Hockomock Wrestling Championships 2016

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Canton’s Brendan Lewis (right) goes for a pin in the semifinals at the Hockomock League Wrestling Championships (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

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.

Team Results

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

Finals

WeightMatchupResult
106Nick Marcolini (Milford) vs. Jordan Carlucci (Franklin)Carlucci (pin)
113Yosef Ellis-Rech (Sharon) vs. Mike Racca (Franklin)Ellis-Rech (8-1)
120Devin Spratt (North Attleboro) vs. Phil Dure (Foxboro) Spratt (pin)
126Matt Kelley (Foxboro) vs. Nick Narducci (Franklin)Kelley (8-0)
132Luke Stillman (Sharon) vs. Brett Kimball (Milford)Stillman (4-0)
138David Ellis-Rech (Sharon) vs. Mike Gould (North Attleboro)Ellis-Rech (3-2)
145Devlin Carroll (Stoughton) vs. Nick Gould (North Attleboro)Gould (9-8)
152Anthony Fruci (King Philip) vs. Colin Fiske (North Attleboro)Fiske (4-0)
160Matt Medina (Stoughton) vs. Matt Mullally (Foxboro)Mullally (10-1)
170Jack Donahue (North Attleboro) vs. Ryan Nesta (Milford)Donahue (pin)
182Nick Morrison (North Attleboro) vs. Ryan Gray (Milford)Morrison (6-4)
195Nick Johnson (Milford) vs. Sean Smalley (Foxboro)Johnson (8-1)
220John Miller (Franklin) vs. Luke Cullen (Oliver Ames)Miller (3-2)
285Brennan Sankey (North Attleboro) vs. Pat Mills (Oliver Ames) Sankey (pin)

Click here for over 100 photos from the tournament.

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 12/10/15

Today’s games are listed below.
Wrestling
King Philip, 36 @ Canton, 37 – Final

Taunton, 9 @ Foxboro, 72 – Final – Max Dorman, Levi Abbott, Matt Mullally, Bobby Kierce, Sean Smalley and Matt Curreri all won by pinfall for the Warriors. Taunton sophomore Nuno Camara (182) and senior Santiago Lopez (220) got wins for the Tigers.

Franklin, 60 @ Stoughton, 24 – Final

North Attleboro, 58 @ Sharon, 12 – Final

Late Field Goal Lifts Foxboro Over King Philip


By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
FOXBORO, Mass. – The snap from senior Sean Smalley was on point. Senior Connor McNamara took the snap and put the football down perfectly.
From there, junior John Cronin took three steps, planting his left leg and using his right to split the uprights for the game-winning field goal as Foxboro took down King Philip, 17-15, and deliver head coach Jack Martinelli his 250th career victory. Martinelli becomes just the 15th coach in Massachusetts high school history to reach the milestone.
“I have to say the kids came to play tonight,” Martinelli said. “It wasn’t easy and I knew it would be like that, just like last week. I knew they would try to beat us up and at times they did. They kept us off the field but I think we proved that we can play against physical football teams as well as finesse teams.”
King Philip looked like they completed a drive that might have put an end to game, chewing up over 12 minutes of game clock and pushing in a touchdown and a two point conversion to take their first lead of the game.
But with 2:24 left and starting from their own 36 yard line, Foxboro was able to move the ball down the field in just three plays and then three plays later, connected on Cronin’s field goal.
A sack by Daniel Loewen on first down pushed Foxboro back but after that, junior quarterback Mark Clagg connected with Connor McNamara on a screen for 14 yards on second down. On first down from Foxboro’s own 47, Clagg hit Austin Ryan over the middle and after a juke move, Ryan went on to gain 38 yards to the KP 15-yard line.
Two rushing plays and an incompletion got the clock to under 30 seconds. That’s when Cronin hit his 28-yard field goal to put Foxboro up 17-15 with 21.2 seconds left.
“Clagg had all the composure just like John Cronin who kicked the field goal,” Martinelli said. “With at least two timeouts to ice him, he still made it perfect. I’m so proud of him.
“I’d like to say it’s coaching but it isn’t it’s all the kids. The long snapper Sean Smalley has been great and the holder Connor McNamara, they were a lot calmer than the coaches on the sideline. I guess that’s what makes heroes, what they did tonight.”
King Philip trailed 7-0 and 14-7 in the game but it wasn’t until their second to last drive when they finally took the lead. Starting at their own 11-yard line, King Philip used 20 plays to go 89 yards to find the end zone. Junior quarterback John DeLuca did most of his work on the ground but not in the conventional way most high school signal callers do. DeLuca, working from under center, gained 31 of those yards on 10 QB sneaks, capped off by his plunge in from a yard out.
Because of the success of DeLuca’s sneaks, KP head coach Brian Lee elected to go for two. Once again, DeLuca followed the blocks right up the middle set by center Daniel Loewen and guards Michael Sullivan and Billy Dittrich and converted the two-point conversion to give KP a 15-14 lead with just over two minutes to play.
Foxboro took the first lead of the game on the first drive of the game. Starting at their own 25, it took just six plays before they found the end zone. On the second play, Clagg found McNamara on a short pass and he scampered down the right sideline for 61 yards all the way to the 15-yard line of King Philip. Two negative rushes and a 10-yard completion to Ryan forced Foxboro into a 4th down situation.
Martinelli first sent Cronin and the field goal unit out but after a pair of timeouts – one from each side – the Warriors trotted out Clagg and the offense again. Clagg connected with McNamara on the right side again and he raced into the end zone to give Foxboro a 7-0 lead.
King Philip knotted the game in the second quarter. The Warriors alternated carries from their backs and DeLuca to move the ball. First it was a pair of runs fro Sean Garrity that netted 19 yards. Two more from Gio Fernandez picked up 11 yards and then two from Garrity sent for seven yards. On third down from the one yard line, DeLuca took it form under center on the sneak and went all the way to the end zone to tie the game at 7-7.
KP fumbled away possession on their first drive of the second half but got it right back four plays later from a punt from Foxboro. Martinelli’s defense stood strong though and were able to get the ball back. A holding penalty backed KP up 10 yards and an incomplete pass made it 2nd and 20. Foxboro’s James Blake made his way into the backfield to sniff out a run from Garrity for a loss. On 3rd and 23, Pat Flannery came flying in on a safety blitz and dropped DeLuca for a 10 yard loss.
A punt from King Philip had an unlucky bounce backwards and Foxboro took control at KP’s 29-yard line. Foxboro didn’t waste anytime as Clagg dropped back and hit senior Jason Procaccini, who was wide open after a double move created separation. Procaccini walked in untouched to put Foxboro up 14-7.
With the win, Martinelli earned his 250th win to become just the 15th coach in Massachusetts high school history to reach that mark. But, unsurprisingly, Martinelli was quick to credit his players and staff.
“The focus is really on the kids,” Martinelli said. “Probably about 3,000 kids who have played here since 1982 and the coaches that have been with me since 1982, that’s where the credit goes. It’s all on the kids that come. We’re a small school and we dress 95 kids every year and it’s a credit to the community and the kids. 250 is just a number. Am I happy? Yeah I’m happy. But I think it’s a load off the kids’ back too. It was never said or mentioned other then amongst the kids so just for the sake, they can can be happy.”
Clagg finished 10/12 for 183 yards and two touchdowns for the Warriors while McNamara (105 yards) and Ryan (57 yards) each had four receptions. While Foxboro’s passing game worked, King Philip stuck with the running game. Gary had 109 yards on 23 carries, DeLuca had 78 yards on 17 rushes and Fernandez picked up 45 yards on seven carries.
Foxboro (2-0) will open its Hockomock League Davenport Division schedule when they host Sharon next Friday. King Philip (0-2) will look for its first win when they host North Attleboro.