WILTON, Conn. – The three-year-old Wilton Youth Wrestling Program has swiftly swelled to 70 members and last weekend hosted the town's first-ever youth tournament.
More than 300 athletes and 600 spectators packed Zeoli Field House at Wilton High School for the tournament. Wilton had 45 athletes compete, and 10 earned gold medals.
“It was a very successful day,’’ said Brian McGovern, the program’s head coach. “It was well-received by all. It ran very smoothly, and people were blown away by the space inside the field house.”
Results from the meet were fully computerized, which helped the event run smoothly. The group applied to USA Wrestling to host the tournament, and then worked with the school and town to get access to the facility.
“It’s nice for our wrestlers to have a home meet,’’ McGovern said. “It’s a showcase for them, so that they can wrestle in front of family and friends without having to make a long drive. Hopefully we proved that it can be done in Wilton. It’d be nice if we were able to get a regional or state tournament in Wilton. It’s one of the nicer facilities in the state.”
Wilton’s program has grown quickly. It started three years ago with 30 boys who practiced at Comstock Community Center. There were 50 wrestlers in the program last year.
Members of the high school wrestling team and youth cheerleading teams volunteered to help make the tournament a success. The young wrestlers did their part by grabbing 30 medals.
Wilton’s gold medalists included Jimmy Luce, Max Silva, Parker Wooding, Dean Dinanno, Alec Favarolo, Travis Longo, Griffin Morris, Jack Santomero, Wooder Thoby and Harry Winrow.
“We’re very happy with the way it turned out for the first year,’’ McGovern said. “We got a lot of great feedback. A lot of people liked the way that it was run.”