WAKEFIELD — The Wakefield High wrestling team hosted another successful Div. 3 state meet on Friday and Saturday at the Charbonneau Field House. Wrestlers from 52 schools attended the two-day event. 

The Warriors put together a strong, full-team effort as they took 3rd place for the third year in a row.

“Everyone won a match and contributed to a total team effort,” said head coach Ross Ickes. “We came out strong and wrestled well, we just came up short to a couple teams with a little more horsepower.”

Wakefield scored 120 points for 3rd, behind champion Tewksbury (151.5) and 2nd place Ashland (124.5). Gloucester (108.5) and Foxborough (77.5) rounded out the top five.

Wakefield had six wrestlers finish in the top five or better in their respective brackets. All six will move on to the All State Tournament at Salem High School starting tomorrow and continuing Saturday. 

The Warriors had one state champion stand atop the podium, as sophomore Aydin Lamb took 1st at 132. Wakefield also had a 3rd place finisher (freshman Jaden Fullerton at 165), three 4th place finishers (senior captain Zach Arria, 175; senior captain Andrew Valley, 126 and junior captain Sean Callanan at 157) and a 5th place (senior captain Joe LaMonica, 215).

Additionally, senior Philip Valley, junior Jack Hodgdon, junior Kip King and sophomore Michael Barry all won a match on their home mats at states. 

Lamb’s journey to gold included four bouts. He pinned Marlborough’s Evan Harris in 1:13 in the first round and Franklin County’s Landon Purington in 1:21 in the quarterfinals. Lamb, ranked 2nd in the bracket, then had to stare down two wrestlers he lost to in the state dual meet two weekends before, starting with No. 3 Mathew Garcia of Dedham in the semifinals. A back-and-fourth matchup saw Lamb lead 4-2 after one period thanks to two takedowns. Garcia took the lead in the second but Lamb battled back in the third, reclaiming a one-point lead before ultimately earning a pin in 4:48. 

That set up the championship bout against top-ranked Adam Addeche of Foxborough. On the biggest stage, Lamb came up clutch in an epic bout, leading just 1-0 after two thanks to an escape. Addeche had two escapes in the third but a takedown for Lamb was the deciding move as he won the title by a 3-2 decision, setting off an awesome celebration from the home Warriors.

“He wrestled great,” said Ickes. “He’s difficult to wrestle. Moves well and is so tough to score points on.” 

Lamb is just the second sophomore in school history to be a state champion, joining Alex Kane. 

“It’s such a hard thing to do,” said Ickes of being a state champion, pointing to the fact that he’s had just 10 in his 30 years of coaching. “It’s emotional, it’s physical. He did a great job.”

Another underclassmen put the state on notice as Fullerton’s 3rd place included four victories in the consolation round after falling to top-ranked and eventual state champion Lucas Alvan of Ludlow in the quarterfinals. Fullerton was the only wrestler to get a point off of Alvan at the meet, earning two escapes in the first period. It took 5:06 before Alvan could pin the freshman. 

The 9th-ranked wrestler’s response was to go to work in the consolation round. He pinned Tewksbury’s Sam McMillan in 1:33, No. 5 Luke Johndrow of Hampshire in 1:21 and No. 10 Jack Reed of Carver in 4:41. In the 3rd place bout, Fullerton outlasted Bristol-Plymouth’s Jack Ramondetta, the 4th-ranked wrestler in the bracket, by a 5-1 decision. 

“He’s just so tough. He’ll be a fun one to coach for three more years,” said Ickes. 

Arria went 4-2 at 175 to earn 4th place points. He beat Foxborough’s Dylan Melvin by a 10-0 major decision in the first round before falling to Noah Poirier of Taconic in the quarters. In the consolation round, Arria pinned Tewksbury’s Seamus MacDonald in 2:30, earned a 7-0 decision over Malakai Risotti of Bristol County/Dighton Rehoboth and beat Mount Greylock’s Jacob Borawski by a 5-4 decision, an exciting takedown with six seconds left in the final period breaking a tie. He was pinned by Poirier in a rematch in the 3rd place bout. 

Andrew Valley went 3-2 on the day. He had two quick pins to start over Wayland’s Paul Lang (:23) and Springfield International’s Alexander Rodriguez (:52). Valley dropped a tough major decision to runner-up Connor Lupiani of Mount Everett in the semifinals but stuck with it in the consolation semi’s beating Hanover’s Matthew Costello by a 10-3 decision before falling to Excel’s Jaun Murillo in the 3rd place matchup.

Callanan’s 4th place finish at 157 included a record of 3-2. A 9-4 decision in sudden victories over Scituate’s Liam Holden sent Callanan to the quarterfinals where he beat Tristen Gaj of Mahar in a 6-1 decision. Callanan fell to top-ranked and eventual champion Adrien Guzman of Ashland in the semifinals. In the consolation semi’s Callanan cruised to a 12-1 major decision of Cole Chase of Wayland before falling to 2nd-ranked Hunter Johnson of Tewksbury in the 3rd place bout.

Making it to a 3rd place bout racks up a lot of team points so the work of Fullerton, Callanan, Arria and Valley certainly did not go unnoticed by Wakefield fans. 

The same can be said of LaMonica wrestling in a grueling 215 bracket that featured plenty of familiar faces from the North. Nobody outwrestled their ranking more than 

LaMonica who entered states ranked No. 14. He welcomed 3rd-ranked Nathan Tobe of Wayland to the Charbonneau Field House with a pin in 1:24 in the first round. LaMonica moved on to the quarterfinals where he pinned No. 11 Ashton Lutz of Nauset in 1:37. In the semifinals, he met 2nd-ranked and North foe Jayden Toppan of Gloucester. The two wrestled to a stalemate through most of the matchup with a reversal from Toppan in the third the only points as he won the decision 2-0. LaMonica fell to No. 8 Manuel Mengata of Tewksbury in the consolation semifinals but finished his last bout at the Charbonneau with a pin in 1:09 over William Vanvleet of Mohawk Trail to take 5th. 

Philip Valley’s win at 120 was a pin in 1:46 over Bobby Beyerle of Ashland.

King’s win at 285 was a 1-0 decision over Sam St. Peter of Monument Mountain.

Hodgdon’s win at 144 was an 8-5 decision over Dante Merloni of Ashland. 

Barry’s win at 113 was a pin in 2:25 over Keegan Dargie of Monument Mountain. 

Overall, the Warriors had plenty to be proud of. The mindset of the team stood out the most to Ickes. 

“It’s a team full of tough kids,” said Ickes. “They’re just so fun to coach and so fun to work with. We had a ref tell us there were plenty of kids who were saying ‘Thank God it’s over,’ after their matchups. I don’t think our kids ever say that.”

Thankfully for those Warrior gamers, it’s not over as Valley, Arria, LaMonica, Callanan, Lamb and Fullerton will continue their journeys at All-States this weekend.