Wrestling: Barlow wrestlers continue success

Joel Barlow High’s wrestling team earned a 42-24 win at Stratford in a South-West Conference clash on Wednesday.

The Falcons got four wins via pins and the rest by forfeit, improving to 3-1 in dual-meet competition this winter.

In the 106-pound weight division, Barlow freshman Josh Brault pinned his sophomore counterpart, Sean Meisel in 1:20.

At 113, sophomore Christian Hiden pinned senior Dakota Benson in 33 seconds.

In the 152 class, senior Ben Coppock pinned freshman Drilon Nasufi in 1:23.

At 170, sophomore Carson LiCastri pinned junior Jerry Palomo in 1:22.

Each Falcon grappler earned two takedown points before pinning his opponent.

Barlow coach Phil LiCastri noted that Brault, Coppock and Carson LiCastri have won with regularity this season.

“They were consistent with that again tonight,” Phil LiCastri said.

And the coach was pleased with the efforts of all of his team members.

“They wrestled hard. Everybody learned a little something tonight, even in losses,” Phil LiCastri said. “Especially getting closer to conference championships, there are definitely some things we learned tonight that we can work on in practice. We need to be a little more aggressive. The matches we lost, Stratford came out and wrestled a little bit more aggressively.

“We have to go out and be the aggressor,” the coach added. “Go out there and be a warrior and be strong.”

Sophomore Cameron Hirsch, at 120, was pinned by Stratford junior Tanner Mitchell in 1:17.

At 182, senior Shayne Ortiz was pinned by sophomore Bruce Hines in 1:32.

At 220, junior Ben Bai was pinned by senior Manny Sainville in 1:45 of the second period.

Coppock is looking forward to making some noise in the postseason – not only at the conference and state championship meets, but also in the New England and potentially national tourneys.

“I’m hoping to go as far as I can, Coppock said.

Coppock is excited about the overall success of the Falcons this year.

“It’s been great. We’ve beaten some of the teams we haven’t beaten in the past,” said Coppock, adding that a 40-39 win over Newtown on Jan. 3 has been the highlight.

“It’s a great way to start it off,” said Brault, referring to the start of his high-school career.

“I just stay aggressive all of the time – aggressive but smart,” Brault said.

The Falcons also defeated Bethel 56-24, and have had some success during invitationals at Pomperaug of Southbury, Simsbury and Wilton, as well as in the Amity of Woodbridge Quad meet.

“It’s a lot of fun. We’ve been winning a lot more matches than we have in past years,” Carson LiCastri said.

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