SIMSBURY, Feb. 11 – For three years in a row, Simsbury and Farmington have met in the final regular season dual meet of the season with the CCC West championship on the line. “It’s always the biggest match of the year,” Simsbury’s James DeMaio said.
Farmington had a 12-point lead after four matches before Simsbury got themselves back into it. The lead changed hands twice and it was tied at 24-24 with four matches remaining. But four Simsbury seniors won the final four bouts for the Trojans to lift No. 8 Simsbury to a 42-24 victory and their second straight CCC West championship.
A year ago, Simsbury won its first league title since 2001 with a 43-22 victory. Two years ago, it was Farmington with a 24-23 win with a victory in the final bout to win the match, the league title and finish undefeated.
“It’s always a big rivalry,” DeMaio said. “We wrestled phenomenally. We all elevated our game and wrestled our best. I didn’t see anyone back down or give up at any point.”
“Big crowd, high energy, the CCC championship on the line, big match. We came through in a big way,” Simsbury’s first-year coach Peter Vlahakis said.
Farmington (16-3, 5-1 CCC West) got off to a good start with a 15-3 lead after four matches thanks to a forfeit, a five-point win by Joe Miano (120) and a pin from Luke Popolizio (126).
Simsbury (15-2, 6-0) grabbed a three-point lead, 18-15 with pins from Rob Misercordia (132) and Keith Penney (138) and a victory from Ryan Juliano (145), who beat Zack Marin, 6-0.
The visiting Indians surged ahead again. At 152 pounds, Alan Mashkovich fired up his team by pinning Keith Fernandes in 1:14 and Xavier Amos (160) wrestled tough in a 4-0 win over Steven Feinberg to give Farmington a 24-18 lead.
“They’re a tough team,” Farmington coach Eric Misko said. “We tried to keep it close. We came out and wrestled hard. That was good to see. We tried to take it to them and we got right in there and stood toe to toe with them.”
But Simsbury’s wrestlers in the upper weight classes are strong and experienced. Simsbury sophomore Sean Penney (170) dominated Peter Bowser and won with a pin to tie the bout at 24-24 with four matches remaining.
Simsbury’s John Daguerre-Bradford held off Farmington’s Sam Grabowski-Clark, 4-3 to give the Trojans a 27-24 lead. Daguerre-Bradford led 3-2 after one period thanks to a two-point takedown and one-point escape. A second period escape gave up a two point lead. Grabowski-Clark cut the lead to one with an escape of his own in the third period but couldn’t get a takedown.
Pins from Simsbury’s Jake Feldman (190) and DeMaio (220) clinched the match for the Trojans. At 285 pounds, Simsbury’s Lukas Stone made a first period takedown stand up in a 2-1 win over Farmington’s Vinny Stevens. Stone lost to Stevens by six two weeks ago at the Doc Myers Brawl in Stafford.
“We showed a lot of heart and our big guys (Feldman, DeMaio, Sean Penney, Keith Penney) came through with some big wins for us,” Vlahakis said.
The win gave Simsbury back-to-back titles for the first time since they won seven straight CCC West titles from 1995 to 2001.
Simsbury 42, Farmington 24
106: Kyle Wolkner (F) forfeit; 113: Josh Kowalski (S) dec. Chris Neal, 7-6; 120: Joe Miano (F) dec. Vincent Palermo, 9-4; 126: Luke Popolizio (F) pin Jack Montgomery, 1:00; 132: Rob Misercordia (S ) pin Ryan Dopp, 5:02; 138: Keith Penney (S) pin Sam Lohner, 2:40; 145: Ryan Juliano (S) dec. Zack Marin, 6-0; 152: Alan Mashkovich (F) pin Keith Ferdnandes, 1:14; 160: Xavier Amos (F) dec. Steven Feinberg, 4-0; 170: Sean Penney (S) pin Peter Bowser, 3:42; 182: John Daguerre-Bradford (S) dec. Sam Grabowski-Clark, 4-3; 190: Jake Feldman (S) pin Steve Perato, 1:02; 220: James DeMaio (S) pin Jeff Fuller, 1:43; 285: Lukas Stone (S) dec. Vinny Stevens, 2-1
Records: Farmington 16-3, 5-1 CCC West; Simsbury 15-2, 6-0 CCC West