Hornets Edge Franklin to Move Closer to First Hock Title

Mansfield wrestling
Mansfield junior Noah Jellenik lifts his arms to the rafters after his match at 285 pounds, Despite a loss in his individual match, Jellenik sealed a 30-27 win for the team that puts the Hornets on the brink of a first-ever league title. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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MANSFIELD, Mass. – Even the parents were out of their seats, creeping closer to the mat, and counting down the final seconds of the night’s final match. Mansfield junior Noah Jellenik laid flat on his stomach, holding off Franklin’s Riley Downing and waiting for the final horn to sound.

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As the ref waved his hand to signal the end of the match, Jellenik, who is in his first year as a wrestler, rolled onto his knees and threw his hands in the air in triumph. On three edges of the mat, his teammates, coaches, and Mansfield alumni hugged, cheered, and celebrated, as the Hornets moved one giant step closer to securing the program’s first ever Hockomock dual meet title.

Although Downing won the 285-pound match 6-2, Jellenik had accomplished his only goal, which was to avoid a pin. With the Panthers only earning three points in the final match of the hotly-contested dual meet, Mansfield held on for a 30-27 victory.

“Do not get on my back,” Jellenik said with a laugh when asked about his strategy going into the match. Trying to reflect on how he felt after securing the win, he said, “Wow, it’s kind of surreal right now. I’ve known these guys almost my whole life, at school and around town, and I’ve known the dedication they’ve put into the sport and to just be here for them and to support them is a hell of an honor.”

Mansfield coach Mark DiSanto said, “He showed so much heart tonight. Noah dug down deep and he pulled it out for us tonight. He was supposed to come out last year but during football season he tore his ACL. He watched last year. He went from manager to winning us the Hock.”

Downing nearly ended the celebration before it started. He was within an inch, maybe less, of earning a pin and pulling out a tie for his team, but Jellenik wriggled free enough to get back on his stomach and run out the clock.

“It would’ve been kind of a fitting ending considered how close it was,” said Franklin coach Carmine Colace. “This was a great dual meet. I’m proud of the kids. It’s like, what more could we do to change the outcome? Not much considering how we wrestled. They wrestled great, we wrestled great, and it was a lot of fun.”

It was a match that featured strong performances even in defeats, as the teams combined for only three pins and kept things tight throughout the match – Franklin’s 9-0 lead was the largest of the entire dual meet.

“That was a complete team effort, every weight class…We couldn’t have asked for more,” DiSanto said. “Every kid fought. I don’t even know what to say. That’s an unbelievable Franklin team there and they took us to the limit but we stepped up tonight.”

Drew DiFilipo got things started in strong fashion for the Panthers with a 15-0 win to earn five points at 106 pounds and Jake Carlucci earned another four points with a 12-0 win at 113 pounds. Although Franklin got nine quick points, both Stefan Wells and Noah Price were able to avoid the pin in each match.

Mansfield got on the board at 120 pounds when Max Farley earned a pin with 45 seconds left in the second period. At 126, it was Franklin’s turn to battle and avoid the maximum points. Antonios Seavastos, who had been originally scheduled to wrestle at 120, got two points in the first period and that was the only scoring in his match with Alex Fracassa to tie the meet at 9-9.

“Bumping [Sevastos] up to 126 was a good move,” Colace said. “Even though it was only a three-point match, our kid has won a lot of matches this year, so it was a good strategy on their part.”

The Panthers got the lead back at 132 with Jordan Carlucci earning their only pin of the night, ending his match just 17 seconds into the second period. Kenny Sauer earned a 9-1 win at 138 and put Franklin ahead by 10 points. Will Stratton got three points back for the Hornets at 145 with a take down seconds into his match, which he held onto for a 2-0 win.

DiSanto continued to make adjustments to his lineup to try and get his team the best possible match-ups. It really became a math problem, calculating how many points the Hornets would need from every match to get the team win. At 152, Ciaran Connolly stepped in and moved the regular rotation up a weight class. Connolly not only put in a solid performance but he also snagged a 4-1 win that moved Mansfield back within four.

“We go through every single matchup multiple times and how we can do it differently,” DiSanto explained. “We have a lot of talented kids behind our good kids, so we just tried to maximize our points by getting those other kids in. Tonight, Ciaran, we needed to get him in there and he came through.”

C.J. Glaropoulos won 4-2 in a hard-fought match against Caleb MacLean at 160 to make it 19-18 and his brother George followed with an equally tough win, 6-2, against Dom Sackley (who nearly caught Glaropoulos on his back in the first period) to give the hosts their first lead of the night. That lead extended to eight points when Jayden Curley took to the mat. The dominant senior had no problems jumping up a weight, as he got a pin just 37 seconds into his match.

“I attack every single second of the match that I can,” said Curley about his approach to the match. “I really don’t like to let up. Every match I go into with the same mentality, which is to score points and put people on their back.”

Franklin’s Dylan Nawn was also pushed back a weight class and he jumped in at 195 and won 19-4 to cut the lead to 27-24 with just two matches left. Ethan Nirenberg put the Hornets on the brink of the win when he got a 3-0 win at 220, after keeping Matt Walker from escaping in the second and then getting an escape and a fall in the third period.

It was 30-24 heading into the final match. Jellenik was cheered on by the raucous Mansfield home crowd and led 2-1 heading into the third period, while keeping his distance from Downing. He started the third period on the bottom and Downing nearly took advantage and turned that into a decisive pin, pushing Jellenik to the brink, but the ref’s hand stayed up in the air.

“That was amazing,” Curley said about Jellenik’s match. “That was just the heart we needed.”

He added, “It means everything in the world. Obviously, we still have other matches left in the Hock but this was the big dog that we had to take down. Even in individual matches, it all comes from how we work in the room.”

Mansfield (14-4, 2-0) still have two dual meets remaining in the league season, including a tricky one against King Philip, but this was the meet that everyone was focused on. A win next Wednesday against Taunton will secure at least a share of the first league title in program history.

Franklin (13-3, 2-1) will be back on the mat on Saturday at Chicopee before facing KP net week.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 12/19/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Girls Basketball
Canton, 35 @ Franklin, 75 – Final

Boys Hockey
Attleboro, 8 vs. Seekonk, 1 – Final

Franklin, 1 @ Canton, 3 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

King Philip, 2 vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 4 – Final

Mansfield, 7 @ Brockton, 1 – FinalMansfield raced out to a 4-0 lead in the first period and added three more in the second on its way to a 7-1 victory over the Boxers. Senior Chris Copponi netted a hat trick and added an assist while Brad Grant and Coleman O’Brien each scored once and had two assists. Matt Copponi added three assists while Jake Lund and Braedon Copparini each tallied one goal apiece.

Oliver Ames, 7 vs. Pembroke, 3 – FinalOliver Ames senior Max Ward scored a hat trick to pace the Tigers to a win over visiting Pembroke. Senior Cullen Gallagher had five points, with one goal and four assists, sophomore Matt Nigro netted his first career goal, and junior Owen Connor made 19 saves in net for the win.

Stoughton, 1 @ Nauset, 7 – FinalSean Doherty scored on an assist by Luke Bainton, and Thomas McCoy played well in goal but the Black Knights suffered a setback on the road to Nauset.

Taunton, 3 vs. Brookline, 4 – FinalSenior Owen Ross, senior Dylan Nichols, and freshman Loran Corcoran each scored once but the Tigers couldn’t overcome a 3-0 deficit to Brookline. Senior Andrew Carter had two assists for Taunton.

Girls Hockey
Canton, 4 @ King Philip, 1 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Franklin, 8 @ Bishop Stang, 5 – FinalRegan Paterson scored four times and Cassi Ronan scored a pair, as Franklin won a shootout in Fall River. Katelyn Brown and Amanda Lewandowski also scored for the Panthers.

Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 7 @ Stoughton, 0 – FinalMackenzi Fraser scored twice as the Mansfield/Oliver Ames Warriors skated to a win over Stoughton. Freshman Jess Widdop had the shutout in between the pipes for MOA.

Wrestling
Foxboro @ Brockton, 7:00
King Philip vs. Middleboro, 7:00

Mansfield, 33 vs. St. John’s Prep, 36 – FinalMansfield nearly orchestrated a big comeback but couldn’t overcome an early 18-0 deficit in a close match with St. John’s Prep. Jayden Curley (182) needed just 15 seconds to earn a pinfall victory for the Hornets, and Will Stratton (145), George Glaropoulos (170), and Shane Cremmen (220) all won by fall as well. Antonios Sevastos (120), CJ Glaropoulos (152), and Ciaran Connolly (160) each by by decision.

North Attleboro, 70 vs. Boston Latin, 6 – Final

Stoughton, 24 @ Oliver Ames, 49 – FinalOliver Ames had six grapplers win by fall and two more by decision to pick up a win over neighboring Stoughton. Remi Creighton, Joey Savino, Braeden Kelley, Billy Tat, Jeremy Clark, and Dean Pacini each won by fall while Nick McGovern and Andrew Fraser emerged victorious by decision for the Tigers.

Sharon, 45 vs. Woonsocket (R.I.), 32 – FinalSharon built a big lead early and fended off a comeback attempt from Woonsocket during the lighter weights to record the win. Sharon’s Kevin Simons (138), Tyler Cashton (152), Tyler Feedman (170), Philip Varvak (182), and Alex Bolt (195) all won by fall while Vinay Chinnam (126) and Huegens Pierre (145) won by decision for the Eagles.

Taunton, 27 @ Keefe Tech, 51 – FinalBen Mandeville (113), Xavier Sandoval (120), Jackson Mandeville (138, pin), Christian Balmain (152, 10-5 decision), and Candido Santos (160, pin) picked up wins for Taunton but the Tigers suffered a loss on the road to Keefe Tech.

Saturday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/06/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Foxboro, 73 @ Sharon, 46 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Taunton, 56 @ Mansfield, 61 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Girls Basketball
Foxboro, 69 @ Sharon, 28 – FinalFreshman Katelyn Mollica scored a game-high 20 points for the Warriors, who also got 15 points from Grace Tamulionis and 14 points from Ashley Sampson.

Oliver Ames, 50 @ Franklin, 56 – FinalOliver Ames senior Kayla Raymond finished with 12 points, five rebounds and five blocks while junior All Scolnick added 11 points and collected three steals for the Tigers.

Mansfield, 42 @ Taunton, 36 – FinalAnn Maher scored a game-high 12 points, as the Hornets bounced back from an early deficit to earn the come from behind victory. Taunton jumped out to a 21-3 lead in the second quarter, led 22-14 at half, and 28-26 after three, but the Hornets scored 16 in the fourth for the win. Meg Hill had eight points, 12 rebounds and four blocks for Mansfield, while Lily Patneaude had 11 and Kelsey White had eight for the Tigers.

Boys Hockey
Attleboro, 2 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final

Canton, 5 @ King Philip, 3 – FinalClick here for a photo gallery from this game.

Stoughton, 0 @ Franklin, 10 – Final

North Attleboro, 2 @ Mansfield, 3 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Girls Hockey
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 1 @ Canton, 3 – FinalCanton’s Lauren Fitzpatrick scored a pair of goals and assisted on another to help the Bulldogs pick up a key division win over visiting MOA.

Franklin, 7 @ Stoughton, 0 – FinalRegan Paterson led the way for the Panthers with a pair of goals and freshman Gabby Colace picked up the shutout in goal. Jillian McLaughlin, Maddie Hinckley, Jordan Dwyer, Katelyn Brown, and Victoria Quinn also scored goals for Franklin.

King Philip, 2 vs. Dennis-Yarmouth, 4 – Final

Wrestling
Peckham Tournament (Canton, King Philip, Mansfield, Sharon) – Mansfield took first place at the annual Peckham Tournament hosted at Canton High School. The Hornets scored 193.5 points as a team while King Philip placed third with 137 points. Sharon (106.5) was sixth and Canton (98) took seventh. The Hornets had four individual winners with Antonios Sevastos (113), George Glaropoulos (152), Jayden Curley (160) and Vinnie Holmes (182) all taking first. Ciaran Connolly (145), CJ Glaropoulos (138) and Will Stratton (132) added second-place finishes for the Hornets. For King Philip, Jackson Kelley (126), Joseph Fruci (145) and Luke Fitch (170) all won their brackets while Jake Malatesta (160) and Shawn Conniff (182) garnered second place honors. Canton’s Eddie Marinilli (138) and Anis Chakir (132) rounded out the winners for the Hockomock teams. Sharon had eight grapplers finish inside the top four, led by third-place finishes from Justin Wells (285) and Will Stern (120).

Chelmsford Tournament (Foxboro) – Foxboro placed fifth overall as a team, finishing with 138 points. Host Chelmsford won the tournament with 204.5 points, followed by Nobles (165), Westford (162.5) and Framingham (156). Phil Dure (126) was the lone individual champion for the Warriors while Adam Lanctot (113) took third place and Dave Dow (160) earned a fourth-place finish.

Natick Duals (Franklin) – Franklin cruised through the Natick Duals tournament, winning all five of its matches, including the final round against the hosts. The Panthers beat Concord-Carlisle (73-6), Merrimack (62-12), Brookline (47-13), Hopkinton (72-9) and Natick (69-3) to earn the crown. Jake Carlucci, Kenny Sauer, Ian Bakalars, TJ Remillard, Brian Farrell, Seamus Cogavin, and Riley Downing all went undefeated on the day for Franklin.

North Attleboro Quad (North Attleboro) – North Attleboro picked up four convincing victories at its own super quad and had five wrestlers go 4-0 on the day. Big Red notched wins over Bridgewater-Raynham (57-9), St. John’s Prep (54-17), Plymouth State (42-21) and LaSalle (48-25). Ethan Smith (106, three pins), Jake Direnzo (126, two pins), Adam Eberle (160, three pins), Chris Ferrigno (182, one pin) and Brad White (195, two wins) all had four wins for the Rocketeers.

Oliver Ames Quad (Oliver Ames, Hingham, Sandwich, Shepherd Hill) – Oliver Ames grabbed two wins at its own quad meet to improve to 11-2 overall. The Tigers earned wins over Sandwich (58-4) and Shepherd Hill (55-0) but fell to Hingham (38-30). Both Dean Pacini and Anthony Berksza went 3-0 on the day with a pair of pins.

Franklin Dominates At Mansfield, Clinches Share of Title

Franklin wrestling
Ian Bakalars won his match at 113 pounds by pin, as Franklin rolled to a big win over Mansfield and clinched a share of the Kelley-Rex dual meet title. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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MANSFIELD, Mass. – On Wednesday, the Panthers were recognized for their impressive season, which includes only one dual meet defeat to Marshwood (Maine) in a tournament in Merrimack, N.H. over the weekend.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Mass Wrestling named Franklin the top team in the state, across all divisions, and the Panthers went out on Wednesday night against Mansfield in the James Albertini Gym and showed why they are so highly regarded.

Franklin won the opening eight weight classes of the dual meet, four of them by pin and another by tech, and lost only two of the 14 matches on its way to a comprehensive 59-8 team victory. With King Philip losing to Oliver Ames in another of Wednesday’s dual meets, the Panthers also clinched at least a share of the league title with one dual meet remaining.

“I told the kids that we have a target on our backs,” said Franklin coach Carmine Collace about the message before the meet against the Hornets. “Teams are going to come out and wrestle us hard and they’ve got to step up. If they want to remain the No. 1 team in the state, then you’ve got to wrestle tough and they did.”

Jordan Carlucci set the tone with a quick first round pin at 106 pounds and Ian Bakalars (113) followed with a pin in the second round. Mike Racca made quick work of his opponent at 120 and gave the Panthers a dominant 18-0 start.

T.J. Remillard scored four points in the opening round of his match against Will Stratton at 126 and, as much as the Mansfield grappler tried to find a way to score, held on for a 4-0 win. Brian Farrell followed that with another strong performance at 132 to pick up the 15-0 victory and five points for the Panthers.

Tom Zogby had a second round pin at 138 and Dylan MacLean got a very quick pin at 152, but in between at 145 was one of the matches of the night between Caleb MacLean for Franklin and Mansfield’s Ciaran Connolly.

MacLean took a 2-0 lead into the second round and regained the lead with a takedown after Connolly’s reversal knotted up the scores. The final round was the loudest that the crowd and the two benches got (by far) as Connolly pulled even again with another reversal and looked like he might have the upper hand in the match, until an escape inside the final 15 seconds earned MacLean a hard-fought 5-4 win.

“A couple guys stepped into the lineup, we bumped a couple kids in there and they won,” said Collace. “The kids wrestled hard in practice, the conditioning is good, their confidence is building…but we still haven’t won anything. We’ve got some stuff to work on.”

Mansfield coach Mark DiSanto wrestled against Collace and Franklin during his high school career, so he knew what to expect from the Panthers on Wednesday.

He said, “They have a solid team all-around. Every single kid on that team is very good and they’ve had that for years. He’s a great coach, respect him a lot, I know him very well and they have a strong program. They work hard and it shows on the mat.”

Despite the final score, DiSanto took several positives away from the meet. “The final score is what it is,” he said, “but we take each match one at a time and see how each individual did. We’re in the right direction. Kids are fighting off their back and that’s what we like to see.”

Jayden Curley got Mansfield its first points of the night with an 8-2 win at 161 pounds and then freshman Vinnie Holmes continued his stellar rookie campaign with a 17-1 tech at 170 that made the score 41-8.

“I can count on him to go out there and wrestle a good match,” said DiSanto of Holmes. “He works his tail off and he’s got a bright future ahead of him. It’s good to see him continue to win.”

Evan Hernandez and Bruce Johnson had back-to-back pins for Franklin at 182 and 195 and Jack Coughlin came from behind with five points in the third round to beat Ford DelVecchio at 220. Brian Perry closed out the dual meet with a 12-5 win at 285, capping off an impressive night for the Panthers.

“We practice hard every day, even the day before [a meet],” said Collace. “I don’t believe in go easy the day before. If you do things right the day before than it carries over to the match.”

He added that Franklin was looking forward to the Hockomock Championships on Saturday. Collace said, “If you want to be an all-star it comes from the league championship and it’s been pretty competitive. The league has gotten better and you can see, Mansfield is going to be a good team. They’re going to give us payback in a couple years.”

Mansfield took home the team title at the Cape Cod Invitational over the weekend and DiSanto is counting on that to carry over into this weekend’s league meet.

He said, “We’re coming off a good tournament at the Cape Cod Invitational, so I think we can take that momentum from winning that tournament and I think they can take that experience into Hocks…rather than tonight.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.