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Simsbury, Avon both ranked in top 10 of first state wrestling poll of season

Simsbury’s Zach Johns (152) wrestles Coventry’s (RI) Christian Rutherford in the finals of the Chaves Invitational.

Two Farmington Valley wrestling teams are ranked in the top 10 of the first Connecticut Wrestling Online top 10 state poll of the season.

Simsbury (3-2) comes in at No. 4 in the while Avon (1-0) is ranked No. 10 and back in the top 10 for the first time since week 7 in February 2019. The two teams are scheduled to meet on Wednesday night in Simsbury beginning at 6 p.m.

Danbury (2-0) is the No. 1 team in the state with 11 first place votes followed by No. 2 Xavier (4-1) with four first place votes and No. 3 Fairfield Warde (5-0), who picked up one first place vote.

Undefeated Killingly (8-0) ranked No. 5 with a strong start to the season. Foran (2-0) is sixth with Staples at No. 7. Both teams were ranked in the top 10 in 2020, the last year the poll was conducted.

East Hartford is making their first appearance in the top 10 poll since February 2005.

Simsbury has been busy the first two weeks of the season. The Trojans won their own Chaves Invitational beating Coventry, R.I., a top team from the Ocean State in the tournament along with New Milford.

Simsbury followed that up with a strong sixth place finish at the George Bossi Lowell Holiday Tournament with teams from across New England. Top-seeded John Mairano (145 pounds) was one of four medalists for Simsbury. He was 5-0 in the tournament with three pins. He pinned Mark Botello of Hingham, Mass., in the finals in 3:33.

Teammate Zach Johns (152) went 5-1 in the tournament with three pins and a technical fall victory in the semifinals. Rawson Iwanicki of Saint John’s Prep of Danvers, Mass., pinned Johns in the finals, picking up two crucial bonus points for Prep, who won the tournament by just two points over Timberlane Regional from New Hampshire.

Simsbury’s Cael Finn (143) and Chad Mairano (160) – John’s brother – each earned medals with Finn finishing fourth and Chad Mairano taking seventh.

Two days later, Simsbury battled with Saint John’s Prep, Xavier and Ellis Tech from Danielson in a tough four-team meet. The Trojans Beat Ellis Tech but lost to Saint John’s Prep (15-0) and to Xavier.

Avon opened the season with their first win over Bristol Eastern since 2009 and followed that up with a second place finish at the C.J. McCormack Invitational in Berlin. Isaiah Adams (113) and Jonah Weber (138) each won individual titles for the Falcons while Cameron Casey (170) finished second.

Danbury has had just two duals meets against Wilton and Fairfield Ludlowe along with an appearance at the Beast of the East tournament in Newark, Delaware in December. The Hatters’ annual Ryan Sabbagh holiday tournament was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.

Xavier sent three wrestlers to compete in the Beast of the East tournament while the rest of the squad finished second behind Fairfield Warde at the Guilford Invitational on Dec. 18. Xavier (4-1) beat Simsbury and Ellis Tech in a dual meet last week only dropping a match to undefeated Saint John’s Prep.

Warde (5-0) won the Guilford Tournament in December and was third at the Bossi Lowell Holiday tournament.

Killingly (8-0) won the 38th annual Lancer Tournament in Waterford for the first time and their first eight dual meets despite minimal preparation. Several Killingly wrestlers returned to practice just five days before the Lancer Tournament after Killingly won the Class M football championship on Dec. 11.

Foran (2-0) won the C.J. McCormack tournament in Berlin while Staples (1-0) was second at the Lancer Invitational. East Hartford (1-0) won the Skip Ardan tournament at Manchester High.

Connecticut Wrestling Online’s top 10 wrestling poll

Connecticut Wrestling Online’s top 10 high school wrestling poll for the 2021-22 season. First-place votes in parentheses, record through Saturday, points tabulated on a 30-28-26-24-22-20-18-16-14-12-11-10-9-8-7 basis, and last week’s poll ranking.

Week 1, Monday, January 3, 2022

Team Record Pts LY Class
1. Danbury (11) 2-0 450 1 LL
2. Xavier (4) 4-1 440 3 L
3. Fairfield Warde (1) 5-0 434 2 LL
4. Simsbury 3-2 366 4 L
5. Killingly 8-0 302 7 S
6. Foran 2-0 256 11 M
7. Staples 1-0 224 13 LL
8. East Hartford 1-0 202 nr LL
9. Newtown 4-0 189 nr L
10. Avon 1-0 164 nr M
Also receiving votes:  Trumbull (1-0) 153, Guilford (7-0) 143, Branford (6-0) 109, New Milford (1-0) 83, Windham High (5-1) 60, RHAM (2-0) 59, Bristol Central (1-0) 53, Pomperaug (6-1) 34, Norwalk (0-2) 25, Platt High (5-1) 17, New Canaan (4-1) 14, Berlin (1-0), Ellis Tech (3-4) and East Lyme/Norwich Tech (5-2) 11, New Fairfield (1-0) 10
Voting this week: Charlie Anderson, Trumbull; Matt Boissonneault, Bristol Central; Mike Cunningham, Xavier; Gerry deSimas, Jr., Connecticut Wrestling Online; Derek Dion, Southington; Chris Gamble, Waterford; David Green, Nonnewaug; Tim Jensen, Patch Media; Paul Musso, New Fairfield; Chris Piel, New Milford; Patrick Risley, Windham High; Matt Schoonmaker, Jonathan Law-Milford; Jason Shaughnessy, Fairfield Warde; Ricky Shook, Danbury; T.J. Silva, Simsbury; Jimmy Zanor, Norwich Bulletin.
Not voting this week: Patrick Risley, Windham High
LY: Last poll in March 2020

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

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