Melrose wrestlers are dual meet state champs

Feb 13, 2020 by

Red Raiders avenge Brawl loss to Warriors

Published February 14, 2020

By JENNIFER GENTILE

THE MWCA Div. 3 Dual Meet State Champion Melrose High wrestling team. (courtesy photo)

ASHLAND—What Brawl in the Hall?

The Melrose Red Raider wrestling team became Div. 3 State Dual Meet champs when they topped all division competition at the MWCA’s Div. 3 Dual Meet State Championships on Saturday, Feb. 8 in Ashland.

Melrose earned the coveted trophy, which confirmed their status as the finest team in the Div. 3 and will set a big stage in the upcoming MIAA Div. 3 State Finals, where Melrose and Wakefield are slated to fight each other for a title. But first, they must qualify at this weekend’s North Sectional in Wakefield. 

After the meet, Melrose coach Larry Tremblay saluted the team’s come-from-behind effort. “This is the first time we’ve won it, I’m so happy for them to come back against Wakefield, after losing Brawl in the Hall. This feels good.”

Like last week’s Brawl in the Hall, it really came down to Melrose-Wakefield in finals. After advancing to finals over Foxboro and Holliston on Saturday, the Red Raiders took an early lead of 6-0 over Wakefield, thanks to a first match pin from Melrose’s Hunter Adrian. Wakefield took a couple pins that narrowed the score from a tie of 10-10 to 24-20, advantage Melrose. A vital pin by Matt Hickey in the 220 set up a comeback by Melrose’s lightweights Sean Thomas and Otto Albanese, who both had huge pins to put Melrose in the striking distance. 

The Red Raiders sent freshman Steven Fogarty to the mat for the final bout of the night in the 126. It was a complete comeback for Fogarty, who was down 8-1 and 8-4 going into the second. After conferring with this coach, he entered the third with total confidence, took the top, slapped a cradle on him and had fans on their feet with a pin for a final score of 38-28 and the title for Melrose.  

The win came after a victorious semifinal when second-seeded Melrose squared off against third-seeded Holliston, a team Melrose had defeated earlier in the season. Melrose won five of the first six matches including pins by Hunter Adrian and Steven Fogarty and had arrived in finals with Melrose’s Shea Fogarty’s earning a vital 9-6 decision over Holliston’s Jay Fisher at 145. Another critical win for Melrose came from Matt Hickey who had a 10-3 win over Thoran Berg at 220 which put Melrose up 30-24, but Melrose then had to forfeit at heavyweight and it became locked 30-30. Lightweights prevailed again as Sean Thomas pinned David Touchette in the 106 for a 33-30 lead with two matches remaining. Then Melrose’s Jake Petitpas (113) secured a first-period pin and freshman Otto Albanese (120) also earned a pin to end it.

The win came after a completely wild Brawl in the Hall last Wednesday, the third annual league matchup between rivals Melrose and Wakefield. The event took place in front of a packed house at Melrose’s Memorial Hall. 

Wakefield won the event in a down-to-the-wire thriller, 39-32. Melrose got off on the right start thanks to an early pin by Sean Thomas in the 106, a 9-0 decision by Jake Petitpas and a 24 second pin by Hunter Adrian. Melrose had a lead of 16-12 but two pins by Wakefield narrowed the gap. Sean Hebert pinned his opponent in the second to help Melrose keep a 24-23 lead, but Melrose struggled from that point on, until Jake Swan prevailed in a 11-5 decision over Luke Ickes and Matt Hickey won over Nate Ickes in a 3-0 decision. Melrose, down by 6 with a heavyweight on tap, needed a pin to win, unfortunately Wakefield’s Dan Lamonica prevailed in a 3-0 decision that sent Wakefield fans wild and gave them the coveted league title. 

With North Sectionals on the horizon, starting this Saturday at Wakefield High, look for another brawl but in a different hall: the Charbonneau Field House at Wakefield High. Action starts at Saturday morning and takes place throughout the day. 

2020 Rankings (courtesy Mass Wrestling)

1 Franklin (D1C) 21-1-1

2 SJP (D1N) 31-0-1

3 Springfield Central (D1W) 13-1-1

4 West Springfield (D1W) 30-2-1

5 Central Catholic (D2N) 16-2

6 Shawsheen (D1N) 26-2

7 New Bedford (D1S) 14-0-1

8 Andover (D1N) 17-2

9 Wakefield (D3N) 17-2-1

10 Melrose (D3N)` 18-2

11 Brookline (D1C) 22-3

12 Chelmsford (D1N) 17-4

13 Minnechaug (D1W) 9-3-1

14 Beverly (D2N) 25-3

15 Holliston (D3C) 14-3

16 Nashoba (D2C) 12-5

17 Tewksbury (D2N) 14-5-1

18 Sharon (D2S) 24-3

19 Natick (D2C) 22-8

20 Norton (D3S) 17-4-1

21 Wayland (D3C) 17-3

22 Arlington (D2M) 21-1

23 Hingham (D2S) 17-3-1

24 Plymouth South (D2S) 26-3

25 Braintree (D1S) 16-4

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