SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Seven wrestlers from the Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) wrestling team will be going to Puerto Rico this week for the National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA) National Championship.

The STCC wrestling team is currently on a winning streak after six consecutive conference title wins. STCC won first place in the NCWA Northeast Conference Championship recently and wrestler Shawn Conniff was voted Outstanding Wrestler of the championship.

Conniff and six other wrestlers will be heading to Puerto Rico from March 9 through March 11 for the 2023 NCWA National Championship.

“It feels amazing that STCC has won the conference for the sixth time,” said Conniff, a criminal justice student at STCC. “This is my second time winning, and it’s a big accomplishment. I worked hard and thank the coaches for inspiring us. I also would like to thank the college administration for supporting the team to go to Puerto Rico and compete at the nationals.”

STCC beat UConn, UMass Amherst and 8 other teams in the Northeast Conference.

“Congratulations to our coaches and student athletes on a fantastic season. Heading to nationals is well deserved. I’m thrilled that our students have this opportunity to compete at the national level,” said STCC Vice President of Student Affairs Darcey Kemp.

STCC wrestling coach Alberto Nieves said he is proud of his team. “I always go back to our motto, ‘Serious Training Creates Champions,’ or ‘STCC,’” Nieves said. “The guys had a great work ethic this year. We had a 12-4 team record, and it paid off with the conference title. We’re hoping to place in the top 5 in the country with the national championship coming up in Puerto Rico.”

In total, 17 STCC wrestlers qualified for the NCWA National: 

  • 125 pounds – Dylan Beddow, 1st place, (defended his NEC title) 
  • 125 pounds – Mark Zavatkay, 2nd place
  • 133 pounds – Michael Gonzalez, 1st place (defended his NEC title)
  • 133 pounds – Matthew Clayton,  2nd place
  • 141 pounds – Kalil Shabazz,  1st place
  • 149 pounds – Joe Podolak, 5th place
  • 149 pounds – Ryan Williams,  6th place
  • 157 pounds – Jame Lunt, 1st place
  • 165 pounds – Jolan Martori, 2nd place
  • 174 pounds – Ricardo Magny, 1st place, (defended his NEC title)
  • 184 pounds – Stephano Magny, 2nd place
  • 197 pounds – Johnny Andre, 2nd place
  • 197 pounds – Davyn Peterson, 4th place
  • 235 pounds – Shawn Conniff, 1st place (defended his NEC title and was voted Outstanding Wrestler)
  • 235 pounds – Ryan Eplite, 8th place
  • 285 pounds – Jacob Gariepy, 1st place
  • 285 pounds – Ramell Acquah, 4th place

The STCC wrestling team has won six conference titles in a row since 2017, excluding 2021 due to no competition during the COVID-19 pandemic.