Division 2 state meet

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Sunday, February, 17 By Ryan Lambert
Staff writer

According to coach Tony Sarkis, yesterday was one of the biggest day in the rising history of the Greater Lawrence wrestling program.

The Reggies had three state champions (Miguel Guzman at 112, Francesco Ortiz at 119 and Chris DelaRosa at 152), put another wrestler in the final (103-pounder Matt Buco), and had seven wrestlers place in the top six. The three state titles and seven wrestlers headed to All-States (Saturday at Salem) are both school records.

Central Catholic's Mike Leavitt was the other area state champion, winning his third title with a 10-3 decision over 189.

Sarkis summed up his team's big day simply.

"Outstanding," he said. "We have seven guys going to the All-States. That's incredible. That's the most guys in school history so we made a lot of firsts tonight. It was the first time we had multiple champions. It was just a great, great day.

"DelaRosa's just an outstanding wrestler. Down low, the 103-pounder (Buco) should have won. He had a tough match and I thought he had a two at the end there. Miguel just handled that kid very easily, and the 119-pounder is a two-time state champion | you can't ask for much more than that."

DelaRosa had perhaps the most decisive victory for the Reggies, jumping out to a 2-0 lead and controlling Tewksbury's Mike Willey from the outset. It was 4-0 through two periods as DelaRosa was content to take his opponent down once at the start of each period and not let him up, winning 8-2.

"He's a strong wrestler, so I had to take advantage when I could," said DelaRosa, who beat Willey three times over the course of the season. "I just couldn't let myself lose to him now. It was just attack, attack, attack until the match was over."

Guzman was an easy winner at 112, using his quickness and strength to earn a 10-6 decision over King Phillip's David Connor, who was 41-0 headed into the match. Ortiz's win over Marshfield's Joe Pronk was decided when Ortiz secured a headlock out of a scramble midway through the third period on his way to a 9-4 decision. Guzman and Ortiz, like DelaRosa, remain unbeaten on the year.

The Reggies' other wrestler in the final, 103-pound freshman Matt Buco, lost a tough 4-3 decision to Dracut's Brad Meyers.

"I thought he had control, but that's at the discretion of the referee," said Sarkis. "He'll see him again in the All-States."

At 189, Leavitt earned his third state title with a 10-3 decision that seemed almost effortless thanks to an aggressive first period in which he earned six points.

"I'd say the first one probably beats it, but getting number three is a very big accomplishment," Leavitt said. "It's not so much the number, but it was my last year to do it. If I was going to win just one, I would definitely want it to be my senior year. Having three as a senior is excellent. It feels great."

North Andover's Jim Connelly had a tough-luck first period at the 125-pound finals, and was pinned at 1:37 by Silver Lake's Mark Sprague. A disappointed Connelly said he was overly aggressive in trying to secure the back and was consequently trapped.

In all, 12 local wrestlers will head to All-States next week. The Reggies will send 125-pounder Brian Nadeau, who finished third, Saul Orellana, who took sixth at 135, and Jason Orsini, who was fourth at 215, in addition to DelaRosa, Guzman, Buco and Ortiz. The Reggies may have had another qualifier but 189-pounder Victor Sosa was unabvle to compete because of a knee injury.

North Andover sends Connelly, Jared Hood (third at 145) and Kyle Dolan (sixth at 189) to the All-State meet. Central will be represented by Leavitt and Shain Jowett, who was sixth at 160.

Also for the Raiders, Mike Clements was honored as the Division 2 assistant Coach of the Year.

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