A little help from its opponent was just what the Weston High wrestling team needed in its match against Joel Barlow.
The Trojans trailed by six points going into the last two matches on Wednesday, Feb. 6. But with Barlow not having eligible wrestlers for these two contests the Trojans got the wins by forfeit, putting them on top 42-36 for the win at home in the last match of the regular season.
Prior to the match, Tim Levene, Rich Prackup, Remy Babson-Smith and Geronimo Valin were recognized on Senior Night. All went out with wins in their respective weight classes.
“Only Tim had wrestling experience before these four were in high school and to see them take hold of the experience and make the most of their high school athletics career has been very gratifying to me,” said Weston head coach Mario Federici. “I’m very proud of not only the seniors but the whole team.”
Barlow went up early with wins in the first two weight classes. Emmett LiCastri pinned Jackson Siff in one minute, five seconds at 126 pounds and Aiden Buckley did likewise to Mike Levene in 1:30 in the 132-pound division.
Weston soon replied as Babson-Smith pinned Jake Allen in 3:06 at 138 pounds and Valin followed with a pin of Ed Cadden-MacLean in 2:36 in the 145-pound class.
The shortest match actually wrestled was at 152 pounds. Sam Rueben needed only 13 seconds to pin Mitch Frizzell.
It looked as if Immaculate-Barlow would pull out of reach after winning five of the next six classes, starting with David Gombos pinning Sky DeBarger in 2:51 at 160 pounds.
Weston’s only win during this stretch came at 170 pounds when Josh Lachs pinned John Stalks in 3:58. It was close at 182 pounds but Dante Hristu held off Ryan O’Connell for a 4-2 win.
Two more pins for Immaculate-Barlow followed. Steve Ghossani beat Blake Wertleib in 1:33 at 195 pound and Andre Hristu won the same way over Alex Ishin at 220 in 1:04.
The hosts needed a win to stay in the match and got it with Travis Delaney pinning Mitch Saunders in 18 seconds at 285 pounds.
Jay Broderick’s win by a pin at 3:09 against Andre Leonard at 106 pounds put the visitors briefly in the lead again but with Immaculate-Barlow having to forfeit 113 and 120 pounds Prackup and Tim Levene got the wins by forfeit and the match was Weston’s.
“I told the team, the victories on the mat mean the least to me,” said Federici. “The victories, the real victories, are represented in the players that I have coached through the years.”
Weston finishes the season at 12-8 overall and takes part in the state Class S meet on Friday and Saturday at Haddam-Killingworth High.