The following article was submitted by Phillip Stern.
The Winchester wrestling team took second place at the Wilmington Sons of Italy wrestling tournament on Saturday.
Last week Winchester and hoped to repeat that success this week against a tougher lineup, including Dracut, Masconomet, North Andover, Shawsheen Tech, and Tewksbury. Entering the final round, Winchester, Shawsheen Tech and North Andover were still in the running for the trophy, with Shawsheen Tech in the lead.
Winchester Co-captain Steve Spry got things started by defeating Jonathan Stearns of Shawsheen Tech 7-0 to earn the gold medal. Spry also earned bonus points for the team by pinning his first three opponents. Shawsheen Tech then left the door open by only winning one of their five finals matches.
North Andover made a strong run by winning three of their four championship matches, but Winchester’s Nick Stern closed the door on them. Stern scored a takedown in the first period against Josh LaCrosse of Franklin Tech and held on to win gold with a 2-0 decision. He had to defeat the #2, #3, and #1 seeds to earn the top spot on the podium and maintain Winchester’s lead over North Andover.
In the end Shawsheen Tech did enough to finish in first place, 6.5 points ahead of Winchester, with North Andover another seven points back in third place.
Winchester and North Andover are likely to meet again with their squads at full strength in the Division II State Dual Meet Tournament in the Tsongas Arena in February.
At Sons of Italy, Winchester defaulted one weight class and had an injured wrestler pull out of a second weight class, while North Andover sent three of its best wrestlers to the Wayland Tournament.
There is a lot of wrestling to go before the States, but both teams look strong again this year. Because Shawsheen Tech competes in Division I, Winchester will have to wait until next year for another chance to beat them.
Winchester had eight medal winners in all. Jordan Darby wrestled well to take second place, losing to Jon Ryan of Dracut in the finals. Nick Cashion continued his winning ways, easily pinning his first three opponents and taking another second place, losing to Mike Stewart of Dracut in the final match.
Shadi Abujoub and Ryan Kelley both won bronze medals, losing close matches against the #2 seeds, then fighting back through the consolation rounds to capture 3rd place. Abujoub is a senior in his first year in the starting lineup and he is making the most of it, going 8-3 with 5 pins to start the season. Kelley is also in the starting lineup for the first time and has a record of 8-1 with all eight victories via pin; all the more impressive given that Ryan is a freshman.
Co-captain Cam Horsey earned fourth place with two pins, while TJ Boudreau also scored two pins and a fourth place medal. Each pin gets bonus points for the team score. Wrestlers who didn’t place in the top four but scored pins include Quinn Gregory, Dan Fallon, Joe Fallon, Tristan Hardy, and Dan McGurl. In all, Winchester had 23 pins, a key ingredient in capturing the second place trophy.