Wrestlers clinch conference title

By BRIAN JENNINGS

STAFF WRITER

The Blue Knight wrestling team finished out the regular season with their ninth-straight win with a 62-18 victory at New Britain on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

Southington won the CCC West title with an undefeated 6-0 regional record for the second-straight year.

“That’s the first on our list of goals for the year,” said Southington coach Derek Dion. “So it’s good to check that box and start moving forward to the postseason now.”

Jacob Cardozo (113), Shaun Wagner (132), Paul Calo (160), and Sam Mena (170) each landed pins in the match. Calo secured the fastest pin at 46 seconds into his bout.

The Golden Hurricanes forfeited bouts in six different weight classes.

The No. 5 Knights will enter the postseason when they wrestle against some of the top wrestlers in the state in the Class LL championship at Trumbull High School from Friday, Feb. 17 to Saturday, Feb. 18. Top-ranked Danbury is the defending champion, and Dion said that he will have his eye on the Hatters.

The Hatters are coming off their sixth-straight conference title after recording their highest score at the FCIAC tournament in 10 years. The Hatters had wrestlers in 11 of 14 weight classes and six individual champions.

“They returned quite a few,” said Dion. “They have a couple really tough freshmen studs down low. They’re going to be really difficult to match up with.”

According to the State Coaches Top 10 Poll, Southington is currently fifth with Danbury (1st), New Milford, Bristol Eastern, and Xavier ahead of them.

“In order for us to compete out there, we’re really going to have to get a group effort from everyone,” the coach said. “Shaun, Austin (Abacherli), and Paul have been really strong all year, but we have a possibility of placing in most weight classes. A lot of kids are starting to get enough experience where they can compete at this level.”

Southington finished the regular season with a 15-1 overall record (9-1 home, 6-0 away), going 8-0 in the CCC.

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