St. John's Eagles Wrestling '07-'08

Sat, Dec 29, 2007 08:00 AM @ Lowell
Team Final
Timberlane 241
Concord 210
Winchester 210
at Lowell 200
Chelmsford 136
Pinkerton 120
Hudson 119
Central Catholic 111
Salem 102
North Andover 84
St. John's 77
Londonderry 63
Pelham 62
Haverhill 43
Carl Russo, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Maturing Owls back on top at Lowell

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Sunday, December, 30 By Dave Dyer
Staff writer

Heavyweight Brian Nicoll put an exclamation point on an impressive statement made by the Timberlane wrestling team yesterday at the 54-team Lowell Holiday Tournament.

The Owls, who finished second last year by a point and a half, came back with a vengence to claim their third team crown in four years with 241 points, comfortably ahead of runners-up Concord, N.H., and Winchester, who tied with 210. Pinkerton (120) was sixth, Central Catholic (111) came in eighth and Salem, N.H. (102<1/2>) tied for 10th.

Timberlane had an impressive nine placers, but Nicoll was the only champion, thanks to a first-period pin of Concord's Dan Herrick.

"I'm psyched that I won, but it was better for the team," said Nicoll. "After last year, we really wanted to win this. I've wrestled him (Herrick) four or five times and always won, but it's been close so I wanted to win it early."

The Owls had one other finalist, vastly improved sophomore Alex Smith, but he ran up against Billerica star Kenny Anderson and was pinned in the second period.

Finishing third for Timberlane were Cam Sullivan (103), Matt Morris (112) and Dave Clemens (140). Morris, a freshman, had a solid win over classmate David Owens of Pinkerton in the consolation finals and Clemens finished his day with a 6-0 decision.

Finishing fifth were senior Jarad Smith (145) and junior Eric Petrillo (171), the latter of whom symbolized the impressive performance by Timberlane's rookies. Wrestling in his first varsity tournament, he won six matches over the two-day tournament, including his final one with a pin.

"It was a little discouraging not being seeded, but I'm really happy," said Petrillo. "I wrestled a lot better than I thought. It feels really good that we're coming together as a team."

Smith had dropped a tough 5-2 semifinal decision to Londonderry's Cody Byrd and then lost his next match, but rallied for an 8-7 decision to nail down fifth.

Taking sixth for the Owls were Cole Priddy (125) and Matt Tardif (215), the latter of whom dropped a wild 9-7 decision in his final match.

"It was just a great team effort," said Timberlane coach Barry Chooljian. "We have a young group of kids who gained a lot of confidence. To have guys like Matt Tardif, Eric Petrillo and Cole Priddy place in their first time here is a great accomplishment."

Overall, it was a strong performance by New Hampshire. Concord had seven placers and Pinkerton and Salem both boasted individuals who stood out.

For Salem, Trevor Dearden captured his third Lowell title, making short work of Pinkerton's James Herlihy in the 125-pound championship match with an 18-second pin while Corbin Decker came in second, losing a close 3-1 decision to Natick's Travis Moran in the 160-pound finals. Also, heavyweight Ryan Stanton came in sixth.

For Pinkerton, in addition to Herlihy and Owens, Ian Beck came in third at 152 while Londonderry's Byrd wound up taking second at 145, losing 6-0 in the finals.

Moreover, Central Catholic's lone champion, 189-pounder Mike Leavitt is from Atkinson, N.H. Leavitt, who avenged an early-season setback to North Andover's Kyle Dolan with a 10-1 major decision in the semifinals, claimed a solid 9-4 decision in the finals.

For North Andover, Andrew Bogosian (215) came in fourth and both Dolan and Jimmy Connelly (125) took fifths.

Haverhill had a fourth from Tom Holt at 135. He lost in the consolation finals to St. John's Prep's Ryan Harding of North Andover, who he had beaten on the first day of the tournament.

Also for the Hillies, Isaiah Williams came in sixth, forfeiting his last match after being taken to the hospital with a possible concussion suffered in his last consolation match.

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