RHAM wrestling wraps up the season

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Region - posted Sun., Feb. 20, 2011
In the 140-pound semifinal round, RHAM's Kyle Schilling takes on Avon's James Gendler. Photos by Melanie Savage.
In the 140-pound semifinal round, RHAM's Kyle Schilling takes on Avon's James Gendler. Photos by Melanie Savage.

After a strong 2009-10 season, placing third in the Class M tournament, an increase in enrollment moved RHAM High School up into an extremely competitive Class L. When four starters opted not to return, the wrestling team was left with a fairly young lineup for the 2010-11 season.

The team had a tough start, coming into the RHAM-sponsored, nine-team dual tournament on Dec. 31 with a 0-3 record for dual meets. They placed eighth on New Year’s Eve, with senior co-captain Will Gerardi unable to compete against Ledyard due to an injury. 

The team put in a strong showing at the CCC East Championship, coming in first with a team score of 185.5. E.O. Smith followed with a score of 119.5, with Hartford coming in third with 94 points. RHAM had a total of eight first-place finishes: Ben Randazzo (103), Chris Catanzaro (119), Will Gerardi (125), Alex Stratton (130), James Turgeon (135), Kyle Schilling (140), Colin Davis (145) and Ethan Sutherland (152). Jake Randazzo (112) finished in second place, and Jake Surdam (171) and Travis Salois (215) had third-place finishes.

Facing some extremely tough competition at the Class L tourney, held at Bristol Eastern High School on Feb. 18 and 19, RHAM didn’t realistically expect to place in the top three for the team competition. “Hopefully, we can sneak in at the top 10, which is what we’re hoping for,” said head coach Ryan Fitch on day two of the tournament.

“We lost a lot of our guys this year, so it’s not likely,” said team member Chris Catanzaro, of the team’s chances of placing in the top three. “But we’ve got three or four elite wrestlers that definitely have a chance of placing in this tourney.” Schilling, Gerardi and Catanzaro all advanced to the quarterfinal round. Gerardi was taken out in the semifinals after a pin by Pharoah Eaton from Fairfield Warde. Schilling took second place, losing in sudden death overtime (6-7) to Lars Remole from Darien. Catanzaro beat Bristol Eastern wrestler Josh Dess in the final round, to take first place in his class. “This is the second straight class title Chris has won,” said Fitch. “Only one other wrestler at RHAM has more class titles, and that is Greg Dussol, with three.”

RHAM’s final team score was 72.5, placing them 14th out of a total of 30 teams.

The 2011 CIAC State Open Wrestling Tournament is scheduled for Feb. 25 and 26 at the New Haven Athletic Center.

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