Led by coaches Brian McGovern, Greg Morris and Ted Young, Wilton Youth Wrestling turned in a fine performance at the CT State Youth Wrestling Championships this past weekend at Hillhouse HS in New Haven.
Michael Longo, a 3rd grader at Cider Mill, placed 2nd in the 55 pound division and is Wilton Youth Wrestling's first ever state finalist. Longo defeated Angelo Pellicci of Stamford / Apex Wrestling, who had placed 2nd in the regional qualifier the prior week, in the semifinals in a tight 2-0 match that saw Longo dominate the action from first whistle to last, including a superbly executed counter takedown to score the decisive points in the match.
Johnny Wu, a sixth grader at Middlebrook and a first year wrestler, did the unexpected and placed 4th as a first year wrestler in the 112 pound weight class in the novice division. After a first round bye, Wu pinned St. Peter from Bristol to advance to the semifinals. He then lost a close rematch from last week's qualifier to Matthew Ryan from Trumbull. He then defeated Vincenzo Francesco from Berlin to advance to the consolation finals, where he dropped a close 5-2 decision.
Jesse Walker, who trains with Iowa Style in Somers, NY but competes with Wilton in CT events, took third at 84 pounds in the Middle School division. In the first round he avenged one of his only losses with a convincing 10-0 decision over Josh Nieroda of Fisheye and then won a tight 3-2 bout against Hartling from Silverback. In the semifinals, he almost upset defending champion Jakob Camacho from Danbury, losing by a 3-2 count. After a consolation semifinals victory, he defeated Justin Marshall of Bristol for the bronze medal.
In the Intermediate division Everett Andersen at 75 pounds and Parker Woodring at 80 pounds both placed fifth after dropping heartbreakers in the consolation semifinals. Both advanced to the semifinals with two victories, with Andersen losing to the eventual champion from Danbury and Woodring losing a very close 3-2 decision to a Bethel wrestler whom he had beaten in overtime a few weeks before. Both Woodring and Andersen lost one point battles in the consolation semifinals. Both wrestlers had outstanding seasons.
In the 112 pound Middle School weight class, Zach Zeyher added another state medal to his collection with a strong 5th place showing. He went 3-2 on the day, including 2 pins. At 105 pounds, classmate Chris Sweeney also placed fifth and recorded a major decision, a pin, and a regular decision for a 3-2 showing also.
Other Wilton qualifiers included Griffin Morris, Joey Bevilacqua, Dean Dinnano, Alec Favarolo, Max Mannino, and Mason Peraino.
The state tournament capped another successful season for Wilton Youth Wrestling and with a talented crop of 8th graders led by Hans Forland and Alec Favarolo heading to Wilton HS in the fall, the future of Wilton wrestling continues to look bright.