Hunter Adrian crowned All State champ in 106
Published in the March 3, 2017 edition
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—One week after making history as Melrose High’s first ever wrestling state champ, the Melrose Red Raider grapplers took home third place at the 2017 MIAA All State Tournament at Reading High on Feb. 25.
Melrose freshman Hunter Adrian was the star of the day as he topped the field as All State Champion in the 106 class, a remarkable feat for a freshman, while Melrose’s Antonio DiFronzo fell in a 2-1 heartbreaker in finals to earn silver for Melrose. The Red Raiders placed behind champion Minnechaug (81pts) and second place Billerica (79pts) with a total of 71 points.
Hunter, DiFronzo and Melrose’s Sean Herbert, will advance to the 2017 New England Championship this weekend in Providence.
According to Melrose coach Jim Bleiler, Adrian showed a relentless calm before and after competing. “He’s just very focused and at the end of finals he showed emotion, cracked a smile. But he knows he is not finished and I expect him to do well at New England’s.”
Competing last Friday and Saturday were DiFronzo, Adrian, Jake Fortier, Pat Whelan, Stephen MacIntosh, Mike Calvert and Sean Herbert. At the end of day one, Melrose held a lead against the field going into second day of competition, thanks in part of the work from Herbert, who earned wins over Jack Stansfield of Chelmsford, Jack Shetterly of Cambridge Ridge, and Liam McAveny of Masconomet. “Sean really helped us and he cemented his spot in New England’s with an early win,” says his coach.
Others who enjoyed wins in early rounds were Pat Whelan over James Baldwin of Northbridge and Stephen MacIntosh over Vincent Foti of Shawsheen and TJ Remillard of Franklin. Adrian and DiFronzo, meanwhile, advanced to finals.
Hunter cruised along in the 106 with early wins over Ryan Permenter of Pembroke (a pin at 0:27) Jordan Carlucci of Franklin (by major decision), Kyle Randall of Newton North (3-2 decision), and a huge 7-2 win by decision over the favorite going in, Tyler Glynn of Central Catholic. Adrian and Glynn had previously battled in the Lowell Holiday tournament with Glynn proving victorious. No doubt, revenge was sweet for Melrose’s Adrian.
DiFronzo, in the 195lb, had little trouble topping Alex Childs of Nashoba in a 12-3 major decision, and Andrew Marshall of Lincoln-Sudbury in a dogfight, 5-3 decision. He went on to beat Travis Manick of Methuen in an 8-7 decision. That advanced him to finals where he was pitted against Henri Behaeghel of Billerica. The two had scrimmaged against each other in the early season and DiFronzo fought much of the match in a deadlock.
“Antonio had a very tough side of the bracket,” says Bleiler. “But I like his chances in Providence.”
Melrose will battle among New England’s best starting this Friday and Saturday at Providence Career and Tech Academy.