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Canton’s Ethan Titus brings home first state championship since 2014

Canton’s Ryker Bahre, top, was one of three Warriors to earn a spot in the Class S finals on Saturday. Bahre finished second at 160 pounds.

Canton High senior Ethan Titus has been dominant on the mat all season. It has not stopped in the postseason.

Titus is undefeated in two post-season tournaments with six victories and six pins.

He won the NCCC championship at 132 pounds two weeks ago, wrestling up two weight classes to get some additional competition and became the first Canton wrestler since 2014 to win a state championship. Titus swept through the Class S tournament at 120 pounds to win a title and help the Warriors finish sixth.

Canton (13-10, 5-2 NCCC) had three wrestlers in the finals for the first time since 1995. Titus’ younger brother, Reese, finished second at 113 pounds while Ryker Bahre finished second at 160 pounds.

Mark Freedenberg (182) and Chris Dinneen (195) also earned medals with Freedenberg finishing fifth and Dinneen taking sixth. All five wrestlers earned an invitation to compete at this weekend’s State Open championships in New Haven at the Floyd Little Athletic Center on the campus of Hillhouse High.

“The kids put in a lot of hard work this year and improved greatly since the beginning of the season,” Canton High coach Joshua Bristol said. “I’m really proud of them. Everyone contributed to the team’s success.”

Ethan Titus had previously won medals at the Class S tournament. He was fourth at 106 as a freshman and was second at 106 as a sophomore. Last year’s season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ethan Titus (34-2) pinned his two opponents at the NCCC Tournament and pinned all four wrestlers he faced in the Class S tournament including a pin of Montville’s Luke Chapman in the finals in 4:30. The two wrestlers that Ethan pinned at the NCCC Tournament won medals at the Class S meet at 132, finishing fifth and sixth, respectively.

“Ethan winning the tournament in such a dominant fashion was great,” Bristol said. “He was runner up for (Outstanding Wrestler award) and broke the school’s single season takedown record in the finals.  He’s put in an incredible amount of work for a long time to get where he is.”

He is the first Canton wrestler to win a state championship since Skylar Lang won at 220 pounds in 2014.

Canton High coach Josh Bristol, left, and Reese Titus earlier this season in Simsbury. Titus earned a spot in the finals at 113 at Saturday’s Class S tournament.

Reese Titus (32-4) won the NCCC Tournament title at 120 and moved back down to 113 for the Class S tournament. He won his first two matches by pin before surviving in a 6-3 win over Ledyard’s Joseph Cradez in the semifinals.

Cradez put Reese to his back with 45 seconds left in the match to cut the lead to one, 4-3, but Reese got a two-point reversal with 39 seconds left to secure the win.

Haddam-Killingworth’s Ethan Wright pinned Reese Titus in 1:13 to win the title at 113 pounds.

At 160 pounds, Bahre (29-7) won his first two bouts to earn a spot in the championship match. He beat Ledyard’s Avery Kenny in the semifinals, 9-3. But Haddam-Killingworth’s Nicholas Glynn pinned Bahre in 1:57 win the championship.

Freedenberg finished fifth with a 4-2 record. All four of his wins were by pins, all in the first period. Dinneen went 2-3 in the tournament with a pair of pins.

Haddam-Killingworth won their first-ever state championship in wrestling with 11 wrestlers winning medals, seven earning a spot in the finals and four bringing home individual state championships.

Haddam-Killingworth (16-5) beat Killingly by 83 points, 267½ to 184½ to win the championship. It’s the biggest margin of victory in the Class S tournament since Windham beat the Cougars by 103 points in 2013.

Canton’s sixth place finish was their third straight top 10 finish. The Warriors were sixth in 2019 and ninth in 2020.

“I can’t complain about a sixth place finish,” Bristol said. “I was in disbelief when we ended day one (of the tournament) tied for fifth place. If you had told me we would finish that well at the beginning of the season, I would hardly have believed it.”

CIAC Class S championships
At Killingly
Team results: 1. Haddam-Killingworth 267½; 2. Killingly 184½; 3. Windham 171½; 4. New Fairfield 137; 5. Montville 125; 6. Canton 122; 7. Rocky Hill 115; 8. Ledyard 113½; 9. Bacon Academy 102; 10. Somers 87; 11. Portland 84½; 12. Griswold/Wheeler 82; 13. Stafford 72; 14. Nonnewaug 69; 15. Morgan 47; 16. Derby/Oxford/Holy Cross 38; 17. Putnam 35; 18. Old Lyme 34; 19. Granby 31; 20. Seymour 30; 21. Stonington 28; 22. Shepaug Valley 26; 23. Woodland 25; 24. Tolland 23; 25. Cromwell 20; 26. Coventry 18; 27. Terryville/Thomaston 14; 28. Gilbert 12; 29. Sheehan 8; 30. St. Paul 7
Individual results
106 pounds
Final: Joe Mahoney (New Fairfield) dec. Brady Zadora (Killingly), 6-4
3. Taylor McCormick (Somers) pin Jafdiel Ramos (Windham), 0:30
5. Hoshena Gemme (Old Lyme) dec. Brian Nguyen (Haddam-Killingworth), 12-0
113 pounds
Final: Ethan Wright (Haddam-Killingworth) pin Reese Titus (Canton), 1:13
3. Joseph Crader (Ledyard) pin Caleb Christie Griswold/Wheeler), 1:47
5. Miguel Garcia-Zamudio (Windham) pin Ian Cathell (Killingly), 2:13
120 pounds
Final: Ethan Titus (Canton) pin Luke Chapman (Montville), 4:30
3. Colin McCormack (New Fairfield) dec. Gunnar Howes (Haddam-Killingworth), 6-0
5. Tyler Brodeur (Rocky Hill) pin Ryan Taggart (Ledyard), 4:46
126 pounds
Final: Kaden Ware (Killingly) dec. James Linder Jr. (Montville), 5-0
3. Dominic Colella (Bacon Academy) pin Hermin Pomales (Windham), 1:34
5. Douglas Sattler (Ledyard) pin Griffin Shafer (Portland), 1:49
132 pounds
Final: Connor Doran (Ledyard) dec. Elias Sturdevant (Woodland Regional), 14-2
3. Jesse Costley Griswold/Wheeler) dec. E.J. Jenkins (Windham), 9-0
5. Logan Wolf (Somers) dec. Naveen Rodriguez (Coventry), 7-1
138 pounds
Final: Blake Chapman (Montville) dec. Thomas Bock (New Fairfield), 6-4 OT
3. Spencer Rosado (Portland) dec. Greyson Merola (Haddam-Killingworth), 7-0
5. Deven Lamothe (Putnam) dec. Kip Faison (Shepaug), 11-10
145 pounds
Final: Jack Richardson (Killingly) pin Cavin Napoletano (Haddam-Killingworth), 1:06
3. Aiden Christie Griswold/Wheeler) pin Tyler Peterson (New Fairfield), 2:03
5. Evan Albert (Tolland) dec. Lane Faison (Shepaug), 4-3 OT
152 pounds
Final: Benjamin Williams (Haddam-Killingworth) pin Carson Brown (Bacon Academy), 2:50
3. Cooper Light (Stonington) pin Matt Gish (Cromwell), 4:53
5. Luke Dlugolenski (Granby) pin Aaron Palacios-Mendoza (Windham), 0:24
160 pounds
Final: Nicholas Glynn (Haddam-Killingworth) pin Ryker Bahre (Canton), 1:57
3. Cooper Barrett (Somers) pin Avery Kenny (Ledyard), 4:51
5. Ethan Lachnicht (Rocky Hill) pin Caleb Ives (Stafford), 1:46
170 pounds
Final: Jack Wendel (Nonnewaug) dec. Jacob Martone (Haddam-Killingworth), 11-0
3. Aaron Running (Bacon Academy) dec. Stefan Ryer (Old Lyme), 14-6
5. Andrew Johnson (Portland) dec. Nathan Gamache (Rocky Hill), 8-5
182 pounds
Final: Anthony Deicicchi (Seymour) pin Ryan Duncanson (Haddam-Killingworth), 1:53
3. Tommy Bean (Stafford) pin Asael Garcia-rodriguez (Windham), 3:28
5. Mark Freedenberg (Canton) pin Jacob Shine (Granby), 1:47
195 pounds
Final: Samuel Young (Haddam-Killingworth) pin Soren Rief (Killingly), 3:31
3. Jacob Marques (Nonnewaug) dec. Malachi Fowler (Windham), 3-1 OT
5. Raphael Vogt (Montville) dec. Chris Dinneen (Canton), 11-5
220 pounds
Final: Jordan Armstrong (Morgan) pin Yael Garcia-Rodriguez (Windham), 2:49
3. Owen Brunk (Portland) dec. Chris Adamczyk (Rocky Hill), 5-3
5. Devin Exarhoulias (Killingly) pin Kaleb Arcouette (Stafford), 3:53
285 pounds
Final: Doug Traynor (New Fairfield) pin Don Shivas (Derby/Oxford/Holy Cross), 5:57
3. Darin Exarhoulias (Killingly) pin Jayven Williams (Montville), 2:08
5. Nicholas Frasco (Haddam-Killingworth) pin Denali Collins (Bacon Academy), 0:55
Outstanding wrestler: Jack Richardson (145), Killingly
2022 Class S championships (brackets, results via FloArena)

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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