Graham Ziperstein leads inexperienced squad

Graham Ziperstein placed third in his 113-pound weight class at the Ludlowe Invitational.

Graham Ziperstein placed third in his 113-pound weight class at the Ludlowe Invitational.

Shelton High Athletics / Contributed photo

Shelton coach Bill Maloney has three veteran wrestlers - Graham Ziperstein, Matt Weiner and Anala Smith.

“Graham is our 113-pounder, Matt is our heavyweight, and Anala Smith will go at 152,” Maloney said of his three seniors. “Matt is cutting his football weight to wrestle, Graham placed third at the Ludlowe Invitational, and Anala is doing well. As a sophomore, she finished sixth in the 126-pound weight class at the 2020 CIAC’s All-Girls Wrestling State Open Invitational.”

Saturday was the first tournament day for high school wrestlers in Connecticut since February 2020. Shelton wasn’t able to fill five weight classes due to illness.

Ziperstein won his first two matches by fall, in 10 and then 24 seconds. He lost 10-4 to Calli Gilchrist from Brian McMahon in the semifinals. Ziperstein pinned Ludlowe’s Owen Trotzer in 59 seconds in the consolation final.

Weiner, Smith, and Ziperstein are the only experienced wrestlers.

“We have a bunch of new kids excited to get on the mat,” Maloney said. “A couple got their first wins which is great. They went mat to mat rooting each other on.”

Doug Malick is a junior. He earned with his first varsity win when Shelton met East Haven to open the dual-match season. Malick pinned Jeremiah Kane in 4:21 of his 170-pound match.

Lillya Akande, Cameron Bermani, Rachel Camiglio, Ivan Cardenas, Grace Marino, Kiyree Michel, Mark Nitsche, Dean Presinal are sophomores.

Julien Bernadin, Elijah DiIlulio, Logan Persson and Kegan Wills head up the freshmen class.

“Graham Ziperstein is our captain. He is working well with our new kids,” Maloney said. “We have some spirited wrestle offs for spots. All the kids push each other to get better.”

Shelton will take part in the Morgan Duals on Monday. Twitter: @blox354