By BRIAN JENNINGS
Sophomore Paul Calo represented the Blue Knight wrestling team when he wrestled at the 28th Annual NHSCA National Wrestling Championships, held at the Virginia Beach Convention Center in Virginia Beach, Va. from Friday, March 24 to Sunday, March 26.
Calo went 1-2 in the 160-pound weight class over the weekend. In his first bout, he fell in a 3-0 decision to Alex Cramer of Illinois, but returned to pin Zachary Elowitch of Maine at 3:53 in his second bout.
“I pretty much expected a win in that match,” said Southington coach Derek Dion. “He dominated him from start to finish. If he had a different draw in the tournament, I think he would have dominated some more kids too.”
Calo fell in a 2-1 decision to Joseph Barnes of California in his final match to cap off the tournament.
“The California kid was champion there last year,” said Dion. “Pauly was going after him like crazy at the end and almost had him on his back twice.”
Although Calo left Virginia Beach with just one victory, the young talent is still returning home with some valuable experience and a lot of potential.
“He saw greener pastures when he was out there,” said Dion. “He understands that his ceiling is a lot higher and understands what he needs to do to get to the next level.”
Connecticut’s sophomore class finished 24th overall with 67 points out of 45 states. Kyle Fields was Connecticut’s only sophomore medalist after finishing seventh overall in the 126-pound weight class.
Pennsylvania (543) won the sophomore class with two champions, followed by New Jersey (451.5) and New York (356.5).