BRISTOL - With seven freshmen wrestlers on its roster, St. Paul wrestling was exposed in its first meet of the season against Nonnewaug.
The Chiefs, a more experienced group, easily beat the Falcons 48-18 Thursday afternoon.
“They’re still learning,” St. Paul head coach Ed Desimas said of his wrestlers. “It’s a long road and we’ve got two months left. We’ll see what happens. That’s all I can say.”
The Falcons only senior, 220-pound wrestler Patrick George, won his individual match against Connor Vincent with a 10-3 decision earning three points with the score 10-3.
George dominated Vincent throughout and Vincent wasn’t able to get anything going against him consistently on the ground with no positioning.
“I felt like I led the younger kids in the right direction with my win,” George said. “Showing them that there’s hope and that you can win. I’ve been doing this for four years now.”
St. Paul’s Josh Siva was the other Falcon wrestler to win his individual match.
Siva earned three points as well, topping the Chiefs’ Karisa Shukaitis in the 132-pound weight class with a score of 8-3. The Flacons’ other match wins came in the 120- and 152-pound weight classes with Chris Warner and Nick Hernandez both winning by forfeits.
As a team, St. Paul didn’t pin a Nonnewaug wrestler and forfeited five matches at weight classes 126, 138, 160, 170 and 195 pounds.
There was also a pair of double forfeits, at weight classes 106 and 285 pounds.
Nonnewaug had three wrestlers pin Falcons on the day.
At the 113-pound weight class, the Chiefs’ Thomas Verdia pinned St. Paul’s Evan Kowalski at 2:52.
In the 145-pound weight class, Nonnewaug’s Massen Williamsen pinned the Falcons Johann Strasser in the third round at 5:08. The loss left Strasser, one of two juniors on the St. Paul team, disappointed in his performance.
“If I was in better shape and better conditioning, I probably could have gotten the pin,” Strasser said. “I could tell by the second period I was a bit gassed.”
The most impressive individual performance came from the Chiefs 182-pound wrestler Eli Mills-Nathan.
Mills-Nathan pinned St. Paul’s Eric Atkinson just 21 seconds into the first round.
Though it was a struggle for the Falcons in their first dual meet of the season and with little experience as a team, it’s set up to be a long year but the upperclassmen believe this group has some fight in them.
“We have a lot of freshmen on the team,” Strasser said. “With not a lot of experience we’re working with what we got. There’s a lot of potential. The guys like the sport. They’re interested and they’re learning. From the first day they weren’t so great but they’re improving a lot.”
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org