Wrestlers primed for postseason

Naugatuck’s Logan Wilcox pins Masuk’s Dan Dutkowsky during a meet Jan. 29 at Pomperaug High School in Southbury. –CONTRIBUTED

Naugatuck junior wrestler Logan Wilcox heads down the stretch of the regular season with an eye on going deep in the postseason.

The Naugy grappler, who wrestles as a team of one with Pomperaug, bounced back from a recent illness and a shoulder injury to improve to 7-3 on the season.

Wilcox earned a second-round pin of Dan Dutkowsky of Masuk on Jan. 29, and followed that up against Bethel Feb. 5 with a first-round decision over Brian Angulo.

“My coach (Brendan Quinn) has been having me work on my leg work,” Wilcox said. “My leg attacks have helped me to gain control of a match and helps me with the goal of scoring first and last in each period.”

Wilcox is looking to make the most of the end of the regular season, which concludes with a quad meet against Farmington, Branford and Maloney Feb. 7 and a meet against Joel Barlow Feb. 10, before the Berkshire-Valley Postseason Invitational in Thomaston Feb. 15.

“I have gained a little more strength this year wrestling in the 182 class,” said Wilcox about moving up in weight class. “After going 2-2 at the Berkshire championships last year I would like to rely on my experience this year to go a little farther.”

Wilcox also picked up a pair of wins in the Class L state tournament last year and the goal is to make the State Open this year. The Class L championships are set for Feb. 21-22 at Bristol Eastern. The State Open is set for Feb. 28-29 in New Haven.

“I have gone up against most of the Berkshire wrestlers, so I know what to expect,” Wilcox added. “But Jack Cronin (of Nonnewaug) is number one in the state, so that is certainly a challenge in the 182 class.”

Woodland’s Elias Sturdevant takes down Northwestern’s Ben Langer during a meet Jan. 22 at Northwestern Regional High School in Winsted. -JIM SHANNON/REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Prospect will send a strong contingent to the Berkshire-Valley Postseason Invitational — and it won’t just be Woodland wrestlers.

Woodland, which has three wrestlers who practice and travel with the Thomaston-Holy Cross co-op program, will be led by Elias Sturdevant, who won the 113-pound championship last year as a freshman. Before this season, he had already set his goal to win another league title in the 120-pound class.

Sturdevant will be joined by Noah Omer (285) and Peter Dupre (160).

Another Prospect native is the most decorated of the bunch.

Cronin, a senior at Nonnewaug, has a 20-0 record entering the final week of the regular season. He’s closing in on 100 wins for his career after a tremendous junior season in which he won the Berkshire-Valley and Class S titles at 182 pounds. He also finished as the State Open runner up, something he hopes to change in his final campaign.

“My season has been going strong,” Cronin said. “I’ve been wrestling pretty well with big thanks to my coaches and family. Hopefully I can win my second state title along with a State Open title and place in New Englands.”

Cronin feels as though he’s improved this season by “putting in better work and being confident in my wrestling.”

The Class S championships are set for Feb. 21-22 at Killingly High.