On Sunday, Feb. 22, the Wilton Youth Wrestling (WYW) program sent 20 wrestlers to the State Qualifier tournament in Danbury. Nine Wilton wrestlers qualified for the State tournament to be contested in New Haven on Sunday, March 1. To qualify for States, a wrestler must place in the top 4 of their respective weight class.
The Wilton grapplers were led by their big men in the wrestling room.
“We have 5 boys on the team that are 20-25 pounds bigger than everyone else in the room. They are all very physical on the mat and drill against each other every day in practice. I couldn’t be more proud as each of them qualified for States this year,” coach Ted Young explains,
Leading the way were Middle School Division champions Johnny Wu and Griffin Morris who won back-to-back titles at 144 and 152 pounds respectively. Wilton’s other champion, Kyle Jordan, won the tough 165 pound bracket in the Novice Division. Brothers Dan and Joe Maguire also secured Middle School Division state bids with hard fought 2nd and 4th place finishes respectively.
Wrestling partners Luke Pagano-Walley and Max Mannino each wrestled brilliantly for the Warriors earning 2nd place honors in the Novice Division at 70 and 75 pounds respectively.
Says coach Greg Morris, “Luke and Max wrestle each other every day in practice and make each other better. Max is our best young wrestler. He lost a heartbreaking match in the finals this week, but I would not be at all surprised to see a rematch in next weekends state championship match. He is that good,” coach Greg Morris says.
Morris also noted that Luke wrestles his best at tournament time. “Some guys just know how to turn it on at the end of the year. Luke won 4 tough matches this weekend to get to the finals. We expect the same kind of performance next weekend.”
Also earning state bids for the Warriors were Novice Division wrestler Dave Sylvester (3rd place) and Wilton’s lone intermediate Division state qualifier Lorenzo Caratozzollo (4th place).
“Dave and Lorenzo did a great job qualifying this weekend, says head coach Brian McGovern. “Dave qualified for states last year as well so we sort of expect guys like him to be here. Lorenzo on the other hand, is a first year wrestler who really went out and competed in his first qualifier tournament. Great to see.”
Wilton wrestlers Jake Sommer, Max Mercado, and Dom Caratozzollo all placed 5th and are stand-by alternates for the state tournament. The other Wilton wrestlers who competed in the qualifier include Addison Bergen, Gavin Lapore, Andre Kosygin, Daniel Polishan, Andrew Prackup, Jackson Davies, Jack Santomero, and Will Maggio.
Pictured above are Wilton Youth Wrestling’s state qualifiers: Back row (L to R)–Kyle Jordan, Joe Maguire, Griffin Morris, Johnny Wu, Dan Maguire. Front row (L to R)–Dom Caratozzolo, Luke Pagano-Walley, Max Mannino, Lorenzo Caratozzollo. Missing from photo–Dave Sylvester.