Wrestling Takes Home Second Straight State Title
Congratulations for Boys Wrestling for taking home their second straight DII state championship earlier this month.
Taken from the Nashua Telegraph:
It was chock full of emotion, twists and turns, both on the mat and in the lineup planning.
But when it was over, the Bishop Guertin High School wrestling team captured its second straight Division II dual meet title to wrap up a season it wasn’t even sure would take place a couple of months ago, topping local rival Hollis Brookline, 41-21 at the Colligadome.
And the Cards were breathing a sigh of relief, because it was really closer than the final score indicated.
“That was a great match,” Cards coach Paul Rousseau said. “Hollis is very well-coached, the kids were motivated, they come in here well-prepared. You’ve got to give them a lot of credit.”
“This group of guys, this year, they always believe they have a shot to win,” Cavs coach Brian Bumpus said. “We had a lot of matches go our way that maybe they probably didn’t expect. … We always talk about in the post season, Hollis Brookline, never count us out.”
So what did this come down to? The Cavs gambled, moving some wrestlers up a weight class, and Guertin got some wins from some wrestlers they perhaps weren’t completely counting on.
“Couple of big matches,” Rousseau said. “The other day (in the semis), we won a couple of matches we weren’t sure of. Today there were a couple of matches that we lost that I had a thought we had a chance of winning that really scared me.”
But Rousseau said he felt better when the Cards’ Calvin Jozokos won at 132 by pin for BG’s first points of the morning.
There was a lot of strategy involved, as the Cavs moved some wrestlers around a bit differently than in the regular season match also won by BG. Leading 18-12, the Cavs took a forfeit at 160 to even things at 18, instead moving Teddy Moscatelli up to 170 to wrestle James Murphy. Murphy captured a 15-0 major decision to give Guertin a 23-18 lead it would never relinquish.
“Coming into it, we had looked a lot at the lineup, what they could do, what moves they could make, what moves we could make to try to counteract some of the things that happened in the regular season,” Bumpus said, “which is why we came up with the lineup that we did, where we bumped everyone down the line. BG is just talented, man. Bumping those guys up a weight class, that’s a tall task.”
“That was a huge match, and when Ha pins at 182, that was unbelievable,” Rousseau said.
Indeed, Cards wrestler Matt Ha was a huge key. In a tight match, he was up 5-4 and then stunningly recorded a pin with 17 seconds left over HB’s Hunter Hudzik to give the Cards a 29-18 lead.
“I wasn’t expecting to wrestle (Hudzik),” Ha said. “I was just really happy about it, because it got the team on a roll.”
“That kind of started it,” Bumpus said, referring to BG’s roll. “Ha pinning, that definitely hurt us. … We were hoping by bumping guys up we’d be able to catch the points up in those upper weights. But those (BG) heavyweight kids, they’re tough.”
HB had gotten the early jump in Guertin with forfeit points at 120, and a pin by Hunter Crea at 126 for a 12-0 lead. After Jozokos’ pin, Connor MacDonald got the Cards three points with a 14-13 edging of Troy Moscatelli. But HB bounced back to make it 18-9 with Robinson McAdams’ pin in 27 seconds of Ben Stawasz at 145. Back came BG with a 7-0 decision by Will Murphy at 152 over HB’s Ryan Mercier to make it 18-12.
Then the strategy got to a new level, and part of that was if there was a match that could be lost, just try to avoid getting pinned. Guertin’s Rich Ronzio did just that at 195 when he avoided getting pinned by the Cavs’ Jack Duquette, and lost just 4-0, cutting the lead to 29-21 but it could have been worse.
“At ’95, if they pin out, they would win by one,” Rousseau said. “But Ronzio only getting beat 4-0, that really sealed the deal. That was it. Even though he lost, that young man deserves a lot of credit.”
With that momentum, Aiden Szewczyk pinned HB’s Henry Burns at 220 with 24 seconds left in the second period and Zach Connerty did the same at 285 to finish things.
“It was a great team effort,” Rousseau said. “The kids really stepped up to the plate. I wish we had won a couple of the earlier matches, but Hollis is tough. They’re always tough. They came in fired up, they came in ready.
“We battled man for man. I’m very, very proud of the guys.”
“This group,” Ha said, “we have a lot of young kids this year, new to wrestling. But we have a lot of seniors with a lot of heart.”
“To be able to come here at home, to win the championship, it means a lot to us,” Szewczyk said. “It means a lot to my brothers and to Coach.”