LNR CO-OP WRESTLING CAPTAIN James Fodera (at far right) placed sixth in the 190 lb. weight class at the All-State Tournament last weekend, qualifying him to compete in the New England Tournament. (Courtesy Photo)



SALEM — Lynnfield-North Reading co-op wrestling captain James Fodera has qualified for this weekend’s New England Tournament in Providence, Rhode Island.

Fodera was one of three LNR grapplers to compete in the All-State Tournament at Salem High School on Feb. 23 and 24. LNR finished 52nd in the 113-team tournament with 12 points.

“The tournament combines the top six state place finishers from Division 1, 2 and 3,” said Black and Gold head coach Craig Stone.

Fodera placed sixth in the 190 lb. weight class after concluding the tournament with a 2-3 record. He pinned a St. John’s Prep wrestler at 1:53 in the first round. He defeated a Canton wrestler, who was a Division 2 Sectional finalist, by an 11-2 decision during the quarterfinals. Fodera fell to a Taunton wrestler, who was a Division 1 state champion and the number seed in the 190 lb. weight class, by a 14-5 decision in the semifinals.

Fodera was pinned by a Chelmsford wrestler, who finished third, at 5:20 in the first consolation round. He fell to a Minnechaug Regional High School grappler, who was the Division 2 state champion, by an 11-2 decision in the second consolation round.

Stone recalled that Fodera was LNR’s only grappler who competed in the 2023 All-State Tournament, which he finished with an 0-2 record.

“With James’ sixth place finish, he will wrestle in the New England Tournament on Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2 at the Providence Career and Training Center,” said Stone. “James will be the third LNR wrestler to wrestle at the New England Tournament since LNR became a co-op program in 2005. Eric Kerr competed in the New England Tournament in 2013 and 2014, and Sean McCollough competed in 2019 and 2020. Eric is the only LNR wrestler to place at the New England Tournament with his sixth place finish in 2014.”

Senior Gavin Iby went 0-1 in the 144 lb. weight class. He was pinned by a Marblehead-Swampscott wrestler at 3:02 in the first round, but an injury prevented Iby from competing in the rest of the tournament.

“Gavin finished the season with a 12-0 dual meet record, and an overall record of 32-2,” said Stone. “He has a career record of 62-12 over the past three years. We did not have a team in 2021 due to COVID. This season, Gavin won the Anthony Lisitano Tournament in Wakefield as well as the Cohasset, CAL/NEC and Division III North Sectional Tournaments. He placed third at the Division 3 State Tournament.”

Freshman Nathan Barstow went 0-2 in the 106 lb. weight class. He fell to a Natick wrestler by a 6-1 decision in the first round. He fell to a Tyngsborough-Dracut wrestler by a 14-4 decision in a consolation round.

“Nathan is only a freshman, and he has a few years left to place at the tournament,” said Stone. “He finished the season with a 19-2 dual meet record and an overall record of 36-14. He placed fourth in the Anthony Lisitano Tournament, placed fifth in the Pentucket Holiday Classic, placed third in the Cohasset Tournament, placed third at the CAL/NEC Tournament, placed second at the CAL/NEC Tournament and placed sixth at the Division 3 State Tournament.”

Stone praised Fodera, Iby and Barstow’s performances in the All-State Tournament.

“The All-State Tournament showcases the top wrestlers in the state,” said Stone. “To have three wrestlers compete there is quite an accomplishment as well as motivation for our young team to improve on next year.”