Wrestling: Trumbull's Castaldo, Matthew Ryan answer challenge
Trumbull High’s dual match with visiting Newtown was trending in the home team’s favor when the Eagles’ David Castaldo took the mat for his 132-pound bout with the Nighthawks’ Nik Accousti on Friday.
Castaldo reversed his 5-4 loss from last year’s Class LL consolation final with a pin 28 seconds into the second overtime period, and Trumbull went on to post a 66-9 victory.
“Last year Nik beat me by one point,” said Castaldo of his rematch with his senior counterpart. “I’ve been starting early and giving too much space on my shots, so I was looking to keep my hips in.”
Accousti got the early takedown and held onto that advantage, despite active wrestling by each grappler, into the third.
Castaldo, on his second attempt from the bottom, escaped at the 1:33 mark to draw within a point.
Accousti blocked a shot attempt, and had head control, but Castaldo worked his way for a double leg takedown and a 3-2 lead with 50 seconds remaining in regulation.
Accousti kept battling and tied things at 3-all with an escape at the 27-second mark.
The first overtime from the neutral position saw neither gain the needed advantage.
From the top in the second 30-second overtime, it was Castaldo’s job at the least to maintain control and at best gain back points.
It was Accousti who was in best position to score, as he squared up and looked to escape or reverse.
Castaldo, however, drove him to his back and got the pin call with two seconds remaining in the second extra session.
Trumbull coach Charlie Anderson was pleased with his team’s performance.
“You don’t want to take a step back,” he said about the Eagles’ final competition before the FCIAC Tournament. “We need more of our guys to believe in themselves. Matthew Ryan certainly did that tonight.”
Ryan, a sophomore, took on Newtown’s Joe Zeller in the heavyweight class.
Zeller, a senior, lost to Staples’ George Harrington in the Class LL finals and went on to place fifth at the State Open.
After a scoreless first period that saw each wrestler get warned for stalling, Zeller chose bottom for the second period and escaped 11 seconds in.
The lead carried into the third period, where Ryan looked to escape. Zeller was called for stalling after riding too long without making a move to add to his lead. The penalty point was awarded to Ryan with 36 seconds left in the stanza.
From the neutral position in overtime, Ryan slipped Zeller’s attempt at a throw and took the Nighthawk to the mat for the winning takedown.
Trumbull took an 18-0 lead into the 132-pound match, as Travis Longo (2:50 at 113), Jack Ryan (1:04 at 120) and Jonathan Kosak (27 seconds at 126) recorded pins.
Matt Ryan earned a fall in 3:20 at 138 to take the score to 30-0.
Newtown’s Fritz Maurath met George Bomann in a duel between juniors at 145 pounds, with the Nighthawk winning 9-3 after scoring five unanswered points in the third period.
At 152 pounds, the Eagles’ Will Holmes scored two points in every period to win a physical 6-0 decision from Steven Leucci.
Newtown’s Andrew Sayers pinned Webster Williams at 5:32 of their 160-pound bout. Sayers led 3-2 after one and 6-2 after two.
Jason Mercado got Trumbull back on the board with a pin in 5:03 over Justin Bogdanoff. Mercado took a 5-0 lead in the first, fought off two pin attempts in the second, and led 7-0 before winning with a cradle.
Mitchell Russo won by 2:54 fall over Ryan Callahan at 182. A sophomore, Russo took a 4-1 lead into the second and got the pin the second time he turned his opponent.
Joe Palmieri moved up to 195 for this match and pinned in 1:19.
Onell Kennedy added another Trumbull pin when he won his 220-pound match in 1:41.
Michael Longo closed out the dual with a 21-second win by fall at 106 pounds.
Trumbull also defeated Harding High, 84-0.
Winning by fall were Williams, Bomann, Mercado, Travis Longo, Palmieri, Kosak, Matthew Ryan, Castaldo, Michael Longo and Holmes.
The Eagles, ranked No. 4 in the Connecticut Wrestling Online’s Top 10 high school wrestling poll, are 24-5 with a home match with Stamford on Feb. 5.