Staples High saw a few of its wrestlers battle deep into their individual bouts Wednesday evening at Trumbull.
Still, even with the Wreckers' best efforts, the Eagles flew away with a convincing victory.
Trumbull won all but one individual meet and earned a 68-3 victory in a battle of FCIAC teams separated significantly in the standings.
The Eagles improved their record to 21-6 -- all those setbacks coming to some of the state's better teams -- while Staples fell to 4-13.
David Bernstein, Staples' first-year coach, noted that Trumbull entered the meet with a substantial edge in depth and experience.
"It's good to see where the bar is set in the state," said Bernstein, referring to Trumbull being among the better programs in Connecticut. "It's definitely good for these guys to get exposed to that."
Staples' lone win came in the 138-pound weight division, as Alex Brown earned a 4-3 decision over Jalaam Robinson. Brown was particularly pleased to come out victorious because he's coming off a week-and-a-half battle with the flu.
"Fighting through the whole thing was important to getting the win," Brown said of his win, which lasted the full six minutes. "We've been working really hard in practice and I can see that really made a difference in the third period."
Brown's win gave Staples its first points against Trumbull in three seasons. Brown credited the team's senior captains -- Jeremy Sherman and Alex Kogstad -- for also having competitive matches.
Sherman went the distance in the 126-pound match, and then some. He took Brandon Liscinsky into overtime before falling 3-1.
"They had a couple of very close matches. I was very impressed with the (126-) pounder," Trumbull coach Niko Filippakis said, referring to Sherman. "I think we have one of the best 26-pounders in the state."
Sherman said that the tight decision will motivate him to do well in practice.
"That's where it'll make the most difference," he said.
Kogstad too, said his outcome would result in more hard work on the practice mats. In the 152 division, he came up on the short end of a 6-4 decision with David Briganti.
"I've got to capitalize at the end," Kogstad said. I need to start working harder."
Kogstad noted that he has improved in bouts against physically stronger competitors.
"Today I came out and handled the strength pretty well," he said, adding that he hopes to continue to improve, and use his technique to overcome bigger wrestlers.
The Eagles -- whose lone defeats this season have come against perennial powers Danbury, Fairfield Warde, Glastonbury, Berlin, Conard and Terryville -- won six individual matches by pin.
In the 120-pound match, Staples' Matt Prior, a freshman, was pinned in 1:13 by senior Dylan Haviland. Kevin Cecio pinned Justin Ludel at 2:53 of the second at 132 pounds, Steve Briganti pinned Nicho Ader 20 seconds into the second at 145 pounds, and Brandon Fulco took down Ruben Guardado in 1:20 at 170 pounds. Trumbull's other pins came from Paul McKee at 182 pounds (against Matt Collins in 1:25) and John Miolene at 220 (against Daniel Kogstad at 2:49 in the second).
Staples suffered forfeit losses in the 113, 160 and 195 weight divisions, and there were double forfeits at 106 and 285.
Andy Hutchison is a freelance writer