At 9-3, Red Raider grapplers just getting started
Published January 18, 2019
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—Now about a month into its season, the Melrose Red Raider wrestling team has emerged among one of the best in the division, which isn’t quite new for the 2017 State Champs, but it does prove a marker of the team’s ability to adapt after a significant year of change.
Melrose has compiled a record 9-3 after some impressive dual meet victories in January. That includes their sweep of all competition in Saturday’s Super Quad wrestling meet at North Reading High. The Red Raiders beat North Reading/Lynnfield, Essex Tech, Salem and Gloucester.
They also wrestled recently in Simsbury, CT and enjoyed great results, including championship titles from Hunter Adrian, Sean Herbert and Steven MacIntosh.
But getting to nine wins has been a team effort, according to new coach Larry Tremblay. “We’ve been wrestling well, seeing some strong efforts from a lot of guys on the team.”
That includes two strong freshmen, Shea Fogarty (138) and Sean Thomas (106). Says the coach, “These two are doing great and have a good future ahead of them in the sport.”
He notes that Melrose is a young team with two seniors, but a strong junior class, and also emerging talent, such as sophomore Matt Hickey, out with injury but shows potential in the sport.
Recent hard-fought wins in dual meets have made Melrose a team to beat. Says Tremblay, “We’ve had several wrestlers who have come into their own this season: Jake Petitpas in the 113/120, whose really improving, Victor Rodriguez is wrestling nicely and is over .500 in wins.”
He also points to the quality work of Tom Brodeur, Dan Freed, Mike Maher, Jake Swan and Bobby Morrison, who is wrestling up at 126. “Our heavyweights, Eric Pimental and Jackson Curran, are also wrestling well,” he says.
Meanwhile, Melrose’s top wrestlers continue to generate statewide notice. That includes Steven Macintosh, who is taking names with over 20 wins this season. “He had an excellent performance against New England opponents in Trumball, CT,” reports his coach.
State champion Sean Herbert is undefeated this season and is once again the top-ranked wrestler in the 152. He recently won “Outstanding Wrestler” at the team’s Super Quad. “He’s winning everything. He’s going to go far,” notes Tremblay.
Also remaining undefeated is Hunter Adrian, a two-time state champ and All-State Champ who recently earned his 100th win as a Red Raider. “There’s just no telling how far he will go. He has a lot more medals in the future,” says his coach. Don’t be shocked if those medals include national ones in the future.
So far this season, Melrose is 2-0 against Freedom League competition. They have the potential to earn league bragging rights if they pick up a win over Wakefield later in the month. While winning the league is clearly a goal for the team, Tremblay contends, “We want to win it all. Always.”
Part of that job has been a strong scouting effort by coaching staff, including assistant coach Nick Gamble, who has helped Tremblay make adjustments prior to big meets.
And big meets remain. Melrose hosts Pentucket at home this Wednesday (post deadline) before traveling to Merrimack High School to take part in the J. Marshall Hall of Fame Duals on Saturday.