By DAN TOMASELLO
LYNNFIELD — The Lynnfield-North Reading co-operative wrestling team returned the mat last week and have opened the 2014-2015 season with a 2-1 record.
The Black and Gold concluded the 2013-2014 season with an astounding 25-1 record. The grapplers were crowned Division 3 North sectional and Cape Ann League champions and finished third in the Division 3 Dual Meet championship. The Black and Gold also won the CAL/NEC Tournament, the Pentucket Holiday Tournament and the Cohasset Tournament.
The 2014-2015 Division 3 season will mark the final year of the co-op program. The MIAA District Committee voted last summer to approve the co-op program for one more season but head coach Craig Stone said the committee felt North Reading has “enough wrestlers returning to have their own program” after this season. Stone said there are 21 North Reading grapplers on the team this season, while there are 19 Lynnfield wrestlers.
Stone said he is looking forward to the Black and Gold’s final run this winter but said the grapplers will need to overcome losing four productive wrestlers in Tom Arseneault, Eric Kerr, Scott McGrath and Joey Wise. He said the four wrestlers had “90 dual meet wins and close to 400 dual meet points.”
“We are returning a strong nucleus and will fill in those vacated weight classes with experienced underclassmen,” said Stone.
The Black and Gold will be led by three captains this season: Lynnfield wrestlers Lucas Pascucci and Dom Monzione and North Reading wrestler Joe Morse.
“Monzione is a returning state place finisher from last year,” said Stone. “Pascucci placed at the state tournament in 2013 but a knee injury ended his season last year. Joe Morse is also a returning state place finisher. Each of them have a strong work ethic and are constant examples of sportsmanship and team spirit.”
The Black and Gold are also welcoming back returning state place finisher Max Whyman. Max Robert and Brandon Troisi are returning sectional place finishers from last year’s squad. The remaining returners are Austin Bradley, Zach Monzione and Joe Reardon.
Stone said the returning letter winners who will be vying for starting spots this year are Will Glover, Adam Rossetti, Garrett Anderson, Jake Mullin-Bernstein, Zach Blacker, Jake Sheehan, Victor Buonfiglio, Nick Wilkinson and Vitaliy Andrusyshyn.
While Stone said the Black and Gold’s strength this winter will be its “depth and balance,” he said the grapplers need to continue focusing on their “conditioning and confidence.”
Dual meet results
The Black and Gold went 2-1 in a quad meet against Wilmington, Hopkinton and Weston on Saturday, Dec. 13.
The grapplers started the season with an impressive 60-9 victory over Wilmington.
Glover (106 lbs.) defeated his opponent by forfeit. Morse (113 lbs.) defeated his Wildcat counterpart by forfeit. Kai Jean-Simon (120 lbs.) won his match by forfeit. Whyman (126 lbs.) fell 4-0 to Fox Maxwell in overtime in what was a battle between two returning state place finishers. Rossetti (132 lbs.) defeated his opponent by fall in 4:35. Blacker (138 lbs.) defeated his opponent by fall in 52 seconds.
Pascucci (145 lbs.) pinned his opponent in 23 seconds. Dom Monzione (152 lbs.) defeated his counterpart by fall in 2:29. Ali Hamdar (160 lbs.) won his match by forfeit. Bradley (182 lbs.) defeated his opponent by forfeit. Wilkinson (195 lbs.) pinned his opponent in 4:50. Andrusyshyn (220 lbs.) defeated his opponent by fall in 3:13. Troisi (285 lbs.) pinned his opponent in 1:14.
The Black and Gold fell 45-27 to Division 2 Central Division champion Hopkinton.
Aaron Gautreau (113 lbs.) pinned his opponent in 3:24. Morse (120 lbs.) defeated state place finisher Colin Shea by a 3-2 decision. Whyman defeated returning sectional place finisher Adam Correia by fall in 3:09. Dom Monzione (145 lbs.) pinned a sectional place finisher in 1:56.
Zack Monzione (160 lbs.) defeated his opponent by a 3-2 decision. Bradley defeated his counterpart by a 7-0 decision. Hopkinton’s Josh Sokol defeated Troisi by a 6-4 decision.
The Black and Gold concluded the dual meet by defeating Weston 39-24.
Glover secured his first varsity win after he pinned his opponent in 1:05. Morse (113 lbs.) defeated his opponent by forfeit. Whyman (132 lbs.) defeated a returning sectional place finisher in 3:22. Anderson pinned his opponent in 32 seconds.
Pascucci (145 lbs.) defeated his opponent by fall in 39 seconds. Hamdar defeated his opponent by an 11-4 decision. Andrusyshyn, Wilkinson (220 lbs.) and Troisi won their respective matches by forfeit.
The Black and Gold host Pentucket on Wednesday, Dec. 17 at Lynnfield High School, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The grapplers will compete in the Anthony Lisitano Tournament at Wakefield Memorial High School on Saturday, Dec. 20, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
The grapplers will host Malden Catholic and Marblehead on Tuesday, Dec. 23, beginning at 4 p.m. The Black and Gold will compete in the Pentucket Holiday Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 27, beginning at 10 a.m.