On Saturday, December 3rd, the Wolf Pack varsity wrestlers began their season with a quad-meet against Suffield Academy, Hopkins School, and the Williston Northampton School. Winter sports do not have the customary week long preseason that we see in the fall, so with only four days of preparation the wrestlers were anxious to see how the start of the season would turn out.
The Williston Northampton School: 47
Hyde’s first match was against the host school, WNH. This match-up has been close over the past few years, and tends to be decided based on who has the least forfeits. Unfortunately, some unforeseen circumstances led to the Wolf Pack having a four man deficit for the day. This would make it an uphill battle for the nine eligible wrestlers. We started strong withKenrick Vincent ’12 earning his first pin of the season in the first period, but this gave way to Hyde forfeiting the next three weight classes. Zach Guidice ’12 made up for these points given away with another pin in a spectacular match in which he was down for the majority of the 1st and 2nd periods, and miraculously capitalized on his opponents mistake. Our two new “little men,”Paul Randall ’15 and Alex Katz ’15, fought valiantly but were under prepared for their debut at the 106lb. and 113lb. weight classes. Peter Markham ’13 earned the fastest pin on the day with an astounding eleven second victory. Team captain, Marcos Mercado ’13, also earned a pin and this will hopefully be one of many for him this season. Kevin Smith ’12 had a hard fought match that went all six minutes and he came out on top with a score of 9-6. After analyzing the line-up without the forfeits, the score would have been Hyde 27, WNH 23. Hopefully we will have a full roster next time so we can win such an even match up.
Suffield Academy: 61
The second match of the day was against the very tough Suffield Academy, a team that has solidly defeated us several years running. This year was not much different, but it was a good challenge for the team in terms of keeping their morale up, staying in the fight, and hanging tough with no regard for the scoreboard. Some highlights were Jae Kang Lee ’13 and Zach Guidice ’12 who both earned pins against their opponents, as well as Ben Errera ’12 who would not allow himself to be pinned by a very tough opponent. Marcos Mercado ’13 had his first loss of the season, and this served as a wake-up call for him. He has his sights set on his new rival, and will prepare for their rematch in a week. Although we were soundly defeated, we remained enthusiastic on the sidelines and aggressive on the mats.
Hopkins School: 30
Our final match of the day was against the Hopkins School, a team we have beaten for several years consecutively. This year was a victory for the Wolf Pack again, and was the spirit lifter the team needed for the bus ride home. Hyde only took two legitimate loses on the scorecard, with the remainder of the points earned by Hopkins through forfeits. Jae Kang Lee ’13 earned his second pin of the day and Kenrick Vincent ’12 earned the second fastest pin of the day, clocking in at a lightning fast 17 seconds. Kevin Smith ’12 also had a speedy pin, coming in at third place at 23 seconds. The main event of this match was a showdown between Marcos Mercado ’13 and Arya Reedy ’12 of Hopkins. Reedy made it to the top-12 at National Preps last year, making him an important match to assess where Mercado stands this year. Mercado put pressure on Reedy, winning by an impressive pin in the third period.
As a season opener, this was a quad-meet to be proud of, but also very telling of the work that needs to be put into practice for the weeks to come. It was great seeing Mike Kanda ’12 (PG)step up in a sport unfamiliar to him as well. He will be a contender this season after he learns some techniques. Wish us luck this upcoming Wednesday against Nationally ranked Northfield Mount Hermon and Worcester.