WESTPORT --Not having a full complement of wrestlers usually spells defeat on the mat. Missing four to five grapplers would virtually guarantee it. The New Canaan wrestling team was an exception to this rule on Saturday in a multi-team meet at Staples.

Despite missing four to five wrestlers in each match, New Canaan went 2-2 and moved its record to 6-9.

"We wrestled very well considering we forfeited five of the 14 classes," Rams Coach Paul Gallo said. "To go 2-2 is a pretty good result for us."

Will Nemiroff, who was taking the SATs, hadn't arrived when New Canaan opened the day against host Staples and surrendered 30 points to start, but lost only one match it actually wrestled in coming away with a 43-34 victory to start the day.

"We wrestled very well and didn't lose most of the matches we had," Gallo said. "In the few matches we lost, we stayed off of our backs and didn't get pinned."

Rams sophomore Tom Costigan in the 171-pound weight class, efficiently opened the match against the Wreckers by pinning freshman Josh Rosenberg in 11 seconds. Costigan was 4-0 on the day.

Junior Dylan Leeming was 4-0 at 189 and jumped out to a lead against Staples junior Mikell Washington before holding on for a 9-7 decision.

After losing by forfeit at 215, New Canaan tallied six points in the heavyweight division when junior Kalin Killinger pinned Wrecker junior Henry Betar in 1:44.

After losing four matches by forfeit and a major decision at 112, the Rams trailed 34-33 because it got quick pins from sophomore Kevin Hall (103), freshman Ken Philipson (140) and senior co-captain Brian Khzouz (145).

This set the stage for the last two matches, starting with Ram senior David Korman taking a major decision, 16-6, over Staples senior quad-captain Andrew Washington at 152.

Following Korman's win, New Canaan led 37-34 and junior Dylan Kavookjian stepped in at 160 against Washington's twin brother Adam. Kavookjian made a reverse move before pinning Adam Washington 1:22 into the match.

Following their win, the Rams lost 52-26 to Thomaston, beat Bunnell 52-30 and lost 46-29 to Stamford. Against Thomaston, Hall defeated Cliff Aquino, 13-4; Khzouz pinned Mergim Isaku (33 seconds); Kavookjian pinned Kevin Oquindo (43 seconds), Costigan took a 5-0 decision over Sal Santa Maria and Leeming won by forfeit.

Khzouz, who was 4-0, won by forfeit against Bunnell, as did Korman and Killinger. Sophomore Frankie Hogan got a win at 112 by pinning Syed Saud (42 seconds). Philipson (1:00), Costigan (52 seconds) and Leeming (49 seconds) all won by pin while Kavookjian won a 14-6 major decision over John Iseppi.

In the loss to Stamford, Khzouz' 4-3 decision over Black Knights senior captain Bryan Polonia was the highlight of the day. Polonia was the FCIAC runner-up last year and Khzouz ended the day with a perfect 19-0 record.

"Personally, I thought I did well and wrestled a good match against him," Khzouz said. "I just went out, wrestled with what I had, used my aggression and went back to the basics. I out wrestled him from my feet and got more points than him."

Korman defeated Polonia's younger brother, Scott Polonia, 11-4 and Philipson won a technical fall, 18-3. Costigan (4:42) and Leeming (1:12) pinned their opponents.

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