DiFronzo, MacIntosh medal to advance to All States

Published in the February 26, 2016 edition

ANTONIO DIFRONZO (left) and Steven MacIntosh (right) became State bronze medalists after strong performances at the D3 State Finals last weekend. (courtesy photo) 

ANTONIO DIFRONZO (left) and Steven MacIntosh (right) became State bronze medalists after strong performances at the D3 State Finals last weekend. (courtesy photo)


MELROSE — Two Melrose High wrestlers will compete with the best in the state after a successful showing on Saturday, Feb. 20 at the Div. 3 State wrestling Finals at Taconic High School in Fitchburg.

Antonio DiFronzo and Steven MacIntosh wrestled their way to bronze medals in their weight classes to join the best in the state divisions this Friday and Saturday at Reading High School. Junior captain DiFronzo is slated to wrestle Andrew Desmarias of Dracut in the 195 weight class, while MacIntosh (a freshman) will wrestle Devin Spratt of North Attleboro. The two Raiders were joined on Saturday by Melrose’s Patrick Whelan, Jake Fortier and Collin Casey, who all qualified after strong showings at the D3 North Sectionals. Whelan took a first round win against Clayton Yanosky of Granby in the 182 weight class and consolation round wins over Nolan Keane of Dean Tech for an overall 8th place finish in the 182. Casey fell to Matt Carrier of Hampshire Tech in the 220 weight class. Fortier, a heavyweight, fell in the 285 weight class to Brent Leger of Quabbin (the eventual winner).

Melrose would see success behind DiFronzo, who enjoyed a first round win over Jordan Corriea of Josiah Quincy before falling to Alexis Griffis of Mt. Greylock in a 9-1 decision. The wrestler, however, avenged that loss by going on a tear in consolation rounds, beating Griffis 3-2 in second sudden (overtime) victory during the final consolation round to earn his bronze medal. According to Melrose coach James Bleiler, DiFronzo’s battle was the match of the day. “It was a bloodbath. Antonio had the entire gymnasium watching. He had two points taken away by officials but came back for a second sudden victory. It was the best match of the day.”

MacIntosh also made up for a second round loss by shredding the consolation round competition and topping Carsten LaPlante of Georgetown-Ipswich in overtime during finals to earn a bronze medal for Melrose. “Steve beat some familiar opponents and in the finals the match ended 3-3 in regulation,” says his coach. “Then he was ready to go at the whistle. He was on a mission. He pinned the kid in 20 seconds.” Bleiler also noted that he can’t think of a Melrose wrestler who has medaled as a freshman at States, which says a lot about MacIntosh, who comes from a long line of wrestling greats.

Collectively, Melrose placed 15th among 41 teams, a solid showing for the Red Raiders. Says the coach, “I wasn’t surprised to see them medal, any one of the kids on the team has the potential. But I was definitely pleased.”