Ridgefield wrestlers fifth at FCIAC championship
Top-six finishes in eight weight classes led the Ridgefield wrestling team to a fifth-place finish at the FCIAC championship.
The Tigers scored 99 points to finish behind Danbury (298 points), Fairfield Warde (236.5), Staples (184), and Trumbull (161) in the 15-team field, which competed Feb. 14-15 at New Canaan High School.
Alex Blaha had Ridgefield’s best invididual performance, placing second at 106 pounds. Blaha, the second seed, lost on a technicall fall by a score of 16-0 to top-seed Michael Longo of Trumbull in the championship match.
Blaha got an opening bye and then pinned Danbury’s Anthony Hacker before winning a 7-0 decision over third-seed Connor Breheny of Warde to reach the finals.
Nate Blaha added a third-place finish at 113 pounds for Ridgefield. Seeded third, Blaha advanced to the semfinals with a bye and a 16-1 technical-fall triumph over Oliver D’Anna of Staples.
Blaha then lost a 9-2 decision to second-seed Lucas Coleman of Fairfield Warde and dropped to the consolation bracket, where he defeated fourth-seed Jacob Pressler of Fairfield Ludlowe (via injury default) before beating fifth-seed Andrew Grabinski of Trumbull, 5-0, in the match for third place.
Ridgefield’s Philip Ferreira contributed a fourth-place finish at 145 pounds. The seventh seed, Ferreira pinned Kacper Grabowski of Greenwich in the first round and then lost an 11-1 major decision to second-seed Logan Kovacs of Danbury.
In the consolation bracket, Ferreira pinned sixth-seed Jonathan Jean of McMahon and edged fifth-seed Quinton Kiss of Wilton, 4-2, to reach the third-place match, which he lost on a 6-4 decision to third-seed George Bomann of Trumbull.
Five Ridgefield wrestlers — Liam Keppler, Andrey Kosygin, Max Alisanov, Lucas Ferreira, and Tiger DeFranco — finished sixth in their respective weight classes.
Seeded fourth at 170 pounds, Keppler received a first-round bye and then lost a 7-6 decision to fifth-seed Jason Mercado of Trumbull in the quarterfinals.
Dropping to the consolation bracket, Keppler got a forfeit victory before falling to third-seed Hunter Rasmussen of Fairfield Warde, 6-3. Keppler then had a rematch with Mercado in the match for fifth place and lost another one-point decision by a score of 4-3.
Kosygin, the sixth seed at 138 pounds, began with a pair of victories — pinning Greenwich’s Harold DeMuyt in 2:19 and beating third-seed Jeremy Brault of Fairfield Warde, 5-1— to reach the semifinals, where he lost on a pin to second-seed Ryan Gover of Stamford.
In the consolation bracket, Kosygin was pinned by fourth-seed Monty Goldberg of Staples before getting pinned by fifth-seed Tommy Harris of Wilton in the match for fifth place.
Seeded seventh at 152 pounds, Alisanov opened with a 4-2 win over Dom Caratozzolo of Wilton and then was pinned by second-seed Tyler Sung of New Canaan.
Alisanov won an 8-5 decision over sixth-seed Sean Zimmerman of Fairfield Ludlowe but lost a 7-6 decision to fourth-seed Jesse Patton of Danbury in the consolation semifinals. Alisanov then dropped another 7-6 decision, to third-seed Tanner Connors of Staples, in the match for fifth place.
At 132 pounds, sixth-seed Lucas Ferreira pinned Westhill’s Hafez Ahmed in 1:01 to reach the quarterfinals, where he lost a 9-3 decision to third-seed Nate Cuoco of Warde.
Ferreira then edged seventh-seed Billy Griffin of Stamford, 4-3, but forfeited to fourth-seed Emanuel Lai of Greenwich in the consolation semifinals and dropped a 7-2 decision to fifth-seed Mikey SantaLucia of McMahon in the match for fifth place.
DeFranco was one of the surprises for Ridgefield, improving three places from his ninth seed to finish sixth at 126 pounds.
DeFranco began with a 3-2 decision over eighth-seed Justin Villalta of Greenwich before getting pinned by top-seed Tyler Johnson of Danbury in the quarterfinals. Dropping to the consolation bracket, DeFranco pinned fifth-seed Luke Pagano-Walley of Wilton and then lost on a 16-0 technicall fall to third-seed Dylan Cruvivel of Warde.
In the match for fifth place, DeFranco fell on a 15-0 technical fall to fourth-seed Aidan Burns of Trumbull.
Notes: Ridgefield’s Lexani Pagan won the championship in the 99-pound exhibition weight class. Pagani defeated two opponents on pins to finish first.
Danbury’s team title was its 10th straight and 33rd in 34 seasons.