NEW CANAAN — Twenty-eight wrestlers were introduced to mark their ascension to the final round of the Joe Sikorsky FCIAC championships on Saturday.
A double number of grapplers were sent to wrestlebacks — the consolation round where egos can be soothed and needed team points earned.
Trumbull High’s George Bomann, Will Holmes and Jason Mercado took similar paths — on the same mat — to placing fifth at FCIACs and each has a story needed to be told.
Bomann had the longest road to the podium.
The junior lost his first-round match at 145 pounds and then dropped to consolations, where he won 9-4 then lost to third-place finisher Cole Shaughnessy from Warde.
The best was yet to come for Bomann.
Tied at 6 with Staples’ Luke Molina, he stopped a cradle try by the Wrecker and then settled in and took fifth place with a pin with two seconds remaining.
William Holmes won his first match, 6-2, at 152 pounds, before losing to top-seeded Noah Zuckerman from Warde.
In wrestlebacks, Holmes lost what could have been a crushing 8-7 decision to third-place finisher Jaylen Hawkins from Danbury.
A senior, Holmes carried on in the bout for fifth place.
Down to New Canaan’s Nate Sibbett 6-5 in the final period, Holmes was in trouble. Instead of giving up a takedown with 15 seconds remaining, Holmes maintained the tandem whizzer and then recorded a takedown of his own with seven ticks of the clock left to earn fifth place.
At 170 pounds, Mercado pinned in 3:03 to advance to a meeting with top-seeded and eventual champion Hunter Rasmussen from Warde.
The senior split his consolation matches and met Danbury’s Jesse Patton for fifth place.
The Hatter took a 6-3 lead, before Mercado’s followed a switch with two back points that put him in charge 7-6.
Mercado was tasked with riding out the third period without giving up and escape or a reversal — he did so to garner fifth.