Wrestling opener is closer than the final score

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Dawsen Welch, right, grapples with his opponent during his 152 pound bout during (152)

SPENCER DREHER

STAFF WRITER

There may have been a little rust in Southington wrestling’s first dual meet of the season, but coach Derek Dion said the Blue Knights fought tough in their 45-27 win over RHAM on Dec. 18.

“The kids wrestled tough,” Dion said.  “We had some kids just coming off football or were a bit out of shape but all the way up, it was a solid start for us.  There were some matches I think we could have won, but this was a good team we played, a team that will be a contender.”

RHAM began to climb back late in the match with back to back wins by pin, trimming their deficit to six.  But Jacob Vecchio responded for Southington with a win over Edward Chiffer by pin, clinching the victory.

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“We kind of expected that from Vecchio,” Dion said.  “We have come to rely on him and he is very good wrestler.  Again, coming off football, he wasn’t totally in wrestling shape so it was good to see him take care of business and not push the six minutes.”

Southington already started off up 6-0 because of a forfeit by RHAM in the first weight class, and they never lost the lead.  Ben Gorr was the first of three Blue Knights to win their match by pin, which pushed their lead 12-6.

Darius Magiafico was the first Knight to win by major decision as he defeated Jeremy Devine 15-2.  Emmett Vitti followed up Mangiafico’s performance with a major decision win of his own, defeating Devin Hanelius, 8-0.

Josh Vitti also won by major decision, defeating Harold Barnes, 17-4, the largest margin of victory in a match by either side.

Dawsen Welch was the other wrestler for Southington to win by pin, and he was also the quickest, pinning his opponent, Joseph Lagassee in 1:27.

“A lot of our guys put up solid performances tonight,” Dion said.  “I thought Dawsen Welch wrestled very well.  Darius had a really good match versus a good wrestler.  Gorr looked really good.  Even our players up top really stuck in there, like Josh Vitti and Billy Carr.  Quite a few guys stood out.”

Southington competed in the Lancer Invitational last Saturday at Waterford high school.  Other schools competing included EO Smith, Killingly, Middletown, New London, Staples, Windham, and several schools from R.I.

The Blue Knights’ dual season picks back up after the new year, traveling to Wethersfield on Jan. 2 at 6 p.m.  They will host the Ray Southland Memorial tournament on Jan. 4, beginning at 9 a.m.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Spencer Dreher, email him at SDreher@SouthingtonObserver.com.