E.O. Smith wrestlers capture CCC East

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Storrs - posted Mon., Feb. 17, 2014
E.O. Smith wrestler Pat Clark urges his teammate on from the sidelines during a Feb. 12 CCC East finals match with RHAM. Photos by Melanie Savage.
E.O. Smith wrestler Pat Clark urges his teammate on from the sidelines during a Feb. 12 CCC East finals match with RHAM. Photos by Melanie Savage.

Kirk Jenkins and Nick Marouski are in their first year coaching the E.O. Smith wrestling team. “We both wrestled at Windham High School,” said Jenkins, who is serving as head coach for the Panthers this year. On Wednesday, Feb. 12, the Panthers defeated the RHAM High School wrestling team to capture their second CCC East title in three years.

Brad Martson, Justin Haggerty and Zachary Militsky are the senior captains for this year’s team. Jenkins has known Haggerty for the wrestler’s entire life. “I wrestled with his dad at Windham High School and his dad is the current assistant at Windham,” said Jenkins. Haggerty works hard at practice and is a great leader, Jenkins said.

Zachary Militsky is another senior who will be missed, according to the coach. “He is at practice every day, working hard to improve,” said Jenkins.

Jenkins said Brad Martson is another senior who works very hard. “He comes in with great attitude about practice. He also was a lineman for three years but converted into a quarterback during football this past season. He's a really good athlete and a pleasure to coach.”

“The kids on our team look up to all the captains,” said Jenkins.

Eric Sahi, Mike Ivan, Jacob Belanger, Zachary Shashok, Nick Kyparidis and Andrew Major are the other seniors on this year’s team. “This senior class has been together since freshman year,” said Jenkins. “They definitely are a great bunch of young men. Couldn't ask for a better group.”

This year the Panthers wrestled schools that were or are ranked in the top 10, according to the coach, including Simsbury, Newington and Bristol Eastern. “I tell our wrestlers that to be the best you have to wrestle the best,” said Jenkins. “Respect all but fear no one. It's been a motto that our team tries to follow.”

Some of the other stand-out wrestlers from the 2013-14 team include Robert Hartling, a 106-pounder who is 27-3 as a freshman. “He works hard every day,” said Jenkins. “He weighs in at 96 pounds soaking wet. He gives up 10 pounds every time he steps foot on the mat.”

Steven Chick, a sophomore at 113 pounds and 21-8, “Works very hard,” said Jenkins. “Hartling and Chick push each other every day at practice.” 

The Panthers’ goal for the remainder of the season is to, “Wrestle for the next three weekends, Class L and State Open, New Englands,” said Jenkins.

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