SOUTHINGTON - Coming into the Southington duals tournament, the Bristol Central wrestling team was looking to get some valuable experience for a roster that has some inexperienced varsity wrestlers.
Overall, the Rams finished in fourth place out of the 11 schools that were competing.
In the third-place contest against Platt, Bristol Central lost 49-24.
“We wrestled hard, but we have a really young team and we’re capable of much more,” Rams senior 220-pound wrestler Mike Guzman said. “We just talk about the little things. I feel like some of the younger kids are starting to get it and we just need to keep working.”
In the third place showdown against Platt, Bristol Central started out strong with Guzman and freshman 195-pound wrestler Jakob Salinas pinning their opponents. Salinas pinned Platt’s Ben Stratch at 2:16 and Guzman pinned the Panthers’ Ceaser Flores at 1:37.
Later, with Platt leading Bristol Central 29-18, the Rams’ Joey Frechette battled tough against the Panthers’ Lewis Santavanez, but lost via decision, 9-5, as Platt went up 32-18. That was the last chance for the Rams to stay in it.
Leading up to the Platt contest, Bristol Central went 2-1.
The wins came against Lyman Tech (36-24) and Ridgefield (54-24). The loss was to Southington, 59-17.
Both Salinas and Jacob Aldi had strong days for the Rams as promising freshmen.
Aldi (106 pounds) beat Southington freshman Emmett Vitti by decision, 15-0, in Bristol Central’s loss.
In the tournament, Aldi finished 4-0 and is one of the more experienced freshman wrestlers for the Rams.
“I won all of my matches, but I think I wrestled some first-year kids,” Aldi said. “I thought I wrestled well, but I think I still need to improve a lot.”
Salinas was 3-1. He pinned two of his opponents and won via forfeit. He pinned Platt’s Stratch and Southington’s Giancarlo Dominello at 1:46. The forfeit was from Ridgefield.
His loss came on a 4-3 decision against Lyman Tech’s Joe Reini.
Senior captain Guzman went 4-0 on the day for Bristol Central.
He pinned the three opponents he faced, all coming in the first round. His fourth win was a forfeit by Ridgefield.
Bristol Central junior Adam Ward was another impressive wrestler for the Rams in the tournament. He went 2-2 and both wins were pins.
His two losses came against tough competition in Platt’s James Rendin (10-0 decision) and Southington’s Caleb Brick (9-0 decision).
For the Rams, the fourth place finish was expected, with the two wins coming against lesser competition in Ridgefield and Lyman Memorial.
“We placed fourth overall as a team,” Bristol Central coach Matthew Boissonneault said. “Coming into this, that is where I expected us to be.
“The first win against Lyman Memorial was a good win for us. We had some guys that performed below expectations for us, but also had some guys that really stepped up. In a close match like that, that’s what it comes down to.”
The contests against Southington and Platt should be beneficial for the Rams in the long run.
“We’re working to peak at the end of the year,” Guzman said. “It’s the little things. Winning is a byproduct and it will happen. We just gotta work hard in practice.”
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org