Green Wave wrestling -- a litany of excellence
To say the New Milford High School wrestling team is a goal-oriented group would be an understatement.
Better yet, the Green Wave has this admirable habit of achieving many of its goals.
Coach Chris Piel's perennially strong mat crew is this month in the midst of another wondrous run of success, adding yet another South-West Conference team title, claiming the runner-up spot in the state Class L tournament and qualifying seven athletes for this weekend's state open tournament in New Haven.
Showing the way, as he seems to have done for the past four seasons, is senior Conor Kirkegard,
The lithe 113-pounder hasn't lost a match since the New England tournament in his sophomore year. Conor added the state class "L" title to his remarkable Green Wave resume during competition last weekend in New Haven.
He'd previously earned his fourth straight weight class title during Feb. 12's SWC tournament, a first for the Green Wave, and he'll be seeking the state's biggest individual prize this week at the state open.
A state open and New England champion as a junior, Conor enjoyed company on the top step of the podium last Saturday at the Class L tournameent: 152-pounder Kameron Bradshaw rose to the occasion with a 7-5 victory over Randy Boyne of Bristol Central to capture his own state gold.
Their performances, plus a runnerup efforts by 145-pounder Anthony Terlizzi and 182-pounder Sean Doenias, third place by 138-pounder Ian Curtis and top six finishes by 106-pounder Halim Bourjeli and 120-pounder Niko Stefanatos, earned coach Piel's squad 178 points. Only Hand of Madison with 233 points proved more formidable.
Highlighting the Green Wave's SWC championship day at NMHS, coach Piel's juggernaut delivered four individual winners: Conor Kirkegard (113), Niko Stefanatos (120), Ian Curtis (138) and Anthony Terlizzi (145).
Halim Bourjeli (106) and Kameron Bradshaw (152) absorbed tough losses by decision in their respective championship bouts. Sean Doenias also claimed second place at 182 pounds.
Top seeds for the Green Wave today as the NMHS grapplers enter State Open competition will be Conor Kirkegard (1st seeded at 113 pounds), Kameron Bradshaw (forth seed at 152), Anthony Terlizzi (fifth seed at 145) and Sean Doenias (sixth seed at 182).