Ridgefield fifth at FCIAC wrestling championship

Before the season started, head coach Travis Tiger said that the Ridgefield High wrestling team would be better in tournaments than in dual meets.

At the first post-season meet of the year, his assessment was spot on.

With seven of its wrestlers earning top-six individual finishes, Ridgefield wound up fifth in the team standings at the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference championship meet Saturday at New Canaan High School.

The Tigers had 106 points to edge two teams they had lost to during regular-season dual meets: Sixth-place Greenwich (103 points) and seventh-place New Canaan (100 points).

Danbury won its seventh straight conference title — and 30th in the last 31 seasons — with 304 points. Fairfield Warde (182 points) was second, Trumbull (178.5) third, and Westhill (123) fourth.

Ridgefield's best individual effort came from sophomore Ben Smart, who finished second at 106 pounds. Seeded fourth, Smart got a first-round bye before pinning Trumbull's Jack Ryan in 18 seconds. Smart then pinned top-seed Travis Longo of Wilton in 5:31 to advance to the championship match, which he lost to second-seed Ryan Jack of Danbury by a score of 10-4.

Simon Preston added a third-place finish for the Tigers at 145 pounds. Preston, the third seed, had a bye in the first round and then pinned Westhill's Denver Dorsainvil in 4:38. A 10-2 loss to second-seed Mike Mirmina of Trumbull sent Preston to the consolation bracket, where won a 9-1 decision over McMahon's Jason Martinez before pinning Dorsainvil in 49 seconds in the match for third place.

Senior Liam Courtney and freshman Brian Showstead contributed fourth-place finishes for Ridgefield. Seeded fourth at 152 pounds, Courtney opened with two pins and then lost a close 3-1 decision to top-seed Peterson Souza of Danbury. Dropping to the consolation bracket, Courtney edged Staples' Dominic Arciola, 3-2, before falling to Trumbull's Brian Wallace, 6-3, in the third-place match.

Competing at 160 pounds, Showstead got a bye and then pinned Ludlowe's Tad Godlewski in 2:41. Showstead, the third seed, was pinned in 1:59 by second-seed Gino Barratta of Danbury and went to the consolation bracket, where he beat Trumbull's Mike Greco, 5-3, and then dropped a 1-0 decision to Westhill's Jordan Goins.

Also placing in the top-six for the Tigers were juniors Jesse Walker, Peter Murray and Chris D'Entrone. Walker pinned Ludlowe's Zach Taylor in 1:50 to finish fifth at 126 pounds, while Murray beat Trumbull's Alex Greco, 6-1, to place fifth at 132 pounds. D'Entrone lost a 13-3 decision to Trumbull's Joe Palmieri to finish sixth at 195 pounds.