wrestling Eagles deal Cardinals 1st loss os season
GREENWICH — Amassing pins has been one of Trumbull’s trademarks so far this season and it continued its trend of putting its foes shoulders on the mat Wednesday in Greenwich.
Winnings six matches by pinfall, Trumbull showed why it was ranked fifth in the state’s latest wrestling poll, registering an impressive 44-33 win over host Greenwich in an FCIAC matchup.
Victorious in eight of the 14 matches, the Golden Eagles improved their record to 18-3 in a dual meet involving a pair of tough FCIAC squads.
“So far, we have been doing really well,” Trumbull senior 132-pounder Jonathan Kosak said. “We are 18-3 on the season, with a couple of losses coming against really good teams. For the most part, we have been able to stay off our backs, but we still have to continue to work hard to get bonus points.
The loss was the first of the season for a Greenwich team that won its first five matches of the winter. The Cardinals ended the match with a flurry, winning the final four matchups.
“Trumbull is very good, especially at the light weights,” Greenwich first-year coach Jere Petersen said. “The difference ended up being a couple of pins. If we stayed off our backs and don’t get pinned, we had a chance at winning a couple of the close matches. The heavy weights really came through. All those guys came through with pins, which was very good to see.”
The match began with a 106-pound bout between Trumbull’s Andy Grabinski and Javier Serra. Leading 6-0, Grabinski pinned Serra in 2:48.
In a hard-fought 113-pound match, Eagles freshman Michael Longo won by an 11-6 decision against GHS sophomore Carlos DeWinter. Ahead 8-6, Longo increased his lead late in the third period with a three-point near fall.
Greenwich’s first victory of the evening came at 120, where sophomore Will Grimes pinned Aidan Burns in 49 seconds. The visitors proceeded to win the next five matches to seize control.
Junior Jack Ryan (126) of Trumbull won by pinfall against Justin Mejia in 2:24, while Kosak registered a hard-fought 6-2 win against Greenwich senior Mitchell Grimes (132).
“I was sick the day of FCIACs last year and I really wanted to come back this year against him with a win,” Kosak said.
David Castaldo, a Trumbull senior, pinned GHS senior Emanuel Lai in 4:43 in the 138-pound match.
“We wanted to beat this team and we needed as many points as we could get, so I knew I needed to get a pin,” Castaldo said.
Junior George Bomann (145), senior Matt Ryan (152) and sophomore Jason Mercado (170) each posted pinfall victories for Trumbull.
In one of the most competitive matches, Cardinals senior Andrew Nanai (195) pinned Joe Palmieri in 2:53. Nanai held a 4-2 advantage behind a pair of take downs before he executed the pin. It was a rematch of last season’s FCIAC final and Class LL final semifinals. Nanai topped Palmieri for the FCIAC title, while Palmieri beat Nanai in the Class LL Championships.
“I beat him twice last year, once in the FCIAC finals, but lost to him in the Class LL semifinals by one point. That built a fire in me and in the offseason I worked on my wrestling and got more muscle on my body,” Nanai said. “I was ready tonight for one of my biggest matches and I knew it was going to be one of my toughest matches.”
Jackson Blanchard (220) of Greenwich won by pin in 45 seconds, while teammate Glen Rivas (285) pinned his foes shoulders to the mat in 1:43. Ryan Merida (183) also won by pinfall for GHS in 3:33. Christian Stanback, a senior, edged Wael Pezreh (160), 8-5.
“We are a strong ream right now, and hopefully we’ll do better in our upcoming tournaments like FCIACs and LLs,” Castaldo said. “I am looking forward to the LL tournament and what I want most make it to the New England tournament — that is my biggest goal.”
Said Petersen: “We are young at the most light weights, but they will figure it out. You can definitely learn more from a loss.”