Depth prevails for Melrose; 3rd title in 4 years

Published February 21, 2020


THE DIV. 2 North Champion Melrose High wrestling team celebrates their win last Saturday.

MELROSE—The Melrose Red Raider wrestling team arrived back a familiar place: the top of the podium at the MIAA Div. 3 North Sectionals. On Saturday, Feb. 15, Melrose once again became the 2020 Div. 3 North Sectional champs with a total of 234 points and crowned three sectional champs in Hunter Adrian (120) Sean Herbert (152) and Sean Thomas (106).

Getting there, Adrian pinned rival Tre Aulson of Georgetown, Thomas pinned Luke Vitale of Wilmington and Herbert pinned Matt Walsh of Acton. Depth proved to be the calling card for Melrose, who beat their nearest opponent (Wakefield) 234-189 thanks to 9 upper podium winners. Some critical 2nd place finishes included freshman Oto Albanese in the 113, Matt Hickey in the 220 and Victor Rodriguez in the 160. 

Melrose also secured 3rd place finishes by Jacob Swan (182) Eric Pimental (285) and Shea Fogarty (138) and a 4th place finish by Steve Fogarty to help secure points needed to keep Melrose on top. 

“We were hammering it this morning. Our technique is starting to kick in and kids are really getting it. We’re excited,” said head coach Larry Tremblay after the win. “Last year we came in second, but this year we had 12 guys here and to place 10 kids to the state tournament, that’s huge for us. This is the toughest section, so some of our guys who didn’t win will do well in States.” 

Melrose has come to expect greatness from two-time New England champ Hunter Adrian and state champ Sean Herbert, but some young blood also made their mark. Says Tremblay, “We placed some young kids. Oto [Albanase] making it to the finals. Steven [Fogarty] and then Sean [Thomas] winning it all.”

The victor casts them as one of the favorites going into this weekend’s Div. 3 State Finals, a title they took just two years ago. However, they will have to beat contenders such as Wayland, Foxborough and Hamden Charter, with Wayland probably the stiffest competition. 

Wrestling on Saturday at Div. 3 States will be Sean Thomas (106) Oto Albanese (113) Hunter Adrian (120)  Steve Fogarty (126) Shea Fogarty (138) Sean Herbert 152) Victor Rodriguez (160) Jake Swan (182) Matt Hickey (220) and Eric Pimental (285). 

A look at the preliminary bracket suggests that Melrose will need a big day in the 126, 138, 160 and 220 weight classes if they want to topple Wayland, but if all Red Raiders compete as they did on Saturday, they are in the driver’s seat. 

Stay tuned.