Haverhill Hillies Wrestling '12-'13

Monserrat, Sughrue each win third straight state title

NEWTON CENTRE — When you've never lost to a Massachusett opponent in your high school career, even a state divisional title can leave a guy a bit jaded.

"Basically, it's just another tournament," Methuen junior Christian Monserrat said after winning his third consecutive Division 1 championship yesterday at Newton South High School. "It's another step toward my goal of winning New Englands."

Qualifying for another All State tournament on Saturday at Salem High School, Monserrat remained undefeated on the season with a workmanlike 21-3 technical fall over DJ Lemiux of St. John's Prep for the 126-pound crown. Monserrat is now 50-0 on the season and 148-2 for his career. His only two losses have been in the New England finals the past two years.

For the tournament, Monserrat had three technical falls and a pin, but not even being undefeated against state foes gets Monserrat worked up at this point of his stellar career.

And it certainly doesn't alter his focus.

"It's a good accomplishment, but I'm just trying to stay unbeaten and trying to achieve my most-prized goal which is to win New Englands," he said. "Losing (the past two years) just makes me work harder and want to beat everyone mentall and physically and to put pressure on everyone else.

"Actually I think of myself as the underdog. I have to go into (a match) with the mindset of dominating and trying to kill everyone, but you can't get too cocky. You have to come out and stay humble to accomplish your goals smoothly."

Not to be outdone, teammate Paul Sughrue also won his third consecutive divisional crown with a tough 5-1 decision over Framingham's Johnny Do. Sughrue, 48-1 on the year, led 4-1 after the first period then after an escape late in the second, he held off Do's takedown attempt the final 10 seconds of the period.

And like his younger mate, the Methuen senior remains set on just one ending.

"It's another step closer to my dream of being a New England champ," said Sughrue, who registered two technical falls and a major decision in earlier matches. "I have to train harder every day. I can't take a day off."

The youngsters might not see the bigger picture at this stage of their careers, but Methuen coach Bill James knows how special his stars are.

"They have big goals, and it's fun to coach kids like that who want to be the best," he said. "They both have had great accomplishments, and they're two of the greatest wrestlers we've had in our program."

In arguably the night's most exciting match, North Andover's Ian Butterbrodt of St. John's Prep scored all his points in the final 27 seconds to defeat Haverhill's Sami Al-Ziad 3-2 for the 220-pound crown. Al-Ziad, who dropped an 8-1 decision to Butterbrodt in the north sectional final, took the lead on a takedown with 25 seconds left in the first. Butterbrodt, who had the up position in the final frame, picked up a stalling point with 27 seconds remaining then turned the Haverhill sophomore and picked up two back points with a mere five seconds left.

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