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Canton wrestlers finish with second consecutive winning season

Canton’s Matt Webb works to remain in control in Saturday’s match against Griswold’s Tyler Arsenault in Clinton. Webb won by pin. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

CLINTON, February 3 – In the last weekend of the regular season, the Canton High wrestling team had three competitive matches to get ready for the post-season.

Despite winning the last four matches, the Warriors (12-9, 6-1 NCCC) couldn’t catch up with host Morgan School in a 37-33 loss at the Four Corners Duals in Clinton. Canton did beat Derby, 48-27 but dropped a 52-24 decision to Griswold.

Canton will be wrestling in the NCCC Tournament on Saturday at Coventry High School and then compete at the Class S championships at Windham High on February 16-17.

Despite the losses to the Huskies and Wolverines, Canton finished with a winning record for the second straight season under third-year head coach Josh Bristol. The last time that Canton had back-to-back winning seasons was in 2001 and 2002.

Canton’s Donovan Mackin (138) wrestles Derby’s Josh Dana Saturday in Clinton. Mackin lost the match, 2-0 but Canton beat Derby. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

Morgan built a 37-12 before Canton rallied to win the final four matches with a pair of forfeits, a pin from Nate Biega at 170 pounds and a seven-point win from Braydon Fluckiger at 195 pounds.

Brian Connelly (132) and Josh Newell (145) had wins over Derby while James Pelehach (182) won by pin. The Warriors took advantage of five Derby forfeits in the win.

Andy Thibodeau (126) and Donovan Mackin (138) had pins for Canton against Griswold while Brendan Kelley (120) and Nate Biega (170) each came up with victories but the Wolverines were too strong.

Canton’s Nate Biega (170) works to maintain control against Griswold’s John DeGale in Saturday’s bout in Clinton. Biega prevailed, 8-6. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

For the second straight year, Canton finished second in the North Central Connecticut Conference with a 6-1 record – only losing to Granby, 47-33 in December. The Bears ran the table in the NCCC with a 7-0 to win the league title for the second consecutive season.

In the past three weeks, the Warriors have picked up three NCCC victories with a tough 49-30 win over Suffield and victories over Stafford, 48-15 and Coventry, 60-15. Canton finished the season by winning four of their final six dual meets.

At the Highlander Invitational in Portland two weeks ago, Connolly took second at 132 pounds while Austin Kilduff (160) finished fourth. The week before, Fluckiger won a championship at the Eagle Classic in Manchester at 195 pounds. Fluckiger pinned Manchester’s Chris Collins in 5:17 to bring home the title.

Fluckiger is just the fifth Canton wrestler to win a title at the Eagle Classic and the first since Julian Adams (160) took home a title in 2016.

Canton’s Braydon Fluckiger (195) is in control of his bout with Morgan’s Kyle Newmann Saturday. Fluckiger won, 10-3. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

Four Corners Duals
At Morgan-Clinton
Griswold 52, Canton 24
Griswold 58, Granby 22
Griswold 56, Derby 21
Griswold 42, Morgan 36
Morgan 37, Canton 33
Morgan def. Granby
Morgan def. Derby
Granby def. Derby
Granby did not wrestle Canton
Canton 48, Derby 27

Morgan 37 Canton 33
At Clinton
285: Austin Daley (M) Forfeit 106: Matt Webb (C) pin Evan Baptista 0:20 113: Kyle Carse (M) Forfeit 120: Louie Bradley (M) Pin Brendan Kelley 3:00 126: Trevor Follo (M) pin Andy Thibodeu 1:06 132: Anthony Cimino (M) Dec. Brian Connolly 15-5 138: Donovan Mackin (C) pin Rexford Smith 0:52 145: Tim Smith (M) dec. Josh Newell 14-2 152: Andrew Fortuna (M) tech John Alicia 18-1 160: Austin Kilduff (C) Forfeit 170: Nate Biega (C) pin Christian Sacco 0:34 182:James Pelehach (C) Forfeit 195: Braydon Fluckiger (C) Dec. Kyle Newmann 10-3 220: Double Forfeit
Other varsity results: 182: James Pelehach (Canton) Pin Alem Tiden (Old Saybrook) 1:17

Canton 48, Derby 27
At Clinton
106: Matt Webb (C) Forfeit 113: Adyeat Masiat (D) Forfeit 120: Brendan Kelley (C) Forfeit 126: Andy Thobodeau (C) Forfeit 132: Brian Connolly (C) Dec. Jake Ferguson 4-0 138: Josh Dana (D) dec. Donovan Mackin 2-0 145: Josh Newell (C) dec. Mike Melendez 6-3 152: John Alicia (C) forfeit 160: Chris Oliwa (D) pin Austin Kilduff 5:15 170: Nate Biega (C) Forfeit 182: James Pelehach (C) pin Nate Bartone 195: Braydon Fluckiger (C) Forfeit 220: Matt Oliwa (D) forfeit 285: Anthony Slowik (D) Forfeit

Griswold 52, Canton 24
At Clinton
120: Brendan Kelley (C) Dec. Nathan Howard 12-9 126: Andy Thobodeu (C) pin John Serna 3:40 132: Vashil Patel (G) Forfeit 138 Donovan Mackin (C) Pin Chris Dennis 0:45 145: Jason Jacaruso (G) pin Josh Newell 1:01 152: Cadan Odom (G) dec. John Alicia 22-9 160: Dakota Gardner (G) pin Austin Kilduff 5:45 170: Nate Biega (C) dec. John DeGale 8-6 182: Stephan Sims (G) pin James Pelehach 2:56 195:Johnny Falco (G) Forfeit 220: Corey Carr (G) forfeit 285: Dane Taylor (G) Forfeit 106: Matt Webb (C) Pin Tyler Arsenault 3:40 113: Tyler Bellisle (G) Forfeit

Canton 49, Suffield 30
At Canton (January 23)
170: Connor Clement (C) DQ over Xavier Jimenez 182: James Pelehach (C) Dec. Joe Tellier 10-5 195: Nate Biega (C) forfeit; 220: Braydon Fluckiger (C) forfeit; 285: Jack Whitney (C) forfeit; 106: Matt Webb (C) Forfeit 113: Dan Taggart (S) Forfeit 120: Jack Freedenberg (C) Pin Agam Mahato 1:44 126: Dylan Washburn (S) pin Andy Thidodeau 1:57 132: Brian Connolly (C) dec. Matt Raine 11-3 138:Joe Nieroda (S) Forfeit 145: Hunter Adams (S) Pin Chayce Lucca 3:23 152:John Nieroda (S) pin Josh Newell 1:40 160: Austin Kilduff (C) pin Henry Mayne 3:29

Highlander Invitational
At Portland (January 27)
Team results – 1. Manchester 179½, 2. New Britain 159, 3. Middletown 155½, 4. Griswold 149, 5, Gilbert 145, 6. Ledyard 141, 7. Haddam-Killingworth 116½, 8. Staples 140, 9. East Catholic 89, 10. Plainville 77; 11. Canton 74, 12. Portland 53, 13. Stafford 46, 14. Danbury B 41, 15. Goodwin Tech 14, 16. Lyman Hall 6, 17. Cheshire 5, 18. Torrington 4, 19. Cromwell 3
Individual results
99 pounds (round robin): 1. Kevin Pina, Danbury (2-0), 2. Cameron Hines, Haddam-Killingworth (1-1), 3, Tyler Bellisle, Griswold
106: Joey Millbach, Ledyard dec. Jacob Marselli, East Catholic, 9-6; 3. Eli Cyr, Middletown pin Josue Bobe, Portland, 1:12
113: Tristan Julian, Stafford dec. Terry Brannigan, Staples, 15-4; 3. Dominic Pedrolini, Plainville dec. Michael Martinez, New Britain, 13-9
120: Devin Matthews, Gilbert dec. T.J. Pawlak, Middletown, 17-5; 3. Javier Mercado, Portland pin Elliott Hall, Manchester
126: Kalili Shabazz, Middletown dec. Sebby Soli, Plainville, 5-2; 3. Cole Dirico, Ledyard pin Matt Durant, East Catholic, 1:06
132: Elijah Watson, New Britain pin Brian Connolly, Canton, 2:51; 3. Nick Barber, Gilbert and Vashil Patel, Griswold (5-match rule)
138: Shamar Schand, Manchester dec. Matt Jenkins, Haddam-Killingworth, 15-5; 3. Raul Mateo, New Britain dec. Tino Pusz, Middletown, 4-3
145: Jacob Jacaruso, Griswold win by forfeit over Dennis Charles, Ledyard; 3. Connor Blay, Gilbert and Travion Nieves, Manchester (5-match rule)
152: Jasen Gonzalez, Manchester pin John Carter Montoni, Staples, 3:12; 3. Ben Mow pin Cadam Odom, Griswold, 0:26
160: Justin Popp, Haddam-Killingworth dec. Kyle Matthews, Gilbert, 6-4; 3. Dakota Gardner, Griswold dec. Austin Kilduff, Canton, 7-0
170: Jovany Rodriguez, New Britain pin Sebatian Sobieski, New Britain, 4:38; 3. Alex Smith, Gilbert pin Billy Rojas, Danbury, 2:45
182: Josh Atkins, Manchester pin Andrew Smikle, Middletown, 2:38; 3. Kevin Sullivan, Gilbert pin Ben Bunickus, New Britain, 0:28
195: Jake Toth, Middletown dec. Travis Boone, Plainville, 4-2; 3. Johnny Falco, Griswold pin Eduardo Morales, Goodwin Tech, 0:28
220: Oran Burnett, New Britain pin Cory Carr, Griswold, 4:45; 3. Trevor Hines, Haddam-Killingworth pin Nate Keegan, Manchester, 1:47
285: George Harrington, Staples dec. Richard Mullaney, Ledyard, 3-1; 3. Billy Alfinni, Manchester pin Shamari Richards, Griswold, 1:36

Eagle Classic
At Manchester-East Catholic (January 20)

Team results – 1. Manchester 148, 2. Newtown 122½, 3. East Hartford 114, 4. Berlin 95, 5. Joel Barlow 93, 6. East Catholic 84½, 7. Maloney 84, 8. Northwestern and Notre Dame-West haven 78, 10. Canton 74, 11. Glastonbury 69½, 12. Derby 68, 13. RHAM 66, 14. Enfield 55, 15. Newington 37, 16. Somers 34, 17. East Windsor 27, 18. Stafford 23, 19. Immaculate 13, 20. Rockville 8, 21. Seymour 2
Individual results
106: Jacob Marselli (East Catholic) dec. Josh Brault (Joel Barlow), 6-3; 3. Martial Sutton (Glastonbury) medical forfeit over Matt Webb (Canton)
113 Parker Sutton (Glastonbury) dec. Lowayne Harris (East Hartford), 3-2; 3. Tristan Julian (Stafford) dec. Evan Rooney (Newtown), 6-2
120 Angelo Folino (Northwestern) dec. Diajhawn Hudson (East Hartford), 14-3; 3. Derek Vincelette (Glastonbury) dec. Sean Messina (Enfield), 9-6
126 Aaron Occhipinti (Newtown) pin Matt Durant (East Catholic), 1:13; 3. Joshua Loza (Rocky Hill) forfeit over Jayden Robles (Maloney)
132 Demetre Carnot (Maloney) dec. Dan Veleas (Berlin), 8-3; 3. Nik Accousti (Newtown) dec. Brian Connolly (Canton), 3-2
138 Shamar Schand (Manchester) dec. Tim Roberts (East Hartford), 17-11; 3. Alex Desroches (Rocky Hill) pin Gabriel Ortiz (Immaculate), 2:53
145 Travion Nieves (Manchester) dec. Connor Massey (Notre Dame-West Haven), 3-1, OT; 3. Jacob Arseneault (RHAM) dec. Kody Talento (Maloney), 4-2
152 Ben Coppock (Joel Barlow) pin Liam Smith  (Northwestern), 3:00; 3. Moses Marino (Berlin) dec. Owen Walsh (Newtown), 3-2
160 Jeffrey Suschana (Somers) dec. Joshua Schwartz (Northwestern), 4-0; 3. Josh Veleas (Berlin) dec. Collin Beahne (East Windsor), 10-0
170 Carson Licastri (Joel Barlow) pin Genaro Anselmo (RHAM), 3:50; 3. Nate Chesworth (Enfield) dec. Alex Barbour (Notre Dame-West Haven), 4-2
182 Max Schlein (Berlin) pin Josh Atkins (Manchester), 1:11; 3. Nick Debaise (Maloney) dec. Nate Bartone (Derby), 3-2
195 Braydon Fluckiger (Canton) pin Chris Collins (Manchester), 5:17; 3. Kyle Pfeffer (East Catholic) pin Justin Donahue (East Windsor), 1:32
220 Isaiah Jiminian (East Hartford) dec. Matt Oliwa (Derby), 9-0; 3. Derrick Pommills (Notre Dame-West Haven) pin Kelab Zimmerman (Manchester), 4:23
285 Joe Zeller (Newtown) pin Anthony Slowik (Derby), 4:45; 3. Billy Alfini (Manchester) pin Domonic Zuccalo (Somers), 1:39

 

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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