Windham wrestlers head into new season

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Windham - posted Thu., Dec. 19, 2013
Jacob Martin (in camo) and Sebby Ruffino demonstrate the quarter nelson during a recent practice session. Photos by Melanie Savage.
Jacob Martin (in camo) and Sebby Ruffino demonstrate the quarter nelson during a recent practice session. Photos by Melanie Savage.

Last year, the Windham High School wrestling team captured the ECC Small Division championship, won the Class S state championship and came in second in the state opens. “It was one of our best years ever,” said coach Pat Risley. The Windham program graduated five champions and one runner-up wrestler, most at the higher end of the weight scale.

But with enrollment numbers still up, Risley feels the program is in good shape heading into the new season. “The numbers have really improved the last couple of years, which has given us a lot of depth,” he said. Rather than looking at the season as a rebuilding year, “I think it’s going to be more of a reload,” said Risley.

Among the top returners is Dakota Fleming, a senior this year, who is a two-time state place finisher. Junior Sebby Ruffino captured the Class S title for his weight class last year. Ruffino and Fleming are serving as co-captains for this year’s team.

“Otherwise we’ve got a lot of good, young talent,” said Risley. Among the sophomores, Cullen Contos, Alex Perez, Julio Flores and Seiji Arzuaga are showing lots of promise, said the coach. Juniors Salvador Torres and Dominic Rivera should also perform well. Risley said that junior Jacob Martin, a 113-pound transfer from NFA, “will play a big role this year.” Zuleika Morales, expected to wrestle at 106 pounds, is the single girl on this year’s team. Windham has had two girls place at state meets, according to Risley. “I don’t think any other schools have ever had two,” he said.

The Whippets’ season opened with a match against Killingly on Dec. 18. Check out the team at home at the Whippet Duals on Saturday, Jan. 4, beginning at 10 a.m.


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