Wrestlers grapple with top competition

Paul Calo (160) twists his opponent onto the mat during the annual Connecticut Duals on New Year’s Eve.

The Blue Knight wrestling team received their first taste of top competition in the state and even in New England over this past week after they competed in their first tournament of the season and hosted the Connecticut Duals.

Lowell Tournament

DEC. 27-28—Southington began the week by traveling out of state to the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell to wrestle in the George Bossi Lowell Holiday Wrestling Tournament, placing sixth with 128.5 points out of 73 teams.

Mount Anthony (224) of Vermont won the tournament, followed by Timberlane (209) of New Hampshire and Newtown (138.5). Newtown (138.5) was the top Connecticut team in third place. Fairfield Warde (119) finished in eighth.

Out of the 10 wrestlers Southington brought to the tournament, four of those wrestlers medaled. Paul Calo (160) captured the title of his weight class by pinning Chris Munnell of Concord, NH at 4:42.

For the second straight year, three Connecticut wrestlers won championships at the Lowell Tournament. Newtown’s Joe Accousti (170) and Ed Lovely (145) won titles along with Calo.

Austin Abacherli (152) finished as runner-up in his weight class after falling to a 16-4 major decision in the championship bout. Jacob Cardozo (113) finished fourth in his weight class, and Shaun Wagner (132) took fifth.

Connecticut Duals

DEC. 31—The Knights returned home on Saturday to host the Connecticut Duals, going 4-1 after wrestling five out of the 10 teams that attended.

Southington defeated Ridgefield, 63-17, Winchester, Mass., 42-30, Norwich Free Academy, 71-12, and Amity, 51-12. The Knights lost their final match of the day, 57-18, to Mount Anthony. The Patriots pinned the Knights eight times in the match.

Wagner, Abacherli, Calo, and Richie Rivera (220) all went undefeated on the day. Calo was the only Southington wrestler to land pins in each of his bouts.

Jacob Cardozo (113), Tagan Welch (138), Julian Robles (195), and Jimmy Starr (285) each went 4-1. Alex Rodrigues landed the team’s fastest pin at 18 seconds into his bout against NFA.

Southington landed a total of 22 pins and collected 10 forfeits, allowing 16 pins and forfeiting the 126-pound weight class.

The Knights will be back in action this week when they travel to Farmington on Wednesday, Jan. 4 for a dual meet and Hall High School in West Hartford for the Greater Hartford Open on Saturday, Jan. 7.

Southington is currently 6-1 overall and 1-0 in the CCC West Region.

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