The Farmington High School wrestling team spent all season training hard, working together and winning meets.
The team, which was 32-0 at the end of regular season, won every meet, not just on the points of a few stars but because of a depth of talent.
“During the regular season, it’s very team-oriented wrestling,” said head coach Eric Misko. “It’s so difficult that you need to have teammates and friends who can support you and help get you through the season. That’s what we did all year long - going 32-0. Sometimes you’re going to need someone to pick you up and help you.”
As a result, Misko had hoped the team would go all the way and win the state Class L tournament.
But fate and medical issues that kept the Harry Pacheco, the No. 1 seed at 160 pounds, from competing took the title from their hands.
“It came down to the wire … normally certain teams run away with it but there were three teams vying for it up until the very end,” Misko said. “It was a great tournament. I thought the guys competed really well.”
The team finished third in Class L and placed 10 wrestlers, the second highest number of any team in the state.
Among them was junior Ryan Rigney, in the 145-pound class. Rigney (35-4) won his first state title at the tournament, earning the No. 4 seed in his class for the State Open.
“Ryan is a real hardworking kid and just put in a great effort,” Misko said. “You could just see the effort he was putting in at training all week long and see he was certainly going to be contender.”
Garrett Hastings and Brandon Marquis also had impressive showings. Hastings, a 132-pound senior with a 34-5 record, took second in his class for a No. 8 seed at the State Open. Marquis, at 285 pounds and a 34-4 record, also took second for the No. 7 seed at the Open.
“Joe Fillian at 195 placed third,” Misko said. ”He lost a tough semi-final match then bounced back. Sometimes kids lose in the semifinals and it’s hard to refocus, hard to get back into the lineup but he was able to do that, come back and take third place.”
Misko is hoping all his charges will bounce back.
“That’s going to be the challenge - to get these guys to forget about Ls and realize we have the second most entries of anyone and just try to go out there represent our team and do the best they can.”
The title loss was the team’s biggest disappointment all year, he said.
The State Open will be held at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven on Feb. 22 and 23.