Fairfield Warde wrestling blasts crosstown rival Ludlowe
The Fairfield Warde wrestling team appears ready for the playoff season.
"We always get prepared for Ludlowe," Warde head coach Jason Shaughnessy said. "It's a special thing."
Fellow seniors Alex Delaney, James Neamonitis and Ben Philpott each got pins in their final dual matches of their high school careers. The five seniors were honored prior to the match on senior night.
Ludlowe's lone win came from freshman Ben Batulanon at 103 pounds, who improved to 29-3 on the season. Batulanon got the Falcons on the board from the start, with a 34 second pin of Warde's David Annunziato, who was wrestling in his first varsity match.
"He's going to get a good seed in both the FCIAC and states," Ludlowe head coach Nick Garoffolo said. "He should do really well."
From there the Mustangs rolled, including wins in both of the matches that Shaughnessy perceived as 50/50 matches. At 119, Warde's Danny Almeida bested Henry Wales, 4-0 and the Mustangs' Kevin Kollar held off Ludlowe's Mauricio Xocoy at 145, 3-1.
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"When you sit down for a dual ... you pick out the matches that you want to win," Shaughnessy said. "We were 2-0 in the matches that were going to be contested."
Despite the Mustangs domination over the Falcons, Garoffolo thought that his team got a lot out of the match with the 10th ranked team in the state, according to the Norwich Bulletin Poll.
"I thought our kids brought good effort," Garoffolo said. "Warde is a much older team than us ... any time you wrestle a good team, it's a good experience."
For the Mustangs, Shaughnessy thought that the excitement and pride in competing against the Falcons is a good tune-up for the upcoming tournament season.
"It's a good day to feel good about themselves," Shaughnessy said. "It gives them some good, positive momentum going into the tournament."
Shaughnessy also realized that the Mustangs should enjoy the ownership of the town crown only Ludlowe, while they can.
"[Ludlowe] has some young kids, and they'll have some kids who will be competing with some of my kids in the future," Shaughnessy said.
Both teams will next wrestle in the FCIAC championships, which will begin on Friday at New Canaan High School.