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Timberlane Owls Wrestling '07-'08

Thu, Jan 10, 2008 06:00 PM @ Pinkerton
Team Final
Timberlane 54
Pinkerton 20

Strength in numbers for Owls

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Friday, January, 11 By Dave Dyer
Staff writer

On a night in which both teams were at less than full strength, Timberlane showed why it still has the top wrestling program in New Hampshire.

Pinkerton was missing three starters last night, including standout sophomore Ian Beck (sore shoulder), and Timberlane also didn't start three regulars, whether because of sickness (standout freshman Matt Morris) or because head coach Barry Chooljian wanted them rested for the rugged Eastern States Classic, which begins today.

The host Astros (7-2) had no one to fill in the void, however, and had to forfeit three weight classes while Timberlane had no problem replacing the usual starters with capable backups.

The result was a lopsided 54-20 victory for the unbeaten Owls (10-0).

"Their program is really healthy and definitely one of the better programs in the state, but we have more depth," said Chooljian. "We have more depth in numbers and more depth in the practice room."

The Owls not only captured 10 of 14 weight classes, but they won the only two close decisions of the evening. At 125, sophomore Alex Smith bumped up a weight and overcame Astro junior Kenny Smith 4-3. At 130, freshman Nick Lawrence got a takedown with two seconds remaining to defeat sophomore Will Cordeau 5-3.

"I knew he (Cordeau) was good, so I was nervous," said Lawrence

For his efforts, Lawrence was cited as the Owls' "Wrestler of the Meet" while raising his season record to 16-4. "Nick is just a battler and is having a great year," said Chooljian. "That was a very good kid he beat."

Later, Nick's brother, Nate, got in his first varsity match, dropping a 7-0 decision to Pinkerton freshman Corey Beck, who is Ian's brother.

"He (Nate Lawrence) fought hard," said Chooljian. "The Lawrences are going to help us a lot in the next few years." Winning by pins for the Owls were heavyweight Brian Nicoll (59 seconds), 103-pounder Cam Sullivan, 140-pounder Dave Clemens, 160-pounder Eric Hebert and 189-pounder Max Zdrada.

The Astros were highlighted by pins from Dave Owens at 112 and John-Paul Zarba at 171 while standout 135-pounder Colin Crowell settled for a 17-0 technical fall.

Pinkerton, which beat Salem for the first time earlier in the season, remains winless in the life of its program against Timberlane. But the Astros could reach another milestone Jan. 31 when it hosts Concord, another team it has never beaten.

"We knew this would be difficult but hopefully we can get healthy and make that a good meet," said Pinkerton assistant coach Jim Cherniack.

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