AP NEWS

Wrestling CIAC State Championship Capsules

February 15, 2019

CLASS LL

Where: Trumbull High School

When: Saturday, 9 a.m. (finals scheduled for 5 p.m.)

Defending champion: Danbury

Contenders: Danbury, Trumbull, Warde, Southington

Wrestlers to watch: Ryan Jack, Danbury, Jr., 126: One of best talents to grace through the Danbury program, and that’s saying something. Could win four State Opens in his career. Travis Longo, Trumbull, Sr, 113: Defending State Open champion at 106, fresh off an FCIAC title last weekend; posted a 38-2 record this year. Shamar Schand, Manchester, Sr, 132: One of a select few to still be undefeated at this point in the season (27-0); finished third at last year’s State Open at 138. Kyle Fields, Danbury, Sr., 132: Went 28-4 this winter as part of a difficult schedule for the Hatters; defending LL champion at his class. Joe Gjinaj, Warde, Sr., 195: Went 35-1 en route to an FCIAC title and is the defending State Open champ. George Harrington, Staples, Sr., 220: Has progressed into one of the top heavyweights in the state, will be seeded No. 2 after a 23-2 season.

Most intriguing potential matchup: Joe Palmieri (Trumbull) and Andrew Nanai (Greenwich), 182 pounds: The top two seeds came right down to the wire with Palmieri claiming a 7-6 win at the FCIAC championships. A rematch at states is a distinct possibility.

CLASS L

Where: Bristol Central High School

When: Saturday, 9 a.m. (finals scheduled for 5 p.m.)

Defending champion: Bristol Eastern

Contenders: Bristol Eastern, Simsbury, Xavier, Middletown, New Canaan

Wrestlers to watch: Elijah Cyr, Middletown, Sr., 113: Placed third over the summer at Fargo Junior Nationals; went 34-1 this season. Ty Finn, Simsbury, So., 120: One of several stellar Trojans in Class L, Finn is a State Open finalist from last year. Thomas Nicholas, Bristol Eastern, So., 132: Went 35-3 for the Lancers to earn the top seed in the weight class. Justin Mastroianni, New Canaan, So., 138: One of the contenders for most outstanding wrestler of the tournament, was held out of some matchups through minor injuries and should be fresh having wrestled just 13 times. Tyler Sung, New Canaan, Jr., 145: Defending champion at 145, suffered just one loss during the regular season before winning the FCIAC title. Justin Marshall, Bristol Eastern, Sr., 152: Went 34-0 to earn the top seed and is also the defending champion in his class. Jacob Commander, New London, Sr., 182: Completed the four-peat of ECC championships last week to remain undefeated this season; won the Class M title at 195 last year. Trinidad Gonzalez, Bristol Eastern, Sr., 220: Wrestled a difficult schedule to post a 33-1 mark; won a L title at 195 last year.

Most intriguing potential matchup: Michael Rapuano (Xavier) and Trent Thompson (Bristol Eastern), 106 pounds: The 106 division is strong at the state level and either of these two could win Open titles. Rapuano went 37-4 during the regular season.

CLASS M

Where: Guilford High School

When: Saturday, 9 a.m. (finals scheduled for 5 p.m.)

Defending champion: Foran

Contenders: Killingly, Avon, Foran, Ledyard

Wrestlers to watch: Henry Schrecengost, Avon, Sr, 285: Will head to Bryant to play football after graduating, went 34-1 in his second season on the mat. Carson LiCastri, Barlow, Jr., 182: Bloodlines run deep for the standout junior, who went 38-0 and captured most outstanding wrestler honors at the SWC championships last weekend. Michael Angers, Tolland, Sr., 160: Defending Class champion and runner-up at last year’s State Open; posted an undefeated regular-season mark that included a win at the Chaves Invitational. Sean Johnson, Ellis Tech, Sr., 138: Another undefeated grappler heading into the postseason, Johnson looking to win his fourth straight class championship. Keldon LaRose, Guilford, Sr., 132: A finalist at his class at last week’s SCC championships and placed second to Johnson at last year’s Class M meet. Michael Charron, Killingly, Sr., 113: Almost made it an all-brother ECC title triumph last week, but fell in the final as David claimed a title. The opposite was the case at last year’s Class M meet as Mike claimed the win at 120.

Most intriguing potential matchup: David Charron (Killingly) and Hunter Chin (New Fairfield), 126 pounds: The ECC and SWC champion could be on a collision course for the final.

CLASS S

Where: Windham High School

When: Saturday, 9 a.m. (finals scheduled for 5 p.m.)

Defending champion: Windham

Contenders: Gilbert, Montville, Canton, Griswold

Wrestlers to watch: Darrick Deveau, Montville, Sr., 285: Placed third at last weekend’s ECC championships after a 30-2 regular season. Johnny Falco, Griswold, Sr, 195: One of the key pieces for Wolverines all winter, Falco won the ECC title and has been beaten just once. Reached the final at Class S last season. Jack Cronin, Nonnewaug, Jr., 182: Claimed the Berkshire Valley title to help the Chieftains place third as a team. Alex Smith, Gilbert, Sr., 170: Went undefeated en route to the Berkshire Valley championship; placed second in Class S last season. Kyle Matthews, Gilbert, Jr., 152: Went 37-1 during the regular season and helped his school win a second straight team title. Louis Bradley, Morgan, So., 132: One of a few Class S competitors with State Open hopes, Morgan finished fifth at 113 last season.

Most intriguing potential matchup: Devin Matthews (Gilbert) and Louis Bradley (Morgan), 132: Bradley placed at 113 at last year’s State Open and Mathews is undefeated this season.