Canton High Wrestling

This page was last updated on: September 29, 2003

Connecticut Wrestling Online
BERLIN, Feb. 19, 2002 -- Four weeks earlier, the hope was fresh and alive.

Two-time defending Class S champion Derby was back with a senior-dominated team but there was quiet confidence that the Canton High wrestling team might have what it takes to challenge the Red Raiders for a state championship.

But injuries chipped away at the veneer of this group in the final weeks of the season and on the final day of the Class S championships, there was plenty of success for the Warriors  just not enough to challenge for a title.

Senior Josh Kaplan became the 13th wrestler in school history to claim a Class S championship with a dominating 10-3 victory at 140 pounds over Derby's Rob French  a wrestler that Kaplan had beaten by one point in overtime in December.

Five other teammates earned medals as Canton tied a team record for most medalwinners in a state tournament. Canton also had six medalwinners in 1995 when they finished second.

David Brummert (103) finished second while Adam Szychowski (215) took third. Josh Bristol (119) and co-captain Stephen Babcock (275) each finished fourth while Mike Grafstein (189) was fifth. The top four in each weight class qualified for the State Open.

Canton finished fifth with 152.5 points while Derby won its third straight Class S title with 197 points. New London was second with 183.5 while Avon turned its best performance since winning it all in 1995 with a third place finish and 168 points. Rob Tolk (125) and Brian Dubiel (275) each brought home titles for Avon.

Kaplan (40-2) turned in a dominating performance on his way to the state title. He won his first two matches by pin and outscored his last three opponents by a combined score of 45-5 with a pair of technical falls.

"Josh has always been a good wrestler," Canton coach Bill Phelps said. "But this year he has been focused. He got his own mat so he can workout in his basement at home.

"He likes the sport. He likes to get better, he likes challenges and he likes to get better," Phelps said. "I bumped him all over the place this year to get some good matches and it proved to be very beneficial."

Brummert ran up against an old nemesis in the 103-pound final  East Windsor's Jason Vermes. And for the ninth time in the past three years, Brummert came up on the short end. Three of his eight losses this year came from Vermes.

Szychowski, who passed out in a match against Granby earlier this year due to asthma, made a strong recovery to finish third.

After losing to East Windsor's Jon Fornwalt in the quarterfinals, Szychowski won four straight matches including a 37 second pin of Fornwalt to take third. After the match against Granby, he switched his asthma medication, which helped increase his endurance for the remainder of the season.

Babcock, who waited three years for a chance on varsity, dropped a tough 9-7 loss in the quarterfinals but won three in a row to earn a spot in the consolation final. But Bacon Academy's Ricky LaGrega was able to prevail, 3-2 in double OT.

Babcock almost had a takedown in overtime but couldn't get behind LaGrega, who kept his arm in the way of Babcock slipping behind him.

There were plenty of wins but not enough points for Canton.

Senior Tom Bujold (135) separated his shoulder three weeks earlier while senior Chris Ziemba (130) broke his hand in the NCCC Tournament. A.J. Howard (145) missed the Class S tournament because he was ill and Brian Phelps (119) tournament was cut short when he turned an ankle.

"Losing those two seniors hurt. That could have been a lot of points for us," he said.

Would it have been enough? That is debatable. However, the team's effort was not debatable.

"It wasn't about individuals," Phelps said. "The whole bunch did a lot of great things this year. It was a team effort. They wrestled their hearts out."

Grafstein earned the tournament fast fall award with five pins in 8:51, including pins of 54 and 58 seconds.

Canton (22-6, 6-0 NCCC) set a new team record for wins and won its fourth NCCC championship.

2002 Class S Tournament
At Berlin
Team results - 1. Derby 197.5, 2. New London 183.5, 3. Avon 167, 4. St. Bernard 157, 5. Canton 153.5, 6. East Windsor 133, 7. Rocky Hill 122, 8. Montville 120, 9. Morgan 109.5, 10. Stafford 107, 11. Bacon Academy and Nonnewaug 96.5, 13. Gilbert 95.5, 14. Portland 75.5, 15. Terryville 55.5, 16. Lyman Memorial 52, 17.Griswold 43, 18. Housatonic 34, 19. Suffield 33, 20. Northwestern Regional 31.5, 21. East Catholic 31, 22. Tolland and Granby 25; 24. Vinal Tech 23, 25. Thomaston 15.5, 26. Lewis Mills 11, 27. Somers 3, 28. Woodland Regional 0

103: 1. Jason Vermes (East Windsor) pin David Brummert (Canton), 3:00; 3. Ryan Darna (Portland) dec. Joe Kelly (St. Bernard), 6-5; 5. Nick Wilson (Montville) pin Rob Deschino (Nonnewaug), 2:46

112: 1. Miguel Pagan (New London) dec. Joel Webster (Northwestern Regional), 6-4; 3. Evan Vold (Gilbert) dec. Jim Galvin (Terryville), 11-2; 5. Eric Bartholomew (Stafford) pin Drew Dayton (Bacon Academy), 2:30

119: 1. Tony Nguyyen (Rocky Hill) dec. Ryan Murphy (New London), 5-4; 3. Jose Rivera (Derby) tech. fall
Josh Bristol (Canton)
, 15-0; 5. Kiernan Komarinerz (St. Bernard) def. Marvin Meyer (Morgan), forfeit

125: 1. Rob Tolk (Avon) pin Dan Dodge (Montville), 3:12; 3. Kostas Hatzikotas (Nonnewaug) dec. Sekiyo Fraft (New London), 5-2; 5. Brian Colavecchio (Gilbert).

130: 1. Ryan Stefancin (Derby) dec. Austin Borg (Suffield), 9-2; 3. Eric Delehanty (Morgan) dec. Kevin Cook (Nonnewaug), 4-2; 5. Adam Frelich (Avon) dec. Connor McGuinness (St. Bernard), 5-2

135: 1. Ramel Murphy (New London) dec. Bernie Cunningham (Tolland), 13-3; 3. Loxley Walters (Rocky Hill) dec. Dan Bourret (Portland), 4-0; 5. Jeff Watson (Lewis Mills) dec. Cory Patrick (Nonnewaug), 9-7

140: 1. Josh Kaplan (Canton) dec. Rob French (Derby), 10-3; 3. Shane Phillips (St. Bernard) injury default over Will Kowalsky (Bacon Academy); 5. Brandon Dombrowski (Montville) pin Ryan Barber (Portland), 0:09

145: 1. Dave Stec (Derby) dec. Dave Iaquinto (Morgan), 11-7; 3. Mike Fuller (Stafford) dec. Steve Dombrowski (Gilbert), 6-3; 5. Steve Montanari (New London) dec. Steve Bongiovanni (Rocky Hill), 12-8

152: 1. Devin Schibi (Gilbert) pin Shane Parlos (East Windsor), 0:56; 3. Rob Labonte (Rocky Hill) dec. Anthony Defala (Derby), 8-4; 5. Joe Friedhoff (Avon) dec. Mike Nadeau (Granby), 12-1

160: 1. Chris Gebbie (Lyman Memorial) dec. Luke Roesler (St. Bernard), 2-1, 2 OT; 3. Brandon Roche (Avon) dec. Pete O'Krasa (East Windsor), 2-1, 2 OT; 5. Josh Veguila (Stafford) pin Gene Cirillo (Derby), 1:52

171: 1. Julie Harrigan (New London) dec. Ron Pelley (East Windsor), 4-3; 3. Ryan Kennedy (Montville) dec. Josh Boebert (St. Bernard), 7-1; 5. Brian Johanns (East Catholic) dec. Frank Blynn (Morgan), 17-3

189: 1. Bill McCollum (St. Bernard) dec. Eric Goldstein (Avon), 5-2; 3. Andre Singleton (New London) dec. Tom Krusczewski (Montville), 10-6; 5. Mike Grafstein (Canton) pin Ryan Caplet (Lyman Memorial), 1:51

215: 1. Aaron Cramer (Morgan) pin Tom Anadore (Bacon Academy), 3:25; 3. Adam Szychowski (Canton) pin Jon Forwalt (East Windsor), 0:37; 5. Ryan Walsh (Avon) dec. Ron Daigle (East Catholic), 4-3

275: 1. Brian Dubiel (Avon) pin Chris Graham (Derby), 1:20; 3. Ricky LaGrega (Bacon Academy) dec.
Steve Babcock (Canton),
3-2, 2 OT; 5. Shawn Cavanaugh (Griswold) injury default over Josh Cofield (Vinal Tech)

Outstanding wrestler: Devin Schibi, Gilbert (152 pounds)
Fast fall:  Mike Grafstein, Canton
(189), 5 pins in 8:51
Plenty of success for Canton in
Class S tournament