This Saturday, January 7th, the Hyde-Woodstock varsity wrestlers traveled to Tabor to compete in a quad-meet against Thayer, Loomis Chaffee, and the host school. This has always been a tough quad in the past, and this year was no different. Both Loomis and Tabor had strong line-ups and made it an uphill battle from the start. Thayer was a very close match that had us all on the edge of our seats.
We opened up against Loomis-Chaffee, a team which has been in the top-five Class A teams for several years running. Although their team did not look as strong as they usual do, they still proved to be much stronger then the Wolf Pack. Our only two pins of the day were made by Marcos Mercado ’13 and Jae Kang Lee ’13. Some outstanding matches of note were Kevin Smith ’12 and Zack Guidice ’12 who went all six minutes with their opponents. Although these men lost, they showed grit and perseverance even in the face of a losing fight. We look forward to seeing this team again in the Class A’s since there were many matches that could have fallen our way if we started at our best.
Thayer Academy: 42
Our second match-up was against Thayer Academy, a school evenly matched with us. In the past few years, this has always been close and we were excited to see how we would do this year. We had a strong opening with Marcos Mercado ’13 taking the first pin of the day against his opponent at the 126lb weight class. This was followed by Kevin Smith ’12 winning by technical fall (a lead of 15 points), earning us another five points. A great win on the day was Andreu Cullere ’12 pinning his opponent at the 170lb weight class. This was his first win of the season and he was extremely proud of how hard he worked to earn this pin in the third period. Mike Kanda ’12 had a tough match which he almost won, but got turned in the last 30 seconds of the third period. He is shaping up to be a good wrestler, and continues to grow. Pete Markham ’13 wrestled at his best though, and earned our final points of the day with a major decision (18-5) over his opponent at the 120lb weight class. When the dust settled, we trailed by three points. This was a very close match to say the least, and the difference in one person’s match could have won it for us. There was a lot to be proud of though, and we went into our final match-up with our head’s high.
Tabor Academy: 72
Our final match was against the very strong Tabor Academy. Tabor is another team that is easily ranked in the top-five of the Class A’s, so we knew what we were in for as a team. Several wrestlers on the Wolf Pack side went down by pin, many in the first period. This is something that the team will need to work on improving in the coming weeks, and it is more indicative of an issue in mental toughness rather than a physical or skill deficiency. We did have two wins on our side of the scoreboard. Marcos Mercado ’13 won his third match of the day and Kevin Smith ’12 won his second. Also, Joe Yanovitch ’13 showed some real toughness by making it into the second period for the first time this season, and Kenrick Vincent ’12 faced off against a very tough opponent who was All-American and stuck it out for two periods. This was nice to see since wrestling is more than just about being pinned or pinning your opponent. A good wrestler can fight to the bitter end even when grossly outmatched.
Going 0-3 on the day was certainly not a highlight, but a lesson in humility was surely of value to the team. We know where we need to put time in at practice and what we need to improve. Give these young men encouragement when you see them and wish them luck for our match against Choate-Rosemary Hall on Wednesday.