By JENNIFER GENTILE

FITCHBURG—The 2022 State Champion Melrose High wrestling team competed at the MIAA All States last Saturday at Game On in Fitchburg, MA just a week after clinching their second Div. 3 State Title in three years. There, the Red Raiders faced the best in all divisions on a busy Saturday, Feb. 26 and Sunday, Feb. 27.

Representing Melrose were qualified medalist wrestlers Alec McLaughlin, Braden Marceau, Oto Albanese, Sean Thomas, and Shea Fogarty.

According to Melrose coach Larry Tremblay, it was his expectation to qualify at least one wrestler into Day 2, and sure enough, Melrose junior Braden Marceau answered the call by medaling in 6th in the 285 heavyweight which punched his ticket to All States this weekend. His finale was nothing short of outstanding. Once again, he was pitted again his season-long rival from Wakefield, heavyweight Nate Ickes, paired up for the fourth time this season, and after three straight losses, this time Marceau prevailed in triple overtime against Ickes, which sent Marceau to the podium and clinched a spot at New England Finals.

 

BRADEN MARCEAU (center) is heading to New Englands after medaling for Melrose High at All States in the 285 weight class last weekend. Pictured with assistant coach Eric “Bubba” Johnson, left and head coach Larry Tremblay (right). (courtesy photo)

 

Fourth time was the charm, indeed. Marceau had previously fallen to Ickes at the Brawl in the Hall, the MIAA North Sectionals, and Div. 3 States, though in all of those efforts he prevented pins that helped secure leads in both the Bawl in the Hall and the Div. 3 State Final. Clutch doesn’t even start to describe him. “This is just a wrestler who got better and better each week,” says Melrose coach Larry Tremblay. “He gained a huge amount of confidence over the season and look at him now. His transformation came right around the time he earned a pin against Milford earlier in the season. There was no looking back for him. I know how much it means that he finally prevailed over Ickes for a win.”

And a remarkably low scoring one. Marceau prevailed in a 2-1 decision over Ickes, thanks to an escape and his ability to ride out the clock. Previously in the day, he had taken wins against Brody Flannery of Nashoba in a decision, and a pin over Pete Stanwood of Duxbury.

Says Tremblay. “The Middlesex League is really strong in this weight class. I’m just so happy to he is moving on to New Englands. He’s a great kid.” The exciting win will send Marceau to represent Melrose at the New England Interscholastic Wrestling Finals on March 4 in Providence. On Saturday Marceau is pitted to wrestle R’cardo Smith-Selguedo in the opening bout of the 285 weight class.

In other Day 1 action at All States, Melrose’s Alec McLaughlin faced opponents RJ Tetricelli and Tommy Grover of Wakefield, beating the latter. Senior captain Sean Thomas took a win over Garret McNeil of Beverly. Junior Oto Albanese faced Akiva Lind of Newton South and Hunter Johnston of Tewksbury. And Shea Fogarty took a win against Foal Lodewick of Essex Tech.

Wrestling for their last time as Red Raiders on Saturday were senior captains Shea Fogarty and Sean Thomas. Look for experienced junior wrestlers such as Oto Albanse, Braden Marceau and Steven Fogarty, plus seasoned underclassmen, to keep Melrose hard to beat in 2023.