Wrestling: Foran's Nolan Bannon wins title for runner-up Lions
GUILFORD — Foran High had seven placement winners, including a Class M champion in Nolan Bannon, when coach Dave Esposito’s Lions finished second to Killingly High on Saturday.
Esposito had no regrets, after the Redmen moved to the top of the hill past the defending champion Lions.
“We started out 6-0 in consolations, which is our recipe,” Esposito said. “The top guys for Killingly are so good. We were going to need to win this thing from the backside (wrestlebacks).
“Our guys did their best, which win or lose is good enough for me. I don’t hope other team’s wrestlers lose on other mats. I leave it up to the wrestlers to decide.”
Jonathan Law’s Shayne McCourt was runner-up to No. 1 seed Hunter Aams from Suffield/Windsor Locks at 152 pounds.
Bannon won the 195-pound final out of the second seed with a 7-2 decision over top-seeded Josh Rao from East Haven. The senior stalked his opponent throughout and improved his record to 47-1 heading into the State Open.
“Wrestling for coach Espo is great,” Bannon said. “We practice only from 2:10 to 4, but we’re working from 2:10 to 4. The coaches are strict with that time and how we handle that time. We get it done in the room. They want us to have time for homework and time for being a student.”
Umer Khan placed second at 170 pounds. Locked in a 3-3 deadlock with Killing’s top-seeded Derek Turner after two periods, the senior tried for backpoints. Turner (42-3) reversed and scored the pin at 5:26.
Khan, now 39-7, said, “I just wanted to give it my best shot and make my teammates proud. The best part of being a Foran wrestler is rooting for your teammates, seeing them grow. The entire experience is awesome...We are family.”
Pat Brogan placed third at 182 pounds. Billy Ives was fourth at 220. Ethan Edmondson fifth at 145. Placing sixth were Jordan Lang at 126 and Tanish Joshi at 113.
McCourt took a 39-2 mark into his bout with Adams.
“Freshman year I had a losing record and worked hard to get better each season,” said McCourt, who through weight training moved up three weight classes to wrestle for coach Matt Schoonmaker’s Lawmen.
“It’s a long haul for all the wrestlers to get here. I’ll go to Opens (with 115 career wins) and do my best.”
Killingly led M’s with 202.5 points. Foran (161) was second, followed by Avon (151), Barlow (133), Suffield/Windsor Locks (132), Ledyard (130.5) and Waterford (124.5).
BEST OF THE BEST
Sean Johnson has gone where no one from Ellis Tech, and few from the state, have gone when the senior captured his fourth consecutive Class M championship with a 17-6 victory over No. 2 seed Eric Zane from Waterford at 138 pounds.
“I started young and to get from where I started to where I am, I have to credit my coach [Rafael Calixto] and my family,” said Johnson, who will bring a 165-14 career record into the State Open. “I love wrestling because anything can happen. It is such a grind.”
Leading Zane in his final 9-2, Johnson found himself in trouble. “I was like...He threw me what happened...You can’t take anything for granted.”
Johnson, a two-time Open finalist, scored 8 of the next 10 points.
MATCH OF NOTE
East Haven’s No. 3 seed Victor Garcia defeated Suffield/Windsor Lock’s No. 4 seed Zachary Johns, 9-7 in the consolation finals. Wrestling for third with a guaranteed spot in next week’s State Open, did nothing to slow the pride and poise brothers from putting on a show.
Johns scored seven points in the final 25 seconds of regulation to tie things. In the extra session, Garcia fought off a takedown attempt and got the two points himself with time winding down. The senior had a hug for Johns before having his hand raised. Good show — and Johns is only a freshman.
After his twin brothers Dan (at 106 pounds) and Mike (at 113 pounds) battled to win their weight classes 5-1 and 5-4, respectively, Killingly High junior David Charron extended a 2-0 lead to win his 126-pound final 8-0.
Bethel High’s Eamon Toland Matos was the highest seed to get to the final, where the No. 7 seed at 132 pounds defeated No. 4 seed Alec DiVito from East Haven, 12-4.
“I believe this is the third straight year, the numbers of bouts have gone up,” Tournament Director Bob Swan said. “We had 31 teams competing and had 495 bouts (with 317 wrestlers). The classes are evened out (by boys enrollment), but it seems we keep getting more bouts.
1st Danny Charron (Killingly) DEC Josh Brault (Joel Barlow), 5-1
3rd Mason Concascia (Waterford) DEC Connor Doran (Ledyard), 13-6
5th Matty Carrozza (Brookfield) DEC Jake Defonce (Abbott Tech), 7-4
1st Mike Charron (Killingly) DEC Logan Smith (Waterford), 5-4
3rd Victor Garcia (East Haven) DEC Zachary Johns (Suffield/Windsor Locks), 9-7 OT
5th Charlie Prather (Joel Barlow) F Tanish Joshi (Foran), 0:35
1st Braeden O'Brien (Bacon Academy) DEC James Rondini (Platt), 5-0
3rd Abhi Bhabad (Avon) DEC Johnny Cerquiera (Abbott Tech), 6-2
5th Julian Soares (New Fairfield) DEC Cooper Morissette (Killingly), 10-5
1st David Charron (Killingly) MD Hunter Chin (New Fairfield), 8-0
3rd Isaiah Ross (Platt) DEC Jackson Archer (Lyman Mem/Windham Tech), 9-8
5th Ghassan Saleh (Suffield/Windsor Locks) F Jordan Lang (Foran), 4:14
1st Eamon Toland Matos (Bethel) MD Alec Divito (East Haven), 12-4
3rd Keldon Larose (Guilford) DEC Tyler Miller (Ledyard), 4-3
5th Trevor Johnson (Killingly) DEC Caleb Ferland (Ellis Tech), 7-1
1st Sean Johnson (Ellis Tech) MD Eric Zane (Waterford), 17-6
3rd Cole Dirico (Ledyard) F Louis Stabile (Brookfield), 1:23
5th Matthew Raine (Suffield/Windsor Locks) FOR Isaac Bean (Killingly), 0-0
1st Daniel Veleas (Berlin) DEC Alex Klein-Wassink (Joel Barlow), 7-1
3rd Curtis Fedorko (Masuk) DEC Everett Minevich (East Lyme), 4-2
5th Ethan Edmondson (Foran) M FOR Vincent Mascola (Guilford), 10-4 2:56
1st Hunter Adams (Suffield/Windsor Locks) F Shayne McCourt (Jonathan Law), 0:55
3rd Ryan Powers (Lyman Mem/Windham Tech) MD Brayden Grim (Ledyard), 10-2
5th Breon Phifer (Weston) DEC Zahir McLean-Felix (Brookfield), 8-6 OT
1st Michael Angers (Tolland) DEC Miguel Gonzalez (Suffield/Windsor Locks), 3-1
3rd Jack Colman (Avon) DEC Frankie McNeary (Joel Barlow), 2-1
5th Zachary Minch (Masuk) DEC Danny Jarrin (East Haven), 3-2
1st Derek Turner (Killingly) F Umer Khan (Foran), 5:26
3rd Sebby Malespini (Berlin) DEC Colman Doucette (New Fairfield), 5-3 OT
5th Jacob Gannotti (Waterford) DEC Adam Crawford (Ledyard), 6-4 OT
1st Carson Licastri (Joel Barlow) DEC Justin Osler (Branford), 8-4
3rd Pat Brogan (Foran) DEC Ryan Greene (Platt), 6-4
5th Leonardo Amaro, Jr. (Bacon Academy) DEC Austin Pompa (Masuk), 10-8
1st Nolan Bannon (Foran) DEC Josh Rao (East Haven), 7-2
3rd Cody McHenry (Branford) MD Andy Flores (Platt), 15-3
5th Amir Johnson (Avon) FOR Andrew Allen (Ledyard), 0-0
1st Chris Gens (Avon) DEC Max Schlein (Berlin), 7-4
3rd Minsok Lee (Branford) DEC Billy Ives (Foran), 4-1
5th Adam Frame (Brookfield) DEC Jeremiah Harshberger (Waterford), 3-1 OT
1st Henry Schrecengost (Avon) DEC Hayden Minski (Ellis Tech), 7-2
3rd Rene Bernier (Killingly) DEC Roark Ryan (St. Bernard/Norwich Tech), 8-1
5th Armando Castaneda (East Haven) F Anthony Martinez (Joel Barlow), 1:35