Tewksbury Redmen Wrestling '07-'08

Sat, Mar 01, 2008 10:00 AM @ Neutral Location
Team Final
New England Tournament
Timberlane 73
Mt. Anthony 64
Belfast 48
Lowell 48
Chelmsford 45
Griswold 44
Bridgewater/Raynham 42
Massabesic 38
Greater Lawrence 37
Mt. Mansfield 32
Ledyard 31
Methuen 30
Ludlow 29
Salem 27
Tewksbury 26
Andrew Baumgartner, Staff PhotographerMore photos

New England Tournament

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Sunday, March, 02 By Dave Dyer
Staff writer

Timberlane's young wrestling team matured quickly during the season and | paced by heavyweight champion Brian Nicoll and 103-pound runner-up Cam Sullivan, both juniors | it grew up completely yesterday at the New England Tournament.

On a spectacular evening in which Salem's Trevor Dearden became a rare three-time New England champion, Methuen's John Sughrue capped a perfect season (57-0) with his first New England title and Central Catholic's Mike Leavitt finished second by the narrowest of margins at 189, the Owls charged to their sixth New England title.

Timberlane finished with 73 points, followed by Mt. Anthony (64<1/2>) in second and Belfast, Maine (48<1/2>) in third. Greater Lawrence (37), with three placers, finished ninth. "I'm just extremely proud of this group," said Timberlane coach Barry Chooljian. "If anyone told me at the beginning of the season that we'd go undefeated (19-0-1) and win New England, I wouldn't believe it.

"But this group really came together and got much better during the season. Brian (Nicoll) winning (a 5-2 decision over Nate Lavallee of Cape Elizabeth, Maine) in the last match just makes it sweeter."

Although it was Nicoll and Sullivan who led the way for the Owls, it was senior Jarad Smith who clinched the team title, finishing fifth at 145 pounds in the consolation bracket.

Smith, who capped his final season with a 40-9 record, was trailing 4-2 before rallying for a 7-6 decision, padding the Owls' lead to a gap that Mt. Anthony couldn't close.

"It made me feel good about myself," said Smith. "The coach told me we needed someone to win a consolation match and after I won, he was all pumped up. That felt good."

Nicoll, who improved to 44-4, got a crucial takedown in the first period, held a 3-2 lead in the third period and then got a late takedown to seal the win, this after only finishing third in New Hampshire last week.

"I didn't wrestle the way I should last week and I wanted to prove I was better than that," said Nicoll. "I feel I did that."

In his match, Sullivan grabbed a 2-0 lead after the first period, but Carlin Dubay of Caribou, Maine, had a reverse and near fall in the second period and then pulled away for a 12-6 decision. Sullivan dropped to 44-6 on the year. Also placing for the Owls was sophomore Alex Smith in sixth place. He dropped a 2-1 decision to Greater Lawrence's Franchesco Ortiz in his final match.

Timberlane's sixth crown matches Mt. Anthony as the most in New England history. Lowell is next with five crowns.

If anyone was as pumped up as Chooljian, it was Dearden, who won his third crown and was named the tourney Outstanding Wrestler. He had a pin in 1:09 in the 125-pound championship match, which was the fastest of the evening. It was the third straight year he won with a pin in the finals.

"I don't know what to think of it, but I know I feel good," said Dearden.

Sughrue, meanwhile, had his toughest match of the year, but he got a reverse with 40 seconds remaining and then held on for a 2-1 victory over Tyler Banks of Griswold, Conn. It was the first loss of the season for Banks and improved Sughrue to 57-0 on the year.

Leavitt was involved in the closest match of the night and eventually dropped a tough 5-4 overtime decision to Julian Hightower of Ledyard, Conn. In losing only his third match of the season, Leavitt was more aggressive, but he couldn't get the points he needed.

Also placing were Londonderry's Cody Byrd, who wrestled back beautifully to place third at 152 and Pinkerton's James Herlihy. who rallied in his last match to overcome North Andover's Jimmy Connelly for fifth at 125.

For Greater Lawrence, Miguel Guzman won an overtime decision in the consolation finals to lead the way with a third-place finish at 112. Also, in addition to Ortiz in fifth, banged-up Chris DelaRosa added a sixth at 152.

"It's the highest finish and the most placers we've ever had, so we have to be happy," said Greater Lawrence coach Tony Sarkis.

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