Published December 13, 2018


NORTH READING — The Lynnfield-North Reading co-operative wrestling team is back on the mat and is ready to rumble this season.

The Black and Gold concluded the 2017–18 season with a 9-18-1 record. LNR has a strong core returning this winter, which includes 17 North Reading wrestlers and five Lynnfield grapplers.

“We will be a more experienced team with 16 out of 22 returning wrestlers,” said Black and Gold head coach Craig Stone. “However, we are unable to fill a couple of weights, which will lead to forfeits that could hurt our team’s score. We only have eight wrestlers under 150 pounds. We definitely will place some individuals at the league, sectional and state meets, and should improve team-wise from last year’s performance.”

Four captains will lead the Black and Gold this winter. They are North Reading senior Dylan Reardon (152 lbs.), North Reading junior Stuart Glover (126 lbs.), Lynnfield junior Tim Leggett (132 lbs.) and North Reading junior Sean McCullough (182 lbs.).

“All are returning starters,” said Stone. “Leggett and McCullough are returning sectional place finishers. They each possess their own leadership style, but collectively work hard, have great attitudes, and understand the value of TEAM (Together Each Achieves More).”

CAPTAINS, from left, Dylan Reardon, Sean McCullough, Tim Leggett and Stuart Glover will lead the Lynnfield-North Reading co-op wrestling team this winter. (Dan Tomasello Photo)

The Black and Gold is also welcoming back Christian Real-Costa (106 lbs.), Chris Metrano (138 lbs.), Jack Ross (152 lbs.), Dan Ryan (160 lbs.), Nik Marota (160 lbs.), Eric Benecke (170 lbs.), Aidan Carrucci (170 lbs.), Giovanni Colucciello (170 lbs.), Gerry Callagy (195 lbs.), Brandon Ouellette (195 lbs.), Greg Camier (220 lbs.) and Steven Kane (220 lbs.).

“They are returning letter-winners who should have improved seasons,” said Stone.

The Black and Gold’s promising new additions are Matt Conley (132 lbs.), Cam Randazzo (145 lbs.), Ryan McCullough (145 lbs.), Ethan Barnes-Felix (145 lbs.), Jack Terranova (152 lbs.) and Luke Benecke (182 lbs.).

“They all possess good athletic ability and a willingness to learn and work hard,” said Stone.

Stone said the team’s strengths this year are its “attitude and work ethic.”

“We still need to gain more experience,” said Stone. “With only one senior on the team, we are still young and will continue to improve throughout the season. Hopefully, we will be peaking at the right time.”

Opening quad meet

The Black and Gold opened the season 1-3 during a quad meet against Whittier Tech, Hopkinton and Wilmington on Dec. 8 at Wilmington High School.

LNR fell 48-36 to Whittier Tech.

Glover (126 lbs.) pinned his opponent in 4:33. Leggett (138 lbs.) won his match by fall in 3:54. Reardon (152 lbs.) pinned his counterpart in 53 seconds.

Ryan (160 lbs.) defeated his opponent by fall in 1:35. McCullough (182 lbs.) won his match by forfeit. Camier (220 lbs.) pinned his counterpart in 1:29.

“It was an action-packed dual meet from start to finish, with the lead going back and forth throughout the meet,” said Stone. “We were unable to fill two weights, 113 lbs. and 120 lbs., and we had to forfeit 12 points, which was the difference in the match. We are much improved over last season, but you have to be able to compete in all 14 weight classes to beat a good team like Whittier.”

The Black and Gold fell 48-36 to Hopkinton.

Glover (126 lbs.) pinned his opponent in 1:44. Leggett (132 lbs.) brought his opponent to the ground in 21 seconds. Metrano (138 lbs.) defeated his counterpart by fall in 1:28.

Randazzo (145 lbs.) won his first varsity wrestling match after pinning his opponent in 3:49. Reardon (152 lbs.) defeated his opponent by fall in 1:54. McCullough (182 lbs.) pinned his counterpart in 55 seconds.

“Forfeits hurt again,” said Stone. “We were up 36-24 after 182 pounds, but were unable to close out the win.”

The Black and Gold defeated Wilmington 41-27.

Real-Costa (106 lbs.) won his match by forfeit. Glover (126 lbs.) pinned his opponent in 47 seconds. Leggett (132 lbs.) won his match by an 18-2 technical fall. Randazzo (145 lbs.) pinned his counterpart in 45 seconds.

Reardon (152 lbs.) brought his opponent to the ground in 1:20. Colucciello (182 lbs.) won his match by forfeit. McCullough (182 lbs.) pinned his opponent in 1:47. Camier (285 lbs.) won his match by forfeit.

“LNR led from start to finish,” said Stone. “Captains Glover, Leggett, Reardon and McCullough each had a 3-0 day. It’s always good to get the first win of the season. It was a little discouraging because we could have won all three. But at the same time, I was very encouraged with the attitude, the abilities and the potential of the athletes we do have.”