Central Catholic Raiders Wrestling '10-'11

Sat, Feb 12, 2011 10:00 AM @ Winchester
Team Final
Central Catholic 0
Greater Lawrence 0
North Andover 0
at Winchester 0

North Andover crowns six in state sectionals

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Saturday, February, 12 By Jeff Hamrick

WINCHESTER — After helping North Andover to convincing victories in the Divison 2 team sectional and state semifinals earlier, six Scarlet Knights capped off a successful week with championships at yesterday’s North Section individual tournament at Winchester High School.

Although team scores were not released, North Andover easily outdistanced the field by winning six of its eight title matches and advancing 11 of a possible 14 to Saturday’s state tournament.

“It is a little bit tough (separating team and individual success),” said North Andover assistant Carl Cincotta, ably filling in for head coach Dave Casticone, who was absent because of family business. “The mental stuff is the same. You’re still going out there to wrestle matches but you tell them ‘Today is for you, guys.' "

Central Catholic, which went two for two in title matches with wins by Pat Lacroix at 112 and Ryan O’Boyle at 119 and qualified seven to state, unofficially finished second. Greater Lawrence (Matt Buco at 125) and Whittier (Parris Williams at 135) qualified six and three, respectively.

Freshman Brad Drover kicked off North Andover’s championship round with a 12-1 victory over Brian Foley of Beverly, wrapping up a convincing day in which he defeated three opponents by a combined 38-1.

“I was working hard in practice to get here,” Drover said. “I’m really happy I won. I knew I had to not give up any points and come out with a win.”

Scarlet Knights dominated in the upper weights, winning five of the meet’s final six weight classes. Danny Connelly began the run with an 8-0 victory over Masconomet’s John Fitzsimmons for the 152-pound crown. At 171, Jack Mehlman claimed a tough 5-4 overtime decision against Winchester’s Brandon Nowell. Then Ryan Neals (189) and Adam Bates (215) posted back-to-back pins before heavyweight John Pollard knocked off Beverly’s top-seeded Andrew Cannata 5-2 in overtime.

Connelly now gets a chance to improve on his second-place 145-pound finish in last year’s state tournament.
“I definitely wrestled the best in this one,” said Connelly about defeating Fitzsimmons for the fourth time this year. “I knew what I had to do, and I knew what my plan was. The most important thing was to just not get nervous.”

Bates won the meet’s award for most pins (four) in the least amount of time (7 minutes) while Neals pinned all three of his opponents in 10:51.

“We have a board back in the (school’s wrestling) room with all the sectional champs up there,” said Bates, who was fifth at last year’s state tournament after finishing second in the sectional. “I just wanted to get my name on that wall.”

Seeded fourth, Whittier’s Williams might have been the day’s biggest surprise with victory’s over Central Catholic’s top-seeded Matt Armano (4-2) in the semis and second-seeded Vinnie McBeck of Winchester (4-1) in the finals.

“The biggest thing was I had to get past my semifinal match,” Williams said. “He was my first ranked opponent of the year. After that, I was pretty confident because last week (Armano) beat (McBeck), so I was pretty sure I could win this.”

Game Statistics:

Championship winners: 103: Jon Ryan, Dracut; 112: Pat Lacroix, Central Catholic; 119: Ryan O'Boyle, Central Catholic; 125: Matt Buco, Greater Lawrence; 130: Brad Drover, North Andover; 135: Parris Williams, Whittier; 140: Ryan MacDonald, Winchester; 145: Jimmy Ryan, Dracut; 152: Danny Connelly, North Andover; 160: Chris London, Tewksbury; 171: Jake Mehlman, North Andover; 189: Ryan Neals, North Andover; 215: Adam Bates, North Andover; HVY: John Pollard, North Andover

Other Local qualifiers (top 4 advance to Division 2 state):

103: 3. Danielle Coughlin, NA; 112: 3. Cody Alter, NA; 119: 3. Aiden Marquez, GL; 4. Travis Yell, Whittier; 125: 3. Zane Melillo, NA; 130: 3. Joe Helfrich, CC; 135: 3. Matt Armano, CC; 140: 2. Jason Ricketts, NA; 4. Simon Dellea, CC; 145: 2. Frank McCarthy, NA; 3. Matt Kando, CC; 4. Wilken Amador, GL; 152: 4. Jean Carlos-Gomez, GL; 160: 3. Dave Stryzkalski, CC; 171: 4. Pedro Camilo, GL; 189: 2. David Ohlsen, Whit; HVY: 3. Manny Suarez, CC

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