Red Devils making progress

Bill Bloxsom
Stratford High’s Brandon Murphy muscles his way to a 49-second fall in his 160-pound match with Joshua Huninan from Cheshire High at the East Haven Duals on Saturday.

Stratford High wrestling coach Dan German holds a laptop facing the mat while watching his grapplers take on Cheshire High at the East Haven Duals on Saturday. This way, each of the Red Devils will have something to reference when they return to the practice room.
“We have a lot of first- and second-year wrestlers that are taking their lumps,” said German, a former standout wrestler out of Milford. “I’m proud of them. Team scores don’t line up with the effort.”
Case in point was Anthony Alvarez’s 138-pound bout with Cheshire High’s Dan Massucci.
Massucci was much better on his feet, but for two periods he couldn’t keep Alvarez down, as the sophomore kept breaking free.
The duo traded takedown for escape to the tune of 16-6, as the Ram couldn’t earn points for a near-fall.
After another escape midway through the third, Massucci tied Alvarez up and tripped him to his back.
Alvarez fought back to his base, but this time Massucci switched up and got the pin call with four seconds remaining.
Something to build upon.
“We have kids with natural talent and some very good wrestlers in Mike Lapia, James Jackson and Brandon Murphy,” German said.
“Mike’s doing well in his second year, James is a senior that is out today with an injury, and Brandon is a third-year wrestler who is coming on strong.”
Lapia tied the Cheshire match at 6 with a pin in the second period at 120 pounds.
The sophomore scored the first takedown at 1:35 and added three back points a minute later.
From the neutral position to open the second frame, Lapia got the takedown and two points for a near-fall. He worked his way to the other hip and got the pin call at 2:58.
Lapia added a 9-1 major decision over Foran High’s Jubilee White.
Mike Butler, a junior, showed his grit against Cheshire’s Lucas Swan at 126 pounds.
Down 6-0 early in the second period, Butler reversed Swan to his back before the Ram did the same.
From the bottom down 10-4 in the third, Butler tried to roll himself into a reversal, got caught, but fought back to his base.
Swan later got the pin at 5:12.
Butler would go on to win by a fall at 1:20 of the first period versus Foran High’s Rodrigo Sapriza.
Stratford’s Peter Chaber, who would win a 4-0 decision from Foran’s Nick Holt, met Cheshire’s Jacob Cervero at 132 pounds.
Down 7-0 after one period, Chaber escaped in the second period and didn’t give up a point throughout the final two minutes.
At 145, sophomore Kyle Kubic met Cheshire’s Daniel Mayer. While both grapplers were lanky, the experienced Ram’s muscle mass was the difference and he won by second-period fall.
At 152, Richard Francois met Cheshire’s Andi Mina and the junior took the Ram into the third period before losing by technical fall.
Murphy made short work of Cheshire’s Joshua Huninan, as the junior scored a takedown followed by a pin in 49 seconds.
Murphy tacked on a 5-1 victory over Foran’s Beau Garcia.

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