This season in area wrestling was highlighted by championships. Bristol Eastern captured the Class L team title and five wrestlers claimed individual class championships. The 9th annual All-Press Wrestling Team is full of championship-caliber and skilled wrestlers from the area.
The Lancers dominated the local wrestling scene and, thus, dominate the All-Press selections, with eight members. Bristol Eastern ended the regular season undefeated and that was because of the talent in the lineup.
At 160 pounds, Mikey Barrett was the most decorated of Bristol Eastern’s wrestlers this season. The junior won Class L, pinning New London’s Jacob Commander with less than a minute remaining in the third period, before placing third at the State Open and third at New Englands. Because of his finish at the New England meet, Barrett went on to compete at the NHSCA National High School Wrestling Championships in Virginia Beach, Va. in late March. He finished his season with a record of 51-6 and earned all-conference honors.
At the next weight class up, Trinidad Gonzalez was impressive in his sophomore campaign. The 170-pounder also earned a Class L title - pinning Hall’s Okotie Ikani in 4:44 - and earned an all-conference nod. He finished with a 38-6 record.
Senior Zac Marquis was the third Lancer to win a Class L championship, doing so at 182 with a 9-4 decision over Isaiah Rivera from E.O. Smith.
He was knocked out of the State Open early but still finished with a 26-4 record and all-conference honors.
Senior captain Anthony Lozier was named to the all-conference team this season for his performance at 145 pounds. Lozier placed fourth in Class L and put together a record of 29-12.
At 113 pounds, Jordon Champagne was a constant source of points for the Lancers throughout the season. The junior put up a record of 41-9 this season on his way to a fourth-place finish at the Class L tournament. Champagne joined Barrett in Virginia Beach at the national tournament. The work he did earned him all-conference honors.
In addition to Gonzalez, three other sophomores from Bristol Eastern were selected to this season’s All-Press team.
One of them is Carson Sassu. Wrestling at 120 pounds, Sassu finished with a 33-13 record and placed fifth in Class L this season. He was also named to the all-conference team.
Also in his sophomore season, Noah Piazza earned all-conference and All-Press honors for his 26-15 season at 138 pounds.
Another sophomore, Justin Marshall, was selected to the All-Press team for finishing fourth in Class L.
He finished with an 18-9 record in an injury-shortened campaign at 152 pounds. Marshall was another Lancers wrestler that competed at the national championship, and the only sophomore.
Outside of Bristol Eastern, Terryville was the only team to have individual wrestlers claim class titles. Each of the Kangaroos’ four selections on this season’s All-Press team placed at the Class S championship meet and progressed to the State Open in their senior season.
At 285 pounds, Jason Hume was one of Terryville’s two Class S champions, beating Morgan’s Austin Daley 2-1 in the finals. Hume finished the season with a 24-10 record and multiple place finishes at tournaments this season.
The Kangaroos’ other senior captain, Josh Wright, also had a very successful season. He finished third in Class S but also won the Berkshire League/Naugatuck Valley League combined championship and the Bristol Central Invitational. Wright finished the season with a record of 29-6.
At 132 pounds, Jarrod Ashe also claimed a Berkshire/NVL title and placed fourth in Class S, in addition to other place finishes throughout the season. At the end of the season, Ashe owned a 34-8 record.
Rounding out the Terryville All-Press selections is Jake Borda. At 126 pounds, Borda finished third at the Berkshire/NVL tournament and sixth in Class S. He was also the runner up at three different tournaments this season, including the Bristol Central Invitational. His record at the end of the season was 25-10.
While it was a down year for Bristol Central, the Rams are represented by a pair of wrestlers on this year’s All-Press team.
Bristol Central’s top wrestler this season was 106-pounder Chris Trelli. The junior finished second at both the Class L and State Open tournaments and fourth at the New England tournament before advancing to the national tournament.
“In the wrestling room he has emerged as a leader for the younger wrestlers,” Bristol Central coach Matt Boissonneault said. “His energy and work ethic - he has fun while working hard - is contagious and will have a ripple effect on the rest of the team.”
Bristol Central’s other representative on the All-Press team is another junior that will be back next year. Mike Guzman finally got his chance at the varsity level after being behind a pair of state champions last season and he was impressive, finishing fourth in Class L.
“He showed consistent improvement throughout the season and, at our end of the season banquet, was awarded our ‘Most Improved Wrestler’ award,” Boissonneault said. “His improvement came to fruition at the Class L tournament when he placed fourth. Going into next year, we expect Mike to be a leader on and off the mat.”