Teams of the Decade #15: 2016 North Wrestling

North Attleboro wrestling

Team: North Attleboro Wrestling
Year: 2015-2016
Record: 24-1
2016 Davenport Division Champions
2016 Division 2 State Champions


The North Attleboro wrestling program has been one of the most successful in the state since its inception in 1987, and the past decade was no exception. And one of the most successful seasons in its history came in 2016 as the Rocketeers won championships at multiple levels and set numerous program records.

The Rocketeers posted a 24-1 record that season, dominating competition against in-state foes with its lone loss against national powerhouse Mt. Anthony out of Vermont. Not only did the group go unbeaten against Hockomock League opponents to claim the Davenport division title, North Attleboro claimed a handful of tournament wins including the Marshfield Holiday Tournament, and tournaments held at Whitman-Hanson and Cumberland (RI). At the Hockomock Championships meet, four Rocketeers won individual titles and North Attleboro won with an impressive 254 points.

“It’s only a target if you believe it is,” said North Attleboro head coach Wayne Griffin after winning the Hockomock Championship meet. Assistant coaches that season were Dan Thibeault, Ray Sturdy, Geoff Burgess, and Andrew McDonald. “We talked about it this morning. I told the kids that there will be a target on our backs but we can’t worry about it. We just have to focus on today, focus on wrestling today, and get through each match one at a time. I think it’s helped the kids keep perspective as each day goes by. We can’t worry about other things, we had to focus on getting through today first.”

After tying the program for wins in a season (24), North Attleboro continued its success in the postseason. At the D2 South Sectional meet, 10 Rocketeers reached the finals (out of 14 total weight classes) and five went to win sectional titles to help the team post 287.5 points, over 80 more than second-place Hingham. In total, the Rocketeers had 14 grapplers finish top five and it was the program’s 16th sectional title. Alex Devitto (126), Nick Gould (145), Jack Donahue (170), Nick Morrison (182), and Brennan Sankey (285) each walked away a sectional champion.

North Attleboro went on to win the Massachusetts Interscholastic Wrestling Coaches Association (MIWCA) D2 Dual Meet tournament as well as the MIAA D2 State Championship, a display of how well rounded the group was. Although the Rocketeers didn’t have an individual champion at the D2 State meet, North Attleboro’s depth was on full display as three Rocketeers reached the finals and eight members of the group finished top six for a total of 141 points; Central Catholic finished second with 111 points.

The program received the GoldLevel Academic Excellence Award for the 15th time that year, recorded the most pins (316) and wins (534) in a single season in program history and Devin Spratt (120) set the career record for most pins with 91. The MIWCA honored Mike Renzi with its Hall of Fame Award and the coaches were honored by The Boston Globe as Coaches of the Year.

 





Opponent
Result
SharonW, 58-12
North Quad3-0
MilfordW, 56-21
North Quad 23-0
Oliver AmesW, 63-12
North Quad 34-0
MansfieldW, 66-6
King PhilipW, 55-3
FranklinW, 42-21
Hock Championships1st Place
TauntonW, 62-0
Marshfield Tournament1st Place
Whitman-Hanson Tournament1st Place
Cumberland Tournament1st Place
D2 Dual Meet1st Place
D2 South Sectionals1st Place
D2 State Championships1st Place


North Attleboro wrestling
North Attleboro wrestling
North Attleboro wrestling

North Attleboro wrestling

 







Video via North TV


Video via North TV

Teams of the Decade #17: 2014 Franklin Wrestling

Franklin wrestling

Team: Franklin Wrestling
Year: 2013-2014
2014 Kelley-Rex Division Champions
2014 Division 1 Central Champions


There have been a lot of great individual performances by Hockomock wrestlers through the years, but few teams had the depth of Franklin in 2014. The Panthers started slow as they incorporated new faces, but they rolled through the league (including a big win at North Attleboro) to win the league double, claiming both the dual meet and league championship meet titles.

Franklin carried that success into the postseason, winning the Div. 1 dual meet crown and the D1 Central title as well. The Panthers finished third in Div. 1 and fifth at All-States, showcasing a high level of wrestling throughout the roster.

Head coach Carmine Colace said after the Panthers edged North Attleboro at the 2014 league meet, “We do have a lot of depth; we do and that really helps. Today was a real team effort because we had some tough matches in the semis, but nobody got down on themselves and they all battled back.”

After winning the dual meet title, Franklin went into the Hockomock Championships as favorites and took control of the leaderboard early on. The first four weight classes were won by the Panthers. Mike Coppola (108), Cam Kelly (113), Ben Zogby (120), and Dan Pisani (126) went back-to-back-to-back-to-back to start the final round and Griffin Tighe (195) added a fifth individual title later that evening.

After the meet, Colace said, “In the last couple of weeks, we’ve been gaining the momentum and confidence…We started off a little slow, but that was to be expected. Who wants to win matches in December? You want to win matches in February and March.”

Franklin’s team effort led to an impressive performance at the Div. 1 dual meet, which the Panthers won for the second time in five seasons since making the jump from D2.

 

At the D1 Central tournament, Franklin had a wrestler from 11 weight division qualify for states, and three more finished sixth or better. Ryan Creavin (160) took home first place and six wrestlers took second (Coppola, Kelly, Zogby, Pisani, Tighe, and Ryan Ricard). Again it was depth that was the story as Franklin took third as a team at D1 states. Kelly and Tighe won their respective weight classes and five Panthers advanced to All-States.

At the All-State meet, the Panthers took fifth overall. Tighe made it two titles in two weeks, while Kelly (second) and Zogby (third) both joined him at the New England meet. Franklin finished 11th as a team at the New Englands, with Tighe taking sixth place and Kelly capping off his season with an impressive run to the final at 113 before suffering a one-point loss to the top seed, who he was wrestling in the final for the third straight meet.






Opponent
Result
Hockomock Championships1st Place
D1 State Duals1st Place
D1 Central Sectional1st Place
D1 State Championships3rd Place
All-State Championships5th Place


Franklin wrestling