Wilton Youth Wrestling, now in its sixth season, had a very successful Connecticut State Tournament on Sunday, Feb. 28. Overall, the Wilton team produced eight state qualifiers and six state place winners. Both statistics were personal bests for the WYW program.

The team was led by second-year wrestler Jake Sommer, a sixth grader who became only the second WYW wrestler to win a state championship. Wrestling in the 140-pound Novice Division, Sommer quickly controlled the pace of his matches by pinning all four opponents in the first period of action.

Other standout performances were given by the five other state place winners.

Dan McGuire (an eighth grader from Weston) placed second in the 160-pound Middle School Division.

Joe McGuire (an eighth grader from Weston), wrestling at the 175-pound Middle School Division, placed third.

Lorenzo Caratozzolo (fourth grade) finished third wrestling at the 103-pound Novice Division.

Max Mannino (seventh grade), wrestling at the 77-pound Middle School Division, placed fifth, and Cole Siegal (third grade), wrestling at the 87-pound Novice Division, placed sixth.

“Both Dan and Joe are very strong kids with a bright future in wrestling. They are both very difficult to score on and I look forward to seeing how they perform at the next level,” said coach Greg Morris of his middle school state qualifiers.

As for Mannino, he said: “Max will be back again next year and we will be expecting big things from him. Max is our best technical wrestler and I would not be surprised if he becomes Wilton’s third state champion next year.”

Coach Jeff Siegal also commented on the outstanding performances from Lorenzo Caratozzolo and Cole Siegal.

“Both wrestlers really came to compete today. They both had tough matches and were able to stay focused and disciplined to place in the tournament. Lorenzo and Cole are young wrestlers and we expect big things from them next year.”

In addition to the place winners, first-time state qualifiers Andrew Prackup, an eighth grader from Weston wrestling at 112 pounds, and Dominic Caratozzolo, an eighth grader wrestling at 120 pounds, both had impressive performances. Both wrestlers competed in very tough weight classes with some of the best middle school wrestlers in the state.

At the end of the day, coach Morris and coach Siegal were extremely pleased with the results of the Wilton team.

“Our boys wrestled well today. I’m proud of the way they competed, and the overall results for the season,” said Morris.

Coach Ted Young agreed that Wilton Youth Wrestling has a bright future.

“Returning state champion Jake Sommer and fifth-place finisher Max Mannino will continue to lead a talented group of Wilton wrestlers next year,” he said. “Best of luck to all of our eighth graders as they prepare to join the Wilton and Weston high school wrestling teams next season.”