Below are the official 2017 Hockomock League Wrestling All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Matt Kelley, Foxboro
Hockomock League All Stars
Eddie Marinilli, Canton
Anis Chakir, Canton
Matt Kelley, Foxboro
Brian Kelley, Foxboro
Matt Mullally, Foxboro
Phil Dure, Foxboro
Ian Bakalars, Franklin
Jordan Carlucci, Franklin
Mike Racca, Franklin
Dylan Maclean, Franklin
Nick DeGloria, King Philip
Bradley Oliverio, King Philip
Vinnie Holmes, Mansfield
Antonios Sevastos, Mansfield
Ryan Gray, Milford
Brett Kimball, Milford
Nick Gould, North Attleboro
Brad White, North Attleboro
Liston Funai, Oliver Ames
Yosef Ellis-Rech, Sharon
Wilhelm Bolt, Sharon
Lino Azul, Stoughton
Alex Rodriguez, Taunton
Justin Dickie, Canton
Max Dorman, Foxboro
Ed Cropper, Franklin
Cameron Smith, King Philip
Will Stratton, Mansfield
Carlos Terrinha, Milford
Brady Folan, North Attleboro
Dean Pacini, Oliver Ames
Matt Callan, Sharon
Andrew Iverson, Stoughton
Nuno Camara, Taunton
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – Franklin had three individual champions, two second place finishes and four more grapplers finish third or fourth to win the team title at the Hockomock League Wrestling Championships at Oliver Ames on Saturday.
The Panthers registered 218.5 points, edging out North Attleboro (212.5 points) and Foxboro (200.5 points).
Franklin’s Ian Bakalars won the 113 title with a 6-2 decision, Mike Racca notched a first round pin to win the 120 title and Dylan Maclean earned the 145 title with a pin. Jordan Carlucci (106) and Brian Perry (285) had second place finishes, Evan Hernandez (182) and Kyler Colella (195) each came in third and TJ Remillard (126) and Brian Farrell (132) both placed fourth.
The Rocketeers, who have clinched at least a share of the Davenport division dual meet title, only had one winner in the tournament but once again show off its depth with three second place finishes, and nine other wrestlers finishing either third, fourth, fifth or sixth. North Attleboro’s Nick Gould was the team’s only champion, scoring an impressive 14-0 win at 152. It marks the second straight year Gould won a Hockomock title after winning the 145 title a year ago. Dan Cooper (113), Jake Direnzo (120) and Brandon Graveline (132) each placed second for Big Red.
Foxboro’s Matt Kelley was impressive in winning his third straight Hockomock League title. Kelley raced out to a quick 14-0 lead before scoring a pin to earn the Hockomock title at 132. During his sophomore year, Kelley won the 120 title and during his junior year, Kelley scored an 8-0 decision to win the 126 title. Brian Kelley was equally impressive, notching a 10-0 win in a very competitive 138 bracket to win his first Hockomock title. Matt Mullally held on for a 6-5 win to claim the Hock title at 160 – his second straight title at that weight class.
While plenty of veterans claimed titles, there were three freshmen that won Hockomock League titles in their first ever championship event. Mansfield’s Antonios Sevastos, who suffered a first round pin to Franklin’s Jordan Carlucci in a dual meet earlier this week, avenged that loss by scoring a takedown in the final 20 seconds to win the 106 crown. Teammate and classmate Vinnie Holmes continued his stellar freshman campaign, rolling through the bracket and picking up a 14-2 win in the finals. Canton’s Eddie Marinilli made his mark as well, winning four matches on the day, including an 11-2 decision in the 126 final match.
Oliver Ames was fifth on the day, the top finishing team without a champion. Sophomore Anthony Berksza was second at 145 and sophomore Dean Pacini made a run to the finals before falling to Milford’s Ryan Gray (7-1) at 195.
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.
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.
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.”
“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.”
Attleboro, 6 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – Attleboro’s Jake Parker netted a pair of goals while PJ Elliott, Cam Littig, Dylan Wallace and Ryan Morry each scored once as the Bombardiers opened the season with a non-league win over Foxboro.
Franklin, 5 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 2 – Final – Juniors Luke Downie and Brendan O’Rielly each scored a pair of goals while classmate Jeremy Miller scored once. O’Reilly and senior James Kilroe each recorded two assists as the Panthers opened the season with a win.
King Philip, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – Final – Junior Eric LeBlanc led Oliver Ames with two goals while sophomore Colin Bourne and senior Jack Maloney each found the back of the net once. OA goalie Zach Walsh made 20 saves. Cullen Gallagher and Rory Madden each had an assist.
Mansfield, 2 vs. Winthrop, 3 – Final – Mansfield led 1-0 after two periods but three straight goals from the visitors made all the difference. Matt Farragher and Tim Arnold each scored for the Hornets.
Taunton, 14 @ New Bedford, 0 – Final – Taunton freshman Mike Albert registered seven points, scoring once with six assists. Sophomore Jack Patneaude scored twice and had two assists and sophomore Jaden Weyant scored once and had two assists. Eighth grader Camden Faria scored his first career goal and also had an assist while senior Chris Gomes scored twice, including his first career goal.
Canton, 51 @ Oliver Ames, 27 – Final – Oliver Ames got wins from Liston Funai (138, pin), Eric Bernardi (152, pin), Sean Cosgrove (160, major) and Jay Fruci (195, pin).
Foxboro, 57 @ Milford, 18 – Final
Sharon, 15 @ Franklin, 52 – Final – Franklin’s Jordan Carlucci, Brian Farrell, Ian Bakalars, Dylan Maclean, Ed Cropper, Seamus Cogavin, Myles Polito, Kyler Colella, Jack Coughlin, and Brian Perry all won for the Panthers.
North Attleboro @ King Philip, 7:00
Mansfield, 58 @ Taunton, 18 – Final – Taunton’s Josh Grasso (126), Nuno Camara (182) and Elijah Simmons (195) each won via pin.
Canton, 103 @ Attleboro, 64 – Final
North Attleboro, 70 @ Franklin, 86 – Final
Canton, 86 @ Attleboro, 84 – Final
North Attleboro, 80 @ Franklin, 85 – Final – Junior Ashley Loomis was a double event winner, taking first in both the 200 and 500 freestyle. Franklin swept the 100 freestyle with senior Helen Huang taking first, senior Leah Benoit coming in second and junior Audrey Finn finishing third.
King Philip, 2 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Sophomore Maggie Malloy netted a pair of goals and classmate Lauren Fitzpatrick scored one – the game-winner in the third period – and added an assist.
Franklin, 6 vs. Leominster/St. Bernards, 3 – Final – Sophomore Reagan Paterson netted a hat trick to pace the Panthers in their first game of the season. Junior Jackie Connelly added two goals and an assist while Maddie Hinkley scored once.
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – It seems that every season when North Attleboro and Franklin meet on the mats that a league title is on the line. This year’s meeting took on added significance because this will be the last time (at least until divisional breakdowns are reassessed) that the two programs will be fighting for the league championship.
With North switching to the Davenport next year, the matchup will still pit two of the Hockomock’s top programs but there will not be a trophy on the line.
North Attleboro took the bragging rights and clinched at least a share of the Kelley-Rex title on Wednesday night in the Kenneth Pickering Gym. The Rocketeers got off to a fast start, leading at one point 30-0, and closed out a 42-21 win over the Panthers.
“I’ll say the same thing I alway say, beating Franklin is a good thing,” said North coach Wayne Griffin with a smile.
He added, “Being prepared for Franklin is always the toughest match of the year regardless of the quality level of either team. Not that I’m a football guy, but I always think of the Patriots and the Jets. It doesn’t matter how bad the Jets are you know it’s going to be a really tough game.”
The Rocketeers started with back-to-back wins by brothers Mike and Nick Gould. Mike, who was wrestling on senior night, got North in front with a 7-2 victory over Dylan MacLean and Nick, a junior, followed that up with a pin of Seamus Cogavin with 59 seconds left in the first period.
Griffin said, “They’re a special family of kids, all three (Zach is a sophomore wrestler) of them. Our team captain stepped up to the plate and didthe things he was supposed to do.”
North had the early momentum and started to roll. Collin Fiske added three points with a 9-2 win at 152 pounds, then three straight pins gave the Rocketeers a commanding 30-0 lead. Jordan Tillinghast (160) and Jack Donohue (170) both picked up pins in the third period and senior Nick Morrison (182) grabbed a pin with 1:01 left in the second.
Franklin coach Carmine Colace knew that his young squad would be tested on Wednesdsay, but was pleased with the effort of his wrestlers to make North work for its points.
He explained, “We had a 182 (Myles Polito) that fought really hard, he’s a freshman, a first-year kid and he fought really hard. The kid we had at 160 (Tom Smith) has been a backup all season. They battled for two of three periods and I didn’t expect that.”
Although North had a big lead, nothing had been decided, as Franklin had potential points waiting in the lower weight classes.
“Wrestling is a little more complicated than just what you see on the scoreboard,” said Griffin. “It’s all about match-ups and it’s about where you start.”
“We started in the strongest part of our lineup. It would’ve been a different feel to the evening had we started at 106 pounds because that’s where the strongest part of Franklin’s lineup is.”
Evan Herandez got the Panthers on the board at 195 pounds, pinning Brad White with 43 seconds left in the second period. John Miller cut the lead to 30-9 with a 5-0 win over Leo Thibault at 220, but North was handed six more points with no Panther to wrestle at heavyweight.
The meet was not over as it headed to 106 and Jordan Carlucci gave the Panthers a little hope of a comeback when he picked up a quick pin just 35 seconds into his match. Mike Rocca followed up with a 4-0 win at 113, but Jake Direnzo did a solid job of avoiding a big loss or a pin guaranteeing North at least a tie.
At 120, North turned to senior Devin Spratt and he came through with a fairly comfortable 10-3 victory over T.J. Remillardto secure the win for his team. Earlier this season, Spratt became the 11th Rocketeer to reach the 100-win plateau and is now closing in on 110 for his career, which would move him into the top five all-time.
“It feels good,” said Spratt after the meet. “They’re always a tough match. We’ve lost pretty bad to them before, so it feels pretty good.”
When asked how it felt to get to 100 wins, he replied, “It feels like my hard work is paying off.” He continued, “Right now I think we’re on course to win the D2 state title, if everyone wrestles to their full capabilities.”
Nick Narducci beat Alex Devitto 6-2 at 126 and in the final match of the night at 132, North’s Anthony Biaungo and Franklin’s Amir Zamani saved the best for last.
Zamani led 4-0 after two periods and was ahead 5-2 in the third, but Biaungo got a point for an escape and then as time was winding down he took a chance to go for the takedown. Biaungo managed to get the two points with mere seconds to spare, although the Franklin coaches insisted that the wrestlers were out of bounds. In overtime, Biaungo wasted no time to get a reversal for a 7-5 win.
“Anthony Biaungo, he had that momentum going into his match and it helped in his overtime,” said Griffin. “Those things kind of came our way.”
Colace said, “I knew what we were getting into. We just got out-muscled tonight. They’re really well drilled and it’s the best team I’ve seen out of here in a long, long time…maybe they’ll finally win the big one.”
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.