3. Paul Julian (East Windsor) dec. Robert Emery (Granby), 18-5
1. Jeremy Kauffman (Enfield) pin Mike Futter (Stafford), 0:30
3. Dave Niek (Avon) pin Sean Johnson (Suffield), 2:34
1. Adam Russell (East Windsor) dec. Jim Sieman (Stafford), 13-0
3. Joe Friedhoff (Avon) dec. Sam Junno (Canton), 12-10
1. Derek Kon (Avon) dec. Josh Veguilla (Stafford), 10-3
3. Allan Mascena (Enfield) pin Courtney Hill (Canton), 4:16
1. Brendan Roche (Avon) dec. Pete Okrasa (East Windsor), 5-0
3. Ross Fanier (Stafford) pin Chad Schreinder (Granby), 0:41
1. Don Papio (Avon) dec. Joe Savidge (Avon JV), 5-2
3. Jack Palozie (Canton) dec. Jeremy Burnham (East Windsor), 12-3
1. Eric Goldstein (Avon) dec. John O'Brien (Suffield), 5-4
3. Mike Grafstein (Canton) pin Anders DiPinto (Somers), 2:51
1. Adam Szychowski (Canton) pin John Fornwalt (East Windsor), 3:01
3. Ryan Walsh (Avon) pin Dan O'Brien (Suffield), 2:55
1. Brian Dubiel (Avon ) pin Zack Gurski (Canton), 1:33
3. Steve Babcock (Canton) pin Ken Latereas (East Windsor), 2:18
Outstanding wrestler: Eric Wrann (Enfield, 130)
Fast fall: Ross Fanier (Stafford, 160) 3 pins in 2:32
Final league standings
(Two points for each dual meet win, 1 point for each team beaten at league tournament)
Avon 20 points, Canton 13, Stafford 12, Enfield 10, East Windsor 9, Suffield 7, Granby 6, Tolland 1, Somers 0.
Revival at Avon complete with first NCCC Tourney crown since 1994
By GERRY deSIMAS, Jr.
Connecticut Wrestling Online
AVON, Feb. 10, 2001 -- Don Papio and Derek Kon began their senior year playing together for the Avon High football team. A lot of hard work went into preparing for the season and the physical punishment the Papio, Kon and their teammates took was high.
There were victories (two) and triumphs but many were outside of the public eye only visible to the players and coaches that worked together the long hours from the muggy days of August until the cool, crisp November afternoons.
That is making the success of the Falcon wrestling team this winter an even more sweet moment for Papio, Kon, head coach John McLaughlin and seven other starters that played football this fall.
The Falcons finished 18-3 its best record since going 18-1 in 1990, captured its first NCCC Tournament since 1994 and won its first league championship since 1998.
"It's like nothing I have been a part of athletically," said Papio, a tri-captain who won the NCCC championship at 171 pounds and entered the Class S tournament as the top seed with a 20-1 record. "Our goals are higher and we are working harder.
"We stick together," he added. "We're one unit. We stick up and support each other."
Seven Falcons won NCCC championships at the recent league tournament in Canton. Lance Phelps (112), Rob Tolk (125), Kon (152), Papio (171), Eric Goldstein (189) and Brian Dubiel (275) each won individual titles.
Papio beat teammate Joe Savidge, a senior who has remained with the team the entire year despite not being able to unseat Papio for the varsity position. Papio prevailed, 5-2. Dubeil, also a No. 1 seed in the Class S tournament with a 23-1 record, pinned Canton's Zack Gurski in 1:33 in the title bout at 275 pounds. Gurski could have become only the third wrestler in NCCC history to win four straight conference titles with a win.
Phelps, a freshman, led Enfield's Will Arcari by two points after two periods. Arcari cut the lead to one with 18 seconds left in the third period but Phelps held off Arcari's takedown attempts to earn the title.
In the 125 final, Tolk, another freshman, snapped a 2-2 tie with an escape and takedown in the final 20 seconds to beat Tolland's Bernie Cunningham, 5-2.
Goldstein trailed 4-3 after two periods in the 189 final against Suffield's John O'Brien. Goldstein tied the match with 1:18 left and prevailed by a 5-4 decision
Avon had 14 wrestlers take home medals by finishing among the top four.
"We've come a long way in the last three or four years," Avon coach John McLaughlin said. "We have received a lot of good leadership from our seniors. All five seniors are our team leaders."
Papio, Savidge, Kon, Dave Niek (140) and Brendan Dwyer (130) are the seniors.
"They get the young kids ready to go and they have created a better mood in practice," McLaughlin said. "They believe they can do it. It's much more of a team atmosphere. We don't have any heroes."
The Falcons have had some thrilling wins, rallying from a 12-point deficit and winning four of the last five matches to beat Morgan, 35-34 and erasing a 19-point deficit to beat Hall, 42-33 in the final weeks of the season.
Avon also took second in the Berlin Invitational, third in the Griswold Invitational and third in the Groundhog Duals in Somers. Winning the NCCC Tournament was nice, especially with the growth of the conference. Seven full teams compete along with individuals from two other schools.
"It feels great," McLaughlin admitted. "This was one of our team goals and it's gratifying."
Starters Papio, Kon, Dubeil, Friedhoff, Adam Freilich (119), Brendon Roche (160), Eric Goldstein (189) and Ryan Welsh (215) played football last fall for Avon. Wrestling assistant coach Patrick Welkey was an assistant on the football team as well.
"Everyone wants to be a part of it," Kon said. "It's nice to see some success after working so hard."
Phelps finished the regular season with a 17-4 record, Tolk was 21-7, Niek was 18-8, Friedhoff was 16-9, Kon 22-2, Roche was 20-6, Goldstein was 13-5 and Walsh was 12-8. For more wrestling news, log onto Connecticut Wrestling Online at http://www.homestead.com/CTwrestling7/index1.html.