Wrestling: Milestone, battle royale at Trumbull-Ludlowe

Jack Ryan’s first-period fall completed Trumbull High’s 56-12 victory over host Fairfield Ludlowe on Wednesday night.

The victory was also the 100th of his career.

A junior, Jack joins graduated brother Joey and senior teammate Matt as Ryan family members who have reached the 100-win milestone.

“That is some family,” Trumbull coach Charlie Anderson said. “Jack is having a heckuva year (wrestling in the 120-pound weight class).”

The match-capping triumph brought Trumbull wrestlers off the bench and Jack Ryan was presented a couple of posters marking the achievement. Eagles' 113-pounder Travis Longo, accomplished the feat earlier this season.

Trumbull, ranked No. 8 in the latest Connecticut Wrestling Online’s Top 10 high school wrestling poll, won 11 of the 14 matches.

The weight class that drew the loudest response from the crowd and both bench areas came at 195 pounds, where a pair of young grapplers took center stage.

Ludlowe’s Nicky Leonardis, a junior wrestling up from jayvee and a weight class, met Trumbull sophomore and first-year varsity wrestler Bobby DeJesus.

By the time Leonardis and DeJesus shook hands after the Falcon scored an 11-6 decision, the drained duo had won everyone over.

DeJesus was perplexed when praised for his effort.

“You have to want to win,” he said. “There is no bigger determiner in a wrestling match than doubting yourself. Neither of us wanted to lose. He (Leonardis) was very good. There is no easy way to get better. You have to put in the work.”

Leonardis, wrestling for his third season with coach Nick Garoffolo, said, “He (DeJesus) was very tough, and strong. It was a well-fought match. I was wrestling up and because of the size difference, I had to be be smart with my choice of moves.”

Leonardis used a pair of two-point takedowns to lead 4-1 after the first two-minute period. DeJesus got to his feet three times in the frame, before clearing his hips to get the one-point escape.

An early DeJesus escape in the second stanza was countered by another Leonardis takedown.

Ho-hum another trade off of 2-for 1. But what happened next energized the gym.

For the next 40 seconds, Leonardis fought off every escape try then got a cradle hold on the Eagle looking for a pin to clinch things.

DeJesus, slipped his head free, then hit a switch for a reversal with 41 seconds remaining. It was 6-4. Leonardis escaped to take a 7-4 lead into the final period.

On the third restart from the bottom, DeJesus got free to make it 9-5.

Needing a four-point move, he went after his rival. Leonardis got a single-leg hold, while DeJesus went for head control.

It was the Falcon winning the duel, working his way up for an 11-6 lead.

Again, DeJesus refused to stay down and closed within 11-6. He got a headlock in the final seconds, but Leonardis fended him off at the buzzer.

Jonathan Kosak (3:41 at 126 pounds), David Castaldo (1:01 at 132) and Matt Ryan (1:16 at 138) earned pins in the first three bouts for an 18-0 Trumbull lead.

George Bomann led 7-1 and 10-1 at the breaks, before he posted a 13-3 major decision at 145 pounds.

Will Holmes chose to wrestle up a weight class and met Eric Emmendorfer at 152 pounds in a matchup of seniors. Emmendorfer had earned an overtime decision when last they wrestled. This time, Holmes won an action-packed 10-3 decision.

Ludlowe’s Stan Godlewski earned the Falcons a win at 160 with an impressive victory by 1:47 fall over the Eagles’ Wael Pezreh.

In another great match, Trumbull’s Jason Mercado took on Justin Hathaway at 170 pounds with the Falcon winning an 8-6 decision.

Tied 4-4 in the second period, Hathaway answered an early escape with a last-second takedown and a 6-5 advantage.

Hathaway switched in the final period, gave up an escape, and then did a great job blocking each time Mercado tried to get underneath.

In a physical 182-pound bout, Trumbull’s Joe Palmieri defeated Thomas Murray 6-0.

Nothing was easy.

Palmieri scored a takedown in the first. Murray had two legs in when he went to the side and Palmieri switched at 1:23 of the second for a 4-0 lead. A reversal in the third completed the match.

Trumbull’s Onell Kennedy won unopposed at 220 pounds.

Matthew Ryan took the score to 40-12 with a 47-second pin in the heavyweight division.

Michael Longo won by forfeit at 106 pounds.

Travis Longo led 2-0 and 7-0 before winning an 11-0 major decision.

This brought Jack Ryan to the mat for his milestone win.