Wrestling: Short-handed Shelton takes on Foran

Wrestlers face a number of obstacles in the course of a season.

Opponents can put them in positions that are difficult to counter.

Shelton High coach Bill Maloney is in such a situation.

“We lost two wrestlers in the upper weights who had come out for the team, another didn’t come back out, and one of our guys is sick,” Maloney said before his Gaels’ SCC match with defending Class M champion Foran High in Milford on Wednesday.

The Lions scored a 57-21 victory.

Turning out athletes for wrestling can change from year to year, but Maloney has done a good job keeping Shelton competitive.

“We are having a tough time filling weight classes,” he said. “But we have a good freshmen class and we will plow through. Today, we won 4-of-8 of the matches wrestled.”

Foran took a 24-0 lead after being awarded forfeits in weight classes 160, 171, 182 and 195.

Shelton’s Ray Weiner took a 4-1 lead over the Lions’ Barry Held at 220 pounds, before winning by fall with 39 seconds remaining in the two-minute first period.

In a marque match, Gael freshman Matt Weiner met Foran High heavyweight Phillip Boyles.

This was a match where position, and what you did with it, meant everything.

Weiner got the takedown, and Boyles was reluctant to give Weiner any space to maneuver in what was a frustrating first period for Weiner.

After a warning for stalling early in the second period, Boyles looked to post an arm to escape.

His worst fears were realized when Weiner got an arm in to get a cradle hold and two back points.

Weiner had a one-point escape to take his lead to 5-1 in the third.

Then the match got interesting.

Boyles scored a two-point takedown, then liking his chances better from the neutral position, let Weiner up. Weiner won the takedown for an 8-3 victory.

Foran went up 30-9 with a forfeit at 106 (Shelton’s Graham Ziperstein is injured).

Action returned to the mat at 113 pounds, where Shelton’s Garrett Ziperstein won by 3:42 fall over Tanish Joshi.

Ziperstein used a headlock and got three back points to break a 2-all tie.

Leading 5-3 off a restart in the second period, the Gael junior stacked Joshi up to get the pin call.

A forfeit at 120 pounds took the Foran advantage to 36-15.

The Lions’ Jordan Lang, a fifth-place finisher in Class M, scored a first-period fall over Ayyan Mumtaz at 126 pounds.

Sean Rago earned the Gaels six points with a pin in 3:12 over Mike Melillo. The first period was scoreless. Rago got a reversal 30 seconds into the second period, took his time to get hand control, and turned Melillo.

The large crowd on hand got a match it loved when Shelton’s 138-pounder Christopher Cavagnuolo and the Lions’ Raul Valle went at it.

Down 9-1 in the second period, Cavagnuolo ramped up the oohs and aahs from the bleachers when he rallied within 10-7. Back on top 14-7, Valle won a pair of throws to increase his advantage and then got the pin call at the 5:06 mark.

In a more traditional match, Foran’s Ethan Edmondson defeated Colin Mengold 9-3 in the 145-pound weight class.

Shelton’s Mike Monaco met Foran co-captain Mike Giordano at 152. The Lion proved to better on his feet and led 6-2 and 10-4 at the breaks before scoring a pin.

In jayvee action, Logan Re, a 138-pound wrestler from Shelton wrestling as a team of one for O’Brien Tech, was tied with Foran’s Conner Shallis 4-4 after one. It was 6-6 when the Lion won by fall.

Shelton freshman Mason Stutheit met Foran’s Aidan Clarke in a 132-bout bout with the Lion earning a pin.

The Gaels' Christian Olavarria lost by fall to Foran’s Melillo in another 132-pound bout.