Fitch's Kosman joins elite ECC company; Killingly wrestlers edge Montville by a half-point
Groton — When he found out his school was going to be hosting the Eastern Connecticut Conference wrestling tournament, a change of venue from its original location at St. Bernard, Fitch High School wrestling coach Mark Kosman almost cried.
And it wasn't the last time.
On Saturday, the day Killingly won the team championship by a half-point over fellow top 10 opponent Montville 203.5-203, Fitch senior 113-pounder Jarod Kosman, Mark's son, threatened to steal the thunder.
Jarod Kosman won his fourth straight ECC title, joining the Mount Rushmore of conference elites, and was named the meet's Outstanding Wrestler for the first time in his career to top it off. Kosman pinned Killingly's Dave Charron in 5 minutes, 15 seconds.
Mark's eyes welled with tears earlier in the day, talking about what's it meant to watch his son wrestle over the last four years.
“I was coaching and I was always contemplating should I retire?” said Mark Kosman, in his 20th season. “Then, before you know it, Jarod wrestling here was right around the corner. I thought I might as well stick it out. … It means a lot to him to get to today, with the history of my family that coached and wrestled here.”
Kosman joined four-time champs Chris Kelley of East Lyme (1994-97), Chris Coppolo of Fitch (2000-03), Bran Crudden of Windham (2003-06) and T.J. Hepburn of Ledyard (2004-07).
Also in the Fitch gymnasium Saturday were Mark's coach when he wrestled at Fitch, Glen Graham, who was officiating; and Graham's coach and program founder Bernie Nasser, who handed out medals; as well as Jarod's uncles, who were also a part of the program. Overall, that's more than 40 years worth of Fitch wrestling history.
“It's always meant something coming here to school to coach,” Mark Kosman said. “It's really awesome.”
“It's emotional with him,” said Jarod of his dad, whom he embraced upon his victory and the announcement by tournament director Dave Nowakowski that he was joining such distinguished company. “It's awesome having someone that can support me and help me grow as a wrestler and as a person.”
His goal in the match: “I was just trying to pin him,” Jarod Kosman said. “I usually get a little nervous before, but I get confident in the first 30 seconds. … All my hard work has paid off. It's great to be here for the tournament ... it was a good win and just to join those elite wrestlers.”
Killingly coach Rich Bowen, meanwhile, thought the race to the team title would be close, but maybe not half-a-point close.
He pointed to a pin by Killingly's Zach Caffrey in the 182-pound finals, giving the Redmen a little bit of breathing room. Because the championship bouts started at 160 pounds, Montville's Noah Caskey and Sam Kury were scheduled to wrestle after all Killingly's athletes had already taken the mat and both were threats to pin.
“We knew they were going to do that,” Bowen said.
Killingly, with five finalists, got the pin from Caffrey, plus a decision from Mike Charron at 120, which clinched the victory. Montville got its pins from Caskey and at 132 and Kury at 152, leaving the Indians the smallest margin shy.
“It's one of the best tournaments I've seen in a long time,” Montville coach Gary Wilcox said. “I'm thrilled with this performance. It shows that Killingly (No. 7) and Montville (No. 9) are ranked in the top 10 for a reason.”
Lyman/Windham Tech was third with 169 points, Waterford fourth with 149 and New London fifth with 136. New London was the top finisher among ECC Division I teams to clinch the league championship, something which also drew an emotional reaction from Whalers coach Mike Gorton.
New London had one champion in Jacob Commander at 195. A fired up Commander won by technical fall over Lyman's Joe Reihl 22-6. But the Whalers also wrestled well in the consolation round.
“I just got goosebumps,” Gorton said of the news. “I accidentally told them last week we won ECCs. This saved me from looking like an idiot. … It would have been so easy for so many of them to give up. I know how hard it is not to just say, 'whatever,' because they had their heart set on getting to the finals and it didn't work out. Today was about, how good is your bounce-back?”
Fitch had the most champions of any team with three — Kosman, Dakota Grover (220) and Austin Robertson (145). Also, Stonington's one-man team of sophomore Sam Light, who trains with Fitch, won at 138 pounds, earning a 6-0 decision over Lyman's Jared Swett.
Waterford had two champs in Luther Wade, who started the finals with an emotional 13-10 decision over top-seeded Dennis Charles of Ledyard at 160, and Logan Smith, who won his first career ECC title with an 8-5 decision over Killingly's Dan Charron at 106.
2018 ECC WRESTLING TOURNAMENT
1. Killingly, 203.5; 2. Montville, 203; 3. Lyman Memorial/Windham Tech, 169; 4. Waterford, 149; 5. New London, 136; 6. Ledyard, 116; 7. Windham, 115; 8. NFA, 104.5; 9. Fitch, 101.5; 10. Griswold, 99; 11. Bacon Academy, 68.5; 12. St. Bernard/Norwich Tech, 45; 13. Woodstock Academy, 40; 14. Stonington, 22; 15. East Lyme, 5.
106 pounds — Final: Logan Smith (Wat) dec. Dan Charron (K), 8-5; Third: Naaji Powell-Keyton (NL) pinned Joey Millbach (L), 2:04; Fifth: Rylan Grant (BA) dec. Kellen Horst (WA), 14-5.
113 — Final: Jarod Kosman (F) pinned Dave Charron (K), 5:15; Third: Braeden O'Brian (BA) dec. J'Mari Lowman (L), 9-0; Fifth: Quinn Bond (M) pinned Jeffry Stober (LM/WTech), 4:30.
120 — Final: Mike Charron (K) dec. Dominic Renfree (NFA), 6-2; Third: Eric Zane (Wat) pinned Kevin Fantoli (Win, 3:33; Fifth: Jayden Colon (M) dec. Anthony Pomerleau (SB/NT), 3-2 (OT).
126 — Final: Sebastian Stultz (Win) dec. Jackson Archer (LM/WT) vs. Sebastian Stultz (Win), ; Third: Cole Dirico (L) dec. Sawyer Kury (M), 6-5; Fifth: Jacob Foster (NFA) dec. Tyler Radack (Wat), 16-10.
132 — Final: Noah Caskey (M) pinned A.J. Sachatello (Wat), 3:55; Third: Vashil Patel (G) dec. Luis Rodriguez (Win), 4-3; Fifth: Max Commander (NL) dec. Trevor Johnson (K), 6-5.
138 — Final: Sam Light (S) dec. Jared Swett (LM/NT), 6-0; Third: Danny Castro (Win) dec. Adam Garcia (NL), 7-5; Fifth: Sam Burdick (K) dec. Brandon Nieto (NFA), 13-0.
145 — Final: Austin Robertson (F) dec. Jason Jacaruso (G), 5-4; Third: Zack Burgess (K) dec. Ian Anderson (M), 9-0; Fifth: Marcos Rodriguez (Win) pinned Dylan Vertefeuille (LM/WT), 2:10.
152 — Final: Sam Kury (M) pinned Theran Vanase (NFA), 3:20; Third: Ryan Powers (LM/WT) pinned Leonardo Amaro Jr. (BA), 1:55; Fifth: Keith McDonald (F) pinned Cadan Odom (G), :23.
160 — Final: Luther Wade (Wat) dec. Dennis Charles (L), 13-10; Third: Zak Naverette (M) dec. Max Jean Charles (NFA), 4-1; Fifth: Gabe Samaha (LM/WT) dec. Greg Gosselin (K), 4-1.
170 — Final: Mason LaFlam (LM/WT) dec. Derek Turner (K), 5-2; Third: Luis Rodriguez-Veras (NL) dec. Jake Gannotti (Wat), 10-2; Fifth: Caleb Forehand (M) dec. Mason McMahon (NFA), 15-4.
182 — Final: Zach Caffrey (K) pinned Dane Concascia (M), 5:17; Third: Marc Thelusma (NFA) dec. Xavier Alvarez (NL), 3-1; Fifth: Stephen Sims (G) dec. Logan Gerovitz (Wat), 10-5.
195 — Final: Jacob Commander (NL) won by tech. fall over Joe Riehl (LM/WT), 22-6 (6:00); Third: Johnny Falco (G) pinned Brandon Hamilton (F), 4:59; Fifth: Jadian MacKenzie (L) pinned Zach Doiron (M), 5:55.
220 — Final: Dakota Grover (F) dec. Nick Tibbetts (M), 5-3; Third: Noah Kimball (NL) dec. Rene Bernier (K), 5-3; Fifth: Daniel Ntamwemezi (WA) dec. Ben Grottole (BA), 5-1.
285 — Final: Jaden Malave (Win) dec. Richard Mullaney (L), 3-2 (OT); Third: Roark Ryan (SB/NT) dec. Willie Postell (K), 4-0; Fifth: Mike O'Connell (LM/WT) dec. Dylan Zito (Wat), 2-0.
Outstanding wrestler: Jarod Kosman (Fitch).
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