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Adams earns All-American honors at NHSCA nationals for 2nd straight year

Avon’s Isaiah Adams earned NHSCA All-American honors for the second straight year Sunday.

For the second straight year, Avon High Isaiah Adams earned All-American honors at the recent National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) national championship tournaments in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Adams (51-2) finished third at 113 pounds in the NHSCA Senior National event. A year ago, he became the first wrestler in school history to earn All-American honors in wrestling – a significant achievement for a decorated program that began in the late 1960s and has won nine state championships.

Simsbury’s Maximum Konopka won a NHSCA national title in the Middle School division at 180 pounds while Collinsville’s Colby Houle (119) finished second in the Middle School division. Both earned NHSCA All-American honors for the first time.

Adams, who has committed to attend Harvard in the fall, went 5-1 with two pins in the national tournament. The Senior Nationals are the oldest of the NHSCA’s five high school level tournaments dating back to 1991.

He beat Gunner Chambers of Rockmart, Georgia in the quarterfinals with a pin in 1:21 before dropping a 7-6 decision to eventual national champion Tyler Washburn of Naples, Florida in the semifinals. Washburn got a three-point near fall with eight seconds left in the match that turned a 5-4 lead for Adams into a lead for Washburn.

In the consolation semifinals, Adams beat Richard Albert of Cape Coral, Florida, 1-0 with an escape with 1:15 left in the second period to earn a chance to finish third. Adams beat Chambers for the second time in the tournament in 50 seconds to finish third.

It was a strong finish to a stellar senior campaign for Adams. He won his second consecutive Class M title with a pin that helped Avon win the state championship by a half point. Adams won a second straight State Open championship and finished third at the New England championships in Providence.

At the New England meet, Adams finished third with a 4-2 win over Xavier’s Braylon Gonzalez thanks to a pair of first period takedowns. Adams suffered his first loss of the season in a 6-1 semifinal loss to Massachusetts champion Alex Schaueblin of St. John’s Prep. Tied at 1-1, Schaueblin threw Adams to his back with a five-point move with 28 seconds left in the match.

In the middle school division, Connecticut had 12 wrestlers earn All-American honors by finishing in the top eight, including two individual champions.

Konopka went 4-0 and won his first NHSCA national title at 180 with a 3-2 win over Carl Mielnik of Maryland to win a NSCHA national title. Konopka won a New England youth title at 188 earlier in the month in the 15-and-under division.

Konopka and Newtown’s Brighton Karvoski (90), who also won a national title, became the state’s first NHSCA Middle School champions since Danbury’s Jakob Camacho in 2014, according to research from Connecticut Wrestling Online.

Houle went 6-1 in the tournament with four pins to finish second at 119 pounds. Houle, who won a New England youth championship a week earlier in the 15-and-under division at 124 pounds, lost to Brock Rothermel of Pennsylvania in the NHSCA finals in 1:23.

2023 NHSCA wrestling tournament results and brackets (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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