STAMFORD — No matter what sport, the Stamford City Championship brings out the best in high school athletes.
For the Westhill High School wrestling program, it’s all building on history.
The Vikings captured their 10th consecutive Stamford City Wrestling Championship Wednesday night by downing intracity rival Stamford High, 40-33, before a spirited crowd at SHS’ Paul Kuczo gym.
“The kids (look) forward to this match and the intracity rivalry each year,” said Westhill’s veteran coach Tom Pereira. “It’s always a good competitive battle.”
One factor that makes it interesting is that many of the wrestlers on each side were teammates in the Stamford Junior Wrestling program before moving up to high school competition.
“There is a bit of irony in this match for me,” said Stamford High’s third-year coach Jaime Camacho. “Many of the kids I coached in Junior Wrestling are winning matches against me tonight.”
There was drama on the scoreboard. After six weight classes, the score was tied 15-15 as Stamford picked up its two forfeit victories of the night.
Then Westhill (4-0 overall) went on a run. Alex Edwards won by major decision at 145 pounds. Kyle Alswanger won by pin at 152. Tom Mazur picked up Westhill’s second forfeit triumph at 160. Armondo Nunez took a 6-4 decision at 170 to give the Vikings a 34-15 edge.
But Stamford responded to the challenge. Ibrahim Hakeem (182) and Jaiden Jones (195) had pins to bring SHS to 34-27.
However, senior Kevon McLean secured the Westhill victory with a pin in 2:49 at 220 pounds.
It’s early in the wrestling season but Westhill is on the right track.
“We still have work to do,” Pereira said. “The goal is for each wrestler to improve every day. We want to keep building momentum into the postseason.”
The Stamford High wrestling program continues to make strides.
“Two matches were the difference tonight. We have a very young team,” Camacho said. “Out of 14 wrestlers we have eight first-year high school wrestling kids. Our numbers are improving. We have to keep raising our level.”
WESTHILL 40, STAMFORD 33
103: Justin Leung (S) won by forfeit; 113: John Leydon (W) dec. Brendan Leung, 5-4; 120: Bryson Thomas (W) pinned Kevin Oliva, 2:45; 126: Will Griffin (S) won by forfeit; 132: Chase Parrott (W) won by forfeit; 138: Ryan Gover (S) dec. Mike Edwards, 9-6; 145: Alex Edwards (W) major dec. Lenny Alcantara, 12-0; 152: Kyle Alswanger (W) pinned Bryce Kijek, 2:57; 160: Thomas Mazur (W) won by forfeit; 170: Armondo Nunez (W) dec. Edgar Molina, 6-4; 182: Ibrahim Hakeem (S) pinned Kobe Givens, 1:46; 195: Jaiden Jones (S) pinned Frank Susana, 1:38; 220: Kevon McLean (W) pinned Axel Aguilar, 2:49; 285: Josue Medina (S) pinned Junsheng Huang, 1:30. Records: Westhill 4-0; Stamford 1-1.