On Friday and Saturday, February 17th and 18th, Marcos Mercado ’13 and Kevin Smith ’12 of the Hyde-Woodstock varsity wrestling team traveled to Northfield Mount Hermon to compete in the New England Championship tournament. This tournament only admits those who placed in the top positions in their league tournaments or those who earned a 2/3rds winning ratio in their season. This means the competition is much steeper and the goal is to earn one of the top 7 places to qualify for the National Prep Tournament at Lehigh. Both Marcos and Kevin had very tough brackets at their respective 126lb and 145lb weight classes. Kevin Smith ’12 unfortunately lost his first two matches on Friday night against some tough opponents. The work he has put into the season is of note though, and he showed himself as one of the hardest workers and leaders on the mat. I also believe it was his work with Marcos that led to Marcos placing in the top-5. He will be missed greatly in the coming year.
Marcos Mercado ’13 came out strong, winning his first match against his opponent from Nobles by pin in the second period. He then faced the reigning National Champion from Belmont Hill and lost by a pin after fighting for several minutes off his back. His third match was against an opponent who had beaten him earlier in the season by pin at the Doug Parker tournament. Marcos rose to the challenge and dominated the match against the opponent from Wilbraham and Monson Academy. He earned a major decision with a 13-2 victory. After this win, he faced an opponent from Avon Old Farms that he has not seen this season. He successfully pinned this opponent in the second period. The following match was against the #3 seed from Deerfield, who was a two time Class A champion. Although Marcos lost in a close 6-9 decision, he nearly tied it up in the last 30 seconds of the match. His final match was against his nemesis from Suffield Academy, who had beaten him twice this year by close decisions. Marcos dominated the match, winning 4-1, only giving up a point by a technical violation. Marcos earned 5th place in New England, qualifying him to go to Nationals. He will be the third wrestler I have seen go to Lehigh in my 5yrs as coach. I could not be more proud. Wish him luck as we depart for Nationals this weekend, joined by Hyde-Maine’s New England Champ, Bemnet Banks.
New England Wrestling Championship, NMH, February 2012