Below are the official Hockomock League Wrestling All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Matt Kelley, Foxboro
Hockomock League All Stars
Brendan Lewis, Canton
Brian Kelley, Foxboro
Matt Kelley, Foxboro
Matt Mullally, Foxboro
Jordan Carlucci, Franklin
John Miller, Franklin
Anthony Fruci, King Philip
Nick Johnson, Milford
Devin Spratt, North Attleboro
Nick Gould, North Attleboro
Colin Fiske, North Attleboro
Jack Donahue, North Attleboro
Nick Morrison, North Attleboro
Brennan Sankey, North Attleboro
Mike Gould, North Attleboro
Leo Thibeault, North Attleboro
Luke Cullen, Oliver Ames
Yosef Ellis-Rech, Sharon
Luke Stillman, Sharon
David Ellis-Rech, Sharon
Tyler Jensen, Sharon
Jason Powell, Sharon
Devlin Carroll, Stoughton
Mark Whalen, Canton
Phil Dure, Foxboro
Mike Racca, Franklin
Nick DeGloria King Philip
George Glaropoulos, Mansfield
Ryan Gray, Milford
Alex Devitto, North Attleboro
Patrick Mills, Oliver Ames
Wilhelm Bolt, Sharon
Matt Medina, Stoughton
Justin Bradley, Taunton
Click here for over 100 photos from the tournament.
By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
TAUNTON, Mass. – For the second straight year, North Attleboro picked up a dominating win at the Hockomock League Championships, topping the tournament with an impressive 254 points.
Oliver Ames finished second with 183, Franklin was third with 171, Sharon had 161 to finish fourth and Foxboro rounded out the top five with 155 points.
Well before the finals even began, Big Red had a big lead but continued to add to it. The Rocketeers had a wrestler in half of the finals and finished with six champions on the day.
“It was a great senior moment for a lot of the kids, especially the boys that finished first,” North Attleboro head coach Wayne Griffin said. “It’s a great opportunity for the rest of our team as a learning tool too. That’s what today was really about for us, we still have some issues that we have to keep working on and keeping working on and keep working on. We’ve still got another month of wrestling or so, it’s one day at a time.”
It took less than two minutes in the 120 bout for North Attleboro to crown its first champion. Devin Spratt, who is climbing the all-time wins ladder for the Rocketeers, pinned Phil Dure at 1:45 of the first round to earn his second straight Hock title.
Starting at 145, the Rocketeers picked four wins in five bouts. Nick Gould came away with ta last second win to get the title. He trailed 8-3 after two periods but a takedown from Stoughton’s Devlin Carroll pushed the lead to 8-2. In the final 30 seconds, Gould had an escape, near fall and a takedown to complete the comeback. Colin Fiske followed that up at 152 with a 4-0 decision – a takedown in the first and a reversal late in the second – avenging an earlier season loss to King Philip’s Anthony Fruci.
“Colin Fiske had a big one,” Griffin said. “He had lost to Fruci earlier in the season so we’re very excited for him. That was probably the biggest standout of the day for us. I’m really happy for Colin. We worked on changing his style a little bit coming into today. We keep trying to fine tune things and all try to can do a better job. I don’t want to to be the coach who didn’t try his darndest to help our kids be successful.”
The Rocketeers didn’t have anyone in 160 but in the 170 match, Big Red got another win. Jack Donahue built a 7-2 lead after one and then after a reversal in the second period, the senior was able to get the pin. Senior Nick Morrison then got a 6-4 win at 182 – his second straight league title in the weight class. A takedown in the first and a pair of escapes in the third helped Morrison edge Milford’s Ryan Gray.
Brennan Sankey then capped North’s day with a first round pin in the heavyweight division. Click here for over 100 photos from the tournament.
“Success is a nice thing, but it’s a lot of work,” Griffin said. “We have of great moms and dads and we’ve got some really good administrators that support our efforts. As much as I like the winning piece, it’s all about taking things one day at a time.”
Other placements for North included a third place finish for Jordan Tillinghast at 160, fourth place finishes from Brady Folan (106), Brandon Graveline (132) and Leo Thibeault (220). Coming in fifth place for Big Red were Jake Direnzo (113) and Alex Devitto (126).
The Rocketeers, who are 19-1 on the season and now have three tournament wins, knew that teams would be coming to try and score the upset.
“It’s only a target if you believe it is,” Griffin said. “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.”
Oliver Ames finished second and recorded the most points in program history at the Hockomock League Championships with 183. The total was nearly 40 more points than their previous high, which was recorded back in 2013 at Franklin.
“This was beyond expectations for us,” OA head coach Kahn Lima said. “Especially in a tournament, I did not see this coming. Our goal was to get somewhere in the top four or five. This was the highest total points we’ve scored at this tournament. The depth of the lineup really showed through today because we had 11 of our 14 kids place. The kids wrestled tough and bounced back from that tough dual loss against Foxboro and instead of quitting, they wrestled awesome today.”
Depth was key for the Tigers as they didn’t have a single champion but had two runner ups and nine other placements.
Luke Cullen made it to the 220 final but was edged out 3-2 but Franklin’s John Miller. Pat Mills had a pair of wins in the heavyweight class but was pinned by Sankey in the finals.
Casey Bellevue helped the Tigers cause with a third place finish at 106 and Jacob Murphy finished in the same spot at 170. Freshman Anthony Berksza continued to shine in his rookie year with a fourth place finish at 183 and Shea O’Connor (145), Ryan Lehane (152) and Carter Wood (195) all finished fourth as well. John Quilla (120) and Brendan Mills (182) both finished fifth.
“I think the guys were really angry that it happened,” Lima said of OA’s two point loss to Foxboro last week. “We had split with seven matches each and we lost by bonus points, but that’s wrestling. Instead of pouting about it, they grinded it out today. We had a great practice Thursday and a great practice yesterday and the spirits were real high. Now they’re celebrating, it’s awesome to see. The kids did all the work so they deserve it.”
Sharon had the most efficient success in the finals as the Eagles sent a trio of wrestlers in and got three wins. Yosef Ellis-Rech had a pair of takedowns in the second period, sandwiched by a first period takedown and a third period reversal to earn the title at 113. It was a bit of revenge for Ells-Rech, who lost in the finals at 106 last season. Luke Stillman picked up a 4-0 decision over Milford’s Brett Kimball at 132, getting a takedown in the first and a near fall in the third for the win.
David Ellis-Rech completed the strong showing for the Eagles with a 3-2 win over North’s Mike Gould. After a scoreless first, Ellis-Rech had a pair of escapes in the second but a takedown by Gould had things tied 2-2 going into the final period. At 1:19, Ellis-Rech had an escape to get the winning point. Ellis-Rech was selected as the Most Outstanding Wrestler for the meet.
Franklin finished third overall, sent four wrestlers to the finals and had two overall champions. Jordan Carlucci started things off with a second period pin at 106 for the Panthers and John Miller had a 3-2 win at 220. Mike Racca finished second at 113 and Nick Narducci was runner up at 126. The Panthers were helped along by their depth as well with TJ Remillard (120) and Evan Hernandez (195) getting third place finishes and Ed Cropper (160) finishing fourth at 160. Click here for over 100 photos from the tournament.
Foxboro’s Matt Kelley reached the finals for the third straight year and won for the second straight year. After winning 8-0 at 120 last year, he won 8-0 at 126 this year. The Warriors also got a win at 160 via Matt Mullally and a 10-1 decision. Phil Dure (120) and Sean Smalley (195) had second place finishes.
Milford’s Nick Johnson was the lone winner for the Scarlet Hawks, racing out to a 6-0 lead through two periods and holding on for a 8-1 win at 195. Nick Marcolini (106), Brett Kimball (132), Ryan Nesta (170) and Ryan Gray (182) each finished second for Milford.
1. North Attleboro – 254
2. Oliver Ames – 183
3. Franklin – 171
4. Sharon – 161
5. Foxboro – 155
6. Milford – 153.5
7. Canton – 91.5
8. King Philip – 90
9. Stoughton – 83
10. Taunton – 64.5
11. Mansfield – 62
Nick Marcolini (Milford) vs. Jordan Carlucci (Franklin)
Yosef Ellis-Rech (Sharon) vs. Mike Racca (Franklin)
Devin Spratt (North Attleboro) vs. Phil Dure (Foxboro)
Matt Kelley (Foxboro) vs. Nick Narducci (Franklin)
Luke Stillman (Sharon) vs. Brett Kimball (Milford)
David Ellis-Rech (Sharon) vs. Mike Gould (North Attleboro)
Devlin Carroll (Stoughton) vs. Nick Gould (North Attleboro)
Anthony Fruci (King Philip) vs. Colin Fiske (North Attleboro)
Matt Medina (Stoughton) vs. Matt Mullally (Foxboro)
Jack Donahue (North Attleboro) vs. Ryan Nesta (Milford)
Nick Morrison (North Attleboro) vs. Ryan Gray (Milford)
Nick Johnson (Milford) vs. Sean Smalley (Foxboro)
John Miller (Franklin) vs. Luke Cullen (Oliver Ames)
Brennan Sankey (North Attleboro) vs. Pat Mills (Oliver Ames)
Click here for over 100 photos from the tournament.
By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
FOXBORO, Mass. – If there’s one thing that Stoughton football has been able to hang its hat on for the past couple of years, it’s been defense.
If there was a second thing, it’d be running the ball.
With New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on hand for part of the first half, Stoughton used those two signature traits to pick up a key 14-0 win over previously unbeaten Foxboro on Friday night, keeping their playoff hopes alive and throwing their hat into a three way tie for the lead in the Davenport with the Warriors and Canton.
“It was a great game,” Stoughton head coach Greg Burke said. “We’ve got some tough kids and we finally got our running game going and we went back to our three or four plays, that’s all we need. I don’t know what they had for total offense [yardage]. I think we deserved the win, I really do. The kids played great defense. Foxboro ran around a little bit but we made sure the kids stayed in their zones. We worked on not running around and not losing guys.”
The defense set the tone for the Black Knights, forcing a fumble and recovering on Foxboro’s opening drive only for it to be erased by an offsides call. But just two plays later, Stoughton was stuffing the Warriors on a fourth down rush to force the turnover on downs.
That’s when Stoughton’s second signature – the running game – came into play. Of the 50 plays that Stoughton ran on offense (minus a pair of QB kneels), 46 if them were either counters, sweeps or bursts right up the middle.
The first 11 of those plays were all rushing plays with Ryan Sullivan, Jake Gibb, Jordan Taylor and Izon Swain-Price all contrubting. On the 11th play of Stoughton’s opening series, Swain-Price broke a tackle up the left side and ran in for a 19 yard touchdown. Gibb’s extra point was good the Stoughton took a 7-0 lead.
The Warriors moved the ball some to start their next drive but eventually stalled at the start of the second quarter near midfield and were forced to punt. Quarterback Mark Clagg started in shotgun before dropping all the way back to punt formation. He took the snap and then took off running but Stoughton’s defense was alert and made the stop to get the ball back on downs.
Once again Stoughton went to the ground and moved the ball, highlighted by a 15 yard run from Taylor (13 carries, 60 yards). The Black Knights faced 3rd and 2 from the Foxboro nine yard line but a false start pushed them back five yards and a tipped pass on third down went incomplete. Gibb attempted a 31 yard field goal but it was just wide to the right.
Stoughton’s defense forced Foxboro into a punt six plays later but the Black Knights would be forced to kick it back. With under a minute to play, Stoughton attempted to punt but Jamaine Few came flying in for the block to give the ball to Foxboro at the Black Knights’ 32 yard line.
The Black Knights’ defense came up with a play right away though as Xzavian Marrero used good vision on the first play to get an interception and put an end to any hope of the Warriors scoring in the first half.
Coming out at halftime the Black Knights were able to double the lead on the opening drive. Nine yards from Sullivan on first down was followed two plays later by a sneak from Gibb to move the chains. Sullivan ran for seven more then Guy Eddy added four. Swain-Price’s (10 carries 97 yards) speed was key on the next play as he raced 55 yards to get inside the Foxboro five yard line, only stopped by a great hustle play from Austin Ryan.
Two plays later, Sullivan (15 carries, 61 yards) dove into the end zone to make it 14-0 Stoughton with 7:13 left in the third quarter.
“We just couldn’t establish any rhythm,” Foxboro coach Jack Martinelli said. “It was 7-0 at half and we’ve been there before. They came out and did what every coach wants his team to do. If you have the ball you want to score and make it a two score game and they did that. Give them a lot of credit.”
It was a much improved look for Stoughton’s offensive line, who had struggled in the opening game of the season weeks ago. Now with some changes, Matt Soto, Matt Medina, Brendan Walsh, Donnie Foley, Lino Azul and tight end Jack Connelly stood tall and helped Stoughton rack up 245 yards on the ground.
“It’s a whole new line and they’re strong kids,” Burke said. “They are tough and blood and guts and they don’t quit. They’ve done great and they’re getting better. We’re back in the hunt for the league title now but the big goal, our first goal is to get into the playoffs. We have to win next week. I’m just so proud of the Stoughton kids, we’re never going to quit. They are as tough as they come. They could have packed it in after last week but they didn’t, they worked harder.”
oxboro put together it’s longest drive of the game next, moving into Stoughton territory to the 36 yard line but an incompletion on second down was followed by a sack from Stoughton senior Devlin Carroll and the Warriors had to punt again. The Black Knights, who didn’t complete a pass on three attempts, were able to kill more of the clock on six running plays before having to punt.
Marrero was at it again just two plays later as he leaped up to haul in his second interception and gave the ball back to the Black Knights.
“Terrific, he had two huge interceptions,” Burke said.
With the win, Stoughton improves to 3-3 overall but more importantly, 3-1 in the Hockomock League’s Davenport Division. Foxboro suffered its first loss and missed out on a chance to clinch at least a share of the division title. The Warriors now sit at 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the division. Canton, a team that beat Stoughton but lost to Foxboro, is also 5-1 and 3-1 in the Davenport, meaning there could be a three-way tie for the title if all three teams win next week.
Stoughton will travel to Milford and Canton will take a trip to Sharon on Saturday the 24th while Foxboro travels to Oliver Ames on Friday the 23rd. Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.