Coach Frank Peters’ Foran High wrestling team placed second at the Joe Beler Duals on Dec. 28.
Foran defeated Fitch of Groton, Gilbert of Winsted, Law and Seymour, before falling to sixth-ranked Farmington in the final round.
“Our core strength is in our upper weights, and we have some talented guys in the low weights as well,” Peters said.
“They kept us competitive in several of our matchups…I’m happy with how they did today, and how they performed against these schools.”
The Lions got off to a good start, handily defeating Fitch by a score of 57-19.
After 106-pounder Kevin Kwalek won by forfeit, Foran’s lightweights went on a tear, securing a trio of pins to put Foran on top 24-0.
Gino Esposito pinned his 106-pound foe in 2:39, Jacob Pouliot followed up with an 18-second fall and Jubilee Witte pinned his 126-pound opponent in 1:36.
Fitch chipped away at Foran’s lead with a pair of pins, but Ray DeWitt extended the Lions’ lead to 30-12 with a 1:39 pin in the 145-pound class.
Fitch earned two more decisions before Noah Hubler earned a 1:07 pin in the 170-pound class, and Zach Hubler a 1:34 pin at 195.
Ben Croll wrapped things up with a 50-second fall in the 220-pound class, and Foran was underway in the tournament with a 1-0 record.
Gilbert of Winsted
Pouliot opened up Foran’s subsequent meeting with Gilbert by earning a 3:30 fall in the 113-pound class, and 120-pounder Elijah Moretti followed up with a pin at 3:24.
The Lions then took advantages of eight forfeits, putting enough distance between themselves and the Yellowjackets to walk away with the 60-16 victory.
Having won their first two meets of the day, Foran faced crosstown rival Jonathan Law, who also entered the meeting with a day’s record of 2-0.
The Lawmen jumped out to an early lead, sweeping the first five matches to take a 21-0 lead before Beau Garcia got Foran on the board with a pin in the 160-pound class.
Law extended its lead to 30-6, but Foran’s upper weights brought the Lions back into competition with three consecutive pins.
Zach Hubler got things started with a 1:18 pin in the 195 class, Croll followed up with a 56-second pin at 220, and Luke Edmondson earned a 20-second fall in the heavyweight division to narrow the deficit to 30-24.
Esposito kept control of fellow freshman Zach Anderson through much of his 106-pound matchup, taking an 8-2 lead before earning the fall at 3:03 to tie the score at 30 with two matches left.
Law’s Luke Centore won by decision at 113, and the fate of Foran’s comeback rested on the shoulders of the 120-pound Pouliot.
Pouliot recorded four takedowns in the first period to give himself an 8-3 lead, then put further distance between himself and Tim Rebentisch in the second frame with three more takedowns and a near fall.
That was enough for a 14-5 score and a five-point major decision, and Foran edged Law by a team score of 34-33.
The Lions moved on to face Seymour in the fourth round, defeating the Wildcats by a score of 51-29.
Seymour surged ahead to a 23-0 lead before Foran came back, winning eight straight matches to ascend to a 45-23 lead.
Garcia got things going with a 10-5 decision in the 160-pound class, and Noah Hubler followed up with a 51-second pin at 170.
Cristian Woodford did even better, pinning his 182-pound foe in just 20 seconds.
Zach Hubler, not to be outdone, earned a fall in the 195-pound class in only 14 seconds.
Croll kept things going with a 55-second pin in the 220-pound slot, and Esposito (106) and Pouliot (113) wrapped up the scoring run with pins in the lightweight classes.
Witte earned a fall in the 126-pound class in 4:21 to wrap up Foran’s fourth win of the day.
The victory sent the Lions to the finals, where they met Farmington, who bested Foran by a score of 42-25.
Farmington racked up a 27-0 lead after the first six matches, but Foran’s heaviest and lightest weights once again brought the Lions back.
Zach Hubler earned a fall in the 195-pound class in just 47 seconds, and Croll followed up with a 1:31 pin in the 220-pound slot.
Edmondson earned a 2-1 decision in the heavyweight class and Esposito recorded a 3:18 pin in the 106-pound class.
Pouliot’s 10-0 major decision at 113 narrowed the gap to just 27-25, but Farmington held on for the win.
Wear pink to match
On Wednesday, Jan. 29, the Foran High School wrestling team will be having Take Down Breast Cancer Night at its home match versus Shelton High at 6:30 p.m.
All proceeds from their various fund-raisers will be donated to the Get in Touch Foundation, which promotes breast cancer awareness and teaches self-examination techniques to girls and young women.
The team will also be honoring breast cancer survivors within the Foran wrestling family.