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Canton’s undefeated Lang brings home a state championship

A joyous Skylar Lang comes off the mat after winning a state championship Saturday in Willimantic.

A joyous Skylar Lang comes off the mat after winning a state championship Saturday in Willimantic.

WILLIMANTIC, February 22 – He goes out trying for a pin in every match. In most matches, he gets it. On Saturday, Canton senior Skylar Lang had four pins in the CIAC Class S wrestling tournament and captured a state championship. 

Lang pinned Griswold’s James Walsh in the final of the 220 pound weigh class in 1:13 to win state championship. “He’s a beast,” Canton coach Josh Kaplan said. “He’s big strong and athletic. He knows how to wrestle and when he wants to turn it on, he can turn it on.” 

Lang (36-0) helped Canton finish 10th in the tournament and he was one of four seniors who brought medals for finishing in the top six of their respective weight classes. Seniors Patrick Lawler (152) and Dylan Houle (170) each took fourth while Devin Glasson (195) took fifth. All four qualified to participate in this weekend’s State Open championships in New Haven. 

“These four senior captains have worked hard this season and have been a good example to our underclassmen,” said Canton coach Josh Kaplan. “It was great to see the hard work they put in and how they succeeded at the end of the year.” 

Canton's Skylar Lang works to turn over Griswold's James Walsh.

Canton’s Skylar Lang works to turn over Griswold’s James Walsh.

As he has been all season, Lang was dominant. He won his first two matches in 47 and 61 seconds, respectively. In the semifinals, he had his longest match of the tournament but still pinned Terryville’s Tom Bergeron in 3:58. It didn’t take long for Lang to get control in the championship match against Walsh. 

“I was wrestling hard,” Lang said. “I left everything out on the mat. I want to thank all of my coaches and my teammates, my bros, and Jeff Fernandez at Fisheye for their help.” 

Lang is the first Canton wrestler to win a state championship since Nate Getler in 2011. 

Lawler (26-13) was hurt a year ago and didn’t get a chance to wrestle in this tournament. He made this appearance last as long as he could. Lawler dropped his opener to Somers’ Jacob Berryparker, 9-3 but in the consolation round, Lawler won four straight matches. 

He had two quick pins in under two minutes before outlasting East Hampton’s Kendal Kegley, 1-0. In the consolation semifinal, he pinned No. 4 seed Jonathan Oliveira of Plainville. In the consolation final, Lawler dropped a 4-3 decision to Berryparker. 

Houle (35-7) lost a pair of one-point decisions in the tournament while also winning three matches at 170. Two pins put Houle in the semifinals against Terryville’s Tyler Bergeron, who had upset No. 2 seed Patrick Bogan of Montville in the quarterfinals, 11-10. 

Bergeron escaped with 1:45 gone in the second period to take a 1-0 lead. In the third period, Bergeron rode out Houle to earn a 1-0 victory and advance to the championship match. Houle beat Portland’s James Planeta, 6-2 in the consolation semifinals but dropped a 3-2 decision to Bogan to finish fourth. 

Glasson (33-5) won his opening bout at 195 before dropping a 5-2 decision to Windham’s Seiji Arzuaga in the quarterfinals. In the consolation round, he won three of his four matches by pin to finish fifth with a win over Griswold’s Blake Ward. 

Dakota Carey (182) also won two bouts for Canton with a pair of pins in the consolation round.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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