez has Dylan Dislano of Bishop Hendricken (Warwick RI) on his back in the 126 pound finals of  Saturday's New England championships. Below, Danbury's Jeremy Fields hangs onto New Fairfield's Avery Shay in the final at 138 pounds. Fields won in triple OT.
2016 New England championships
At Providence
Top 25 team scores -- 1. Bishop Hendricken-Warwick, RI 89; 2. Newtown 60½; 3. New Fairfield 58½; 4. Danbury 57; 5. New Milford 54½; 6. Fairfield Warde 53; 7. Skowhegan, ME 48; 8. Chelmsford, MA 44½; 9. Foran-Milford 43½; 10. Trumbull 42, 11. Killingly 37, 12. Nashoba Regional-Bolton MA 36½, 13. Mt. Anthony, Bennington, VT and South Windsor 36, 15. Haverhill MA and Timberlane NH 35, 17. Pinkerton Academy-Derry NH, Fairfield Ludlowe, Noble-North Berwick, ME and Shawsheen Valley Tech-Billerica, MA 31½; 21. Central Catholic, MA and Ellis Tech-Danielson 30; 23. St. John’s Prep-Danvers, MA 29 ½, 24. Dedham MA and Marshwood, ME 29.
Other Connecticut schools: 26. Nonnewaug 27, 30. Notre Dame-Fairfield 24, t36. Joel Barlow/Immaculate and Lyman Memorial/Windham Tech 18, t47. Berlin and E.O. Smith 16, t57. Fitch 15, t64. Somers 11, t71. Middletown 9, t 75. Windham 8, t82. Montville and Warren Harding 7, t89. Hand, Haddam-Killingworth, Tolland 5. No score: East Hartford, Ledyard, Portland, Simsbury
Individual results
106 pounds
Final: Jake Ferri (Shawsheen) dec. Cody Craig (Skowhegan), 8-5; 3. Andy Richard (Lincoln-Sudbury) dec. Robert Hartling (E.O. Smith), 6-5; 5. Jarod Kosman (Fitch) pin Jack Darling (Masconomet), 6:00
113 pounds
Final: Tristan Haviland (Trumbull) dec. Cole Wyman (Brockton), 3-2; 3. Jakob Camacho (Danbury) dec. Tristan Stetson (Keene), 8-4; 5. Nick Arborio (Berlin) win by medical forfeit over Devon Schoenberger (South Windsor)
120 pounds
Final: Peter Delgallo (Gardiner) dec. Connor McGonagle (Timberlane), 7-2; 3. Austin Shorey (Noble) dec. Alec Opsal (New Fairfield), 5-2; 5. Mel Ortiz (New Milford) win by medical forfeit over Chris Derosa (Billerica)
126 pounds
Final: Jo Jo Gonzalez (Ellis Tech) pin Dylan Disano (Bishop Hendricken), 4:18; 3. Matt Kelley (Foxboro) dec. Austin Sherman (Fairfield Ludlowe), 3-1; 5. Billy Wehring (Methuen) dec. Seth Brown (Coventry RI), 5-1
132 pounds
Final: Timmy Kane (Fairfield Warde) dec. Ryan Luth (Foran), 8-4; 3. Bradley Beaulieau (Marshwood) dec. Abe Bloom (Moses Brown), 5-2; 5. Jonathan Celico (Bishop Hendricken) pin Kevin Thomas (Natick), 4:08
138 pounds
Final: Jeremy Fields (Danbury) dec. Avery Shay (New Fairfield), 3-2, 3 OT; 3. Devin Rivet (Bishop Hendricken) dec. Jonathan Soto (Johnston), 4-3; 5. Tyler Raetz (Mt. Anthony) dec. Jordan Baker (Middletown CT), 4-3
145 pounds
Final: Charles Kane (Fairfield Warde) dec. Lucas Cordio (Nashoba Regional), 5-4; 3. Michael Ross (Foran) dec. Julian Jerez (Woonsocket), 3-2; 5. Bryan Rojas (New Milford) dec. Zach Allen (Mill River), 5-3
152 pounds
Final: Kieran Duggan (Nonnewaug) dec. Davey Goodall (Chelmsford), 9-4; 3. Emmett LiCastri (Joel Barlow/Immaculate) dec. John Stawinski (Essex), 3-0; 5. Ronan Ball (Nashoba Regional) pin Marcus Sherrod (Fairfield Ludlowe), 0:36
160 pounds
Final: Brett Leonard (New Milford) dec. Andrew D'Amico (New Fairfield), 3-1; 3. Anthony Fraumeni (Winchester) dec. Kameron Doucette (Skowhegan), 4-3; 5. Devin Pelletier (Mount Greylock) win by medical forfeit over Austin Cooley (Somerset)
170 pounds
Final: Eric Reyes (Dedham) pin Max Odell (South Windsor), 2:46; 3. Joe Accousti (Newtown) dec. Robert Heatherman (Mt Ararat/Brunswick), 6-4; 5. Kyle McQuaide (Chelmsford) dec. Kolby Smith (Sabis), 4-2
182 pounds
Final: Anthony Falbo (Newtown) dec. Austin Caffrey (Killingly), 3-2; 3. James Sauro (Bishop Hendricken) dec. Sam Lundsten (East Providence), 5-3; 5. Mitchell LaFlam (Lyman/Windham) dec. Brandon Cousino (Vergennes), 5-3
195 pounds
Final: Dylan Barreiro (Pinkerton) dec. Benton Whitley (Minnechaug), 8-2; 3. Christopher Wilson (Nokomis) dec. Nathan Skawinski (Cumberland), 6-1; 5. Mark Gentile (Scituate) dec. Dakota King (Mt. Anthony), 6-0
220 pounds
Final: Tylor Fenwick (Central) dec. Lucien Chretien (Haverhill), 10-5; 3. Nicholas Martino (Bishop Hendricken) dec. Dan Gioioso (Xaverian), 3-1; 5. Broc Dokos (Tewksbury) pin Michael Pendriss (Foxcroft Academy), 2:36
285 pounds
Final: Hakim Fleming (Notre Dame-Fairfield) dec. Josh Sokol (Hopkinton), 3-1, OT; 3. Jay Carnevale (St. Johns Prep) pin Josh Angel (Killingly), 3:22; 5. Brennan Sankey (North Attleboro) dec. Bobby Heald (Bedford), 1-0
Outstanding final: 285 pounds
Outstanding wrestler: Peter Delgallo (120), Gardiner, Maine
2016 Brackets at Flo Arena
Nine Connecticut wrestlers win New England titles

Connecticut Wrestling Online
PROVIDENCE, R.I., Feb. 5 – Connecticut has been competing at the New England wrestling championships for nearly 30 years since 1987. The Nutmeg state has never had a tournament like they had Saturday in Providence.

Connecticut had a record nine wrestlers win New England championships and five of the top six teams were from Connecticut in a dominating performance.

“We dominated,” Danbury High coach Ricky Shook said. “All of my buddies were teasing me that we didn’t win the (State) Open. I told them Connecticut was tough. I knew we (as a state) would do just fine. Fourteen finalists is pretty dominant to me. I’m proud of the Connecticut guys. It’s awesome.”

Connecticut had 14 finalists in 10 of 14 weight classes. Four championship finals consisted of two Connecticut wrestlers.

Fairfield Warde’s Charles Kane (145) became the tenth wrestler in state history to win two New England titles and he was joined on the victory podium by his younger brother, Tim, who won his first New England title at 132 pounds. It’s the first time that two Connecticut brothers have won a New England championship on the same day.

Trumbull’s Tristian Haviland won a title at 113 pounds while Ellis Tech’s Jo Jo Gonzalez continued his dominant post-season by winning at 126 pounds. Danbury’s Jeremy Fields beat New Fairfield’s Avery Shea in triple overtime to win at 138 pounds while Nonnewaug’s Kieran Duggan (152) became the first wrestler in Berkshire League history to capture a New England championship.

New Milford’s Brett Leonard (160) outlasted rival Andrew D’Amico of New Fairfield to win at 160 pounds while Newtown’s Anthony Falbo (182) outdueled Killingly’s Austin Caffrey to capture his first New England championship. At 285, Hakim Fleming won a New England championship in just his second year of wrestling.

The previous record for most champions from Connecticut was seven in 1990 and 1992 – nearly a quarter century ago.

There was no dominant team at the tournament but Bishop Hendricken of Warwick, R.I., had enough to win their second New England championship with 89 points. Newtown was second for the second consecutive year with 60½ points followed by New Fairfield (58½), Danbury (57), New Milford (54½) and Fairfield Warde (53). Foran was ninth with 43½ points and Trumbull was tenth (42).

The Hawks had eight wrestlers in the tournament and had five wrestlers win medals. Dylan Disano (120) was second while Jon Celico (132), Devin Rivet (138), James Sauro (182) and Nicholas Martino (220) each finished third.

It was the first New England title for Bishop Hendricken since 1976 and the first New England championship for a school from Rhode Island since 1989 when Coventry, Rhode Island won the second of back-to-back New England titles.

For New Fairfield, it was their best-ever finish, topping a fourth place finish in 1998. It was the first-ever top 10 finish for New Milford and Foran.

E.O. Smith junior Robert Hartling gave up a pair of takedowns in the third period to eventual New England champion Jake Ferri of Shawsheen Valley Tech in Billerica, Mass., in a 7-4 semifinal loss. Ferri, the Massachusetts champion, won his first New England title with a 8-5 win over Maine champion Cody Craig of Skowheagan. Ferri was slowed by pneumonia and practiced just once last week. “I still had fluid in my lungs, still could barely breathe,” Ferri told the Boston Globe.

Hartling (43-2) beat Fitch sophomore Jared Kosman in the consolation semifinals, 2-1 thanks to a stalling call with seven seconds remaining to advance to the consolation final. But Hartling fell to Andy Richard of Lincoln-Sudbury, Mass., 6-5, to finish fourth when Richard snapped a 4-4 tie with a takedown with 58 seconds left in the third period.

Kosman (44-8) went 4-2 in the tournament to finish fifth.
All four Connecticut wrestlers finished in the top six and won medals at 113. A week ago, Trumbull junior Tristen Haviland lost his chance to face South Windsor’s Devon Schoenberger after a 1-0 loss to Foran’s Gino Esposito in the quarterfinals. At the New England tournament, Haviland got that chance and got a key reversal with 45 seconds remaining to beat Schoenberger in the semifinals.

In the championship match, Haviland took a 2-0 lead on Massachusetts champion Cole Wyman of Brockton with a first period takedown. Wyman tied the match at 2-2 with a reversal with 1:19 remaining in the third period but Haviland escaped less than 10 seconds later to take a 3-2 lead.

Haviland (40-5) kept Wyman at bay for the last minute of the match to win the championship. “He has had a great year,” Trumbull coach Niko Filippakis said. “He’s a mat rat. He deserves all of the credit. He’s a tremendously hard worker and it paid off.”

Danbury sophomore Jakob Camacho finished third, rebounding from a tough 9-7 loss in overtime in the semifinals to Wyman. Camacho had a five-point lead in the third period but tried to do a throw and Wyman took advantage with a reversal and three-point near fall to tie the match with 1:17 left. Wyman got a takedown with six seconds left in overtime to advance to the final.

Meanwhile, Camacho (44-3) rallied with a pair of solid wins in the consolation final including an 8-4 win over New Hampshire champion Tristan Stetson of Keene to finish third. Camacho beat Berlin’s Nick Arborio in the consolation semifinals, 11-6.

Arborio (40-6) took fifth when Schoenberger had to forfeit. Schonberger (43-2) got hurt in his 5-3 semifinal loss to and didn’t return to the mat.

Peter Del Gallo, a senior from Gardiner, Maine, won his second New England championship with a 7-2 win over Connor McGonagle of Timberlane, N.H. Del Gallo won his first New England title as a freshman in 2013. Del Gallo, the tournament's outstanding wrestler, gave up just two points in four matches.

In the semifinals, Del Gallo beat Connecticut champion Alex Opsal of New Fairfield, 4-0. Del Gallo also beat Lyman Memorial/Windham Tech’s Alex Starr on Friday night, 9-0.

Opsal (44-4) beat New Milford’s Mel Ortiz, 3-0 in the consolation semifinal before dropping a 5-2 decision to Maine’s Austin Shorey to finish fourth.

Ortiz lost 2-0 in the quarterfinals in overtime to McGonagle and earned a pair of hard-fought victories in the consolation round to medal. He beat Rhode Island champion Christian Hussey of East Providence, 2-0 with a third period reversal and outlasted Starr, 2-1 to get into the medal round. Ortiz finished fifth with a medical forfeit because Massachusetts champion Chris Derosa of Billerica couldn’t compete.

Ellis Tech junior Baltazar Gonzalez has been hard to stop in the postseason. Gonzalez, known as Jo Jo by his teammates and fans, didn’t allow an offensive point in four victories to win the State Open championship a week ago.

It wasn’t much different at the New England championships. He went 4-0 with two pins, including a pin of Rhode Island champion Dylan Disano of Bishop Hendricken in 4:18 to win his first New England championship. Gonzalez improves to 49-0.

Gonzalez nearly got Disano in a headlock in the first period. In the second period, he threw Disano and got him on his back. “He has all kinds of stuff in his bag of tricks,” Ellis Tech coach Rafael Calixto said. “He is very good on his feel and has a lot in his arsenal.”

Gonzalez had 18 takedowns in his four matches. He gave up just one takedown late in his first round match, a 15-5 victory.

“This is a dream come true for him,” Calixto said. “Since he was four or five, he has been talking about this, winning a New England championship. It’s nice to see all of his hard work pay off.”

Fairfield Ludlowe’s Austin Sherman finished fourth. After winning his opening match on Friday night over Keith Gordon of Springfield Central, 4-3, Disano beat Sherman, 3-2 in the second round with a third period escape. In the consolation round, Sherman won five straight bouts before falling to Massachusetts champion Matt Kelley of Foxboro, 3-1 in the consolation final.

In a rematch of the State Open quarterfinal, Fairfield Warde’s Tim Kane fought off his back and earned a hard-fought 8-4 decision over Foran’s Ryan Luth. Kane (46-0) had a 5-1 lead after two periods but Luth was able to get a cradle in and put Kane to his back early in the third period cut the lead to one, 5-4.

Kane was able to escape to increase his lead to two, 6-4 and secured the New England championship with a takedown with three seconds remaining. “Tim started of strong, relaxed a bit and got hit with the cradle,” Warde coach Jason Shaughnessy said. “When it came to the end of the match, he knew what he had to do to win.”

On the way to the final, Kane beat New Hampshire champion Shayne McCann of Pinkerton Academy, 3-0 in the quarterfinals with a second period escape and takedown.

Luth, a sophomore who was third at the State Open, turned in a strong performance beating three state champions to get to the championship match.

He beat Massachusetts champion Griffin Murray of Chelmsford, 3-0 in the second round with a second period escape and takedown. In the quarterfinals, Luth beat Maine state champion Brad Beaulieau of Marshwood, 4-2 in overtime. Luth’s takedown with 1:07 left in the third period tied the match and he won it with a takedown with 31 seconds gone in overtime.

In the semifinals, Luth beat Rhode Island champion Abe Bloom of Moses Brown, 6-3. Tied 3-3 after two periods, Luth took a 4-3 lead on a penalty and secured the win with a takedown with 20 seconds remaining. Luth finishes the year with a record of 55-4.

For the second straight week, Danbury senior Jeremy Fields met New Fairfield junior Avery Shea in the championship match. At the State Open, Shea got a takedown after a scramble in overtime to help the Rebels secure their first-ever State Open championship

“They’re dead even with each other. Neither one can get takedowns against each other,” Danbury coach Ricky Shook said. “Jeremy had some big goals and Shea is the only guy in his way in New England.

The two battled to a 1-1 tie after regulation and through the first one minute overtime period. In the second overtime, Shea escaped with three seconds left to take a 2-1 lead. But Fields escaped with 25 seconds remaining in his 30-second session to tie the match at 2-2.

In the third, 30-second overtime, Fields (40-5) was able to ride out Shea (42-2) to secure the championship.

It was Field’s second OT win of the tournament. In the quarterfinals, he beat David Ellis-Reich of Sharon, Mass., 3-1 thanks to a takedown with 11 seconds left in OT. In his first match of the tournament, Fields beat Jonathan Soto of Johnstown, Rhode Island, 4-3 thanks to a takedown with 22 seconds left in the match.

Shea did beat Rhode Island champion Devin Rivet of Bishop Hendricken in the semifinals, 9-3.

Middletown’s Jordan Baker had three takedowns and beat Maine state champion Peyton Cole in the second round, 7-5 before falling to Vermont champion Tyler Raetz of Mt. Anthony in the quarterfinals, 8-2. Still, Baker (36-7) wrestled tough the remainder of the tournament with another two wins to finish sixth.

It wasn’t pretty but it got the job done. Fairfield Warde’s Charles Kane joined an elite group of Connecticut wrestlers to win multiple New England championships with a 5-4 decision over Lucas Cordio of Nashoba Regional High in Bolton, Mass. Kane is one of 11 wrestlers in state history to win two or more New England championships.

Kane (34-0) and his brother Tim are the first Connecticut brothers to win New England titles on the same day. The last time brothers won New England titles together was in 2013 when Christian LaBrie and Andrew LaBrie of Exeter/West Greenwich, Rhode Island won.

Kane took a 4-2 lead after two periods with a pair of takedowns. He came close to getting back points with a cradle in the second period but couldn’t do it. However, Cordio tied the match at 4-4 but exposing Kane’s back to the mat early in the third period.

Kane escaped with 1:27 remaining to take a 5-4 lead and was able to hold Cordio at bay.

It wasn’t an easy tournament for Kane, who pinned his first opponent. Kane outlasted Massachusetts state champion Ryan Monteiro of Minnechaug, 5-2 in the quarterfinals, securing the win in a one-point match with a takedown with 27 seconds remaining.

In the semifinals, Kane beat Rhode Island champion Julian Jerez of Woonsocket, 6-3. Tied 2-2 after two periods, Kane took a one-point lead due to a penalty and extended it to three with a reversal with 1:17 remaining.

Fairfield Warde coach Jason Shaughnessy said the pressure didn’t faze either Kane brother. Both wrestled at the Fargo national tournament this summer in North Dakota and the National High School Coaches Association tournaments in Virginia in April.

“They wrestle high-level tournaments against high-level kids so this (New England) tournament isn’t a shock to them,” he said. “And their goals are New England-based goals. They pace themselves throughout the season to be New England champions. Some kids want to be a LL champion or state champion. If you want to achieve at this level, you have to have goals that are New England-based.”

Kane hasn’t lost a high school match in New England since his freshman year. He missed his sophomore year due to an injury and went 48-0 as a junior.

Foran’s Michael Ross finished third at 145, winning seven matches. Ross (51-4) finished third at last week’s State Open. He won his opening round match pinning Colin Boutin of Hanover, Mass., in 3:48 but then lost to New Hampshire champion Wayne Nollette of Nashua North, 6-4 in overtime.

In the consolation bracket, he won six straight with a pin, a tech fall, a pair of two-point decisions and a pair of one-point decisions. Ross beat New Milford’s Bryan Rojas in the consolation semifinals, 4-3 thanks to an escape with 42 seconds remaining.

In the consolation final, Ross beat Rhode Island champion Julian Jerez, 3-2. New Milford’s Rojas went 4-2 and finished fifth with a 5-3 decision over Vermont champion Zach Allen of Mill River.

A three-time Class S champion and two-time State Open finalists, Nonnewaug’s Kieran Duggan was considered a contender to win the State Open this year. And then in his first match at the State Open, he was pinned in the first period by Wolcott Tech’s Anton Dzeidzic.

“He was devastated, obviously,” Nonnewaug coach David Green said. “But I believe in his heart of hearts, he knew he was one of the best and wanted to prove that.” So Duggan got to work. He won six straight consolation round matches – including a rematch with Dzeidzic – to finish third and earn a berth to the New England championships.

At the New England tournament, he twice rallied from early first period deficits to earn a spot in the final. There, he beat Davey Goodall of Chelmsford, Mass., 9-4 to become the first Berkshire League wrestler to bring home a New England championship.

“It’s awesome,” Green said. “There was some great scrambling (against Goodall) but (Kieran) stayed composed as he has the entire tournament. He finished when he needed to. He escaped when he needed to. He rode them out when he needed to. He was just outstanding.”

Duggan (46-4) led Goodall, 2-1, after one period. He escaped early in the second period to take a 3-1 lead and extended it to 5-1 with a two-point takedown with 51 seconds left in the second period. He picked up another two takedowns in the third period to keep control of the match and win the championship. “It’s amazing,” Duggan said. “It almost makes it (loss at the State Open) feel better.”

Duggan’s composure helped him get to the New England final. After winning his first match by pin, Duggan handed Massachusetts champion Brandon Desfosses of Central Catholic in Lawrence, Mass., his first loss of the season after 43 matches with a 4-2 decision.

Desfosses got the first takedown to take a 2-0 lead but Duggan escaped four seconds later to cut the lead to one. In the second period, Desfosses intentionally let Duggan escape, tying the match at 2-2. With 1:14 left in the second period, Duggan got a takedown to take a 4-2 lead. Duggan rode out Desfosses in the third period to secure the win.

In the semifinals, Duggan faced Fairfield Ludlowe’s Marcus Sherrod and gave up two takedowns in the first period. Duggan trailed, 4-2 after one period. Duggan took a 5-4 lead in the second period with an escape and takedown. In the third period, he extended the lead to 7-4 with an early takedown. He clinched a 9-6 win with a takedown with two seconds remaining.

“I just wrestled to the best of my ability,” Duggan said. “I can’t do much more than that.” Duggan beat the top two wrestlers from Massachusetts to win the title. Goodall lost to Defosses in the final of the Massachusetts All-State tournament a week ago, 7-1.

Emmett LiCastri of Joel Barlow/Immaculate lost his second round match to Ronan Ball of Nashoba Valley Regional, 11-4 but won four straight matches in the consolation round to finish third with a 3-0 win over Vermont champion John Stawinski of Essex.

LiCastri (51-1) outlasted Sherrod, 1-0 thanks to a second period escape and also beat Haddam-Killingworth’s Greg Adler, 8-7. Sherrod (39-6) advanced as far as the semifinals and finished sixth.

For the sixth time this season, New Milford’s Brett Leonard and New Fairfield’s Andrew D’Amico met on the mat in the championship match of the New England tournament. Leonard won the first four meetings including a match in the SWC Tournament. But D’Amico got a big win in the semifinals at the State Open to help the Rebels win their first-ever State Open championship.

D’Amico took a 1-0 lead in the title bout with an escape with eight seconds left in the second period. Leonard (49-4) tied the match with an escape of his own early in the third period. He took the lead for good with a takedown with 1:04 remaining.

Leonard was much healthier this week. A week ago, he was ill but wrestled anyways. He finished fourth to secure his invitation to the New England tournament. Leonard went 5-0 with wins over Maine champion Trent Goodman of Ellsworth, 11-8 and Rhode Island champion Christopher Francis of LaSalle, 11-4. In the semifinal, Leonard beat Austin Cooley of Somerset, Mass., 9-2.

D’Amico (36-6) wrestled well with a win over New Hampshire state champion Cam Altobelli of TImberlane, 6-4 in the quarterfinals thanks to an escape with seven seconds left in the second period and a reversal with 32 seconds left in the match. D’Amico also survived a tough 8-6 semifinal win over Kameron Doucette of Skowhegan, Maine.

South Windsor’s Max Odell was looking for his first New England championship and wrestled well up into the final. He had two pins, including one over Maine champion Robert Heatheran of Mt. Ararat/Brunswick and a 5-1 decision over New Hampshire champion Stephan Nix of Newport.

But Odell (35-1) had no answers for Massachusetts champion Eric Reyes of Dedham. Reyes took a 5-1 lead after one period with a takedown and near fall. Reyes, who won a New England title as a sophomore, finished it off in the second period with a pin.

Reyes was pushed in his semifinal bout with Newtown’s Joe Accousti, prevailing 5-4 in double overtime with an escape.

After the tough loss to Reyes, Accousti (50-4) closed out the tournament with two victories to finish third. Accousti beat Chelmsford’s Kyle McQuaide, 3-1 in the consolation semifinal and beat Heatherman, 6-4 in the consolation final.

Newtown’s Anthony Falbo won a national championship last spring at the National High School Coaches Association tournament at Virginia Beach. But he needed a pair of one-point decisions to win his first New England championship.

Falbo (50-0) beat Vermont champion Brandon Cousino of Vergennes, 3-2 in the semifinals and in the championship match, Falbo beat Killingly’s Austin Caffrey, 3-2. Tied at 1-1 in the third period, Falbo got a takedown with 25 seconds remaining successfully countering a shot attempt from Caffrey.

“I had a lot of tough matches today,” Falbo said. “I knew it would come down to how much work I have put into this. The hard work has paid off, I felt dominant. This is one that I really wanted.”

Falbo beat Caffrey at the State Open a week earlier, 6-4. “Last week, I shot too many times. This week, I was waiting for the right opening.”

Caffrey (43-2) lost just twice this year – to Falbo. He beat the Maine state champion Justin Stacy of Marshwood, 5-2 and dominated the Massachusetts champion Malik Settles of Lowell in the quarterfinals, 21-10. In the semifinals, Caffrey beat Lyman Memorial/Windham Tech’s Mitchell LaFlam, 5-2.

LaFlam upset New Hampshire champion George Tarwo in the quarterfinals, 6-4 in overtime. LaFlam finished fifth with a 5-3 win over Cousino.

New Hampshire champion Dylan Barreiro of Pinkerton Academy won the New England title with an 8-2 win over Bradnon Whitley, the Massachusetts champion from the western Massachusetts town of Minnechaug.
Harding’s Xavier Bass went 4-2 in the tournament with three wins in the consolation bracket including an overtime pin of Danbury’s Andrew Marquis.

Rhode Island champion Tylor Fenwick of Providence Central High beat Lucien Chretien of Haverhill, Mass., 10-5 to win the New England title. Windham’s Seiji Arzuaga was the top Connecticut wrestler in the weight class, going 2-2.

Hakim Fleming is a two-time All-State running back and linebacker for Notre Dame-Fairfield. He rushed for over 1,250 yards and 12 TDs as a junior and 1,138 yards and nine TDs as a senior. Defensively, he has over 200 tackles in his career. Notre Dame began a wrestling program his junior year so he joined to keep in shape.

He’s not the biggest fan of wrestling but he likes to win. Fleming earned his 44th win of the season by capturing his first New England championship with a 3-1, OT win over Josh Sokol of Hopkinton, Mass. Fleming (44-1) nearly won the match at the end of regulation with a tackle and takedown but it came too late.

Fleming just got the takedown in overtime instead. “I didn’t want to take a risk so I went for it with a little bit of time left. You have to take what your opponent gives you,” he said. “I just used my power.”

Fleming beat the Massachusetts champion Jay Carnevale of St. John’s Prep in the quarterfinals and outlasted Killingly’s Josh Angel in the semifinals, 2-1 in triple OT. “I’m shocked,” he said. “This is tough competition out here.”

Has wrestling helped in your football career? “Oh yes,” he said. “It has helped my hips and everything.”

Angel is also a football player at Killingly High. A year ago, he was on the basketball team but it didn’t appeal to him. But because he had played in a game, he couldn’t join the wrestling team. Angel (44-6) joined this year and done a superb job for a first-year wrestler, finishing fourth in New England and beating three state champions in the process.

Angel beat Vermont state champion Dalton Hallock of Mt. Mansfield, 13-6 and then upset Rhode Island champion Hunter Glidden of Nokomis, 5-4 in the quarterfinals. In the consolation semifinals, he beat New Hampshire champion Bobby Heald of Bedford, 3-1 in OT. Carnevale pinned Angel in 3:22 in the consolation final.