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Canton wrestlers looking to bring home first league title since 2002

Canton junior Austin Kilduff won his first individual tournament title Saturday at the Lawless Invitational in Woodbury.

CANTON, December 28 – It’s been 17 years since the Canton High wrestling team has brought home a league championship.

Fourth year head coach Josh Bristol hopes this year’s edition of the Warriors can bring home that elusive North Central Connecticut Conference championship.

The Warriors are off to a strong start – winning nine of their first 11 matches, winning the Rockville Duals for the first time and taking second at the Lawless Invitational in Woodbury on Saturday and at the Shelton Invitational in December.

It was the best finish in a regular season tournament for the Warriors in more than 22 years since they won the now-defunct Terryville Holiday Tournament in 1997.

“It’s one of the best teams we’ve had in a long time,” Bristol said. Canton has a full lineup of 14 wrestlers – a strength that not all Class S schools can claim.

Canton senior Brian Connelly was one of three Warriors to win individual titles at Saturday’s Lawless Invitational. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

For the past two seasons, Canton has won the NCCC conference tournament but Granby has won the league title by going undefeated during the dual meet season. The Bears beat Canton both seasons – the only league losses for the Warriors. The NCCC championship is strictly determined by dual meets.

Granby is undermanned this year and won’t likely be able to defend their title. It looks it could come down to Canton (9-2, 2-0 NCCC) and the Suffield/Windsor Locks co-op team (7-3, 3-0 NCCC). Windsor Locks joined the co-op program this winter.

“Suffield is probably the team to beat,” Bristol said. “They will be tough for us to get past but I have all the confidence in the world in this group of guys.”

The Warriors will travel to Suffield on Thursday, January 17 at 6 p.m. to take on the Wildcats.

Canton has a diverse group of athletes on the mat including several seniors, juniors, sophomore and freshmen.

Canton’s Ethan Titus controls a match earlier in the season. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

At the Lawless Invitational, senior Brian Connelly won an individual championship at 138 pounds along with junior Austin Kilduff (170) and freshman Ethan Titus (106). Junior Jack Freedenberg (126) and sophomore Matt Webb (113) each finished second. Senior James Pelehach (182) finished third.

Taking fourth place was senior Donovan Makin (145) and juniors Josh Newell (160) and Charlie Corso (285).

Guilford won the Lawless Invitational title by 9½ points over the Warriors. Canton had three individual champions and five finalists. The difference was in the consolation finals where Guilford was 5-1 and Canton was 1-3.

Not only does Canton want to win their first league championship since 2002 but they want to finish in the top five in Class S – something they haven’t done since 2002 – and win over 75 percent of their dual meets – something they haven’t done since 2002.

“I set my goals high,” Bristol chuckled. But this could be the team to get grab those goals.

Canton’s Donovan Mackin works to get a pin in a match earlier this season. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

Canton captured the Rockville Duals in late December on the strength of two tight victories. The Warriors beat Platt High in pool play, 40-39 on criteria (most first points scored in an individual match) and Rockville to get to the championship round.

Canton beat East Catholic in the championship to set up a winner-take-all match with Plainville for the tournament title. After winning three of four matches by pin, Plainville had a four-point lead with one match remaining but Freedenberg won with a pin at 138 to give Canton a 42-40 victory.

It was the first dual meet tournament championship for Canton in team history that dates back to 1971.

At the Shelton Invitational, Canton was second behind private school Green Farms Academy from Westport, which prevailed with a 14-point victory, 156-142.

Titus (106), Connolly (145), Kilduff (170) senior Braydon Fluckiger (220) each finishing second in the tournament for the Warriors. Sophomore Connor Clement (182) took third.

Canton returns to the mat on Tuesday night when they host Stafford at 6 p.m. at the high school.

NOTES: With their strong start, Canton received 10 votes in the first Connecticut Wrestling Online top 10 poll of the season. … The wrestling banner in the high school gym implies that Canton won a NCCC conference championship in 2017 and 2018. That is incorrect. Canton won the post-season league tournament. Granby won the league championship in 2017 and 2018 with Canton finishing second with one loss in the NCCC.

Dual meet results

Canton 61, Somers 18
At Canton
(January 3)
106 Ethan Titus (Canton) pin Taylor McCormick (S), 2:45; 113: Results not available; 120 Matt Webb (Canton) dec. Cooper Barrett (S), 4-1; 126: Results not available; 132: Results not available; 138 Jack Freedenberg (Canton) pin Christopher Uyar (S), 4:50; 145: Results not available; 152 Donovan Mackin (Canton) dec. Hayden Barrett (S), 20-7; 160 Josh Newell (Canton) pin Christian Dina (S), 4:59; 170 Austin Kilduff (Canton) pin Andre Goulet (S), 1:59; 182: Results not available; 195: Results not available; 220: Results not available; 285 Domonic Zuccalo (S) pin Charlie Corso (Canton), 1:07
Records: Canton 9-2, Somers 2-8

* * * *
Avon Duals
At Avon
Pool A
Enfield 47, Canton 28
Enfield 48, Joel Barlow 33
Enfield 63, Conard 18
Canton 54, Joel Barlow 27
Canton 52, Conard 23
Joel Barlow vs. Conard
Pool B
Avon 50, Platt 25
Avon 67, Plainville 12
Avon 63, RHAM 18
RHAM 40, Plainville 39, criteria
RHAM 48, Platt 36
Plainville 51, Platt 27
Championship pool
Avon 57, Canton 22
Avon 66, Enfield 15
Canton 60, RHAM 9
Enfield and RHAM did not wrestle
Consolation pool
Platt 54, Joel Barlow 30
Joel Barlow 43, Plainville 42
Plainville 46, Conard 36
Final results: 1. Avon 5-0, 2. Enfield 3-1, 3. Canton 3-2, 4. RHAM 2-1

Avon 57, Canton 22
At Avon (December 28)
132 Justin Meador (A) pin Jack Freedenberg (C), 3:54; 138 Brian Connolly (C) pin Jake Deluca (A), 1:11; 145 Donovan Mackin (C) pin Gunner Propiescus (A), 1:34; 152 Jared Butler (A) pin Josh Newell (C), 0:25; 160 Jack Colman (A) pin Brendan Kelly (C), 2:11; 170 Austin Kilduff (C) pin Sam Johnson (A), 0:56; 182 Tyler Dickenson (A) pin James Pelehach (C), 3:51; 195 Braydon Fluckiger (C) dec. Amir Johnson (A), 9-1; 220: Chris Gens (A) forfeit; 285: Henry Schrecengost (A) forfeit; 106 Ryan Baghdassarian (A) dec. Ethan Titus (C), 10-9; 113: Abhi Bhabad (A) forfeit; 120: Alex Rostenberg (A) forfeit; 126: Max Jacobs (A) forfeit
Records: Avon 7-0, Canton 8-2

Enfield 47, Canton 28
At Avon 
(December 28)
120: Colin Caron (Enfield) forfeit; 126 Eli Pelkey (E) pin Ryker Bahre (Canton); 132 Justin Beiler (E) dec. Jack Freedenberg (Canton), 11-9 OT; 138 Brian Connolly (Canton) dec. Sean Messina (E), 15-3; 145 Shawn Keeler (E) dec. Josh Newell (Canton), 12-4; 152 Tallon Stager (E) pin Donovan Mackin (Canton), 1:50; 160 Cody Stager (E) tech fall Brendan Kelly (Canton), 16-1; 170 Austin Kilduff (Canton) pin Nolan Wyse (E), 1:20; 182 Greg Bogdan (E) pin James Pelehach (Canton), 3:49; 195 Braydon Fluckiger (Canton) pin Matt Jackson (E), 0:46; 220 Nick Miller (E) pin Christepher Dinneen Hartford, CT (Canton HS), 0:33; 285 Colin Pedersen (E) pin Charlie Corso (Canton), 1:59; 106 Ethan Titus (Canton) pin Robert Moeller (E), 2:46; 113: Matt Webb (Canton) forfeit

Canton 54, Joel Barlow 27
At Avon 
(December 28)
106: no match; 113 Charlie Prather (JB) dec. Ethan Titus (Canton), 9-5; 120 Matt Webb (Canton) pin Gabriel Parrales; 126: Ryker Bahre (C) forfeit; 132: Jack Freedenberg (Ca) forfeit; 138: Brian Connolly (Ca) forfeit; 145 Donovan Mackin (Canton) pin Troy Andreoli; 152 Alex Klein-Wassink (JB) pin Josh Newell (Canton), 2:33; 160: Brendan Kelly (Ca) forfeit; 170: Austin Kilduff (Ca) forfeit; 182:James Pelehach (Ca) forfeit; 195: Carson McCarthy (JB) forfeit; 220 Braydon Fluckiger (Canton) pin Ben Bai (JB), 5:08; 285 Anthony Martinez (JB) pin Charlie Corso (Canton)

Canton 52, Conard 23
At Avon 
(December 28)
113 Matt Webb (Canton) pin Josh Ardon (Conard), 5:46; 120: Matt Broach (Con) forfeit; 126 Emma Alford (Conard) dec. Ryker Bahre (Canton), 12-4; 132 Jack Freedenberg (Canton) pin Hugh Baldwin (Conard), 5:38; 138 Brian Connolly (Canton) pin Nolan Asadow (Conard), 3:16; 145 Timothy Tobin (Conard) dec. Josh Newell (Canton), 11-1; 152 Donovan Mackin (Canton) pin Matthew Adam (Conard), 3:27; 160 Brendan Kelly (Canton) pin Brandon Nguyen (Conard), 3:30; 170 Austin Kilduff (Canton) pin Mason Chabot (Conard), 1:06; 182:James Pelehach (Ca) forfeit; 195: Braydon Fluckiger (Ca) forfeit; 220 Dominic Bavaro (Conard) pin Christepher Dinneen, 1:36; 285: Charlie Corso (Ca) forfeit; 106 Nick Urso (Conard) dec. Ethan Titus (Canton), 2-0

Canton 60, RHAM 9
At Avon (December 28)
126 Ryker Bahre (Canton) pin Claire Keene (RHAM), 3:56; 132 Jack Freedenberg (Canton) pin Daniel Burton (RHAM), 2:24; 138 Brian Connolly (Canton) pin Boden Landers (RHAM), 1:59; 145 Donovan Mackin (Canton) pin Joseph Lagasse (RHAM), 3:04; 152 Ryan Maleryn (RHAM) pin Josh Newell (Canton), 1:00; 160 Brendan Kelly (Canton) pin Thomas Paneccasio (RHAM), 1:05; 170 Austin Kilduff (Canton) pin Shawn Nichols (RHAM), 2:45; 182 Harold Barnes (RHAM) dec. James Pelehach (Canton), 2-1; 195 Braydon Fluckiger (Canton) dec. Alex Otera (RHAM), 7-4; 220: Chris Dinneen (Canton) forfeit; 285: Charlie Corso (Canton) forfeit; 106 Ethan Titus (Canton) dec. Zackary Kanaitis (RHAM), 6-2; 113 Matt Webb (Canton) pin Alexander Susman (RHAM), 1:33; 120: no match

* * * *
Rockville Duals

At Vernon
Pool A
Canton 66, Rockville 8
Canton 40, Platt 39, criteria (most first points)
Platt 54, Rockville 29
Pool B
East Catholic 35, Portland 30
East Catholic 31, Somers 30, criteria
Somers 48, Portland 14
Pool C
Plainville 44, Rocky Hill 30
Plainville 82, Coventry 0
Rocky Hill def. Coventry
Pool D (Championship pool)
Canton 42, Plainville 40
Canton 51, East Catholic 30
Plainville 60, East Catholic 24
Pool D (Consolation pool 1)
Platt 54, Rocky Hill 30
Platt 59, Somers 24
Rocky Hill 58, Somers 24
Pool F (Consolation pool 2)
Rockville 54, Coventry 6
Rockville 42, Portland 33
Coventry def. Portland
Final results: 1. Canton, 2. Plainville, 3. East Catholic, 4. Platt, 5. Rocky Hill, 6. Somers, 7. Rockville, 8. Coventry, 9. Portland

Championship match: Canton 42, Plainville 40
At Vernon (December 22)
145 Brian Connolly (C) pin Dylan McVicker (P), 2:35; 152 Dakota Dinielli (P) dec. Donovan Mackin (C), 9-1; 160 Alex Hernandez (P) pin Brendan Kelly (C), 3:22; 170 Austin Kilduff (C) pin Felix La oz (P); 182 Kaleb Korona (P) medical forfeit over Connor Clement (C); 195 Ty Pales (P) pin James Pelehach (C), 2:38; 220 Braydon Fluckiger (C) pin Adam Buckley (P), 3:28; 285 Charlie Corso (C) pin Bhavya Patel (P); 106 Ethan Titus (C) pin John Guzzardi (P), 1:47; 113: Dylan Bucci (P) forfeit; 120 Matt Webb (C) pin Michael Haddad (P), 3:30; 126: Dominic Pedrolini (P) forfeit; 132 Sebby Soli (P) pin Ryker Bahre (C); 138 Jack Freedenberg (C) pin Simona Barbagallo (P), 4:59
Record: Canton 5-0

Canton 40, Platt 39
At Vernon 
(December 22)
106 Ethan Titus (Canton) pin Tristen Mendoza (P); 113: Results not available; 120 Matt Webb (Canton) pin Mustafa Aziz (P); 126 Isaiah Ross (P) pin Ryker Bahre (Canton); 132: Results not available; 138 Jack Freedenberg (Canton) pin Tristyn-myles Danielle (P), 5:44; 145 Brian Connolly (Canton) pin Armany Reyes (P), 1:39; 152 Matthew Merrigan (P) pin Donovan Mackin (Canton), 1:32; 160 Paul Alexander Abreu (P) dec. Brendan Kelly (Canton), 11-4; 170 Austin Kilduff (Canton) pin Jazaie Alvarez (P), 1:09; 182 Connor Clement (Canton) pin Evaan Oquendo (P), 1:17; 195 Ryan Greene (P) pin James Pelehach (Canton), 3:59; 220 Braydon Fluckiger (Canton) dec. Andy Flores (P), 6-4; 285 Luke Fuerstenberg (P) pin Charlie Corso (Canton)

Canton 66, Rockville 8
At Vernon 
(December 22)
106: Results not available; 113 Ethan Titus (Canton) pin Logan Titus (Ro), 1:01; 120 Matt Webb (Canton) pin Corey Craft (Ro), 1:36; 126 Ryker Bahre (Canton) pin Michael Perez (Ro); 132 Jack Freedenberg (Canton) pin Mark Gardiner (Ro), 1:57; 138 Zach Larson (Ro) dec. Nic Johnson (Canton), 10-5; 145 Brian Connolly (Canton) pin Shawn Capiga (Ro), 1:45; 152 Donovan Mackin (Canton) pin Joshua Gearin (Ro), 1:05; 160 Kyler Mackinnon (Ro) tech fall Brendan Kelly (Canton), 17-2; 170: Results not available; 182: Results not available; 195 James Pelehach (Canton) pin Hunter Ogren (Ro), 1:35; 220 Braydon Fluckiger (Canton) pin Alexander Barry (Ro), 1:13; 285: Results not available

Canton 51, East Catholic 30
At Vernon 
(December 22)
106 Jacob Marselli (EC) pin Ethan Titus (Canton), 3:03; 113: Results not available; 120: Results not available; 126 Blaise Burby (EC) pin Ryker Bahre (Canton), 3:40; 132: Results not available; 138 Brian Connolly (Canton) dec. Matt Durant (EC), 10-4; 145 Noah Vail (EC) pin Nic Johnson (Canton); 152 Chris Rivera (EC) pin Brendan Kelly; 160 Donovan Mackin (Canton) pin Tim Leyden (EC), 2:46; 170: Results not available; 182: Results not available; 195: Results not available; 220: Results not available
285: Results not available

* * * *

Canton 48, Terryville 15
At Canton (December 17)
182: Connor Clement (Ca) pin Jamison Kulesa, 1:12; 195: Jon Maihot (T) pin Chris Dinneen, 1:31; 220: Braydon Fluckiger (Ca) pin Alex McLaughlin, 0:23; 285: Charlie Corso (Ca); 103: double forfeit; 113: double forfeit; 120: double forfeit; 126: Levi Avolt (T) dec. Matt Webb, 5-4; 132: Jack Freedenberg (Ca) pin Luke Saucier, 1:10; 138: Gabe Deirtis (Ca) forfeit; 145: Cayleb Leclerc (T) pin Brian Connolly, 3:57; 152: Donovan Mackin (Ca) pin Bailey Schuster, 3:55; 160: Josh Newell (Ca) pin Devlin Corveau, 2:30; 170: Austin Kilduff (Ca) pin Mike Zulewski, 2:22|
Records: Canton 1-0, Terryville 0-1

Tournament results

Lawless Invitational
At Woodbury
Team results – 1. Guilford 172½, 2. Canton 162, 3. Nonnewaug 130½, 4. New Canaan 112, 5. Longmeadow MA 98, 6. Brookfield 82, 7. Oxford 81, 8. Agawam, MA 55, 9. Stafford 38, 10. Derby 36½, 11. Somers 30, 12. Portland 25, 13. East Hampton 22, 14. Seymour 10, 15. Shepaug 0
Individual results
106 pounds
Final: Ethan Titus (Canton) dec. Matty Carrozza (Brookfield), 5-0
3. Drew Koval (Guilford) pin Michael Hernandez (Derby), 2:45
113 pounds
Final: Dylan Levesque (East Hampton) dec. Matt Webb (Canton), 7-0
3. Edward Barlage (Guilford) tech fall Ryan Christiansen (Seymour), 15-0
120 pounds
Final: Thomas Verdiglione (Nonnewaug) dec. Matt Freda (Longmeadow), 7-1
3. Thomas Chappa (Oxford) pin Joey Bucci (New Canaan), 2:06
126 pounds
Final: Anthony Bomgardner (Guilford) dec. Jack Freedenberg (Canton), 9-3
3. Colden Williamson (Nonnewaug) pin Jayden (Portland), 1:09
132 pounds
Final: Tristan Julian (Stafford) dec. Keldon Larose (Guilford), 8-3
3. Kelvin Cenkolli (Nonnewaug) pin Christopher Murphy (Guilford), 0:52
138 pounds
Final: Brian Connolly (Canton) dec. George Sanderlin (Guilford), 8-2
3. Richard Lawton (Portland) pin David Ives (Stafford), 2:12
145 pounds
Final: Tyler Sung (New Canaan) pin Vincent Mascola (Guilford), 0:51
3. Ben Niez-Charest (Nonnewaug) dec. Donovan Mackin (Canton), 5-0
152 pounds
Final: Zahir McLean-Felix (Brookfield) dec. Robert Masotti (Guilford), 5-0
3. Brent Strand (Guilford) dec. Hayden Barrett (Somers), 11-1
160 pounds
Final: Christian Sibbett (New Canaan) pin Samuel Martino (Oxford), 1:32
3. Aiden Ghiroli (Guilford) pin Josh Newell (Canton), 2:10
170 pounds
Final: Austin Kilduff (Canton) pin Ed Chappa (Oxford), 1:22
3. Matthew Benevento (New Canaan) pin Andre Goulet (Somers), 0:33
182 pounds
Final: Dom Ledoux (Agawam) pin Jack Cronin (Nonnewaug), 0:28
3. James Pelehach (Canton) forfeit over Shane Woods (Longmeadow)
195 pounds
Final: Flori Cenkolli (Nonnewaug) dec. Lucas Olson (Longmeadow), 11-4
3. Nate Bartone (Derby) forfeit over Sergiy Babenkov (New Canaan)
220 pounds
Final: Adam Frame (Brookfield) pin Peter Grant (Longmeadow), 1:51
3. Ian Rose (Guilford) dec. Jason Madden (Oxford), 8-6
285 pounds
Final: Antonio Ramos (Agawam) pin Teddy Declue (New Canaan), 3:17
3. Lachlan Berry (Longmeadow) pin Charlie Corso (Canton), 3:12

Lawless Invitational brackets and results

Shelton Invitational
At Shelton
Team results – 1. Green Farms Academy-Westport 156, 2. Canton 142, 3. Amity 138, 4. Shelton 135, 5. Notre Dame-West Haven 106, 6. Masuk-Monroe 91, 7. Norwalk 89, 8. Morgan 82, 9. Weston 67, 10. Notre Dame-Fairfield 48, 11. Valley Regional 18, 12. O’Brien Tech 0
Individual results
106 — Final: Caleb Seyfried (GFA) dec. Ethan Titus (Canton), 5-2
3. Kyle Carse (Morgan) dec. Porter Schexnayder West Haven, CT (Notre Dame-West Haven), 4-2
113 — Final: Nico Provo (Green Farms Academy) pin Garrett Ziperstein (Shelton), 2:17
3. Michael Campos (Norwalk) pin Danny Carlson (Amity), 2:05
120 — Final: Sam White (Norwalk) dec. Christopher Shea (Green Farms Academy), 2-0
3. Brayden Esposito (Amity) dec. Matt Webb (Canton), 5-2
126 — Final: Ayan Mumtaz (Shelton) pin Julian Schlossberg (Weston), 2:51
3. Josh Fragola (Morgan) pin Amir Jarad (Amity), 1:37
132 — Final: Peter Kane (GFA) dec. Louis Bradley (Morgan), 3-2
3. Sean Rago (Shelton) dec. Josh Cala (Amity)
138 — Final: Griffin Seyfried (Green Farms Academy) dec. Anthony Cimino (Morgan), 9-0
3. Cole Johnson (Amity) dec. Anthony Fontana (Weston), 5-0
145 — Final: Michael Bartush (Green Farms Academy) pin Brian Connolly (Canton), 3:08
3. Curtis Fedorko (Masuk) pin Chris Fillion (Notre Dame-West Haven), 4:38
152 — Final: Jason Lobdell (Masuk) dec. Mike Monaco (Shelton), 5-0
3. Gianni Liguori (Notre Dame-West Haven) pin Victor Espinoza (Norwalk), 1:29
160 — Final: Zachary Minch (Masuk) dec. Christian Castro (Amity), 11-3
3. Mark Delima (Notre Dame-Fairfield) dec. Sebastian Buenano (Notre Dame-West Haven), 8-3
170 — Final: Andrew Seaton (Amity) pin Austin Kilduff (Canton), 3:59
3. Chris Muralles (Norwalk) dec. Simon Galeano (Norwalk), 3-2
182 — Final: Alex Barbour (Notre Dame-West Haven) dec. Simon Flaherty (Amity), 13-5
3. Connor Clement (Canton) pin Alec McGlone Weston, CT (Weston), 2:20
195 — Final: Nehemiah Harris (Notre Dame-Fairfield) dec. Adler Viton (GFA), 5-4
3. Austin Pompa  (Masuk) pin James Pelehach (Canton), 4:04
220 — Final: Ray Weiner (Shelton) pin Braydon Fluckiger (Canton), 0:59
3. Dante Solano (Norwalk) pin David Lamb (Norwalk), 3:00
285 — Final: Matt Weiner (Shelton) pin Ben Falivene (Valley Regional), 1:04
3. Khorbin Kern (Notre Dame-West Haven) pin Robert Lowe (Notre Dame-West Haven), 5:00

Shelton Invitational brackets, results

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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