MANCHESTER, January 21 – The Canton High wrestling team had two medalwinners at Saturday’s Eagle Classic in Manchester. Senior Jerry LeFave (285 pounds) and sophomore Brian Connolly (120) each finished fourth for the Warriors. Each had two pins on the day.
Newtown, ranked No. 4 in the state coaches poll, had three individual champions and five finalists to win the 23rd annual tournament for the third time in four years with a 169-128 win over Berlin. Canton was 14th in the field of 24 teams.
It’s been a good season for the Warriors, who are 9-5 overall and 3-1 in the North Central Connecticut Conference. Canton got off to a 6-1 start – its best start since they last won the NCCC championship in 2002.
One of the big differences for second-year coach Josh Bristol is that the Warriors can fill all 14 weight classes. That can be a big advantage, especially among Class S schools that struggle to field a full lineup.
“We have the kind of team where no one is a guaranteed win but everyone is capable of picking up victories in any given match,” Bristol said.
Canton has won their last three dual meet matches with a 63-17 win over Somers last Wednesday and a sweep of Oxford, 46-27, and Farmington, 40-30, on Saturday, January 14 in Canton. It was the first win over Farmington since 2002 and snapped a nine-match losing streak against the Indians.
Against Somers, LeFave, Brendan Kelly (120), Connolly (126), Grace Mates (132) had pins for the Warriors. Picking another 24 points with four forfeits didn’t hurt the Canton cause, either.
LeFave, Joe Bowman (195), Kelly and Donovan Mackin (113) had pins against Oxford while the Warriors picked up a key 12 points that added some breathing room in a 19-point victory.
Canton earned it on the mat to beat Farmington, 40-30. Chayce Lucca (132) and Jack Szczpanski (160) picked up pins for the Warriors. Brian Barger (138), Hayden DiMaio (145), Bowman, Samuel Beadle (220) and freshman Jack Freedenberg (106) picked up key decisions.
Beadle won by a single point while Barger and Bowman each won by three points in hard-fought contests. Freedenberg helped solidify the victory with a 13-1 victory that gave Canton four points for winning by eight points or more.
Canton (9-5, 3-1 NCCC) returns to the mat on Thursday night when the Warriors host Stafford (2-7, 0-4 NCCC) in the final home dual meet of the season beginning at 6 p.m. The Warriors will travel to Portland on Saturday to compete in the Highlander Invitational.
Canton will be hosting the NCCC championship tournament on Saturday, February 11 beginning at 10 a.m. The championship finals are expected to begin around 6 p.m.
The Eagle Classic was the second tournament of the season for Canton. The Warriors participated in the Lawless Invitational at Nonnewaug in Woodbury earlier in the month and finished seventh out of 12 teams.
Mackln won the tournament at 113 pounds by pinning Oxford’s Liam Crane in 25 seconds while Braydon Fluckiger (182) was second at 182 pounds. Freedenberg was fourth at 105 pounds while LaFave was fourth at 285.
No consolation round matches were held in 12 of the 14 weight classes because tournament organizers were trying to end the tournament quickly so teams could get home to beat the snow that was falling that afternoon.
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At Manchester (East Catholic)
Team results – 1. Newtown 169, 2. Berlin 128, 3. East Hartford 127, 4. RHAM 105, 5. Derby and South Windsor 93, 7. East Catholic 92, 8. Northwestern 88, 9. Manchester 85½, 10. Joel Barlow/Immaculate 67, 11. East Windsor 61½ , 12. Glastonbury 61, 13. Somers 57, 14. Canton and Notre Dame-West Haven 51, 16. Tolland 49½, 17. Enfield and Rockville 47, 19. Stafford 26, 20. Rocky Hill 21, 21. Cheshire 19, 22. West Haven 6, 23. Housatonic 3, 24. Seymour 0
106 — Final: Parker Sutton (Glastonbury) dec. Lowayne Harris (East Hartford), 4-0; 3. Jacob Marselli (East Catholic) pin Michael Dalessio (Somers), 3:19
113 — Final: Nick Arborio (Berlin) tech fall Jack Pelley (East Windsor), 17-1 3:27; 3. Mitchell Pardi (South Windsor) NC Nik Accousti (Newtown)
120 — Final: Daniel Veleas (Berlin) pin Jordan Stefancin (Derby), 3:48; 3. Anthony Reynoso (Rockville) dec. Brian Connolly (Canton), 9-0
126 — Final: Tim Roberts (East Hartford) pin Patrick Sutherland (East Windsor), 4:16; 3. Dan Sullivan (South Windsor) forfeit over Antony Dejulius (East Catholic)
132 — Final: Ryan Angers (Tolland) dec. Aaron Occhipinti (Newtown), 8-3; 3. Shamar Shand (Manchester) forfeit over Alex Klein wassink (Joel Barlow/Immaculate)
138 — Final: Ryan Lindley (RHAM) dec. Moses Marino (Berlin), 7-6; 3. Sean Black (Cheshire) forfeit over Nate Tardif (East Windsor)
145 — Final: Edward Lovely (Newtown) pin Carson Licastri (Joel Barlow/Immaculate), 4:40; 3. Liam Smith (Northwestern) forfeit over Hunter Nodden (South Windsor)
152 — Final: Michael Angers (Tolland) dec. Jeffrey Suschana (Somers), 9-7; 3. Joshua Schwartz (Northwestern) dec. Josh Veleas (Berlin), 3-2
160 — Final: Rafiq Conway (Manchester) dec. Aaron Frankel (RHAM), 6-2; 3. Michael Soper (East Catholic) forfeit over Max Schlein (Berlin)
170 — Final: Joe Accousti (Newtown) pin Jon Hayes (South Windsor), 0:55; 3. Nick Garoffolo (Joel Barlow/Immaculate) forfeit over Noah Silk (RHAM)
182 — Final: Mike Szwaja (Derby) dec. Nate Chesworth (Enfield), 3-2; 3. Kyle Pfeffer (East Catholic) forfeit over Patrick Clifford (RHAM)
195 — Final: Jackson Rheault (Somers) dec. Gabriel Schwartz (Northwestern), 19-5; 3. Francisco Jiminian (East Hartford) pin Cody Desilets (Stafford), 0:50
220 — Final: Tom Long (Newtown) dec. Isaiah Jiminian (East Hartford), 9-2; 3. Derrick Pommillis (ND-West Haven) forfeit over Zach Progosa (East Catholic)
285 — Final: Nick Haviland (Manchester) dec. Joe Zeller (Newtown), 1-0; 3. Anthony Slowik (Derby) pin Jerry Lefave (Canton), 2:20
Outstanding wrestler: Nick Arborio (113), Berlin
Canton 63 Somers 17
285: Jerry LeFave (C) pin Richard McDonell 0:46 106: Michael Dalessio (S) Pin Jack Freedenberg (C) 4:44 113: Donovan Mackin (C) Forfeit 120: Brendan Kelly (C) pin Richard Vivileccha 5:12 126: Brian Connolly (C) pin Scott Gamble 2:45 132: Grace Mates (C) pin Christian Banning 2:45 138 Brian Barger (C) Forfeit 145: Hayden Dimaio (C) Forfeit 152: Jeff Suschana (S) Tech Fall Aiden Pass 21-5, 4:00; 160: Jack Szczpanski (C) Forfeit 170: Austin Kilduff (C) Forfeit 182: Braydon Fluckiger (C) Dec. Peter Garlick 6-1; 195: Jackson Rheult (S) pin Joe Bowman 3:12 220: Sam Beadle (C) Forfeit
Records: Canton 9-5, 3-1 NCCC; Somers 2-9, 1-3 NCCC
Canton 40, Farmington 30
126: DeJesus (F) forfeit; 132: Lucca (C) pin Bulibek 5:16; 138 Barger (C) Dec. Mashkovich 3-0; 145 Dimaio (C) Dec. Chung 7-0; 152 Popolizo (F) pin Pass 1:49; 160 Szczpanski (C) pin Marin 3:08; 170 Daniels (F) pin Kilduff 2:33; 182 Saravana (F) win by disqualification over Fluckiger (C); 195 Bowman (C) Dec. Hudson (F) 6-3; 220 Beadle (C) Dec. Bartholomay 6-5; 285: Carter (F) pin LeFave 2:57 106: Freedenberg (C) Dec Wolkner 13-1; 113: Mackin (C) forfeit; 120: Kelly (C) forfeit
Canton 46, Oxford 27
113 Mackin (C) pin Kaine 2:47; 120: Kelly (C) pin Leon 2:33; 126 Dexter (O) Dec. Connolly 9-7; 132 Linder (O) pin Lucca 3:00; 138 Barger (C) Dec Herold 13-4; 145 Dimaio (C) pin S. Martino 5:48; 152: D. Harold (O) pin Pass 1:44; 160 G. Downs (O) dec. Sczcpanski 13- 6; 170: McDonnell (O) pin Kilduff 0:37; 182 Mavricz dec. Fluckiger 7-3; 195 Bowman (C) pin A. Martino 1:17; 220 Beadle (C) forfeit; 285 LeFave (C) pin Goodart 0:29; 106: Freedenberg (C) forfeit