This Saturday, December 1st, the Wolf Pack wrestlers traveled to Suffield Academy to compete against Williston Northampton, Hopkins, and the host school. With less than a week to prepare, we were off to a rocky start and only filled 9 of the 14 weight classes. This automatically put us at a 30 point deficit if the other team had a full line up. Regardless of this disadvantage, we showed up and wrestled our hearts out.
Williston Northampton School: 51
We opened the quad meet by facing off against one of our Class A rivals, Williston Northampton School. This has been a back and forth battle for the past five years, but their team has picked up in strength in the past few seasons. We started at the 145lb weight class and quickly fell behind in points due to several forfeits and quick pins. Some standouts in this match up were Brian O’Dea ’13 who opened his season with a strong pin against his opponent in the 160lb weight class, Chris Kerdavid ’16 who earned his first pin ever in the 114lb class, and team captain Marcos Mercado ’14 who dazzled the crowd with some fancy moves and dominated over his 132lb opponent. Also of note was Alex Britz-Cunningham ’15 who showed some real promise as a wrestler this season if he can increase his conditioning. He lost a close match after gassing in the third period. Although a decisive loss, Hyde looked forward to the next two matches to come.
Suffield Academy: 66
Our second match of the day was against Suffield Academy. Their team has been a force in the WNEISWA league, winning the championship back in 2011. With some solid wrestlers in their line-up, they dominated the quad for the day. Again, the forfeits and quick pins put our team in a major deficit, yet some stand outs helped keep the morale high. Team captain, Marcos Mercado ’14 earned his second pin on the day and dominated over his opponent. His power on the mat was remarkable and earned acclaim from both teams. Zack Galin ’15 impressed us all by earning his first pin of the season. Zack joined our community on Wednesday with no experience, yet proved to be an up-and-comer in the sport. We will need to keep our eyes on this young man. With one final match left on the day, we needed to prepare ourselves to try harder in the next competition.
Hopkins School: 42
Our last match of the day was against Hopkins School, and we came with everything we had. Hopkins has lost to Hyde for the past few years, yet our obstacle was the lack of wrestlers we had for the day. Even with this obstacle, several wrestlers earned points for the Wolf Pack to make this match up a lot closer than the other two. Marcos Mercado ’14 earned a “hat trick” for the day with a quick pin against his opponent at the 132lb weight class. Dylan Marx ’15 had a hard fought victory at the 145lb weight class, and he took one for the team by wrestling up a weight class to fill in for a missing teammate. Brian O’Dea ’13 earned a second pin for the day, quickly dispatching of his opponent, and Zack Galin ’15 earned his second pin as well. When the dust settled, we lost by 12 points. If we were to take away the forfeits, the scores between the teams would have been 24-24. Hopefully we can begin to find our stride as a team in the coming weeks, as well as filling out our rosters.
As a final note, we brought a handful of JV wrestlers with us for exhibition matches. Sam Bell ’15, Andrew Wang ‘15 and Vaughan Blehl ’16 all won at least one of their matches and showed some promise as future Varsity wrestlers. Also, Leo Cao ’14 and Ethan Goldberg ’15 worked hard in all their exhibitions, but fell to stronger opponents.
We have a long season ahead of us, and many times the early matches are not a great indicator of the season to come. In terms of spirit, dedication, effort and enthusiasm, Hyde has a top-notch team this season. As we grow through practice, time and effort, we will begin to shine on the mats. I appreciate all the support of our fans and looks forward to seeing you all at our events.