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Wilton Youth Wrestlers Pin Princeton Rivals

WILTON, Conn. -- The Wilton Youth Wrestling team attended the ninth annual Tiger Classic this past Saturday at Princeton University at the invitation of the Princeton Paws and their head technician, Nick Corcoran. 

Corcoran and Wilton’s head coach Brian McGovern were college roommates and remain close friends. Upon hearing of Wilton’s successful first season under McGovern, the invitation was extended. The Paws, or Princeton Amateur Wrestling Society, is a youth wrestling program that is a joint venture between the Princeton Recreation Department and the Princeton wrestling staff at the university. The Paws hold three state championships, two runner-ups, one third place and six other state place titles. Princeton head coach Chris Ayres has taught in the Paws program.

Thirty-six members of Wilton Youth Wrestling team journeyed to New Jersey with McGovern and coaches Greg Morris, Tom Dexter and Ted Young to compete at Dillon Gymnasium on the Princeton campus. 

The meet was separated into two formats with more than 80 bouts for the day. The first was a grapevine format that allowed two or three matches for most wrestlers. Wilton’s winners included Everett Andersen, Julian Bakalov, James Ciquera, Patrick Ciquera, Alec Favarolo, Caleb Forland, Hans Forland, William Hastings, Chip Hulse, Matthew Johnson, Mike Longo, Max Mannino, Finn McGovern, Griffin Morris, Conor Roché, Colin Storm, Christopher Sweeny, Wooder Thoby, Evan Titus, Jake Zeyher and Zack Zeyher.

Toward the end, the teams switched to a dual meet format and 14 bouts decided the final score for the day. The coaches selected Caleb Forland, Hans Forland, William Litton, Travis Longo, Max Mannino, Finn McGovern, Quinn Reedy, Colin Storm, Wooder Thoby, Evan Titus, Jake Zeyher and Zack Zeyher to represent the team during the dual meet format against Princeton’s Paws. 

Eight Wilton wrestlers won their matches, including: Caleb Forland (6-4 in overtime), Max Mannino (5-0), William Litton (7-0), Travis Longo (9-5), Colin Storm (12-0), Wooder Thoby (by pin), Evan Titus (3-0) and Jake Zeyher (by pin). These wrestlers propelled Wilton into prevailing in the Tiger Classic with a final score of 31-23. Head coach McGovern said, “We did really well today. I’m proud of our wrestlers' commitment and their good sportsmanship.” Coach Young added, “It says a great deal about how far our program has come in such a short time.”

As an added bonus to a successful day, the Wilton team stayed to watch wrestlers from Princeton University take on the nationally ranked Cornell University. Wilton Youth wrestlers met both teams as well as Cornell’s two-time NCAA champion wrestler, Kyle Dake. Cornell defeated Princeton, 30-9.

Information about the Wilton Youth Wrestling program and photographs from the Tiger Classic can be found online at www.wiltonyouthwrestling.org and on Facebook.

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