For the second year in a row the Daniel Hand Wrestling Team is the top Connecticut team at the New England Wrestling Championships. This year they finished second overall to Timberlane of New Hampshire who picked up their fifth straight New England title. The Championships were held Friday and Saturday at the Career and Technical Academy in Providence, RI.
The 120 lb. weight class featured an All-Connecticut final, and a re-match of the 2012 CIAC Open final. In last week’s Open final, Tyler Keane of Glastonbury won in OT, 3-1. This week Will Crisco returned the favor and won the match by the same score, 3-1 in OT, for his first New England Championship. Last year Crisco placed third as a freshman in the 106 weight class, and Keane was the Champion at 112.
Senior Joe Demichele’s quest for a second 285 Championship was thwarted in the quarterfinal round on Saturday. One stumble by Demichele was all it took for Steven Dwight of Manchester Memorial, New Hampshire, to take advantage with a takedown and two quick back points. The four point swing was enough to outscore the defending champ 5-3.
Demichele’s day was not done as he continued to wrestle strong through the consolation bracket. In the consolation semi he faced Jesse Webb of Vermont powerhouse, Mount Anthony Union. This was the second meeting of the year for these two. In the first meeting, early in the season, Webb accomplished something that no one else has done in the last two regular seasons; he defeated Demichele 3-1 in OT. This time Demichele wrestled a very smart, controlled match and came away to with a 2-1 win to advance to the consolation final. In his last match, Demichele pinned Andrew Paredes of Stoughton, MA in 50 seconds to take third place.
The other medalist for the Tigers was Jake Savoca in the 145 weight class. Savoca came very close to making the finals. In his semi-final match with (eventual champion) C.J. Doherty of Methuen, MA, Savoca was behind until there was one minute remaining in the match and he took a 5-4 lead on a takedown. Savoca was not able to keep Doherty on the bottom though and Doherty scored on a reversal with 15 seconds remaining to win 6-5 and advance to the final.
In the wrestle-backs Savoca advanced to the consolation final with a 6-4 win over Anthony Terlizzi of New Milford, his opponent in the Class L final. Savoca then lost the final match 4-8 against Andrew LaBrie of Exeter, RI, to finish in fourth place.
Matt Elias won his first two matches on Friday to add to the Tigers team score. The Tigers finished with 68.5 points, 8.5 points behind Timberlane at 77. Xavier was the next highest Connecticut team finishing with 52 points and sixth place.
The 2012 Season was very successful for the Daniel Hand Wrestling team, they accumulated a lot of hardware. As a team they earned a Class L State Championship, Second Place in the CIAC State Open Tournament and Second Place in the New England Tournament.
Individually there were many medalists:
Class L: Champions; Crisco, Savoca, Demichele. Runner-ups; Matt Elias, Tucker MacGregor. Third Place; Justin Elias, Kevin Wivell.
State Open: Champion; Demichele. Runner-ups; Savoca, Crisco. Fourth Place; Matt Elias.
New Englands: Champion; Crisco. Third Place; Demichele. Fourth Place; Savoca.