Woodland’s Sturdevant off to fast start

Omer, Dupre take to wrestling in their first year competing in the sport

Woodland wrestler Elias Sturdevant, top, competes in the Mike O’Keefe Invitational at Pomperaug High on Dec. 21. –CONTRIBUTED

BEACON FALLS — Another season, another fast start for Woodland wrestler Elias Sturdevant.

The sophomore is following up his rookie success from last season and is off to a 7-2 start to his current campaign. That includes an undefeated day Dec. 28 in the Spartan Duals at Maloney High in Meriden.

“I’m doing pretty well,” Studevant said. “I think what’s brought me my most success is my armbars. Almost every one of my pins from this season and last season is from an armbar. I’m trying to lock up their elbow with my arm and then I run to their head, and when I go over their head it turns their shoulders to the mat.”

He wrestled that tournament at 120 pounds, which is a step up from his freshman weight of 113. Sturdevant has also dabbled in the 126-pound division this winter, including an appearance at the Mike O’Keefe Invitational on Dec. 21 at Pomperaug.

“There’s a very big difference there — they’re much stronger,” Sturdevant admitted.

Sturdevant has also reflected upon his two defeats to come up with ways he can improve as the season continues.

“I think my two losses came from not being offensive enough in the neutral position,” Sturdevant said. “I believe that being more offensive and stepping up more will enable me to win more.”

Sturdevant’s two Woodland teammates, who also compete with him as part of the Thomaston-Holy Cross co-op, also continue to get better during their first seasons as wrestlers.

Sophomore Noah Omer earned his first career victory in the heavyweight division at Maloney, while freshman Peter Dupre is making strides at 160 pounds. Sturdevant maintains that there’s a steep learning curve to the sport and his teammates are taking to it quickly.

“They’re adjusting pretty well to wrestling,” Sturdevant said. “I’d probably say that learning to be in a stance is important. It’s a lot different than other sports. Your legs are bent, your back is in a different position.”

After competing over the weekend at the Morgan Duals in Clinton, the Hawks will face Terryville on Wednesday. They’ll return to invitational competition this Saturday at the Lawless Invitational in Canton. Championship season arrives in February.