This Saturday, January 14th, the Hyde-Woodstock varsity wrestlers traveled to Phillips Andover to wrestle in a quad-meet against Hyde-Bath, Deerfield Academy and the host school. After a week of hard work, we were optimistic as to how this day would go. Unfortunately, we were down two of our starters which means we were giving up 12pts to each team on the day.
Hyde- Bath: 43
Our first match was a long awaited rematch against our sister school. The Phoenix did not have the home field advantage this time around, and we hoped to capitalize on this. After some impressive wrestling by both teams, the Wolf Pack lost only due to thee forfeits that we gave up to Bath. In a head-to-head match, Hyde-Woodstock would have taken the victory by winning 6 out of the 11 matches. Some highlights included Paul Randall ’15 who beat his opponent by pin. This was his first win of the season and he beat someone who had previously beaten him. We had consecutive pins made by Marcos Mercado ’13, Peter Markham ’13, Cullum Thompson ’12, and Jae Kang Lee ’13. Also, Kevin Smith ’12 won a close 8-7 decision over his opponent at the 145lb weight class. Both Zack Guidice ’12 and Kenrick Vincent ’12 forced their opponents to a decision and showed some real mental toughness. After the match was over, we felt an overwhelming sense of pride for the quality of wrestling we had in this match. We will see our sister school again in the coming Northern New England Invitational Tournament.
Deerfield Academy: 27
Our second match on the day was against Deerfield Academy. Unfortunately for Deerfield, they only had six wrestlers with them and therefore could not win regardless of the individual match outcome. Deerfield made up for their lack of men with the quality of the wrestlers they had. They effectively beat Hyde opponents in all five of the matches. The highlight match was Marcos Mercado ’13 against Deerfield’s Luke Mario. The back and forth battle waged on to the bitter end with these two and Marcos lost in the final seconds after scrambling for a shot and allowing his opponent to get behind him. He showed real heart and accepted the loss as a learning experience. Although this match did not show us at our best, it certainly gave us a needed dose of humility before going up against the very tough Phillips squad.
Phillips Andover: 48
Our final match was against Phillips Andover. In the past, Phillips has beaten us in very lopsided matches. This year, the Wolf Pack showed some real toughness and grit which changed this trend. Paul Randall ’15 really got us on our feet with yet another pin on the day, and we look forward to seeing how he will do come tournament time. Marcos Mercado ’13 earned his second pin of the day with a very nice take down to pin combo on his man. Zack Guidice ’12 and Mike Kanda ’12 also earned pins against their opponents. The big highlight of the day was the double-overtime victory by Kevin Smith ’12. After ending the third period with a 5-5 tie, he went a minute for the first takedown. When no one earned a takedown, each opponent got a chance on the bottom for a 30 second round. After successfully keeping his man down, Smith hit a great reversal and kept the lead as the clock ran out. This was one of the most exciting matches we have seen this season.
All in all, this was a great day for the Wolf Pack. We wrestled the best matches we could and walked away proud. Wish these men luck in their upcoming match on Wednesday against our neighborhood rival, Marianapolis Preparatory School.