Bath: Hyde Wrestling week in review

It has been quite a week for Hyde Wrestling!

On Wednesday the 14th, the Hyde – ME Phoenix hosted the Wolfpack of Hyde -CT in the first annual Blue and Gold Winter Classic.  JV and Varsity wrestling teams clashed in the intimate and loud setting of the theater in Bath.  It was an awesome event filled with spirit!  With President’s Cup points on the line, the jv teams clashed in a 15 bout meet which Woodstock won by a narrow 2 point margin.  Congratulations to Phoenix wrestlers  Omar Harris ’14, Jacob Poole ’15, James Allen ’12, Cory Flanagan ’12, and Elvis Leng ’12 on their hard fought victories.

In the varsity match, Bath avenged several losses in recent years and upended the Wolfpack by the final score of 46-35Junior 113 Sam Williams earned his first career win over his opponent.  With the match score solidly in Woodstock’s favor despite tough wrestling and valiant efforts from Austin Wang at 120, Brian Edwards at 126, Zach Leighninger at 132, and Billy Martinez at 138 , senior 145 Alec Randall began to tip the momentum with his second period pin.  After a hard fought loss by Bath’s Jamal Frazer-Borden at 152, Hyde-ME reeled off 6 straight victories in the final 6 matches to secure the win.  Chester Hill (’12, 160), Bemnet Banks (’12, 170), Lukas Fischer (’13, 182), and Nikita Smolentsev (’12, 220) all won their matches by pin.  Senior 195 Scott Bartlett wrestled the match of the day, avenging a loss to the same competitor last year with a victory by major decision.  Freshman 285 Austin Makris closed out the Phoenix victory by accepting a forfeit.

Hyde Wrestling at the 2011 Doug Parker Invitational

On Saturday the 17th, Hyde competed in the Doug Parker Invitational in Enfield, CT.  This tournament, which features public and private school wrestling teams from all over New England, provided the unique opportunity for both Hyde Schools to compete together.  Woodstock senior 120 Peter Markham and junior 126 Marcos Mercado joined Bath seniors Chester Hill (160), Bemnet Banks (170), Scott Bartlett (195) and junior 138 Billy Martinez for an outstanding day of wrestling in Enfield.

Hyde wrestled well in this tournament.  At the start of the semifinal round, these six determined young men stood in 5th place out of 25 teams.  When the dust settled, Hyde finished tied with Pomfret for 8th place behind tournament champion Mt. Hope (Rhode Island) High School on the strength of 1st, 3rd, and 4th place finishes from four of the six wrestlers wearing the blue and gold.

Senior 120 Peter Markham blended speed and power well in his wins and losses and finished the day with a 4th place finish, falling in the consolation finals to a tough opponent from Killingly (CT) High.

Junior 126 Marcos Mercado, competing in one of the tougher brackets in the tournament, won his first match by fall before himself fall to the eventual champion from Wilbraham and Monson Academy in the semifinals.  After battling back through to the consolation final, Marcos lost a close match to his Canterbury School opponent and finished the tournament in 4th place.

Junior 138 Billy Martinez just keeps improving every time he steps on the mat.  Though he didn’t place in the tournament, he learned from his losses and his wins (one by pin, and one by a 7-0 margin) reflect his serious commitment and work ethic.

Senior 160 Chester Hill wrestled very well in his opening two rounds of the tournament and earned his place in the semifinal round with victories by decision and by pin.  In the semis Chester once again wrestled well, but ran out of time against his Hotchkiss School opponent and was upended in a match that was very closely contested despite the 5-2 score.  Chester responded to the loss by battling back through to consolation bracket to earn 3rd place.

Senior 195 Scott Bartlett is all heart and all effort.  A bit undersized in the 195 pound weight class, he never quits, and is never outworked as a result.  Scott lost to the eventual 2nd place finisher in the first round and won his next match 2-0.  This match came down to the question  of “who wants it more”, which Scott answered with a 1 point escape in the third period.  He is all heart and all effort.

The Hyde Wrestler of the Meet was without doubt 170 pounder Bemnet Banks who blasted through his competition in this tournament to capture the 170 pound title. Bemnet combines blinding speed and incredible power with an unwavering focus on the mat.  He needed just 6:40 seconds of actual wrestling time to defeat his opponents in all four of his matches combined, winning all by pin.

Thanks to the Tournament Director for allowing both Hyde Schools to compete as one in this event.  This was a great day for Hyde Wrestling.  The spirit and camaraderie were great, the wrestlers really put their all into it, and the Bath and Woodstock coaches head into the Holiday break feeling very excited about what the rest of this season will hold.

Logan Kidwell