“This is the premiere match in the league and we’ll probably have three forfeits,” said veteran Nonnewaug coach Dave Green before the meet began.
Those three forfeits happened, as weights didn’t match up. Then the teams added two more double forfeits for weight classes with no one in them.
Nevertheless, nine matches are more than the other three BL teams can manage, with team numbers down to single digits in several cases.
The Chiefs have 18; the Kangaroos, who won the title two years ago, field 25.
Green, citing more Terryville experience, expected to lose. Still, this was the league’s big matchup.
And then it wasn’t.
After trading forfeits early, Terryville’s Ian Poitras, at 113 pounds, began a wave of Kangaroo pins that swept through five other matches.
Terryville’s Elliott Wilion won a 5-1 decision. Nonnewaug’s Kieran Duggan took the Chiefs’ only win on the mat with a third-period pin at 138.
Terryville led 21-12.
Connor Levins, a junior who moved up a weight class to 145, set the tone for the Kangaroo onslaught that followed.
After two periods, Levins trailed Nonnewaug’s Brian Campbell 5-4. Thirty-eight seconds into the final period, Levins pulled a reverse and a pin in a single motion.
“I saved some just in case I went three periods,” he said. “I was able to throw him over.”
From there, the sound of the referee’s palm hammered a rhythm of Terryville pins by George Andrews and Josh Chase.
Kangaroo Tyler Bergeron interrupted with a 7-2 decision.
Josh Wright and Theo Ridgeweay took up the beat with the last two Terryville pins.
“I didn’t expect this,” said Terryville coach Peter Veleas. “I thought it was going to be a dog fight.”
Both teams measure themselves against non-league competition as well. The Chiefs were 3-1 in dual meets before Wednesday, with a loss to RHAM that Green blamed on his own “coaching decision.”
Terryville, counting tournament participation, stands 7-8 against a sea of statewide powers.
“You have to do that to get better,” Veleas said. “I’m excited. We’re just a shadow of what we want to become.”
That could become a slogan for wrestling in the league.
Terryville 54, Nonnewaug 12
At Terryville High School
285: Hunter D’Antonio (T) by forfeit. 106: Kyle Crouse (N) by forfeit. 113: Ian Poitras (T) pinned David Dabkowski (N), 1:25. 120: Double forfeit. 126: Sean Ryan (T) by forfeit. 132: Elliott Wilion (T) dec. Ed Boisits (N), 5-1. 138: Kieran Duggan (N) pinned Andrew Berman (T), 3:18. Connor Levins (T) pinned Brian Campbell (N), 4:38. 152: George Andrews (T) pinned Rodney Banks (N), 1:11. 160: Josh Chase (T) pinned Frankie Diaz Consenza (N), 1:42. 170: Tyler Bergeron (T) dec. Elijah Gonillo (N), 7-2. 182: Double forfeit. 195: Josh Wright (T) pinned Anthony Delia (N), 2:50. 220: Theo Ridgeway (T) pinned John Hughes (N), 1:39.
Records: Nonnewaug 3-2; Terryville 7-8