Joey Ryan leads seven Eagles to State Open
Trumbull High’s Joey Ryan took home the 160-pound title and the coach Niko Filippakis’ host Eagles had seven wrestlers among the top six when Saturday’s Class LL wrestling championships concluded.
Each of those Eagles helped Trumbull to a fourth-place team finish. All will represent the school this weekend in the State Open in New Haven.
Trumbull scored 165 points. Danbury won the competition with 268.5, Fairfield Warde was second with 202, Newtown High placed third with 174 and Southington placed fifth with 147.5.
Ryan, the top seed, pulled out a dramatic 5-3 overtime win over third seed Michael Ceci of Greenwich in the finals. “To make it through was a good feeling. And to get it done in the finals, that was absolutely amazing,” Ryan said.
Ryan, after a bye, won two matches via pin fall, then earned a 5-2 decision over No. 5 seed Gino Baratta in the semifinals.
Matt Ryan reached the finals in the 106-pound division, winning two bouts via pin fall before claiming an 8-5 victory over Fairfield Warde’s Noah Zuckerman in the semifinals. Ben LeBlanc from Danbury won the title.
Also reaching the pinnacle round for the Eagles were Tristan Haviland at 113 and Desmond Washington at 285.
Haviland won three bouts via pin fall before losing a 3-1 decision to Danbury’s Jakob Camacho. Washington won three decisions, then was edged in a 5-3 decision by New Haven’s Gabriel Stiles in the championship round.
Mike Mirmina finished fifth at 126, Dante Montanaro placed third in the 138 division with a 9-2 win over Ridgefield’s Colin Storm, and Mike Greco was sixth at 152.
Filippakis was happy with Joey Ryan’s triumph, but would have preferred for more success within his lineup. “I’m not disappointed but I’m not pleased. You can always do better in hindsight. Everyone can do better in everything,” Filippakis said. “There’s always room for improvement.”
Montanaro noted that the LL championships are always challenging, but that they got even tougher this year as Fairfield Warde moved up from Class L. “So that just adds to the competition level here,” he said.
The tough caliber of opponents, of course, has its benefits as the grapplers gear up for the Open, which features the top competitors from all four school class sizes.
“You’ve got to earn your right to go to Opens,” Filippakis said.