D1 North: Methuen's Franklin struts his stuff

METHUEN — Darius Franklin admits that there is some pressure when you’re undefeated heading into the postseason.

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Wrestling, 03/13/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Owls' McGonagle wins New Englands with a pin

PROVIDENCE — This time, Connor McGonagle left no doubt, and left nothing to chance.
After finishing as a New England runner-up as a freshman, McGonagle swept through the New England tournament in resounding fashion over the weekend to capture the 126-pound title.
McGonagle won his first three matches, giving up only one point, winning 9-1, 6-0 and 5-0, and then pinned Tyler Sung of New Canaan, Conn., at 3:46 in the second period of the finals. That raised his record to 47-2 and — with the extra team points with a pin — lifted Timberlane into fourth place in the tourney.
McGonagle was one of two local finalists. In the last match of the night, WIndham’s Mike Tanguay lost a 2-1 overtime heartbreaker to Lincoln-Sudbury’s Andrew Marshall.  
Thanks to McGonagle and a fourth-place finish from junior Dylan Tremblay at 170, Timberlane finished with 57 points. Danbury (Conn) was the overwhelming champion, finishing with 114 points, well ahead of runner-up Newtown (Conn.) and Mount Anthony (Vt.).
“We would have liked to have finished higher, but we had some disappointments and lost some close matches early,” said Timberlane coach Barry Chooljian. “But it’s such a tough tournament and our two placers wrestled great.”
McGonagle gave up a takedown in the final match, but recovered quickly to take a 4-2 lead into the second period. When he saw an opportunity for a pin, he pounced.
“It’s definitely more satisfying getting the pin,” said McGonagle. “I wasn’t looking for it, but when I had the chance I wanted it.
“The difference this year is that I was wicked calm and wrestling to win, not to not lose. Last year was difficult being here as a freshman. This year I was more aware, more prepared.”
McGonagle won two New England titles in middle school but, he said “I’m going for three in high school.”
Tremblay had several memorable matches, none more so than in the consolation semifinals. Trailing 9-3 in the third period, he got an escape, takedown and near fall to tie it and then won in overtime for the right to wrestle for third.
Methuen senior Darius Franklin sailed into the 182-pound semifinals still undefeated for the season Saturday afternoon, but he left in pain and disappointment.
Wrestling against Maine champion Ryan Fredette, Franklin showed a lot of energy early and took a 2-1 lead into the second period. But an injury to the same knee that ended his freshman season proved his demise.
Ahead 3-1, Franklin hurt his knee in the second period and had it checked at the end of the frame. Trailing 5-3, he had limited mobility for the third period and lost 10-5, lying on the mat in pain for several minutes before getting up.
Forced to injury default his next two matches, Franklin officially finished sixth, winding up his season with a 40-3 record, but only one loss on the mat. 
Travis Manick did not place at 195 pounds Saturday but he certainly came close. 
The Methuen junior dropped a tough 9-8 decision to Windham’s Mike Tanguay in the quarterfinals but came back in the consolations with a technical fall. Then he bowed out one match shy of winning a medal, falling 6-4 to Mass. state champ Henry Behaeghel.
It was a strong tournament for Salem’s 145-pounder Tristen Cabinta, who placed fifth.
After losing 7-3 in the quarterfinals, he wrestled back in consolation action with two wins before dropping a tough one-point overtime decision in the consolation semifinals. But he came back strong, winning his last match, 6-4 over Austin Shorey of Noble, Maine. 
A year ago, North Andover sophomore Joey Valentino couldn’t even wrestle at New England, having missed the last half of the season with an injury. Over this past weekend, he made up for the absence, placing fifth at 120 pounds.
In one of the toughest weight classes, Valentino defeated Mount Anthony’s Keenan Taylor 8-5 in his final match. It was his second win over Taylor of the day.  
This time, Shawsheen Tech senior Jake Ferri was more than ready.
The defending New England champ prevailed at 113 pounds, defeating well-known sophomore rival Ryan Garlitz of St. John’s Prep 6-0 in the finals. It was the fourth time in four weeks that the two had faced each other, with Garlitz winning at the Division 1 state meet.
Ferri, who is headed to Kent State, finished the season at 59-1 while Garlitz closes at 55-3, with all three losses coming to Ferri. 
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Wrestling, 03/04/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Owls make it 14 straight MOC titles

NASHUA — “Are you ready to wrestle?”

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Wrestling, 02/26/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

All-State titles for Methuen's Franklin, Central's Cabrera

READING — Technically, Methuen’s Darius Franklin already had an All-State wrestling championship under his belt, but he didn’t feel like he really earned it.
“He had me in a ball and chain and had my arm trapped, and I got lifted and ended up landing on the side of my head. Knocked me out cold,” Franklin said of his All-State finals match against Lowell’s Malik Settles last winter, in which he earned the title by injury default as a result of an illegal slam that left him concussed. 
“I still think they shouldn’t have given me the title, he should have had it,” Franklin continued. “When I was in the hospital, my mom showed me the medal and I was like, ‘That’s not mine,’ I felt like I didn’t earn it myself.” 
This time, there would be no such reservations.
A week after claiming his first Division 1 state title, Franklin dominated the field to repeat as All-State champion at 182-pounds, beating Cambridge’s Toru Goto in the final in a thrilling 5-4 double overtime victory a week after the two battled it out in the Division 1 state final.
That was a 3-1 Franklin win over the-then 45-0 Goto.
After Saturday’s win, Franklin said, “I’m happy I accomplished something I wanted to do, cleanly, without it being handed to me. So I’m proud of myself, happy that so many people came to support me and glad to take the title home.
“The match went better than the last time I wrestled Goto, Once again, he’s a phenomenal wrestler, I told him that after the match. I was like, you’re one helluva wrestler and wrestling you is tough.”

‘Amazing’ Cabrera win
Franklin was joined at the top of the podium by Central Catholic’s Carlos Cabrera, who beat Billerica’s Ryan Higgins 5-3 to win the heavyweight championship.
“This feels amazing,” Cabrera said after his match. “Because it’s all the best wrestlers in the state just showcasing their ability, and it feels good to come out on top.”
Both Franklin and Cabrera now enter the New England Championships undefeated, and they won’t be alone, as numerous other locals enjoyed successful outings to qualify for the next tournament.
Glynn, Perry 2nd
Central’s Tyler Glynn (106 pounds) and North Andover’s Jack Perry (126) placed second at their respective weight classes. 
Glynn lost a tough 7-2 match to Melrose’s Hunter Adrian and Perry lost to Wayland phenom Ramazan Attasauov 12-2.
St. John’s Prep’s Zach Alexander of North Andover took fourth at 132 pounds, as did North Andover’s C.J. Cincotta at 152, Methuen’s Travis Manick at 195 and Lawrence’s Stanley Alberto at heavyweight. 
Central’s Joey Sanchez beat Springfield Central’s Mahari Miller 7-0 to place fifth at 126, and North Andover’s Joseph Valentino beat Masconomet’s Liam McAveney 2-0 to place seventh at 120.
Central places 5th
Minnechaug won the team title, claiming two individual state championships and a runner-up to help collect 84.5 points. Billerica was runner up with 79 points, followed by Melrose (71), Wayland (67) and Central Catholic (66). North Andover tied for eighth (57) and Methuen finished 16th (46).

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Wrestling, 02/25/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Young, Forgitano both place second

Georgetown-Ipswich’s Ian Forgitano and Pentucket’s Devin Young were the top two locals at Division 3 States in Wakefield, taking second at 106 and 195 respectively.

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Wrestling, 02/25/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

North Andover grabs Division 2 state title

NORTH ANDOVER —Freshman Ethan Ford took the mat for North Andover’s first match of Division 2 States. He faced off against Anthony Borelli of Walpole, the Division 2 Central Sectional champion, and promptly pinned him midway through the second round.

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Wrestling, 02/25/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Franklin breaks through

Methuen’s Darius Franklin claimed his first divisional state championship on home turf Saturday, but it didn’t come easily. After dominating his first three matches, Franklin faced down unbeaten Cambridge Rindge and Latin star Toru Goto in the final and had all he could handle.

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Wrestling, 02/25/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Pedro runner-up at Prep Nationals

Phillips Exeter senior A.J. Pedro of Methuen made the 182-pound finals, losing 3-1 to Ryan Karoly of Malvern Prep at the Prep School Nationals in Pennsylvania.
Brooks senior co-captain Nick Konovalchik placed eighth. He went 3-1 in Day 1 to reach the medal round then went 0-2 Saturday, losing the final match on a late cradle to a grappler he had beaten previously in the tourney.
His father and coach Alex Konovalchik said, "He hadn't placed before in the tourney. He's thrilled he placed but was hoping for a better finish. He'll be in our wrestling room for the national placers we put on our board."
Brooks teammates Owen Rosenberger of North Andover (1-2) and Jason Gold (2-2) didn't place. Phillips Andover also didn't have any top-8 placers.
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Wrestling, 02/25/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Local semifinalists


Unbeaten Central Catholic heavyweight Carlos Cabrera and Lawrence's Stanley Alberto will square off Saturday morning in the All-State wrestling semifinals at Reading.

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Wrestling, 02/24/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Just two months into wrestling career, Pizzotti leads Windham to dominant state title

PETERBORO, N.H. — Just a few months ago, Victor Pizzotti had no intention of trying wrestling for the first time. Now, the Windham High senior is a state champion.

It took Pizzotti just 47 seconds to scored a pin at heavyweight. That closed out a run that saw Windham win the final three weight classes after already taking three of the first four of the finals to roll to a dominant victory as a team at the New Hampshire Division 2 State Meet at ConVal High School.

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Wrestling, 02/18/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

500th for Darrin


Windham coach Tom Darrin won the 500th meet of his career as Windham swept a season-ending quad-meet to end the regular season at 20-11. The Jaguars were unbeaten in the first three weight classes as Payton Sills, Riley Millette and Nicholas Sawyer were all 3-0.

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Wrestling, 02/11/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Repeat champions

Brooks seniors Nick Konovalchik and Owen Rosenberger, both of North Andover, repeated as Independent School League champs, breezing to titles in their weight classes. Konovalchik won with a 14-2 major decision in the 160-pound finals while the unbeaten Rosenberger won 6-2.

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Wrestling, 02/11/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Boston takes title


Pentucket's Kalon Boston remained unbeaten, taking the Division 3 North title at 182 pounds, winning 5-3 in the finals. Also, Devin Young was runner-up at 195 as the Sachems finished seventh in the 13-team field, two spots behind Georgetown-Ipswich.

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Wrestling, 02/11/17 » 2 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Central claims crown


BEVERLY — On a great day for the Merrimack Valley, North Andover, Whittier Tech and Greater Lawrence all had highlights to talk about at the Division 2 North sectional.

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Wrestling, 02/11/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

30th for 2 Royals


Georgetown/Ipswich's wrestling team completed its best-ever dual meet season with a 39-36 victory over Watertown to finish at 21-2. Josaiah Krason and Charlie Koshivas both picked up their 30th wins of the year for G-I (21-2).

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Wrestling, 02/08/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars
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