BRISTOL - Plainvilleâ€™s Sebby Soli came into the Bristol Central Invitational as a name to watch competing in the 126-pound weight class.
Soli, unbeaten coming in, was expecting much of himself in a tournament featuring strong local talent. His goal was to stay undefeated in a junior season that he has set substantial goals to reach.
â€śMy goal is [to go] undefeated,â€ť Soli said. â€śI want to get first in Opens, first in New Englands and go to Nationals.â€ť
Soli took the next step needed to reach his goals as he tore through his weight class and reached the finals after winning his first three matches, two of which Soli pinned his opponent under one minute in and the third also being a pin just over a minute in at 1:16 against Terryvilleâ€™s Sam Ridgeway.
He then drew Matt Laurie of Wethersfield in the finals, a familiar opponent.
â€śMe and him practice together offseason and on season,â€ť Soli said. â€śIt could have gone 50/50. Thatâ€™s how it goes in practice. I only beat him by one point. I see him again in two weeks and itâ€™s going to be the same deal there.â€ť
The bout was equally matched but Soli edged out Laurie in a 7-6 decision, fighting through much adversity and holding off points in the match in order to do so.
On the day, Soli earned 28 of the 47 points that the Blue Devils finished with as a team.
â€śOverall this is a very stout tournament,â€ť Plainville head coach Rusty Spence said. â€śThis is like going to the Opens and sometimes harder and Sebby has been on fire all year. He hasnâ€™t lost a match. Heâ€™s undefeated up to this point. To win first place in a tournament this quality, Iâ€™m very proud of him.â€ť
Spence has been pleased with Soliâ€™s ability and has given him freedom in the practice room letting him do his own routine.
â€śHe knows what heâ€™s doing,â€ť Spence said. â€śI just open the room and I give him a guideline to practice by, but I donâ€™t really have to coach him. I donâ€™t have to teach him anything heâ€™s basically on his own in that room. Iâ€™m proud of him. Heâ€™s done everything I can ask as a captain, as a student and on the mat heâ€™s sticking it to people.â€ť
So far, Soliâ€™s freedom in practice has paid off for Plainville and his lofty goals are looking more realistic as the season goes on.
Still a junior, and after wrestling in just five matches during his freshman year due to injuries and illness, the future is bright on the match for Soli.
â€śHis potential is through the roof,â€ť Spence said. â€śHe can get as good as he wants to work to. He can go as far as he wants to go. Heâ€™s got natural hips and the funky way he wrestles he throws people out of whack. People heâ€™s never wrestled before are stunned at what he does.â€ť
With Plainville facing off against Bristol Central on Wednesday in a dual meet, the Rams may have Christopher Trelli move up from 120 pounds to wrestle Soli at 126. Trelli, who finished first in his weight class at the Invitational, would present Soli with a stiff test and one fun to watch.
â€śIt could be an epic matchup right there between him and Trelli,â€ť Spence said. â€śThatâ€™d be an awesome match.â€ť
Dan Orencole can be reached atÂ 860-973-1811 orÂ firstname.lastname@example.org