Edmondson, Luth gain spots in New England wrestling

Foran High’s Luke Edmondson placed second, Ryan Luth took third and Gino Esposito finished sixth at the State Open wrestling tournament, which matched up the top six seeds in four divisions at New Haven’s Floyd Little Athletic Center on Feb. 28.

Edmondson, a heavyweight, and Luth, at 120 pounds, each qualified for the New England Tournament to be held in North Andover (Mass.) on March 6-7.

Newtown High (159) won the team title, followed by Danbury (112.5), New Milford (110.5), Simsbury (100), Fairfield Warde (98) and Trumbull (88).

Coach Dave Esposito’s Lions, ranked 11th in the final state coaches’  poll, placed 13th at the Open with 51 points.

Edmondson has been the centerpiece for Foran’s success the last two years.

A two-time Class M champion, Edmondson was seeded second coming into the Open with a 31-3 record. Inevitably, the junior advanced to the finals to meet top-seed and Class LL champion Chidi Broderick from Xavier-Middletown.

A senior, Broderick brought a 32-0 mark into the finals, and had defeated Edmondson by 3:05 fall in the SCC tournament.
This time, Broderick took the title with a 14-3 major decision.

Edmondson began his trip to the finals with a 2:49 pin over Stephon O’Grinc from Harding of Bridgeport.
In his next bout, New Britain’s Luis Laboy (32-3) mounted a serious threat before Edmondson scored a 6-5 overtime win.

In the semifinals, Edmondson defeated Class LL runner-up the 28-4 Lukas Stone, 7-2.

Luth, a freshman wrestled back from a 3-1 semifinal defeat to claim third and a place at New Englands.

“Wrestling in the Milford youth league and taking parts in big tournaments around the country have really helped me,” said Luth, who will take a 38-3 record into New Englands. “My dad is a wrestling coach and I got to wrestle with my brother (C.J. now at Southern Maine).”

Luth opened with a 3:14 pin and then defeated Class L runner-up George Wales (32-4) from Fairfield Ludlowe, 8-1.

In the semifinals, Class S champion Jacob Martin (34-1) from Windham High eked out the 3-1 decision.

Luth bounced back to win a 6-4 decision over Class S runner-up Joel Morth (30-4) from Montville in the consolation semifinal.

Luth took third with a 4-2 victory over Class LL champion Matthew Conte (23-3) from Westhill-Stamford.

Gino Esposito, a sophomore and the Class M 106-pound runner-up, took a 36-1 record into the Open.

Esposito scored a 13-4 major decision over Jack Pelley (26-4) from East Windsor before losing 4-2 to Class L champion Robert

Hartling (25-4) from E.O. Smith-Storrs in the quarterfinals.

Down 3-0 in the third period, Esposito scored a reversal with 20 seconds left , Hartling escaped and then dodged his way clear to advance to the semis, where he lost 7-1 to eventual champion Zach Murillo (33-3) from Southington.

In wrestlebacks, Esposito pinned New Milford’s Colin Lindner (19-9) in 4:32 and blanked Windham’s 30-8 Anthony Julio 6-0 to guarantee himself a medal.

In the consolation semis, eventual third-place finisher Tristan Haviland (27-3) from Trumbull posted a 6-4 victory.

Esposito had a rematch with Hartling for fifth place, and the E.O. Smith grappler scored a 2-1 victory.

"I came here relaxed and ready to compete," Esposito said. "It's what we all for; to get here, have fun, and compete.

"I get to work with Ryan Luth every day, and I attend Team Tugman, where I get to work with tall kids, short kids and strong kids. It teaches you how to adjust. It's important to be able to score points from any (neutral, top, bottom) position."

At 145 pounds, Patrick Fitzgerald, who placed sixth in Class M, lost by 1:08 fall to Xavier-Middletown’s Jack Levine (25-11), the Class LL fourth seed, in his first match.

A senior with a 23-12 record, Fitzpatrick dropped his consolation round bout with New Milford’s Class L fourth seed Zach Arnold (22-6) from New Milford by first-period pin.

Noah Hubler, a junior and the fifth-place finisher in Class M at 160 pounds, lost 10-8 to Class S fourth seed Jackson Hines from Haddam-Killingworth in his first bout.

In wrestlebacks, Hubler (26-11) lost to Class M fourth seed Mitchell LaFlam (27-5) from Lyman Memorial/Windham Tech.

At 170 pounds, Ricky Kratzer (28-9), the Class M fifth seed, lost by 1:49 pin to Trumbull’s Joey Ryan (27-5), who went on to place sixth.

In wrestlebacks, Northwestern’s Gabriel Schwartz (25-11), the Class S fifth seed, advanced with a 2:03 pin.