Wrestling: Knights place 2nd at GHO

Ben Gorr (126) grapples with his opponent during a 47-25 win over Hall.

SPENCER DREHER

STAFF WRITER

It was another near-flawless week for Southington wrestling, as they racked up another CCC win and finished in the top-two of their third straight weekend tournament.  The Blue Knights are also getting contributions from more wrestlers, which showed in the Greater Hartford Open on Jan. 11.

Here is a recap from the last week:

Win at Hall

JAN. 8—Southington came out on top in nine of the 13 weight classes in a 47-25 win over Hall, including four victories by pin.

Colton Thorpe was the first Knight to pick up a win, defeating Jasper Royce-Day of Hall in 5:37.  Jared Guida also picked up a win by pin over Jameson Carnes in 1:20.

Dawsen Welch and Josh Vitti gave Southington back-to-back wins by technical pin, defeating their opponents by more than 15 points.  Welch beat Ryan Zydanowicz 21-3 while Vitti beat Joe Shuey 20-5.

Darius Magiafico came out on top over Jake Long by major decision, 10-1, while Emmett Vitti beat Austin Evan-Holmes by decision, 4-0.

Second at GHO

While the Knights have not claimed a championship in a weekend tournament yet this season, they finished runner-up for the third straight tournament when they competed in the Greater Hartford Open at Hall high school.

Southington had eight wrestlers finish in the top-five of their respective weight class brackets, including one champion, one runner-up, and three third-place finishers.  They finished just 5.5 points behind Killingly, who had one champion and two runner-ups.

The one champion for Southington was Caleb Brick, who came out on top in the 145 weight class bracket.  Brick, who started out as the fifth seed, defeated each opponent by pin in the first two rounds.  He also defeated both the first and second seeds, Marcos Rodriguez of Windam and Jacob Zotti of Newington, respectively, by major decision.

Josh Vitti was the runner-up finisher for the Knights as the No. 1 seed in the 160 weight class bracket.  He took down both of his first two opponents by pin, and took down Jake Martone of Haddam in the semifinal by decision.  Vitti went toe-to-toe with Traivon Nieves of Manchester but Nieves escaped with a 6-5 decision.

The Knights climbed up in the rankings towards the end of the tournament thanks to third place finishes by Billy Carr in the 182 bracket, Luke Deangelis in the 195 bracket, and Jacob Vecchio in the 220 bracket.

Despite a solid runner-up performance, head coach Derek Dion said he thinks Southington could have won that tournament.

“We just didn’t wrestle that well,” Dion said.  “I think we are better than we what we showed against Hall or this Saturday.  I think we could have had four or five champions.  We are just hoping it was a bad weekend.  Sometimes you just don’t have it.  We will be working on it.  The season is long and it is a grind.  The key is to get better and be battle-tested so we are ready come tournament time.”

While the Knights are not scheduled to compete in a tournament this weekend, they returned to CCC action on Wednesday when they hosted Newington.  They will travel to Conard on Jan. 22 at 6 p.m before hosting the Connecticut Challenge on Jan. 25.

 To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Spencer Dreher, email him at SDreher@SouthingtonObserver.com.

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