GUILFORD >> Foran’s reign as the CIAC Class M wrestling champion is over, but barely.
Ellis Tech of Danielson won four matches in the finals to beat the defending champion Lions and win the Class M crown before a packed house Saturday night at the Kenefick Gymnasium. The Golden Eagles took the top spot with 213.5 points, while Foran had 183.5 points. Guilford was third with 170 points.
It was the first wrestling state championship for Ellis Tech and the first state wrestling title won by a technical school. Ellis Tech‘s only previous state titles came via five boys’ cross country state crowns during a period from 1987-1993.
“This has been a goal for four years,” Ellis Tech coach Rafael Calixto said. “It’s a great accomplishment. For them to come in and win a state title is great.”
Foran coach David Esposito said the better team won it.
“They were better than us and they were better than us all year,” Esposito said. “It was a harder job for us to come in second this year than to come in first last year. We just got outwrestled by a better team.”
Perhaps the most exciting match for area wrestlers came in the 152-pound final when Michael Ross of Foran survived an upset bid by Branford’s Zach Cash to take a 15-6 victory.
Ross, who had won state titles in both 2015 and 2016, had been unscored upon all season in posting 36 wins coming into the match. But Cash stunned the crowd with a minute to go in the first round by nearly pinning Ross, who managed to keep his shoulders off the mat.
“I’m still in shock about that,” Ross said. “I was disoriented for about a minute after that, but I had to wrestle through it. That’s what makes me a champ.”
From there, Ross controlled the match, taking a 15-6 edge after two rounds. In the third, he put Cash on his back and eventually pinned him at 4:59 to win the Class M title.
“I just believed in myself, even if I got thrown on my back,” Ross said.
At 160 pounds, Guilford’s Mackayd Larose scored the only point of the match with 1:17 remaining when he scored an escape to grab the 1-0 victory.
“I’ve been waiting for this for four years,” Larose said. “This is for my Dad, who’s been there since day one when I started wrestling at three years old.”
Guilford’s Jack Six also had a match that went down to the final seconds. Leading, 5-4, Nicholas Cote of Bethel tried a last ditch take down move that almost caught Six, a senior in just his second year of wrestling. However, Six was able to roll him over as the buzzer sounded to end the match to win 7-4.
“If this happens in the last three seconds, that would just suck,” Six recalled what he was thinking. “My life flashed before my eyes, but to win the Class M is very special. Very few people can say they’ve won the Class Ms.”
Five other area wrestlers were beaten in championship matches. At 120 pounds, Guilford’s Keldon Larose was beaten by Daniel Veleas of Berlin, 8-1. At 126 pounds, Law’s Shane McCourt was pinned by Anthony Devanny of Ellis Tech at 4:37. At 182 pounds, Foran’s Qasim Khan was pinned by William Magrino of New Fairfield at 3:34. At 145 pounds, Ryan Luth of was bested by Avery Shay of New Fairfield, 7-3. At 195 pounds, Kevin Brocksom of Law suffered a 9-2 loss to David Verizzi of Lyman Memorial/Windham Tech.
1. Ellis Tech 213.5; 2. Foran 183.5; 3. Guilford 170; 4. Platt 158; 5. Killingly 147; 6. Lyman Memorial/Windham Tech 120; 7. Jonathan Law 118.5; 8. New Fairfield 100.5; 9. East Haven 99.5; 10. Berlin 99; 11. Bethel 97; 12. Branford 80; 13. Suffield 67; 14. Rham 63; 15. Stratford 58.5; 15. Waterford 58.5; 17. Bunnell 52; 18. Tolland 43; 19. Plainville 40.5; 20. St. Bernard/Norwich Tech 40; 21. Harding 35.5; 22. Avon 34.5; 23. Brookfield 31; 24. Weston 30; 25. Bacon Academy 24.5; 26. Woodstock Academy 14; 27. East Lyme 12; 28. Watertown 9; 29. Lewis Mills 2; 30. Torrington 0
106 — 1st: Logan Smith (Waterford) DEC Danny Charron (Killingly), 1-0; 3rd: Gavin Rickaby (Ellis Tech) MD James Rondini (Platt), 12-2; 5th: Victor Garcia (East Haven) DEC Michael Giordano (Foran), 6-3
113 — 1st: Sean Johnson (Ellis Tech) F Nick Arborio (Berlin), 2:50; 3rd: Mike Charron (Killingly) DEC Antonio Lieto (East Haven), 8-4; 5th: Victor Torres-Martir (Platt) DEC Troy Anderson (Jonathan Law), 8-3
120 — 1st: Daniel Veleas (Berlin) DEC Keldon Larose (Guilford), 8-1; 3rd: Noah Pantani (Branford) MD Sebastian Soli (Plainville), 15-6; 5th: Jeremy Polanco-castro (Platt) DEC Tanner Divito (East Haven), 6-0
126 — 1st: Anthony Devanny (Ellis Tech) F Shayne Mccourt (Jonathan Law), 4:37; 3rd: Jared Swett (Lyman Memorial/Windham Tech) F Joe Milano (East Haven), 0:57; 5th: George Sanderlin (Guilford) F Trevor Johnson (Killingly), 0:32
132 — 1st: Baltazar Gonzalez (Ellis Tech) F Ryan Angers (Tolland), 4:59; 3rd: Vincent Mascola (Guilford) DEC Eugene Nichols (Rham), 8-4; 5th: William Mauro (Foran) DEC Aisaiah Rodriguez (Jonathan Law), 11-7
138 — 1st: Cole Blair (Ellis Tech) DEC Hunter Adams (Suffield), 12-10; 3rd: Robert Ruiz (Bethel) M FOR Alexi Giantomidis (Jonathan Law), 0-0 0:00; 5th: Zack Burgess (Killingly) MD Ryan Lindley (Rham), 8-0
145 – 1st Avery Shay (New Fairfield) DEC Ryan Luth (Foran), 7-3; 3rd: Mannash Carlson (Platt) DEC John Nieroda (Suffield), 9-2; 5th: Carter Cox (Guilford) DEC Nicholas Marchak (Bethel), 3-0
152 — 1st: Michael Ross (Foran) F Zachary Cash (Branford), 4:59; 3rd: Michael Angers (Tolland) DEC Joshua Veleas (Berlin), 2-1; 5th: Cole Davidson (Lyman Memorial/Windham Tech) DEC Zavian Arroyo (Platt), 7-2
160 — 1st: Mckayd Larose (Guilford) DEC Ben Stratton (Platt), 1-0; 3rd: Derek Turner (Killingly) DEC Jack barnhart Sullivan (Bunnell), 3-1 TB2; 5th: Maximillian Khoshabo (Bethel) DEC Colby Stuart (Foran), 7-2
170 — 1st: Mason Laflam (Lyman Memorial/Windham Tech) DEC Zach Caffrey (Killingly), 6-4; 3rd: Aj Moscato (Guilford) DEC Umer Khan (Foran), 8-5; 5th: Damien Benway (East Haven) MD Noah Silk (Rham), 18-5
182 — 1st: William Magrino (New Fairfield) F Qasim Khan (Foran), 3:34; 3rd: Ben Gosselin (Killingly) MD Josh Wojcik (Ellis Tech), 10-0; 5th: Charles Andrus (Guilford) DEC Jamar Mighty (Harding), 7-2
195 — 1st: David Verizzi (Lyman Memorial/Windham Tech) DEC Kevin Brocksom (Jonathan Law), 9-2; 3rd: Jason Milfort (Bunnell) DEC Michael Otworth (Weston), 8-7; 5th: Ronald Gaul (Foran) DEC Tristan Frownfelter (Stratford), 8-3
220 — 1st: Jack Six (Guilford) DEC Nicholas Cote (Bethel), 7-4; 3rd: Alex Brito (St. Bernard/Norwich Tech) DEC Andre Vella (Foran), 3-1; 5th: Kyle Zalewski (Branford) DEC Gavin Thuotte (Ellis Tech), 6-4
285 — 1st: Nicholas Martone (Platt) DEC Sergio Ferreira (Stratford), 3-2; 3rd: Wyatt Smiley (Brookfield) DEC Duane Soto (Harding), 3-1; 5th: Collin Delsanto (Ellis Tech) F Roarke Ryan (St. Bernard/Norwich Tech), 2:45