Nighthawk Wrestling Team Dominates Pomperaug, Earns Upsets In Tourney

Published: January 08, 2019 at 12:32 pm


This was a good week for Newtown High School’s wrestling team. First, on January 3, Newtown went to Pomperaug of Southbury and defeated the Panthers 40-24. Then came participation in the East Haven Duals, two days later — the Nighthawks wrestled to a fourth-place finish and picked up some solid individual victories against tough competition among eight teams in East Haven. And on top of it all, the team got a bit healthier and deeper, as Justin Bogdanoff was back in the lineup after battling injury.

Against Pomperaug, the highlight was Sebastian Vona’s 2-1 overtime victory over Sam Mathena in the 195-pound weight division. Bogdanoff had a convincing win at 182, posting a 14-3 major decision.

Newtown earned pin fall wins at 132 (Ben Watson) and 138 (Nik Accousti). Ayden Kasbarian (145), Fritz Maurath (152), and Andrew Sayers (160) all won regular decisions.

The Nighthawks wrestled up a weight division throughout the lineup to match up best with the Panthers and challenge themselves, Coach Ron Chivinski said.

“We took it to Pomperaug. They had a full lineup, and against a tough SWC opponent we wrestled hard — we wrestled well. They took on the challenge, and we out-wrestled them,” Chivinski said.

In East Haven, the Nighthawks faced two of the top teams in the state in Foran of Milford and Waterford and battled hard in both, losing 47-27 to eventual tourney champion Foran and 49-28 to Waterford in the day’s consolation match.

“They were competitive duals. If a few things went our way, things would have been different. This team has a lot of heart,” Chivinski said.

Newtown doubled up Notre Dame-West Haven 54-27 and toppled St Bernard/Norwich Tech 77-7.

Maurath, who wrestled at 145, Joe Zeller at 285, and Accousti, 132, all went 4-0 in the duals, and Steven Leuci, who wrestled at 160, went 3-1. Sayers (152), Kasbarian (138), and Leuci all continue to make strides, Chivinski said.

Maurath’s win in the Foran match was the highlight. He trailed Ethan Edmonson 7-0 before pinning his counterpart in 4:45.

“That was an unbelievable victory,” said Chivinski, adding that Maurath and a few other wrestlers posted triumphs that were on-paper upsets.

In the Foran match, Accousti, Kasbarian, and Sayers (152) also posted pin fall wins.

Against Notre Dame-West Haven, the following NHS grapplers won via pin: James Tibola (113), Watson (126), Accousti (132), Kasbarian (138), Sayers (152), Leuci (160), Bogdanoff (170), and Zeller (285).

In the St Bernard/Norwich Tech bout, Tibola, Watson, Kasbarian, Maurath, Sayers, and Leuci all won via pin. Accousti won via technical fall, and the rest of the wins came in forfeits.

Against Waterford, Watson, Maurath, Leuci, and Zeller all pinned opponents, and Accousti scored a major decision.

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