Wrestlers battle at Eastern States, win Greater Hartford Invitational

By KEVIN ROBERTS

STAFF WRITER

Southington wrestling defeated Hall 57-22 in a CCC West Division dual meet on Jan. 9. That part of the schedule went as planned. The tournament portion wound up needing to be tweaked.

Two, not three Blue Knight wrestlers, competed at the Eastern States Wrestling Classic in Loch Sheldrake, N.Y., on Jan. 11 and 12. Jacob Cardozo took eighth place at 138 pounds in the prestigious tournament. Caleb Brick went 1-2 in the 120-pound division, but Paul Calo didn’t wrestle as he continues to deal with nagging injuries.

“It would have been a great opportunity for him to showcase his skills in front of a lot of college coaches,” coach Derek Dion said about Calo. “Not that he’s sneaking up on anyone. He would have been a one-seed, everyone knows him.”

The rest of the Southington varsity squad competed at the Greater Hartford Invitational on Saturday at West Hartford’s Hall High School. Even without Cardozo, Brick, and Calo, Southington rallied to 191 points to capture the crown. The Knights totaled 191 points, 22 ahead of second place Killingly (169).

Here’s more on what happened last week:

Eastern States

JAN. 11-12—The Knights didn’t have three wrestlers competing as planned at the big-time tournament in Loch Sheldrake, N.Y. Instead, just Cardozo and Brick wrestled for Southington, which finished tied for 95th with 12 team points. Hilton, N.Y., won the tournament with 143 team points, followed by Wyoming Seminary (Penn.) with 135.5.

Cardozo had a pin in 3:32 in his first bout at 138. He followed that up with a 13-6 decision in the championship Round of 16. Springfield Central’s Mahari Miller scored a third period reversal to win a 2-1 decision over Cardozo in the quarterfinal round. In the consolation second round of eight, Cardozo claimed a 7-0 decision. Cardozo lost his consolation semifinal bout 7-4 to Nick Sanko of Pittsford, N.Y. Cardozo lost the seventh place bout by fall to Sean Savacool of Minisink Valley (N.Y.).

Brick was pinned in his first bout at 120, but he came back to win his first consolation bracket bout in a 4-0 decision. Brick was eliminated in a decision against Nick Picariello of Minisink Valley.

Greater Hartford Invite

JAN. 12—The Knights didn’t win an individual weight class, but they had enough place winners to claim the team crown at Hall.

Ben Gorr (113), Billy Carr (170), Matt Jacobson (182) and Caleb Chesanow (195) all took second place finishes for Southington. Emmett Vitti (120), Josh Vitti (160) and Vecchio (220) all finished tied for third place after reaching the five-bout limit. Jason Brault took fourth place at 152.

Up next: Southington wrestled Newington on Wednesday in a CCC dual meet. The Knights were scheduled to travel to Timberlane, N.H., on Saturday for the Timberlane Invitational, weather permitting.

Dual meet victory

JAN. 9—Before they left for the weekend tournaments, Southington faced Hall on Wednesday. Southington fell behind after the first bout, but quickly seized the lead in a dual meet win over Hall in the Walt Lozoski Gymnasium.

Dawsen Welch (132), Jared “JJ” Guida (138), Josh Vitti (160), Carr (170), Jacobson (182), Chesanow (195), and Gorr (113) won by pin. Brault (152) won by decision.

Cardozo (145) and Emmett Viti (120) won by forfeit.

“I thought most of the kids went out there and wrestled, got it done,” Dion said. “[Jason] Brault wrestled tough. JJ Guida’s first match as varsity, he went out there and wrestled tough.”

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com

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