The fundamental athletic goal of Wilton Youth Wrestling is to build future wrestlers, and participating in competition is an important and necessary part of a wrestler's growth. Wrestling competition is unique compared to virtually any sport in which your son or daughter may have competed. The great joy that comes with victory draws and retains many to our great sport. However, the intense nature of the sport is frequently more than some of our younger athletes can process.
When discussing the appropriate time to begin competition with leading coaches here and comparing the US approach to some of the world's leading wrestling nations, we have noted that most nations do not have their younger wrestlers compete until they are older than the ages at which wrestlers begin to compete in the US (as young as 4 years in age).
Thus WYW coaches suggest that our wrestlers not enter tournaments until the age of 10 or fifth grade. However, we believe that each young wrestler needs to be considered individually, and some wrestlers and their parents may decide to compete before that age. The coaches are available to discuss your child's particular situation as the season progresses.
Following successful qualifying tournaments, Wilton sent 18 youth wrestlers to the state championships in New Haven this past weekend. Joe McGuire led the way for Wilton Youth Wrestling, winning the state championship at 120 pounds in the Novice division with a thrilling come-from-behind flurry to force overtime against Kody Talento of Meriden. In overtime, McGuire scored the winning takedown with two seconds left in the period.
Evan Helman took second place at 175 pounds in the Middle School division. After dominating several opponents to reach the finals, he faced off against Clyde Auby from Milford, his finals opponent in the last three tournaments. Auby prevailed, but Helman wrestled well to take second place.
Max Mannino took fourth place in a strong 65-pound weight class in the Novice division.
Other Novice wrestlers who qualified but did not place included Ben Leung, Caleb Forland, Andrew Prackup and Dan McGuire.
In the Intermediate division, Jimmy Luce led WYW with a fourth-place finish at 105 pounds, and teammate Ryan Leung took fifth place with a fall over the Ridgefield wrestler. Dave Sylvester took sixth place at 55 pounds in the same division.
Other Intermediate division wrestlers included Max Mercado and Luke Pagano-Whalley.
In the Middle School division, Nick Rende took fifth place in a very tough weight class. Other qualifiers included Finn McGovern and Ethan Helman.
In addition, several Wilton wrestlers representing other clubs turned in great performances.
Mikey Longo, representing Beast Training of Danbury, avenged his only loss of last season in the Novice 60 pound finals against Evan Lindner of New Milford. Longo dominated the match from start to finish, posting an 11-2 win over the defending state champ to win the state title.
Travis Longo also turned out a strong performance at 70 pounds in the Middle School division, placing third in a tough weight class.
Zach Zeyher, representing KT Kidz, took third place in dominant fashion at 136 pounds in the Middle School division, following a heartbreaking 2-1 loss in the semifinals.
Chris went 2-2 at 120 pounds in the Middle School division.
Rende, Helman, McGovern, Zeyher and Sweeney are all eighth graders are will form the core of a promising freshman class for the Wilton High School wrestling team.
Joe McGuire, a sixth grader from Weston, won the 120-pound novice division at the USA Wrestling Connecticut kids wrestling state championships on Sunday, March 2, in New Haven. McGuire was trailing Kody Talento of Meriden 6-0 after two periods before rallying to force overtime with seconds remaining in the third period. He then scored a take-down with seconds remaining in overtime to win 8-6. Although they did not place on Sunday, Fellow Weston sixth graders Dan McGuire and Andrew Prackup qualified for the state finals by placing in the regional qualifier tournament inMilford on Feb. 23. Also pictured is Wilton Youth Wrestling coach Ted Young.
Warrior Youth Wrestling Classic Emerges as Premier CT Wrestling
Warriors win eight Gold medals and 29 overall
On January 19, 2014, the Wilton Youth Wrestling Club hosted the second annual Warrior Youth Wrestling Classic in cavernous Zeoli Fieldhouse to a packed house of wrestlers from 22 clubs and fans from around the Tri-state area. The Warrior tournament has rapidly become one of the premier youth wrestling events in the area with participation this year soaring nearly 20% to 358 wrestlers and more than 650 individual bouts.
The Wilton contingent of wrestlers from grades 2 to 8 consisted of 37 wrestlers with widely varying levels of experience. The Warrior contingent took home a slew of medals including Gold medals by Dante Dierks, Max Bevilacqua, Luke Pagano-Walley, Maclan McGovern, Jacob Robb, Will Maggio, Nicholas Rende and Finn McGovern. Silver medalists were Andrew Prackup, Joseph McGuire, Daniel Polishan, Ryan Leung, Ben Leung, Jimmy Luce, David Sylvester, Evan Helman, Chip Hulse, Griffin Morris, Dominic Caratozzolo, Max Mannino, James Martin and Barrett Brown. Bronze medals were won by Charlie Fisher, Caleb Forland, Jack Stanzione, Kieran McGuire, Michael DiCostanza, Ethan Helman and Liam Pearsall.
Compared to other area tournaments, which are generally held in cramped quarters where mats are stuffed together with little room for spectators and waiting wrestlers, the Wilton Classic is held in spacious Zeoli Fieldhouse at Wilton High School. This year's tournament featured six mats with ample room for maneuver. Electronic scoring, which is far superior to the traditional, complicated paper-based system used at other tournaments, was provided by Kap Wrestling.