Marques wins bronze in Class S wrestling


KILLINGLY — Losing in the first match of the Class S wrestling tournament wasn’t in Jacob Marques’ gameplan. When the Nonnewaug senior and Naugatuck native returned to the 195-pound division Feb. 19 at Killingly High, he didn’t plan on losing again.
Marques battled all the way through the consolation bracket, earning a sudden victory in the third-place match to wrap up the bronze medal and seal a spot in the State Open tournament.
He said he was disappointed after losing to Montville’s Raphael Vogt by pinfall in the first round, but Marques took some inspiration from head coach Dave Green, a Naugatuck resident.
“Mr. Green said after I lost my first match that I was on a long, hard dirt road,” Marques said. “He said I was a country boy and I belonged on the long, hard dirt road. I pulled through.”
Marques also realized that the next loss would be the end of his high school wrestling career.
“I told myself that it was either [win] or it was the end of wrestling,” Marques said. “I prepared myself to do whatever it took to win.”
Marques reeled off three straight pinfall victories to reach the third-place match, first over Morgan’s Ethan Reemsnyder in 1:56, followed by another over Stafford’s Derek Davis in 57 seconds, then one more over Canton’s Chris Dinneen in 1:26.
“I was aggressive and on top of my game,” Marques said. “I was thinking a lot more clearly than I was [in the first match]. I was taking advantage of every opportunity given to me.”
That set up the bronze-medal match against second-seeded Malachi Fowler of Windham. Fowler took a 1-0 lead into the third period, and Marques scored a one-point escape to tie the match and eventually sent it to a sudden-victory period.
“It was my fourth match of the day and I was really tired,” Marques said. “It was a dogfight the entire time. Right before overtime, he got me in a single [leg] but I stuck it out to the bell. [In overtime], he took a shot at me, I put him in a front headlock, I took him down, and they called my reversal for two [points].”
Marques drew the No. 10 seed in the State Open, which was set for Feb. 25-26 at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven.
Sturdevant earns silver: Woodland senior Elias Sturdevant finished second in the Class S 132-pound division, his best state tournament performance of his career.
Sturdevant, the second seed, cruised to the championship match. He pinned Killingly’s Richard Logee in 1:28, then earned an 11-2 major decision over Gilbert’s Jonathan Eagan, and finally pinned Griswold’s Jesse Costley in 4:35 to make the final.
Ledyard’s Connor Doran dominated in the final, earning a 14-2 major decision.
Sturdevant earned the No. 6 seed in the State Open.
Barksdale competes in first tournament: Nonnewaug freshman R.J. Barksdale, of Beacon Falls, wrestled in his first state tournament at 145 pounds.
He lost his two matches to Bacon Academy’s Dante Colella (pinfall, 2:35) and Ledyard’s Jackson Hayward (pinfall, 3:00).