Trumbull wrestlers seeking own identity

Derek Zielinski works toward a win at the Trumbull Duals.

Derek Zielinski works toward a win at the Trumbull Duals.

David G Whitham / For Hearst Connecticut Media

Trumbull placed third at the Trumbull Duals on Saturday.

Coach Charlie Anderson’s Eagles defeated New Fairfield, 52-19, Shelton, 57-18 and rallied past Greenwich 43-36. Dual champion Manchester (42-34) and runner-up Foran (42-33) topped Trumbull.

“We have 70 kids, but we are young, inexperienced is an even better way to put it,” Anderson said. “I had sophomores and even seniors come out that haven’t wrestled.”

Trumbull placed second to Danbury in Class LL a year ago.

“You have to have a reality check (on expectations),” Anderson said. “We are not going to be the team we were last year. It’s still a lot of fun, doing new things. I’m not polishing the statue; I’m actually chiseling out the clay, the rock.”

Jack Ryan a second-place state finisher at 138 pounds, and George Bomann, who took sixth at 145 pounds, are team captains.

“Our goal is wrestle as best we can, lost a lot of guys,” Ryan said. “There is a responsibility being a captain. I remember when I was a freshman that a lot of guys came out because a friend asked them. Some didn’t stay, but those that did are better for it. Keep going, that’s the satisfaction not just in sports but in life. Wrestling will make them a better person.”

Bomann wasn’t lured to the mat, he was more like wrangled.

“My parents signed me up for my birthday (in eighth grade),” he recalled. “And I said: ‘Why would I want to do wrestling, it is stupid?’ But I came to love it I went to camps (in the offseason) and put my all into it to get better.”

Bomann attended a clinic to get acclimated and then joined Trumbull Youth (now South Side Wrestling).

“I got a couple wins under my belt, and found it was something I enjoyed,” he said. “As a captain I try to make time to be with the young guys, tell them to try this, try that. Coach told us that we are not the team we were last year, but to give it all we got and move forward from there.”

The willingness to wrestle year-round comes with becoming a great wrestler.

Ryan traveled as far at Fargo, North Dakota to compete in the Nationals.

“I’m a wrestler,” he said. “I do it all the time.”

No time off?

“I took a month off in August that got right back at it.”

Would he have it any other way?

“No, I love it,” Ryan said with a sincere wide-spread smile.

Magical moments

George Bomann said: “The best part of wrestling is that as long as there is time on the clock, it can change for the better.”

Two of his teammates — Derek Zielinski and Bobby DeJesus — brought that thought to bear on the mat.

Zielinski came from 3-1 down in the third period to get a reversal and three back points in the final 20 seconds to defeat Shelton’s Mike Monaco at 160 pounds.

“t feels really good,” said Zielinski, in his third year with the program. “I dedicate all of it to my coaches and my dad for pushing me hard. As a team, we all push each other as much as possible, challenge each other and in the long run get better. But the friendships we form along the way really prove how close we are as a family.

Greenwich led Trumbull, 36-31, with two matches remaining. The Eagles had a six-point forfeit in the bank with heavyweight Matt Ryan being unopposed.

At 220 pounds, DeJesus and the Cardinals’ Andrew Falla battled until DeJesus earned a pin to put Trumbull on top for good. Twitter: @blox354