State wrestlers win world titles again
SARAJEVO, Bosnia, Oct. 1 -- Two Connecticut wrestlers have won gold medals at the Veterans World Wrestling Championships. Former Stafford High coach Shirzard Ahmadi of Coventry won an American record ninth world championship taking the gold medal in men’s freestyle in Division E (ages 61-65), 63 kilograms (139 pounds). Also winning a gold medal in freestyle was Steven Turgeon o Southington at 56 kg (127 pounds) in Division D (ages 56-60). Both men won for the second straight year.
Jack wins another Super 32 medal
GREENSBORO, N.C., Oct. 27 -- Danbury’s Kevin Jack became the first Connecticut wrestler to ever win two medals at the Super 32 preseason national wrestling tournament. Jack finished sixth at 126 pounds. Last fall, he was sixth at 120 pounds.
The two-day tournament features some of the top high school wrestlers in the nation. Nineteen wrestlers from Connecticut competed in the tournament and 10 won at least two matches.
Jack was the top state wrestler, going 6-3 in the event. He dropped an 8-4 decision to Dylan Lucas of Florida, a three-state champion to finish sixth. Jack lost to No. 67 Zeke Moisey of Pennsylvania, 5-4 in the consolation semifinals. But he beat NHSCA Junior National runnerup Anthony Tutolo of Ohio, 4-2 in his second consolation round bout.
Jack won four in a row to earn a berth in the quarterfinals. He came back from a 3-0 deficit to beat Anthony Vazaquez of Florida in the third round to win by pin in 3:12. In the quarterfinals, Jack got a third period reversal to beat Trae Blackwell of Kentucky, 2-0.
Fairfield Warde’s Tim Kane (113) went 4-2 while Nonnewaug’s John D’Agostino (182) went 3-2 in the tournament. Neither came home with a medal. Trumbull’s Cross Cannone (126), Glastonbury’s Joey Rossetti (113), New Milford’s Kyle Linder (113), Danbury’s Juan Garcia (170), Lyman Memorial’s Jonah Sweet (160), Montville’s Jacob Caskey and Mason Ramrarose (132) each went 2-2. Windham High’s Martin Jacob (113) went 2-3.
Murillo, Cowell finish 2nd at nationals in Fargo
FARGO, N.D., July 20 – Two Connecticut wrestlers finished second at the USA Wrestling national championship meet in Fargo, North Dakota. Southington’s Zac Murillo finished second in the Cadet freestyle (ages 15-16) competition at 88 pounds while Hotchkiss School-Lakeville wrestler Angus Cowell (220) finished second in the Junior freestyle (ages 17-18) competition.
In a rematch of the Northeast Regional final, Pennsylvania’s Gavin Teasdale beat Murillo to win the Cadet freestyle national championship on Friday. Teasdale handed Murillo his first loss with a 14-4 decision. Teasdale also won the Northeast Regional.
Murillo, who went 21-14 and was sixth in Class LL at 106 for Southington High this past winter, won his first six matches of the freestyle tournament. He didn’t give up a point in his first four matches. He beat Montana’s Brayden Schwalbe in the semifinals, 13-2 and South Dakota’s Brawley Lamar in the quarterfinals, 14-6. This fall, Murillo will be a junior at Southington.
Cowell wrestled at Hotchkiss in Lakeville this past winter and won a New England championship. He captured the Canadian Junior Greco-Roman national title in April. At Fargo, Cowell went 9-1 with four wins by technical fall (10 points or better) and two pins. He beat Illinois’ Derrick Maisonet, 5-3 to earn a spot in the final. Utah’s Roy Nash, the defending freestyle champion, beat Cowell, 11-0 in the championship match. Cowell will be a senior this fall at Hotchkiss.
Guzzio to be inducted in
Hand High Hall of Fame
Former All-American wrestler Jim Guzzio was among the men and women who will be inducted into the first class of the Hand High Athletic Hall of Fame on Sept. 13, at Madison Beach Hotel Wharf Restaurant.
CT chapter of HOF awards two scholarships
The Connecticut chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame awarded $500 scholarships to two deserving athletes who will be continuing their education in college this fall. Xavier’s Elliott Antler has been awarded the Career Achievement scholarship while Danbury’s Zack Tepper has been awarded the Scholar Athlete award.
Former Berlin High wrestler, coach dies in auto accident
BERLIN, Aug. 6 -- C.J. McCormack, a two-time State Open finalist and former co-head coach at Berlin High, has died from injuries he received in a car accident on Tuesday, Aug. 6.
McCormack had an outstanding wrestling career at Berlin High before graduating in 2003. He was second at the State Open as a senior at 135 pounds in 2003 and as a sophomore at 112 in 2001. McCormack was second in New England at 112 as a sophomore and sixth at 135 as a senior. He was a two-time Northwest Conference champion and finished second in Class L twice.
He continued his wrestling career at Roger Williams, where he was a two-year captain, an All-New England wrestler and an Academic All-American in 2006. He graduated in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. He served as an assistant coach at Roger Williams for three years from 2007-10.
In 2011, McCormack and David Tremblay served as co-coaches for the Berlin High program. The Redcoats finished 17-6 and second in the CCC South with a 5-1 record.
Calling hours are Friday, Aug. 9, from 4-7 p.m. at Farrell Funeral Home at 110 Franklin Square in New Britain. Services are Saturday, Aug. 10, at St. Paul’s Church, 485 Alling Street in Berlin beginning at 11:30 a.m.
Eleven state wrestlers earn medals at MAWA Eastern Nationals
SALISBURY, Md., May 5 -- Eleven Connecticut wrestlers finished among the top eight at the recent Middle Atlantic Wrestling Association’s (MAWA) Eastern National wrestling tournament. Ashford’s Sean Johnson (75 pounds, Intermediate) won his weight class along with Newtown’s Anthony Falbo (136, Intermediate) and Wallingford’s Connor Dintino (285, Elite). New Milford’s Halim Bourjeili (111, Elite) finished second while New Milford’s Javon Priar (86, Junior) finished third.
Other state wrestlers winning medals included Somers’ Jackson Rheault (150, Intermediate) who took fourth, Oakdale’s Jacob Caskey (140, Elite), who finished fifth, New Milford’s Zachary Arnold (140, Advanced), Madison’s Justin Elias (150, Open) and Plainville’s Mario Acca (177, Open) who finished seventh and Danbury’s Jakob Camacho (85, Intermediate), who finished eighth.
Two CT wrestlers win medals at Ohio tournament
COLUMBUS, OH, April 20 – Two Connecticut wrestlers won medals Saturday at the Ohio Tournament of Champions.
Pomfret native R.J. LaBeef went 3-1 in the Open Division at 155 pounds, losing in the finals to Craig Becker, an assistant coach at North Central College and a former three NCAA Division II All-American at Wisconsin-Parkside. LaBeef is a freshman at Cleveland State.
At 220 pounds in the Open Division, former Bacon Academy wrestler Aren Norman finished third with a 3-1 record. His only loss was a 2-0 defeat to eventual winner Joe Brandt, an Division II All-American sophomore from Ashland University. Norman is a sophomore at Tiffin University in Ohio.
Six state men inducted into National Wrestling Hall of Fame
LEDYARD, April 20 -- In front of 500 people, six Connecticut men were recognized at the MGM Grand Hotel at Foxwoods for their accomplishments in wrestling with inductions into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame by the Connecticut chapter of the HOF. The men 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 in Southington
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
Chaco, Chaves, DeStefanis, Nasser and Shook received a Lifetime Achievement award for coaches, officials, media or contributors with at least 20 years of service. Kapacziewski is being honored with a Medal of Courage, an award for a wrestler or former wrestler who has overcome insurmountable challenges.
Each recipient will be permanently recognized in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame (Stillwater, Oklahoma) with an embossed name plaque, They also received a plaque and jacket. These six joined 29 other inductees from Connecticut in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Perry wins 2 matches at NCAA Div. I tourney
DES MOINES, IA – The only Connecticut wrestler in the 2013 NCAA Division I wrestling tournament won two matches before getting eliminated. Middletown High graduate Richard Perry wrestled at 197 pounds for Bloomsburg University and went 2-2. Perry (30-6) opened his tournament with a 7-5 win in OT over Army’s Bryce Barnes. Trailing by one in the third period. Barnes got a takedown to take a 1-point lead but Perry was awarded a point for riding time to send the bout into OT.
In the second round, Perry faced No. 3 seed Matthew Wilps of Pittsburgh in a rematch of the Eastern Wrestling League final won by Wilps. The match was scoreless in the second period when Wilps escaped. Perry went for a leg but Wilps countered and turned it into a takedown for a 3-0 lead. Another three back points gave Wilps a 6-0 lead and he went onto a 9-1 decision.
In the consolation round, Perry beat Caleb Kolb of Nebraska, 7-3 with a takedown in each of the three periods and a point for riding. But Perry’s tournament ended with a tough 4-3 loss to No. 6 seed Kyven Gadson of Iowa State. Gadson took a 2-0 lead with a first period takedown and extended his lead to 3-1 with a second period escape. Perry’s takedown late in the second period tied the bout at 3-3. But Gadson received a bonus point for more than one minute of riding time to get the win.
Perry lost to a pair of All-Americans. Wilps finished third while Gadson finished sixth.
Saturday, March 9
Coutu finishes third at NCAA Division II meet
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama, March 9 – Former Griswold High wrestler Brock Coutu, a junior at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, earned All-American honors by finishing third at the NCAA Division II national championship tournament Saturday.
Coutu (23-10) beat No. 5 ranked Maurice Miller of Notre Dame-Ohio twice to finish third at 141 pounds. Coutu advanced to the semifinals with a 3-2 win over Dave Cawley of Pitt-Johnston and a 7-6 decision over Miller in the quarterfinals. Ryan Fillingham of Adams State beat Coutu, 6-4 to go to the championship match.
But Coutu remained strong with an 8-0 win over Michael Hamel of Grand Canyon and rallying for a big 8-6 win over Miller in the consolation final. Trailing 4-1 early, Coutu dominated the rest of the way with nearly three minutes of riding time to earn the victory.
No 3 Nebraska-Kearney had a one point lead over St. Cloud State going into Saturday night’s finals with four wrestlers in the finals.
17 CT wrestlers named Academic All-American
Eighteen Connecticut high school athletes, including 17 wrestlers, have earned Academic All-American honors from the National High School Coaches Association. Click on the link to see the athletes who were recognized for their athletic and academic excellence.
Five state wrestlers earn All-American honors at NHSCA
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., April 7 – Five Connecticut wrestlers earned All-American honors at the National High School Coaches Association’s national championship wrestling tournaments this weekend.
Danbury sophomore Johnny Garcia (160) finished second, New Fairfield freshman Taylor Shay (120) took third, Danbury junior Kevin Jack (120) finished fourth, New Fairfield freshman Andrew Damico (160) finished sixth while Xavier freshman Dakota Carden (145) finished seventh.
Click on the link for more details and names of each CT wrestler participating in the NSCHA and FloNational tournaments this weekend.
Tuesday, April 2
Hand's Delehanty resigns
MADISON, April 2 -- Hand High wrestling coach Erik Delehanty has resigned after five years behind the bench. He has been offered and has accepted a physical education teaching position in a Massachusetts community and will begin teaching there on April 15. In five seasons, Delehanty helped lead Hand to two SCC championships, a Class L state championship in 2012, a pair of second place finishes at the State Open and a second place finish at the 2012 New England championships. “This was a difficult decision to make and I will miss the program immensely,” Delehanty wrote in a Facebook post. “The highlight of working for the Madison public schools the past five years has always been the wrestling program. I have met some amazing parents, coaches but most importantly student athletes.”
Jack named state wrestler of the year
SOUTHINGTON, March 10 – Danbury High junior Kevin Jack was named the state wrestler of the year in balloting by coaches from around the state at the Connecticut High School Coaches Association’s annual All-State banquet Sunday at the AquaTurf Restaurant.
Danbury, which won the Class LL championship and the State Open championship, was recognized as the state’s team of the year. Xavier's Elliot Antler was named the Scholar Athlete of the Year. Click on the link for the banquet program in color with all of the All-State and Academic All-State selections.
Four CT wrestlers capture New England titles
PROVIDENCE, R.I., March 2 – Four Connecticut wrestlers won New England championships Saturday at the 49th annual New England wrestling championship tournament. Danbury’s Kevin Jack (120), New Fairfield’s Mike Amorando (160), Xavier’s Elliott Antler (171) and Glastonbury’s Andrew Cavanna (220) came home with New England titles. Five Connecticut wrestlers finished second – Glastonbury’s Joseph Rosetti (106), New Fairfield’s Taylor Shay (120), South Windsor’s Casey Mitchell (145) and Sam Odell (152) and Fairfield Warde’s Amed Hourani (285).
Finishing third was Windham’s Michael Ruffino (112), New Britain’s Geovanni Medina (132) and Danbury’s Juan Garcia (160).
Mt. Anthony, Vt., won its seventh New England championship with two individual champions, three finalists and four medalwinners. Five-time defending champion Timberlane, N.H., was a distant second. Danbury was the top Connecticut team in sixth place. More details, coverage and photos coming later Sunday.
Video of New England finals
Click on the following link for a two-hour presentation of the New England finals with play-by-play and commentary
Danbury voted as No. 1 team
DANBURY, Feb. 25 -- With its 11th State Open championship in 13 years, Danbury was the unanimous selection as the No. 1 team in the state coaches poll as conducted by the Norwich Bulletin. The Hatters (16-2) received all 13 first place votes. Windham High was ranked No. 2 with Ledyard nipping New Milford by one vote for third place.
Saturday, Feb. 23
Danbury wins 11th State Open title
NEW HAVEN, Feb. 23 – Four Danbury wrestlers went 15-3 in the consolation round and junior Kevin Jack gave up just one point in four matches to win his second straight State Open championship as Danbury regained the State Open title. The Hatters outlasted Windham and South Windsor, who finished tied for second. Jack and South Windsor’s Jake Odell were the only wrestlers to repeat as Open champions. The top four finishers in each weight class qualified for next week’s New England championships in Providence.
Thursday, Feb. 21
State Open begins on Friday in New Haven
The State Open wrestling championships begin Friday at 4:30 p.m. at the Floyd Little Athletic Center at Hillhouse High in New Haven. Plenty of great action to see on Friday and Saturday. If you can't get there, real-time results will be available through Kap Wrestling.net.
Ledyard has the most athletes in the tournament (11) followed by Farmington (10), New Milford (9), Danbury (8), Trumbull (8) and Windham (8). Five previous champions return -- Danbury's Kevin Jack, New Britain's Geovanni Medina, South Windsor's Sam Odell, Conard's Lucas Muntz and Newington's Chris Chorzepa. Jack, Medina, Odell and Chorzepa won a year ago while Muntz won in 2011. The top 3 wrestlers from last year's tournament at 170 all return. Top 4 seeds in each weight class and Open pairings here.
Sunday, Feb. 17
Click on the respective links for the top six placefinishers and brackets from the respective state tournaments.