When Ben Ceci was growing up, he would go through his dad Mike's photo albums. He always looked at one picture in particular his dad in wrestling gear after winning the 1983 Class LL state championship. And now 28 years later, Ben won a state title of his own in the 189-pound weight class at the Class LL championships hosted by Trumbull High School on Saturday.
"This has been my dream ever since I saw those photos and his medals," Ben said. "I always wanted a medal of my own. My dad kept encouraging me. He's been a part of getting this as much as I have."
Ranked first in his weight class, Ben blew through his quarterfinal and semifinal matches, collecting third-round pins in each. His final two matches were much closer, getting an 11-9 decision in the semifinals and a 3-1 decision in the finals against Ridgefield's Duncan Cozens. Ceci got a two-point near fall and a one-point escape, then held on for dear life in the final two rounds.
Ben's dad Mike, meanwhile, was sweating it out in the stands. "The anxiety kills you in the stands in a close match like that," Mike said. "But I know he's worked hard the past couple years, and this is what he prepared for."
Mike was beaming as he came out of the stands to hug his son after his match. "I'm really proud of him, and I really couldn't be happier," Mike said. "It gives me much more joy to see him do it than to do it myself."
Ceci was the highest finisher for Greenwich as a team. The Cardinals grabbed sixth place overall at the Class LL championships . Ceci will try to add to his Class LL and FCIAC gold medals at the State Open in New Haven next weekend.
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