Wrestling: State meet features strong competition

A tough field awaited the Weston High wrestling team at the state Class S finals.

The Trojans were one of 39 schools competing. Several wrestlers posted wins in the earlier rounds but were eliminated before they could place as Weston finished tied for 31st with Hale Ray of Moodus, each with 13 points last Friday and Saturday, Feb. 15-16, at Haddam-Killingworth High in Higganum.

Windham was the winner with 238.5. Haddam-Killingworth was runner-up with 135.5 and Terrryville and Oxford were tied for third with 131 apiece.

“All the seniors wrestled very well,” said Weston head coach Mario Federici. “Their setups, timing and conditioning were all present at this event and believe me they worked very hard to get it there.”

Weston was represented in most of the weight classes. At 106 pounds, Andre Leonard was seeded 17th but was pinned in one minute, 27 seconds by 16th-ranked Plainville’s Justin Plourde in the first round.

The Trojans had a bye in the first round of the 113-pound class. Seventh-seeded Rich Prackup then lost by a pin to 10th-seeded Fred Ellegard of Terryville. Moving onto the consolation bracket, he was pinned by Stafford’s Alan Bakker in 1:34.

Seeded sixth, Tim Levene also got a bye in the first round of the 120-pound class but was pinned in 3:44 by East Granby’s Steve Sobota, the 11th seed. He won a match in the consolation round by pinning Old Saybrook-Westbrook’s Chris Benzi in 1:18 but lost a 9-7 decision to Montville’s Steve Rogers.

It was a similar situation at 126 pounds with 13th-ranked Jackson Siff getting a bye and then getting pinned in 43 seconds by fourth-ranked Nick Zachary of Somers. In the consolation round he lost a 13-0 decision to Northwestern Regional’s Chaz Hamel.

In the 132-pound class Mike Levene, the 18th seed, lost a 12-1 decision to 15th-seeded Owen White of Granby.

Remy Babson-Smith was seeded eighth at 138 pounds and got a bye in the first round before winning a 7-0 decision over ninth-ranked Kyle Looney of Montville. He then met top-ranked David Daw of Old Saybrook-Westbrook and lost a 12-4 decision in the quarterfinals.

In the consolation round he won a 10-2 decision over Granby’s Nick Paolino and lost 9-6 to Austin Caffrey of Killingly.

The Trojans had Sky DeBarger in the 152-pound class. Ranked 19th, he was pinned in 1:31 by 14th-seeded Alex Perez of Windham.

Josh Lachs also ran into some competition right off the bat. Seeded 13th, he was pinned in 1:56 by 20th-seeded Andrew Granese of Seymour.

Weston posted another victory at 182 pounds. Sixteenth-seeded Ryan O’Connell pinned 17th-seeded Thomas Hatcher of Housatoni in 1:33. The former then lost by pin to to-ranked Spencer Hill of Windham in 32 seconds. The consolation round featured a close 12-10 loss to Derby’s Duane Jones.

After a bye in the 195-pound class, 13th-seeded Alex Ishin was pinned by fourth-ranked Caleb Eriksen of Morgan in 1:07. It was a close match in the consolation round as he was edged 2-1 by Portland’s Spencer Ravagnani.

Travis Delaney, seeded 11th, also had a bye at 220 pounds before getting pinned in 1:15 by sixth seeded Adam Patsun of Somers.

“I’m very proud of all my student athletes this season, because they wrestled like champions and champions hold their head high,” said Federici.

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