Wrestling: Newtown has strong grip on Weston

Weston High’s Remy Babson-Smith, top, battles Ridgefield’s John Pavain in the 138-pound match at the New Milford Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 19. Weston finished eighth out of 14 teams with 38 points.—Scott Mullin photo

While victories were not in abundance each was hard-fought for the Weston High wrestling team when it traveled to Newtown last week.

The Trojans had their hands full on Thursday, Jan. 17. The host Nighthawks won the vast majority of the weight classes to take the match 49-18.

Newtown won five of the first six contests, including the 132-pound group. Here Mike Long pinned Mike Levene in one minute, 23 seconds.

James Leuci won a 5-3 decision over Remy Babson Smith at 138 pounds. The Trojans got their first win at 145 when Geronimo Valin pinned Jake Locorotondo in 2:50 in a battle of senior captains.

It was close at 152 pounds. Sam Rueben stayed with Chase Newtown from start to finish before losing a close 7-6 decision.

At 160 pounds, Ed Lajoie pinned Sky DeBarger in just under a minute at 2:59. The 170-pound class was a close one with Newtown’s Forest Speed outlasting Josh Lachs by a 4-2 score.

The Nighthawks continued their run with a couple of pins in the next two matches. Max Temple defeated Ryan O’Connell in 1:50 at 182 pounds and Andy Hubina did likewise to Blake Wertleib in 2:36 at 195.

Weston broke the run with a win in the 220-pound class. It took three overtime periods but Travis Delaney held off Christian Morlock 5-2.

“When moments like these come during the season, you see how hard the student-athlete has been working,” said Weston head coach Mario Federici. “Travis has invested in the team’s motto, which is ‘the will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.’”

Newtown’s only win by forfeit came at 285 pounds when the Trojans had no eligible wrestler. The hosts got the pin in the 106-pound match when Luca Crudo beat Andre Leonard in 34 seconds.

Weston received a win by forfeit when Rich Prackup took the 113-pound class. Captain Tim Levene also got the win at 120 when he shut out Ryan King 4-0.

“He’s starting to wrestle offensively instead of defensively and when he does that he is a better wrestler,” said Federici.

The final match of night came at 126 pounds. Jackson Siff fell 15-0 to Chris Maple but avoided the pin.

“Jackson is invested in the attitude of refusing to lose,” said Federici. “If he continues his interest in the sport, he will be a good wrestler.”

Weston competes at the Staples Duals on Saturday at 10 a.m. and is at Bunnell on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

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