FAIRFIELD, Conn. – One hole is left in the wrestling resume of Fairfield Warde High School senior Pharoah Eaton. This month, the Mustangs’ 132-pounder will get a final chance to fill it in.
Eaton has been selected The Fairfield Daily Voice Athlete of the Month. He broke the school record for career wins, ending the weekend with 153. He is unbeaten on the season, and in January became the first four-time winner of the Merrimack Invitational in New Hampshire.
The piece of the puzzle, however, that has eluded Easton is a State Open championship. He finished third as a junior and fifth as a sophomore. He won the Class L title last year and finished runner-up as a sophomore.
Remarkably, Eaton has never won a Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference title. He was third as a freshman at 103 pounds and lost in the finals to Stamford’s Ben Pierre-Saint in each of the past two years. He lost a decision at 132 pounds last year and was pinned by Pierre-Saint at 125 as a sophomore. Pierre-Saint has graduated.
“Pharoah has been wrestling a long time, he’s very athletic, he has a lot of experience,’’ coach Jason Shaughnessy said. “He’s been third in the Open, and he’d like to change that. The only thing he’ll be happy with is winning the Open. If he doesn’t do that, he’ll be disappointed.”
Eaton will be the top-seeded wrestler for the Class L championships, and the website ctwrestlinglive.com has Eaton ranked as the top 132-pounder in the state. Rankings won’t mean anything, though, if Eaton comes up empty in the Open.
“He’s an experienced guy, he likes the competition,’’ Shaughnessy said. “He’s taking it one match at a time. His biggest goals are in the next month.”
Eaton had one of his toughest matches of the season last week, when he won a 14-8 decision over Danbury’s Matt Fields. Eaton’s win was one of only four on the day for Warde, and he came close several times to pinning Fields.
The league tournament begins this weekend, the first post-season step for wrestlers. Eaton hopes it’s the beginning of a big month.
“We’re looking forward to it,’’ Shaughnessy said. “We want to win the league and the Class Ls, and get ready for the Open.”