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Titus, Adams, Mairano earn All-American honors at NHSCA nationals

Canton’s Ethan Titus, right, became just the ninth athlete in school history to earn All-American honors with his fifth place finish at Sunday’s NHSCA national championship meet.

With the long history of athletics at Canton High that date back more than 100 years and the history of athletics at Avon High that date back to the late 1950s, it is truly difficult to do something for the first time in school history.

It takes some luck and the ability to seize the opportunity when it presents itself.

Canton’s Ethan Titus and Avon’s Isaiah Adams became the first wrestlers in school history to earn All-American honors in wrestling at the National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) championship tournament this past weekend in Virginia Beach, Va.

Titus earned All-American honors in the Senior Division tournament with a fifth-place finish at 113 pounds. Adams earned All-American honors by placing seventh in the Junior Division tournament, also at 113 pounds.

Simsbury’s John Mairano (132) became the third wrestler in school history to earn All-American honors at the NHSCA championships with a fifth place finish in the Senior Division tournament.

The tournament attracts wrestlers from across the country. It began in 1991 as a tournament for seniors before it began to expand by adding a junior division (2005), sophomore division (2006) and freshman division (2007). A girls tournament was begin in 2019.

Titus (39-6) isn’t the first Canton wrestler to compete at the NHSCA nationals but he is the first to come home with a medal.

After becoming the first Canton wrestler to win a Class S state championship since 2014, he finished second at the State Open and third at the New England championships.

At the national meet, Titus won his first two matches by shutout, 2-0 and 9-0, before dropping a quarterfinal match to New England champion Isiac Paulino of Massachusetts, 2-0, giving up a two-point near fall with 30 seconds left in the second period.

In the consolation bracket, Titus recovered to beat Frankie Kessler of New York, 9-1 and beat Arizona’s Mickey Doerr, 5-2, to earn All-American honors. Titus turned Doerr to his back with 19 seconds left in regulation to snap a 2-2 tie with a three-point near fall.

Titus dropped a 5-1 decision to Nevada’s Saoul Prado in the consolation semifinals and trailed New York’s Nate Tromble by three points in the third period of the fifth place bout.

Trailing 4-1, Titus escaped with 1:13 left in the match to cut the lead to two. He tied the match with a takedown with 32 seconds left in regulation. Titus got a three-point near fall with five seconds remaining for a  7-4 victory.

Titus becomes just the ninth Canton High athlete to earn All-American honors.

Avon’s Isaiah Adams earned All-American honors by taking seventh at the NHSCA Junior Nationals — the first Falcon to do this. (Photo courtesy John McLaughlin)

Adams (38-6) went 6-2 in the tournament to finish seventh. A takedown with one minute left in regulation gave Adams a 5-4 win over Missouri’s Nate Martin in his tournament opener. After pinning Ohio’s Gunner Havens, Adams lost to Tyler Washburn of Florida, 13-1.

But Adams was focused and won three bouts in the consolation round to earn All-American honors.

A three-point near fall with 0:44 left in the third period lifted Adams to a 5-1 win over Minnesota’s Cole Sikora. Adams had three takedowns in an 11-8 win over Georgia’s Allen Caldron before beating Misouri’s Ryan Meek, 3-1.

Georgia’s T.K. Davis scored three points in the final 56 seconds to beat Adams in the consolation semifinals, 3-0. But Adams rallied to pin Havens for the second time in the tournament to finish fifth.

Simsbury’s John Mairano, right, earned All-American honors by finishing fifth at 132 pounds.

Mairano wrestled at 145 pounds during the season, going 43-0 with a Class LL and a State Open championship. He was 1-2 at the New England championships.

He dropped to 132 at the NHSCA nationals and won his first three matches to earn a spot in the semifinals. Mairano (49-4) got an escape with 10 seconds left to beat Colorado’s Elijah Oliguin in his second match before beat Massachusetts’ Jimmy Glynn, 6-5 in the quarterfinals.

An early takedown and late escape helped North Carolina’s J.T. Richards beat Mairano, 3-2 in the semifinals. After a 6-0 loss, Mairano beat Delaware’s Jade Thude, 4-3, to finish fifth.

Mairano’s younger brother, Chad, also competed in the Sophomore Division tournament 152 pounds and went 2-2.

2022 NHSCA national championship tournaments (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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