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Avon finishes strong to beat Farmington grapplers for first time since 2010

Avon celebrates as Avon Marvin Escobar pins Farmington's Steven Perfito to clinch the victory for the Falcons.

Avon celebrates as Avon’s Marvin Escobar pins Farmington’s Steven Perfito at 195 pounds to clinch Friday night’s wrestling match for the Falcons.

AVON, Jan. 16 – The last three seasons have been outstanding for the Farmington High wrestling team. They won a CCC West championship in 2013 and finished second in 2012 and 2014. They’ve finished third twice in Class L and have won 83 of 88 dual meets. 

Three of those wins came against Avon. On Friday night, Avon won four of the final five bouts of the evening and had two pins in the last two bouts of the match to pull away from Farmington, 41-28. The Falcons (12-2) also beat Terryville, 45-28. 

Avon had an early 15-point lead before Farmington came back to tie and take the lead. Farmington (8-2) cut the Falcon lead to one, 29-28, with two matches remaining after Samuel Grabowski-Clark pinned Avon’s Justin Nastri at 182 pounds. 

At 195 pounds, Farmington’s Steven Perfito had a 5-1 lead after one period thanks to a pair of two-point takedowns. But Avon’s Marvin Escobar, a first-year wrestler, wouldn’t give in. He kept wrestling and caught Perfito with a headlock and pinned him with 2:22 gone in the match to clinch the bout for the Falcons. His pin gave Avon a seven-point lead with one match remaining. 

It was Avon’s first win over Farmington since 2010. “We’re a scrappy team this year,” Avon coach John McLaughlin said. “That was a great match. It was back and forth throughout. Even if we had lost, it was a good match. There was good wrestling on both sides. They were winning, we were winning and it was tied. It was just a fun night.” 

The fun began at the start. The match began at 285 pounds and Farmington’s Vinny Stevens escaped in the third overtime for a 2-1 win over Avon’s Gino Bonalumi. Pins from Avon’s Anthony Tripodi (106) and Peter Oh (113) and a forfeit gave Avon a 21-3 lead. 

Avon's Anthony Tripodi control's Farmington's Julian Mashkovich in their match at 106 pounds. Tripodi won by pin.

Avon’s Anthony Tripodi control’s Farmington’s Julian Mashkovich in their match at 106 pounds. Tripodi won by pin.

But Farmington responded with a pin from Ryan Dopp (132) and dominating victories from Sam Lohner (138) and Xavier Amos (145) to push Farmington into the lead, 22-18. Avon’s Jack St. Onge (152) picked up a 12-point victory to tie the match at 22-22. Teammate Jamie Dlugolecki (160) extended the Avon lead to 25-23 with a 5-2 win over Zach Marin. 

At 170, Avon’s Blake Edwards outlasted Peter Bower, 18-10 in a match that saw both wrestlers put their opponents on their back. But neither could finish off each other. 

“We try to use the fundamentals we work on in practice and we tried the best we could but we can’t give up all of those pins,” Farmington assistant coach Mike Daniels said. “That is what has been killing us all year, giving up pins.” 

Farmington's Sam Lohner is in control his bout against Avon's Sam Fusaro at 138 pounds. Lohner prevailed, 3-0.

Farmington’s Sam Lohner is in control his bout against Avon’s Sam Fusaro at 138 pounds. Lohner prevailed, 3-0.

Farmington head coach Eric Misko missed the match because he was ill. “We’re young and we have a lot of first year wrestlers,” Daniels said. “They’re getting better. They’re tough.” 

This competitive match is one of the reasons why Avon is moving from the North Central Connecticut Conference to the Central Connecticut Conference beginning in September. This Falcon victory will only stoke the rivalry that is resuming between the two schools who were once together in the Northwest Conference. 

“This is a great stepping stone for us,” McLaughlin said. “We’re psyched.” 

With four pins and a crucial one-point win by Zach Marin at 152 pounds, Farmington beat Terryville, 42-36. With five pins and two forfeits, Avon beat Terryville, 45-28. 

Avon 41, Farmington 28
At Avon
285: Vinny Stevens (F) dec. Gino Bonalumi, 2-1, 3 OT; 106: Anthony Tripodi (A) pin Julian Mashkovich, 2:40; 113: Peter Oh (A) pin Chris Neal, 3:54; 120: Johnny Oh (A) forfeit; 132: Ryan Dopp (F) pin Ryan Farrell, 1:46; 138: Sam Lohner (F) dec. Sam Fusaro, 3-0; 145: Xavier Amos (F) dec. Mike Lancaster, 13-1; 152: Jack St. Onge (A) dec. Connor Hillemeir, 14-2; 160: Jamie Dlugolecki (A) dec. Zach Marin, 5-2; 170: Blake Edwards (A) dec. Peter Bower, 18-10; 182: Samuel Grabowski-Clark (F) pin Justin Nastri, 2:39; 195: Marvin Escobar (A) pin Steven Perfito, 2:22; 220: Kurt Olstead (A) pin Jeff Fuller, 1:40
Records: Avon 12-2, Farmington 8-2 

Avon 45, Terryville 28
At Avon
195: Josh Wright (T) dec. Marvin Escobar, 11-6; 220: Kurt Olstead (A) pin Theo Ridgeway, 0:43; 285: Gino Bonalumi (A) pin Hunter D’Antonio, 0:23; 106: Anthony Tripodi (A) forfeit; 113: Peter Oh (A) dec. Ian Poitras, 11-6; 120: Johnny Oh (A) pin Jon Speakman, 1:00; 126: Ryan Farrell (A) pin Sean Ryan, 2:41; 132: Elliot Wilion (T) pin Alec Wyatt, 1:06; 138: Andrew Berman (T) dec. Sam Fusaro, 6-3; 145: Jack St. Onge (A) pin Shane Schuster, 2:20; 152: Josh Tellier (T) dec. Mike Lancaster, 6-1; 160: George Andrews (T) pin Jamie Dlugolecki, 4:20; 170: Tyler Bergeron (T) pin Blake Edwards, 2:30; 182: Justin Nastri (A) forfeit
Records: Terryville 6-8 

Farmington 42, Terryville 36
At Avon
220: Jeff Fuller (F) dec. Theo Ridgeway, 5-4; 285: Vinny Stevens (F) pin Hunter D’Antonio, 0:26; 106; Kulp Wolkner (F) forfeit; 113: Ian Poitras (T) pin Chris Neal, 3:04; 120: Joey Migno (F) pin John Speakman, 0:33; 126: Ryan Dopp (F) pin Sean Ryan, 4:49; 132: Elliot Wilion (T) pin Luke Popolizio, 1:42; 138: Connor Levins (T) pin Sam Loner, 3:38; 145: Xavier Amos (F) pin Shane Schuler, 1:11; 152: Zack Martin (F) dec. Josh Teller, 5-4; 160: George Andrews (T) pin Louie Ortiz, 1:10; 170: Tyler Bergeron (T) pin Peter Bowser, 0:40; 182: Sam Grabowski-Clark (F) forfeit; 220: Josh Wright (T) pin Steve Perfio, 4:42

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 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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