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.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

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.

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.