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Editor inducted into New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame

Gerry deSimas, Jr., left, interviews Danbury’s Kevin Jack after the 2014 State Open wrestling championships in New Haven. (Photo courtesy Betsey Downey)

AVON, March 3 – The editor and founder of the Collinsville Press.com was honored Saturday by being inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., who has been covering sports in Connecticut for more than 35 years, became the first sports journalist from Connecticut to be inducted in the Hall of Fame in ceremonies before the start of the championship finals at the New England wrestling tournament in Providence.

DeSimas, a Canton High graduate, has been covering high school wrestling since 1982. He was previously sports editor of the weekly Farmington Valley Herald, the Register Citizen in Torrington, the New Britain Herald and the Sunday-only Herald Press. He founded Connecticut Wrestling Online in 2001 and the Collinsville Press in 2009.

“I am honored and humbled to be inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame with a distinguished group of coaches, officials and administrators who have done so much for the sport and the athletes across Connecticut and New England,” deSimas said. “The induction into this Hall of Fame is a wonderful honor and I want to thank the committee for thinking of me.”

He has been honored four times as the sportswriter of the year by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association’s wrestling committee. Since 2001, he has researched and produced the state high school wrestling record book, 30 pages of individual records, team achievements, and historical wrestling information. In January, he took over Connecticut’s top 10 wrestling poll after longtime sponsor Norwich Bulletin declined to continue it after 34 years.

In his career, deSimas has won more than a dozen writing awards from the Connecticut chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the New England Press Association, and United Press International.

“When I began writing about wrestling I was just hoping to share the excitement of the sport with the readers,” he said. “When I began Connecticut Wrestling Online in 2001, I was hoping it would be one place for wrestling fans to go to get the latest scores, box scores and information about wrestling instead of searching through dozens of newspapers. I established the state record book to give sportswriters – like myself – a resource so they could put the accomplishments of the athletes into perspective and make their stories more interesting to read.”

Donald Friedman, executive director of the Council of New England Secondary Schools Principal’s Association, left, presents Gerry deSimas, Jr. with a plaque for his induction in the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame prior to the New England wrestling championships in Providence.

DeSimas serves as corresponding secretary for the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s Connecticut chapter, which has hosted three induction banquets and will do so again in 2019. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Connecticut Wrestling, Inc., which established the Connecticut Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2016.

He has been an award-winning Communications Specialist at Eversource Energy in Connecticut for 20 years. He is a member of the Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance and has been the co-editor of the Connecticut High School Football Record Book since 2004. He has covered the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun and New York Liberty for several national publications.

Since 2009, the Collinsville Press has been providing award-winning coverage of sports and news in the Farmington Valley and across Connecticut.

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