Big Red Pins Down Win at Foxboro and League Title

North Attleboro wrestling
North Attleboro senior and UVA-commit Mateusz Kudra capped off North’s win over rival Foxboro with a pin at 285 pounds. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FOXBORO, Mass. – North Attleboro started the dual meet season 4-4, as a young roster tried to acclimate to competing at the varsity level against some of the top teams in the state. The Rocketeers have progressed over the course of the season and entered Wednesday night’s meet at Foxboro having won 10-of-12 meets.

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The development of the North team was on full display against the Warriors, as the Rocketeers earned five pins as a team, won five straight matches through the middle weights to pull away, and took home a 44-21 victory that clinched a third straight Davenport title and fifth straight Hockomock dual meet championship overall.

“Beating Mansfield and now beating Foxboro in consecutive dual meets shows how hard my kids have worked and how much they’ve improved and that’s the most important thing,” said North coach Geoff Burgess. “I’m very proud of these guys and how they’ve gotten better and steadily improved over the course of the season.”

North got off to a 6-0 start, as Tanner Ferguson earned a 9-4 win at 106 pounds, scoring five unanswered points in the third period to take the victory, and Alex Yan won a 3-0 decision over T.J. Whitehouse at 113.

The 120-pound match, although only the third match of the night, was the turning point. Foxboro was counting on big points from Adam Lanctot, who is one of the top wrestlers in the state at that weight class, but he struggled to put away Ethan Smith. Leading 7-6 in the third period, Lanctot aggressively went after more points and Smith caught him, went on the attack, and got a pin that drew the loudest reaction of the night from the North bench.

“That was it,” Burgess said. “That match right there pretty much swung it. There were a bunch of coin flips but that wasn’t, they had the advantage. It’s one thing to catch a kid and put him on his back but to stick him, that was huge. That was a nine-point swing in our favor and it’s a different match if they win right there.

Foxboro coach Billy Ivatts admitted, “The match at 120 was pretty deflating. It was a tough matchup for us, a tough loss obviously there. We had a couple close matches that we thought may go the other way and really they won all the close matches.”

Cam Hassett edged Griffin Gouck 5-4 at 126 pounds to get Foxboro its first points of the night and the Warriors got back-to-back pins from Shayne Kerrigan (132) and Tommy Gallagher (138) to grab its only lead of the night.

North responded right away. Mike Burns got a second round pin at 145 to make it 18-15 and Mike Edmonds followed with a dominating match at 152, getting three back points in the final second to earn a tech fall and the bonus points. Montrel Jackson added a pin in the first minute at 160 to put the visitors ahead 29-15.

The run continued at 170, as Max Warsofsky used a late surge to pull away for a 6-1 win and then Liam Risk pinned his opponent at 182 to make it 38-15 and seal the win and the title for North Attleboro.

“I knew it was going to be a tough task going in and it really was,” said Ivatts. “We’d love to beat North one of these times but they’ve just got the horses this year. Hopefully, we can learn from it. The season isn’t over…we’ve still got a long way to go.”

Aidan Dow won 5-1 for Foxboro at 195 and William Ogbebor won 3-1 in a battle with John Kummer at 220, but North finished on a high. Mateusz Kudra, the University of Virginia-commit, got a pin at 285 to wrap up the meet.

“He’s the insurance policy. As long as we’re within five points, we know we can win. I’ve never had a wrestler like Mateusz. He also has improved dramatically, even if he doesn’t always get to show how much he’s improved.”

Burgess appreciated that the rivalry, which has gone back decades, is once again decisive for the league title. He said, “The last three years it has come down to us wrestling them and we’ve been fortunate to get the best of them, but they’re always tough, they’re always well-coached.”

North Attleboro (15-6, 5-0) will head to the Div. 2 duals this weekend and Foxboro (22-5, 4-1) will wrestle at the Div. 3 duals at Ashland.

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North Gets Edge Over Foxboro in Davenport Title Race

North Attleboro wrestling
North Attleboro’s Adam Eberle got bandaged for a head wound but managed to rally for an overtime win at 160 pounds to spark the Rocketeers. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FOXBORO, Mass. – Fittingly, the first league dual meet since the divisional split between the top two wrestling programs in the history of the Hockomock and the meet that could eventually decide the Davenport division champion was only decided by the slimmest of margins.

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Six of Wednesday night’s 14 matches were decided by two points or less. Only two matches were ended in pins with one walk over, two major victories, and a technical fall.

In the end, North Attleboro did just enough to pick up the 31-24 road victory at longtime rival Foxboro. With the victory, North put itself in control of its own destiny as it tries to mark its first season in the Davenport by winning the league’s dual meet title.

Following the meet, both coaches expressed admiration for their opposition.

“We knew this was going to be a close match,” said North coach Wayne Griffin. “We’ve been following Coach Ivatts for the past couple years and he’s doing a wonderful job over here with these kids. That was a heck of a match.”

Foxboro coach Billy Ivatts, who was also a wrestler in this rivalry and a three-time state champion for the Warriors, said of having North Attleboro back on the league schedule, “I love it. I like having them here. It’s good for the kids to get the competition. It’s good for later on down the road to have that close match experience and just obviously wish it turned out a little differently.”

Starting at 126 pounds, Foxboro jumped out to an early lead. Tom Gallagher picked up a second round pin to open the night, but North cut the lead in half at 132 when Brandon Graveline got a third round takedown of Phil Dure to win that match 6-5 heading into Foxboro’s strongest two wrestlers, Matt and Brian Kelley.

The twins, both seniors, added two more wins to their already impressive careers (Matt became the program’s all-time leader in wins, beating out his coach’s record, earlier this season), but neither could get the maximum points. Matt won 13-1 and Brian got five points for his 15-0 tech, but North managed to avoid getting pinned.

“The Kelley kids are awesome,” said Griffin. “You’re wrestling someone who is very good and your job is to go out and compete, but you can win a match by not getting pinned. They know Nick Gould is our top guy and they employed the same strategy.”

Gould, fresh off a win at the Marshfield Holiday Tournament last week, got a major win at 152 and cut Foxboro’s lead in the meet to 15-7.

That led into arguably the match of the night. North’s Adam Eberle took a blow to the top of his head and had to be extensively bandaged to stop the bleeding, but he managed to pull out a dramatic win against Max Dorman, who also needed attention at one point from the trainer.

Eberle fell behind 4-2 with 30 seconds remaining in the match but tied it with a takedown 20 seconds later. He got another takedown early in the overtime period to seal the win.

He split his head open,” said Griffin of Eberle, “and it was almost like the Roman warriors, but he’ll go home and get a couple stitches and he’ll do a good job.”

Matt Mullaly got Foxboro going again at 170 with a first round pin and Dave Dow got the winning point on a third round escape to win 4-3 over Reid Wills at 182 to put the Warriors ahead 24-10. From that point on, North would win the final six matches to come out on top.

“It was a tough weight class for us to start with,” Ivatts admitted. “You know where their good wrestlers are and they know where our good wrestlers are and you can kind of have it all mapped out… They made all the right moves and won some matches I think we should’ve won and they took it.”

Mateusz Kudra (195), Brad White (220) and John Kummer (285) each pulled in three points for the Rocketeers, as the lightweights got prepared. Foxboro only had Adam Lanctot to wrestle at either 106 or 113, so Ivatts chose to forfeit the match at 106 against Brady Folan, who beat Lanctot in their last match, to try and give his team a shot in the final two matches.

“Their 106 is really good and we didn’t want to lose both,” said Ivatts of giving North its first lead at 25-24. “We thought we could get the win at 113 but unfortunately it didn’t work out. If we get the three [points] there, then it kind of goes back in our favor.”

Lanctot came back to tie Dan Cooper at 4-4 in the third round after an escape, but Copper answered back with a takedown that turned out to be the winning move in a 6-5 thriller that Griffin said “sealed” the meet.

Jake DiRenzo held off Shane Kerrigan, 2-0, at 120 pounds to ensure that North left Foxboro with the victory.

“It was a great high school dual meet,” said Ivatts. “Especially at the high school level it’s always pin or be pinned really, so you could just see the caliber of wrestling from both teams is really high.”

When asked what this meant in terms of the league title race, Griffin admitted, “This was the match. No disrespect to anyone else, but this was the match.

“I think that’s a fair assessment, but who knows what the future can bring. Kids get sick, they get injured, they rise to the occasion, but this is a step in the right direction.”

North Attleboro (9-1) will host a quad meet this weekend, while Foxboro will have a week off before hosting Canton.

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