GREENWICH — It has been a season of first-time achievements for the Greens Farms Academy wrestling team and each one just keeps getting better.
After winning the FAA Championshps for the first time in program history two weeks ago, Greens Farms Academy produced a performance it won’t forget at Brunswick School on Saturday.
Represented by numerous wrestlers in the finals, Greens Farms won its first-ever Western New England Independent School Wrestling Association Championships team title. The Dragons amassed 266.5 team points at the tournament, which included 16 squads. Host Brunswick, which won the tournament the past six seasons and has 15 WNEISWA titles to its ledger, placed second in the team standings (239), followed by Trinity-Pawling (202), Avon Old Farms (159.5) and Suffield Academy (134.5). Hopkins School was sixth (132).
GFA won the first seven weight class titles and boasted eight champions overall.
“Our team wrestled really tough, which is what we were trying to do,” GFA coach Jack Conroy said. “Just come out and have fun wrestling — that was our mindset.”
Brunswick won three weight divisions on its way to a second-place showing in the team standings.
“Going into this tournament, we knew what GFA had,” Bruins coach Tim Ostrye said. “It was my call that they were going to put eight wrestlers into the finals, which I believe, they did. “Give them credit, they had a fantastic day. Our kids did a good job too, right from the get-go. It was a great tournament for us.”
In the 106-pound final, Caleb Seyfried of GFA pinned Brunswick’s Kyle Pagnani in 42 seconds.
“I took him down, came up with a bar, he squirmed a little bit, but once I got it tight, I was able to pin him,” Seyfried said. “We had a tournament in Atlanta that I placed second in and that’s when I knew I was going to do well during my sophomore season.”
Owen Cronin of Avon Old Farms finished third in the 106-pound bracket, followed by Jonathan Leite from Hopkins.
Top-seeded CJ Shea gave Greens Farms a victory at 113, defeating Aiden Maag of Avon Old Farms in the finals by pinfall (5:50). In the third-place match, Hopkins’ Charlie Fisher was an 8-4 winner against Brunswick’s Enzo Vera.
The 120-pound matchup saw GFA freshman Ronnie Christolin score a 9-4 decision against Pomfret’s Kellen Horst in the title bout. Taft’s Ethan Costanzo pinned Sam Rivera of Hopkins in the third-place matchup in 3:09.
“I wrestled him a couple of weeks ago and I ended up going into overtime,” Christolin said. “I knew going into this bracket, it was going to be tough, but I really wanted it. I had to take my shots, he’s a tough kid.”
After Nico Provo of GFA won the 126-pound title with pinfall victory (1:24), teammate Aiden Herbert, pinned Hopkins’ Dominic Roberts in 2:20 for the 132-pound championship.
At 138, Justin Mastroianni of GFA was victorious against Brunswick senior Luca Errico, by a 9-0 decision.
“I just wrestled the way I wrestle,” Mastroianni said. “He comes out really aggressive in the first period, so I just kind of countered that aggression and used it to my momentum. It’s been a great season for us so far, winning this tournament and breaking Brunswick’s streak of winning 22 straight FAA titles.”
Said Errico, who has only two losses on the season: “He was better than me today. I knew he was going to try to slow me down, but I let him wrestle his match. Now I have to get focused and ready for New Englands next week in Hartford.”
Peter Kane gave Greens Farms another championship win at 145, posting a 7-0 victory against Chris Perry of the Bruins. Nick Bell was Brunswick’s first title-winner of the afternoon. He pinned his Trinity-Pawling foe in 5:45 in a hard-fought matchup.
“I wrestled him last week at a dual meet and I lost, 5-3, so I knew I was going to see him again,” Bell said. “It feels awesome to win this tournament. I think losing to him last week mentally prepared me going into this match.”
Mikey Bartush, the meet’s Most Outstanding Wrestler, earned more points for his GFA squad by winning the 160-pound division. He pinned Pearson Hill of Hopkins in 3:30 in the final, capping a 4-0 day on the mat. He won each of his four matches by pinfall.
“He got me in a cradle, so I had to fight off my back and break the lock,” Bartush said of his championship match. “I almost got a defensive pin, then caught him in a cement mixer and won. Two weeks ago, he beat me at FAAs, so this was a great win.”
Brunswick’s Nadjingar Ngbokoli (170) won one of the most exciting matches of the meet, edging Luis Perez of Suffield, 14-13. The back-and-forth battle included numerous reverses and take downs.
“It was very stressful, I’m just glad I came out with the win,” Ngbokoli said. “That was the highest scoring match I have ever been involved in. Definitely listening to coach Ostrye and sticking to the game plan got me through the match. Without a doubt, that was one of the toughest matches I have ever been a part of.”
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Hamden Hall’s Connor Massey placed third in the 170-pound division, pinning Avon’s Mark Schadt in 4:12.
Clayton Ostrover of the Bruins scored a 3-2 decision over his Suffield Academy foe in the 195 final.
“I said at the beginning of the season, I wanted to win states, so this really means a lot to me,” Ostrover said. “GFA is an incredibly strong team. We fought hard and had some matches that didn’t go our way, but hopefully, we can change that (next week) at New Englands.”
Alex Burdick of the Bruins placed third in the 182-pound division, pinning Hotchkiss’ Charlie Knight in the third-place match in 1:13. Brunswick’s Howard Powell placed third in the 285-pound division, pinning Hobie Jamison of Avon Old Farms in 2:17.
QUOTABLE: “I was telling the guys after the semis that we were winning after the semis at this tournament a couple of years ago and Brunswick came back and won, so we had to wrestle tough in the finals and we did,” Conroy said.