SOUTHINGTON - Only one match ended in a decision on Wednesday night when the Southington wrestling team took down Enfield 69-6 at home.
“We were aggressive,” Southington coach Derek Dion said. “I like that. They’re a young team so it’s tough [to gauge where we are].”
The Blue Knights recorded 10 pins against the Raiders, with three of them coming in under a minute. Heavyweight Jim Starr pinned his opponent in 0:34, 160-pounder Paul Calo made a pin in 0:21 and Alex Rodrigues earned a win by in at 170 pounds in 0:20.
Calo’s and Rodrigues’ pins came in the final two matches of the evening to solidify the win for Southington.
“It felt good to get that first pin right off the season,” Rodrigues said. “You come out the gates kicking. It’s fun, but you can’t underestimate the next guy.”
Rodrigues’ father was in attendance on Wednesday night but his son’s victory came so quickly that he wasn’t able to get his phone out quick enough to capture it on video. That was quite alright with Rodrigues.
“Good. That’s what I wanted,” he said with a big smile. “I didn’t want him to take a picture. I just wanted to get in, get out.”
At 195 pounds, Southington’s Cole Brock and Enfield’s Nate Chesworth had probably the most exciting match of the night. Chesworth dominated through the first two rounds and Brock looked exhausted as the third frame began. Once again, Chesworth controlled the pace of the battle, but with the seconds winding down, Brock was able to put up some points to narrow the gap and a near-pin that lasted until the final horn gave Brock enough points to take the lead. Southington earned three match points for Brock’s improbable 9-8 win by decision.
While maybe not as exciting as the quick pins or Brock’s miraculous comeback, the rest of the Blue Knights’ wins were just as impressive. Of the other eight pins Southington recorded, two came in the first frame, three came in the second and three came in the third.
At 132 pounds, Southington’s Shaun Wagner appeared to be on track to win by major decision late in the third frame, leading 15-1. But Wagner was able to flip Enfield’s Brett Castle onto his back and score a pin with just 10 seconds remaining in the match.
The only loss suffered by the Blue Knights came at 126 pounds. Southington’s Devin Lord put up a tough fight and lasted into the second frame, but Enfield’s Shawn Keeler came out strong in the second and recorded a pin just 17 seconds in.
Enfield is not the toughest team that the Blue Knights will face this season, but according to Dion, it is still beneficial to start the season with a win. He also saw some things on Wednesday that needed improvement, despite the commanding victory.
“It’s good to get the butterflies out the first match of the season,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do with technique and stuff.”
Josh Kestenbaum can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org