LYNNFIELD-NORTH READING CO-OP WRESTLERS, from left, senior Gavin Iby (144 lbs., 3rd place), captain and junior James Fodera (190 lbs., 2nd place), freshman Nathan Barstow (106 lbs., 6th place) and freshman Jakob Hulett (113 lbs., 7th place) proudly display the medals they earned competing in the Division 3 State Tournament Feb. 16 and 17. (Courtesy Photo)



WAKEFIELD — The Lynnfield-North Reading co-op wrestling team finished 11th in the Division 3 State Tournament at Wakefield Memorial High School on Feb. 16 and 17.

LNR concluded the 53-team tournament with 62.5 points. Four wrestlers placed during the tournament.

Captain James Fodera took second place overall in the 190 lb. weight class after concluding the Division 3 State Tournament with a 3-1 record. He defeated a Wayland grappler by a 14-5 major decision in the Round of 16. Fodera dismantled a Frontier Regional wrestler by a 16-1 technical fall during the quarterfinals. He prevailed over a Sandwich grappler by a 3-1 decision in the semifinals. During the finals, Gloucester senior Jayden Toppan pinned Fodera at 5:05.

“This was the third consecutive tournament – CAL/NEC, North Sectional and State – that James and Jayden have met in the finals,” said LNR head coach Craig Stone. “James, a junior, was a fifth-place state finisher last year and was LNR’s lone participant at the 2023 All-State Tournament.”

Senior Gavin Iby placed third in the 144 lb. weight class after finishing the Division 3 State Tournament with a 4-1 record. He pinned a Marlborough grappler at 1:24 in the Round of 16. Iby brought a Pembroke wrestler to the mat at 2:21 in the quarterfinals. He lost to a Foxborough wrestler, who ultimately finished second at the D3 tourney, by fall at 20 seconds in the semifinals. In the first consolation round, Iby pinned a Southwick-Toland wrestler at the 36-second mark. He defeated a Holliston wrestler by fall at 3:36 in the second consolation round.

“Gavin finished fourth in last year’s sectional tournament,” said Stone. “He went 1-2 at the 2023 State Tournament, but did not place.”

Freshman Nathan Barstow finished sixth in the 106 lb. weight class after concluding the tournament with a 3-3 record. He fell to a Hanover grappler by a 6-0 decision in the Round of 16. He pinned a Hampden Charter East wrestler at 35 seconds during the first consolation round. Barstow defeated a Holliston grappler by a 5-2 decision in the second consolation round. He then beat a John J. Duggan Academy wrestler by fall at 3:16 during the third consolation round. Barstow was pinned by a Mount Everett wrestler at 3:41 in the fourth consolation round. He fell to a Bristol County Agricultural High School grappler, who was the D3 South Sectional Tournament champion, by a 4-0 decision in the fifth consolation round.

Freshman Jakob Hulett placed seventh in the 113 lb. weight class after finishing the Division 3 State Tournament with a 3-2 record. He defeated a Hampshire Regional High School grappler by a 9-5 decision in the Round of 16. He fell to a Holliston wrestler, who went on to win the D3 South Sectional title, by fall at 2:41 during the quarterfinals. Hulett edged a Triton wrestler by a 9-7 decision in the first consolation round. He succumbed to a Foxborough grappler, who was the South Sectional runner-up, by a 7-3 decision during the second consolation round. Hulett secured his seventh-place finish after defeating an Athol wrestler by default in the third consolation round.

“Nathan and Jakob became LNR’s first freshmen to place in the state tournament,” said Stone. “LNR became a co-op team in 2005.”

Junior Cam Arya and captain David Glynn, who each placed fourth in their respective weight classes in the Division 3 North Sectional Tournament, also competed in the State Tournament but they did not place.

“Cam and David wrestled well,” said Stone.

Sophomore Dylan Mathews was named as an alternate for the Division 3 State Tournament’s 285 lb. weight class, but he did not compete.

“Dylan is a first-year wrestler,” said Stone. “He has a great future ahead.”

Stone recalled that LNR finished 34th out of 45 teams in last year’s Division 3 State Tournament. He noted that the Black and Gold finished last year’s tournament with 20 points, and Fodera was the only grappler who placed. He is thrilled with the progress LNR has made on the mat this season.

“We were only two points away from finishing in the top 10 in the state,” said Stone. “This was quite an accomplishment for a team that has faced so much adversity over the past two years.”

Fodera, Iby and Barstow will compete in the All-State Tournament at Salem High School on Friday, Feb. 23 and Saturday, Feb. 24. Hulett will be in an alternate in the tournament.