Central, Eastern wrestling teams having good seasons

The Bristol Central and Bristol Eastern wrestling teams have put together good seasons ahead of their annual matchup on Wednesday (at Bristol Eastern, 6 p.m.).

The Rams are 9-2 overall, 4-1 in the CCC South Region. Central won its first six dual meets (Glastonbury, Middletown, Maloney, Plainville, Platt, E.O. Smith) before losing to CCC South leader Berlin on Feb. 3. The Rams took three out of four team matches this past Saturday at the New Fairfield Duals. Central picked up wins over Nonnewaug, Bethel and Masuk. The loss came against Simsbury, which has been ranked in the Top 5 in the state all season. The Rams have been led by seniors Will Hamilton, Umar Malick and Gabe Buden, along with sophomore Aiden Lamarre. Hamilton and Lamarre each went 5-0 individually at the New Fairfield Duals while Malick and Buden were both 4-1. Hamilton won his weight class at both the Skip Ardan (Manchester) and Bristol Central invitational tournaments. Junior Landon Dionne won his weight class at the Skip Ardan Invitational as well. Malick claimed a second place at the Colter Abeley Mid-Season Classic in Middletown, which drew teams from Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Buden and senior heavyweight Jeffrey Labbe each placed third at the Colter Abeley tournament.

The Lancers, led by first-year head coach Eric Sassu, are 8-4 overall, 4-1 in the CCC South. Eastern lost its opening dual meet to Avon, then claimed wins against Middletown, Enfield and Maloney before falling to RHAM, which has been receiving votes in the state wrestling poll. The Lancers downed Platt before falling to Berlin. Eastern defeated Plainville before it also took part in the New Fairfield Duals. The Lancers also went 3-1 with wins over Jonathan Law-Milford, New Fairfield and Harding-Bridgeport. The only loss on the day was to Haddam-Killingworth. Eastern has been led by seniors Dylan Piazza, Ella Nichols, Alex Marshall and Kaiden Dionne. Piazza won his weight class at the CJ McCormack Tournament (Berlin) and Bristol Central Invitational. Nichols is nationally ranked among girls and won her weight class at the CJ McCormack Tournament. Marshall won his weight class at the Bristol Central Invitational. Marshall and Dionne each finished second in their respective weight classes at the Colter Abeley Mid-Season Classic.

After Central and Eastern face off on Wednesday, the postseason beckons.