Montville wrestlers capture Casey Yates Memorial tourney title

Lebanon — Gary Wilcox told Darrick Deveau that he had to win his heavyweight match by pin to give Montville the team championship at Saturday’s Casey Yates Memorial wrestling tournament.

Wilcox was fibbing just a bit because the Indians would have clinched the title no matter how Deveau won, but why bother with a decision when you can get the pin?

Deveau pinned Dominic Zuccalo of Somers in one minute, 25 seconds to give the Montville the team title.

The heavyweight final was the tournament’s last match. It was also Deveau’s first match of the day as a combination of being the top seed and just three participants automatically put him in the final.

“At that point, we were actually behind by four (points),” Wilcox said. “I said, ‘Darrick, you pin him, we’ll win.’ He had all those points he carried through from the forfeits, but he had to win that match to gain them.

“He literally scored about 19 points there, and I don’t think he knew it, and even if he won (by decision) it would’ve carried forwarded, but I wanted him to pin. I didn’t want to put that question mark in (his head).”

Deveau made short work of Zuccalo.

Asked if he was nervous, Deveau said, “A little bit, but I just kept it out of my mind. Just wrestle my match. That’s all it is.”

Montville won with 224 points, followed by host Lyman Memorial/Windham Tech (211), Enfield (179), E.O. Smith (144) and Stafford (75).

Freshman Blake Chapman (106 pounds) and Deveau were the Indians’ two champions.

Montville is 15-2 (including 3-0 in the Eastern Connecticut Conference Division III) and ranked 14th in the Connecticut Wrestling Online state coaches’ poll.

“The team is looking just as good as it did last year almost,” Deveau said. “We lost some key guys (to graduation), but we have some guys back and we can score points everywhere.”

Every Montville wrestler who competed for the varsity team finished in the top four (it also fielded a JV team). Jayden Colon (120), Ian Anderson (152), Zak Naverrette (160), Ioana Cobena (170), Zach Doiron (195) all finished second. Quinn Bond (126) and Sawyer Kury (132) both placed third, and Mick Wynosky (138), Brandon Petersen (145) and Ken Sheehan-Heon (182) all finished fourth.

Watching Wilcox's reactions at times wasn't a good indicator of how his team was faring, however. One moment, Wilcox would have a pained look on his face. The next moment, he was holding his hand against his head.

"I wasn't happy at times today, but that's expected," Wilcox smiled. "We've got some younger wrestlers in the lineup, some freshmen, and what-not. We're doing okay. We're plodding along. We're winning some things. It's definitely been a great season thus far, but we still have to get better. I just keep pushing.

"Until everybody wrestles a perfect match, you'll probably see a lot more of me with my hand on my head. It is what it is, but I'm proud of them."

n.griffen@theday.com

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