The Winchester High School wrestling team started their season with a second place finish at the King Philip Wrestling Tournament on Saturday, December 8. Winchester had two champions: Drew Piispanen won the 145-pound weight class with a pin in the finals to go along with two pins in his first three matches; Dan McGurl claimed the heavyweight crown with a 3-0 win in the finals, after winning his first two matches by pin.
For most of the day it looked like Winchester would repeat as tournament champions. Last year, Winchester clinched first place before the final round of the tournament. This year, Winchester was in the lead through the early rounds. By the start of the Championship Finals Round, Winchester was a half point out of first place and, with five wrestlers in the finals, had a chance to pass the leader. Franklin HS only had four in the finals, but came up big, with all four wrestlers winning their matches, and three of them scoring bonus points for a fall or technical fall. At the end of the day, Winchester finished second with 288 points behind Franklin’s 299.5 points. Hendricken finished third with 239.5 points.
Winchester’s other finalists were Doug MacDonald, Jake Kelley, and TJ Boudreau; all three earned silver medals to go along with gold medals for Piispanen and McGurl. In addition to the five in the finals, Winchester had seven wrestlers in the consolation finals, and all of them won their matches for third place: Jordan Darby, Nick Stern, Quinn Gregory, Garrett Ludwig, Anthony Franmeni, Cole King, and Joe Fallon.
Quinn Gregory scored his 100th varsity victory at the King Philip tournament. Few, if any, of the fans realized that Gregory achieved this impressive milestone. Teammates gave him a congratulatory high five, and then Gregory started preparing for his next match. This is the kind of dedication that keeps alive Winchester wrestling’s tradition of excellence; it starts with Coach Larry Tremblay, who will soon reach the lofty milestone of 600 wins; it continues with the team co-captains, Nick Stern, Quinn Gregory, Joe Fallon, and Dan McGurl leading workouts on days off; and it extends to every member of the team winning a match or pushing his teammates in practice.
The King Philip Tournament was a long day—wrestlers weighed in at 7:30 am and the trophies were awarded almost 11 hours later at 6pm—but it showed that Winchester is a strong team that will be striving for the top spot again this season.