By MICHAEL LETENDRE
DANBURY – The Bristol Eastern wrestling squad took on another tough slate of competition at the recent Ryan Sabbagh Holiday tournament in Danbury on Monday, Dec. 28 and proved once again why the outfit is one of Central Connecticut’s best programs.
The Lancers finished in third overall, just placing behind tournament victor Danbury (228 points) and runner-up New Milford (205) in what was a very competitive field.
The event was a showcase for Zach Marquis at 182 pounds, taking home the tournament championship by nabbing an impressive 15-2 major decision over Danbury’s Matt Adam.
And it was also a standout event for Eastern’s Luis Rivera at 220 pounds.
Rivera and Stamford’s Jon Spankos went at it during all three periods but at the one minute mark of the final stanza, the Eastern grappler earned the victory via pin-fall – taking the 220 championship in the process in five minutes overall.
The Lancers also had athletes place in the top four up and down the line-up at the event and a couple grapplers earned third place showings in Danbury.
In the 99 pound challenge, Nick Brandi pinned Shayna Goldblatt in a quick 0:53 second affair while at 138, Eastern’s Josh Wilson battled in the third place bout but fell via 7-5 decision to CJ Shultze of New Milford.
Mikey Barrett (152) earned third place in his division by nabbing a 3-2 decision over Greenwich’s Ethan Ross while at 160 pounds, senior Zac Thompson was at it again.
Thompson earned the third place nod, pinning Alex Leone of Carmel with just 19 seconds remaining in the match.
At the 195 weight-class, it was Anthony Cicosta’s turn and in the third place title bout, he was a pin-fall winner in 3:21 over New Milford’s Nick Pellicone and finally in the heavyweight runner-up match, Russell Howard of New Fairfield scored a pin in 2:54 over Eastern’s Hidekel Mangual.
Ryan Sabbagh Holiday Tournament
Team results — 1. Danbury 228; 2. New Milford 205; 3. Bristol Eastern 182; 4. New Fairfield 168; 5. Ellis Tech 145; 6. Carmel, N.Y. 105; 7. Stamford 71; 8. Amity 64; 9. Greenwich 57; 10. Ridgefield 53.5; 11. Danbury B 40; 12. Joel Barlow/Immaculate 38.5; 13. Loomis Chaffee 26; 14. Portland 20; 15. East Hampton 4; 15; Bacon Academy 4; 17. Kennedy 2.
99 pounds – Championship: Ben Smart (Ridgefield) pin J.T. Martin (New Fairfield) 0:52; 3. Nick Brandi (Bristol Eastern) pin Shayna Goldblatt 0:53
138 – Championship: Avery Shay (New Fairfield) pin Jeremy Fields (Danbury) 5:55; 3. CJ Shultze (New Milford) dec. Josh Wilton (Bristol Eastern) 7-5.
152 – Championship: Emmitt LiCastri (Joel Barlow/Immaculate) dec. Traken Sutton (Loomis Chaffe) 4-0; 3. Mikey Barrett (Bristol Eastern) dec. Ethan Ross (Greenwich) 3-2
160 – Championship: Brett Leonard (New Milford) dec. Andrew D’Amico (New Fairfield) 6-3; 3. Zac Thompson (Bristol Eastern) pin Alex Leone (Carmel) 5:41.
182 – Championship: Zach Marquis (Bristol Eastern) dec. Matt Adam (Danbury) 15-2; 3. Kyle McCormick (Ridgefield) dec. Billy Magrino (New Fairfield) 7-4
195 – Championship: Andrew Marquis (Danbury) dec. Justin Garden (New Fairfield) 6-4; 3. Anthony Circosta (Bristol Eastern) pin Nick Pellicone (New Milford) 3:21
220 – Championship: Luis Rivera (Bristol Eastern) pin Jonathan Spnakos (Stamford) 5:00; 3. Solomine James (Danbury) pin John Benato (Amity) 3:40
285 – Championship: Nick Photos (Amity) dec. Michael Gaboardi (Danbury) 3-2; 3. Russell Howard (New Fairfield) pin Hidekel Mangual (Bristol Eastern) 2:54.