Windham wrestling team sweeps Class S, just misses at States
By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Windham - posted Tue., Feb. 26, 2013
Head coach Pat Risley attributes the record number of participants on this year’s Windham High School wrestling team to Mike Haggerty, a school resource officer who is one of the coaches of the football team. “He has recruited a lot of kids for the program,” said Risley. With 35 wrestlers, the Whippets are wrapping up a very successful year.
New to Class S this year, the Whippets absolutely dominated the competition at the class finals on Feb. 16 at Haddam Killingworth, besting the second-place team by more than 100 points. With a total of 14 wrestlers at the tournament, the Whips sent seven to the final round. “That was what separated us from everybody else,” said Risley. It was also a school record. “We had the tournament won after the semi-final round,” said Risley.
Eight wrestlers finished among the top six to qualify for the State Open, and six Whippets won, three by pin. This was Windham’s 10th state championship banner. The Whippets previously won five Class L and four Class M championships, with the most recent previous win coming in 2006.
Looking ahead, Risley said, “Hopefully we’ll have a lot of guys take top four at the state opens and make it to the New Englands.” A win at the opens would have been a first for the team. It also would have been the first win for a Class S team. “We’re going to try to be the first team to win,” said Risley.
But though the Whips performed well at the States on Feb. 23 in New Haven, it was Danbury that took home the state championship title. Danbury finished with a total of 130 points, with South Windsor and Windham both capturing 121 points to share the second-place position. Wolfgang Fiasconaro won his first State Open title, wrestling at 285 pounds. Michael Ruffino (113) finished in second place, and Devyn Petsa (170) and Nicholas Poulin (220) each finished third. Spencer Hill (182) earned a sixth place medal. Top four finishers qualify for the New Englands, taking place March 1 and 2 in Providence, R.I.