Newtown High School’s wrestling team was invited to participate in the annual Fairfield Ludlowe Invitational tournament as one of three new challenging teams for the host Falcons to tangle with on the mats. The objective, for the Falcons, was to face tough competition to get better. Mission accomplished — the Nighthawks not only proved to be a difficult foe, but they dethroned the two-time champion Falcons.
Newtown had five individual champions among seven finalists en route to taking top honors in the 12-team tourney on December 21.
The Nighthawks scored 286 points to beat out runner-up Ludlowe (207). Luca Crudo won the 113-pound division championship with a 9-2 decision over Ludlowe’s George Wales in the finals. James Leuci won the 132-pound title with a 7-3 decision over Ludlowe’s Bobby Clark. Mike Long earned a 6-5 decision over Bethel’s Michael Gargano in the 138 championship. Logan Walsh took top honors at 145 with a 9-2 final-round decision over Brien McMahon’s Sawyer Machette. Anthony Falbo earned a 9-4 decision over Ludlowe’s Chase Lind to capture the 152 title.
Second-place Newtown finishers were Thomas Leuci at 106, Ed Lovely at 120, and Connor Lemay at 160.
Chris Lajoie came in fifth in the 138 division, Alex Stavola was fourth at 160, Forest Speed came in third at 170, Andy Hubina came in third at 195, and Ryan Wagner was third at 220.
“They came to wrestle — they gave me everything they had,” Newtown Coach Chris Bray said.
The Newtown coach, whose team opened the season with a 67-0 win over Bunnell of Stratford three days earlier, said his team still has a lot of work to do but that things are looking good in the early going this season.
“We’re just pleased with where we are at this point,” Bray said.
In the win over Bunnell, results are as follows: 195: Andy Hubina (N) pinned Vincent Ginnetti 0:34; 220: Thomas Long (N) dec Michael Gentile 8-6 OT; 285: Ryan Wagner (N) pinned Anthony Gentile 5:57; 106: Thomas Leuci (N) won by forfeit; 113: Luca Crudo (N) won by forfeit; 120: Edward Lovely (N) won by forfeit; 126: Matt Gonzalez (N) dec Michael Ross 5-4; 132: James Leuci (N) pinned Syed Saud 1:44; 138: Mike Long (N) dec Christian Perez 9-4; 145: Logan Walsh (N) major dec Eric Ross 14-2; 152: David Corsi (N) won by forfeit; 160: Anthony Falbo (N) dec Chris LaConte 18-12; 170: Connor Lemay (N) dec Jack Heiden 1-0; 182: Forest Speed (N) won by forfeit.