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Grapplers Sweep Competition In First Nighthawk Invitational Duals



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Newtown High School’s wrestling team held its first Nighthawk Classic Invitational Duals on December 30, and defeated all three opponents to win the event. The Nighthawks beat Bethel 54-27, Joel Barlow of Redding 57-6, and Notre Dame-West Haven 58-18.

“We are very proud of the team going 3-0 today to win the Nighthawk Classic against Bethel, Notre Dame, and Joel Barlow. This is a very young team with three-quarters of the roster being freshmen and sophomores,” said Tom Maurath, president of the Nighthawk Wrestling Booster Club. “We had some dominating performances from Fisher Stites, Ben Plaue, Marc Maurath, Brendan McAnaspie, Tommy Milligan, and Luca Manfredi all going undefeated for the day.”

Newtown highlights are as follows:

Milligan: Pinned Jayden Ortiz (Bethel), pinned Sophie Brault (Barlow), won by forfeit (ND).

Plaue: Pinned Esther Riberio (Bethel), pinned Adrian Zambrana (Barlow), pinned Ethan Weaver (ND).

Manfredi: Won by forfeit (Bethel), 9-2 decision over Scott Romano (Barlow), pinned Nick Pavelko (ND).

McAnaspie: Won by forfeit (Bethel), pinned Alan Taveras (Barlow), pinned Dylan Ross (ND).

Maurath: Pinned Spencer Hoch (Bethel), pinned Evan Taylor (Barlow), 11-3 decision over Kevin Sevigny (ND).

Stites: Pinned Anthony Perrone (Bethel), won by forfeit (Barlow), pinned Sebastian Miranda (ND).

The wrestling booster club president said the hope is for the Nighthawk Classic to be an annual event and for it to grow.

“With current COVID protocols, this year we needed to focus on the safety of our wrestlers and fans. Next year, we plan to bring in some of the top teams in Connecticut. As with our youth tournament, that grew to 400-plus wrestlers from across six states in less than four years, our goal is to build this event into the preeminent high school dual competition in the state,” he said.

Newtown improved to 4-0 in dual meet competitions and earned the No. 9 ranking in the state as reported on January 3 by the weekly poll from Connecticut Wrestling Online. Voters include state coaches and members of the media.

“The fact that we are in the same list of state powerhouses like Danbury, Xavier, Fairfield Warde, and Simsbury gives us a lot of motivation to continue to work hard and help develop this young team,” Maurath said.

Sports Editor Andy Hutchison can be reached at andyh@thebee.com.

Tommy Milligan, top, pins Bethel’s Jayden Ortiz in the 106 pound weight division action during the Nighthawk Classic Invitational Duals on December 30. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
Luca Manfredi, right, earns a 9-2 win over Barlow’s Scott Romano.
Luca Manfredi has control of his opponent on his way to victory.
Fisher Stites pins Bethel’s Anthony Perrone in the 170 weight division.
Ben Plaue won three matches via pin, including this one over Bethel’s Esther Riberio in the 126 division.
Brendan McAnaspie pins Barlow’s Alan Taveras for a victory at 138 pounds.
Kenna Gioffre, right, tangles with his opponent in the 113 pound weight division action.
Marc Maurath, top, posts an 11-3 decision over Notre Dame-West Haven’s Kevin Sevigny. —Matthew Morgan photo
The Newtown High wrestling team holds the trophy after capturing the title in the Nighthawk Classic Invitational Duals. —photo courtesy Tom Maurath
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