Brunswick School’s wrestling team won its own tournament – the Brunswick Invitational – many times in the past, thanks to numerous competitors winning their respective weight class or advancing to the finals.
Saturday, one Bruins wrestler finished first in his weight class, but the host team still amassed enough points to add team title No. 20 to its collection.
Displaying its depth, Brunswick placed plenty of wrestlers among the top six in their respective weight classes and as a result, the team points quickly added up. And when the final team points were announced at the tournament’s conclusion, it was the Bruins who were celebrating.
The competitive, 11-team tournament saw Brunswick finish first in the team standings for the 20th time since the event’s inception, amassing 310 team points. Right behind the Bruins was FAA rival Greens Farms Academy (306) and Northfield Mount Hermon. Hopkin finished fourth in the team standings. Brunswick was also the winner at its own tournament in 2019 and 2020. The BIT was not held in 2021 due to COVID-19 safety precautions.
“Everyone was so gritty, bearing down throughout the tournament and finishing, which was so huge to those team points,” said Brunswick senior tri-captain Will Donovan, who competed in the 170-pound division. “It was a total team effort and it’s super rewarding to win our tournament again.”
Brunswick’s victory on the day came from one of its youngest grapplers – seventh grader Silas Corveddu. He captured the 99-pound division title, defeating Danny Hopkins from Episcopal Academy in the finals by technical fall, 15-0, in 5:22.
“It was a lot of fun, it was really difficult to get him to move, but hard work and just sticking through it the entire time paid off,” said Corveddu, who was seeded first.
The Bruins’ young champion went 3-0 on the day on his way to winning the 99-pound championship.
“It’s a lot of fun to wrestle here today and it’s always been my dream for the past five years or so to be here wrestling,” Corveddu said. “A seventh grader winning a varsity championship is a lot of fun.”
Reed Eddy, a sophomore, placed second in the 285-pound (heavyweight) class for the Bruins. Eddy was edged by Simon Taylor from Northfield Mount Hermon in the championship match.
Eddy scored a 7-2 decision over his opponent from Trinity-Pawling School in the quarterfinals, then was victories against Gus Bachner of Greens Farms Academy in the semifinals, 6-4.
“I feel like I’m very blessed,” Eddy said. “We all showed up, we worked hard and we had a great outcome. I feel like it was a very close match between us and GFA and in those couple of few moments, it was the hard work that allows us to overcome our fears and overcome our challenges.”
Eddy was pleased with his overall performance and of course, his appearance in the finals, which helped spark the Bruins to the top of the tournament’s team standings.
“I feel very surprised, I couldn’t have done it without the support of my team, my classmates and teammates,” Eddy said. “These men are ultimately my brothers. I was unseeded and very nervous coming into this. Once I showed up here and saw this grand room with all these mats coming to wrestle, I was ready. I was so thankful for everything that happened.”
Bruins senior tri-captain Cliff Belknap placed sixth in the 285-pound division. Belnap witnessed a number of his teammates also rise to the important occasion.
“What stood out to me was the performance from the young guys, the underclassmen,” Belknap said. “The future is really bright for them, they were outstanding – performance-wise, sportsmanship-wise, everything, so I was really impressed with them. The older kids did as well of course.”
Perseverance was a key aspect to the Bruins’ victory in their tournament, as they excelled in the consolation rounds.
“A lot of the wrestle back and consolations did it for us,” Belknap said. “It is more of a gritty team this year and we fight as hard as we can, which feels great. It’s definitely a team effort this year, since we don’t have all the club guys and All-Americans this year.”
In the 220-pound division, senior Michael Neviera represented Brunswick well, finishing third overall. Neviera was an 8-3 winner against Soren Morrison of Greens Farms Academy in the third place match. After receiving a first-round bye, Neviera lost to Morrison in the semifinals.
“That guy beat me in the first round of the tournament,” Neviera said. “He upset me, I was the three seed, he was the sixth seed, so it was great to redeem myself. I got an early lead and I was lucky enough to keep it the rest of the match. He was a great wrestler.”
Brunswick will see rivals such as Greens Farms Academy at the FAA Duals, which will also take place at Brunswick, on Jan. 29.
“The season has gone well, we are going back to the old school Brunswick wrestling guys,” Neviera said. “We don’t have any automatic win guys who play club outside of school. But we have a lot of guys that are fighting for every win, so it’s fun to watch. FAAs is a big one, we have to look out for GFA, really every match is a battle for us.”
Junior Tomas Delgado turned in a successful tournament for the Bruins, posting a third-place finish in the 195-pound bracket. In the third-place match, Delgado pinned Trey Stevens of Rye Country Day School in 2:35.
“I was just trying to get to legs as soon as possible,” Delgado said of his strategy. “The coaches tell me to use my speed and athleticism to get down low. He almost caught me in a headlock, but luckily, I got down, got his legs and got behind him. And once I got on top, I just worked on some moves and overall, it worked out great.”
Delgado won two of his three matches for the tournament.
“The first one was a tough one, I wrestled the one seed,” Delgado said. “It was my first match after I got a bye in the first round. He came out strong, but overall, it was a good learning experience. The second match, I wrestled a kid from New York, who I lost previously to this year and I had a good strong match and I ended up pinning him at the end of the third quarter, so that was a good build up for the finale.”
Wylie Ocken of Brunswick finished sixth in the 182-pound class, which was won by Greens Farm’s Nate Taylor. He defeated former Brunswick wrestler Nick Bell (Northfield Mount Hermon) in the final.
Donovan gave the Bruins a fifth-place finish in the 170-pound bracket. He pinned Will Rorech of Poly Prep in 45 seconds in the match for fifth place.
“I had a tough start to the day, I lost 4-3 to the No. 4 seed (Greens Farms Academy),” Donovan said. “But I’m happy with how it turned out and I wrestled to seed.”
Will MacGillivray, a sophomore (160-pound bracket) was fourth for the Bruins. He was edged by Dominic Robert of Hopkins in the third-place matchup, 7-5. Brunswick’s Kaden Saad was fifth in the 152-pound class, defeating teammate Emil Sogaard-Srikrishnan in the fifth-place bout by a 5-1 decision. Sophomore Kyle Pagnani, seeded second, placed fourth in the 145-pound division for the Bruins, after advancing to the semifinal-round.
Greenwich’s Javier Serra had a sixth-place finish in the 145-pound bracket. The third-place match at 138 pounds featured Greenwich High’s Facundo Montesinos and Brunswick’s Kyle Karas. Montesinos registered a 7-4 victory to earn the third-place trophy.
“I didn’t do my best, I got fourth, but I wrestled hard and hopefully, I’ll come back strong next week,” said Karas, a Brunswick tri-captain. “I wrestled hard, but I have to make some improvements in practice this week and the weeks coming and prepare for preps, states, all of that.”
In the 132-pound final, Bruins junior Enzo Vera was pinned by Drew Currier from Northfield Mount Hermon in 1:10. Vera beat his foe from Northfield in the semifinals by a 6-1 decision. Freshman Charlie McGraw was sixth (126) and Ethan Phelps (120) each placed sixth for the Bruins.
Angel Espana of Greenwich pinned Phelps’ shoulders to the mat in the fifth-place matchup. Bruins freshman Patrick O’Donahue lost a 4-0 decision to Brady Kaupp of GFA in the title match at 113. O’Donahue made it to the finals by winning his semifinal-match against Northfield Mount Hermon, 9-4.
Greenwich Country Day School’s Thayer Ross had a third-place finish in the 106-pound bracket. In the third-place match, he pinned Quinn McGraw of Brunswick at 4:01.
Greenwich’s Anthony Panarella (99-pound) was third, pinning Brunswick’s Christian Yanoti in 2:44. After Saturday’s tournament win, Brunswick will compete in Saturday’s FAA duals before their home crowd.
“It’s a pretty great feeling, because we lost a lot of the best wrestlers that we had as a whole from last season,” Karas said of winning Saturday’s tourney. “It’s all about pinning and wrestling back, even though we’re not winning the championship at the end.”