The Hyde-Woodstock varsity wrestlers traveled to Deerfield Academy on Saturday, January 12th, to face off against Hyde-ME, Philips Academy, and the host school. We have had some tough practices leading up to this meet which included partnering up with Woodstock Academy, as well as a Cross-Fit conditioning day with Hyde Alum Chris Dik. It was obvious that the sweat and pain of the weeks practice prepared our young men for the day as they squared up first against their sister school, Hyde-Bath.
We were nervous going into our first match since the Phoenix had bested us at home with a 65-18 win, but that did not make our grapplers think themselves beat at the onset. In fact, several of Bath’s varsity guys had unfortunately succumbed to sickness and injury. This is the tough thing about the sport, but this also gave us the advantage in the match. The grit and determination of the Wolfpack was inspiring, and cheering from both sidelines rose to a deafening level during the heated contest. Starting at the 106lb weight class, we found ourselves at a 12pt deficit by the 126lb class, but an amazing pin by Scott Leonard ’14 turned the momentum around in our favor. Scott was a new edition to the line-up, asked last minute to come help us fill a weight class. His win was pivotal, along with others, in beating our sister school. Team captain, Marcos Mercado ’14 easily pinned his opponent, and was followed with a great pin by Dylan Marx ’15 to bring Hyde-Woodstock in the lead with the team score at 18-12. After losing the 152lb match, Brian O’Dea ’13 stepped up to earn another pivotal win against a tough opponent. This win was not foreseen, and tipped the scales a little more in our direction. The score was now set at 24-18. Andrew Wang ’15 followed Brian with a pin of his own, separating our teams by 12pts. With three matches left, we only needed to win one to win the match. With three of our newer wrestlers in these weight classes, matched against two of Bath’s seasoned wrestlers, the match turned into a nail biter. After Doug Main ’15 had fallen to his opponent by pin, and Jon White ’15 was slated to wrestle Bath’s top wrestler, the final chance to beat the Phoenix was heaped on the back ofStephen Southwell ’15. I was unsure about this match, and knew the athleticism of his opponent, former Woodstock student Will Davis ’13. Stephen wrestled tough and forced Will to commit three locking hands violations, so I put my hope in the possible DQ, but Stephen shocked us all when he rolled out of a cradle and pinned Will Davis to give the Wolfpack a six point advantage for the win. Southwell was truly the hero of the match and the team rallied around him. With a huge win against Bath, we geared up in preparation for our match against the very tough Andover squad.
Philips Academy: 57
Although we had the momentum going into the next match against Andover, we lacked the experience to earn us more wins. Andover forfeited to our two stronger wrestlers, Marcos Mercado ’14 and Brian O’Dea ’13, thus not allowing us the wins by pin in their weight classes. One wrestler after another fell to pins, but a few matches stood out. Dylan Marx ’15 wrestled like a man possessed. He looked like a kid who had wrestled for years, and hit some solid moves. He wrestled a tough match at the 138lb weight class and lost by only a point in the end, almost earning a takedown as the final buzzer rang out. If he keeps this up, he will be a point earner in the coming tournaments. Dawit Kiflemariam ’15 was our only true win of the day, and it was nice having him with us since he sat out for the start of the season due to a shoulder injury. He worked hard and listened to the sideline advice to earn his first pin and win of the season. Although thoroughly beaten by the Andover squad, we set our sights on Deerfield, a team we knew we could best.
Deerfield Academy: 30
After seeing Hyde-Bath lose to Deerfield 36-39, we knew we were in for a close match. Unfortunately, Deerfield had to forfeit the 182 through 285lb weight classes, ensuring us a point swing in our direction. We also took two forfeits, so this gave us a free 6pts to bank on. Several wrestlers stepped up yet again though, and this turned the momentum in our favor. Scott Leonard ’14 earned another pin on the day, earning him a 2-1 record. Marcos Mercado ’14 earned an easy pin against his opponent, allowing him to go 3-0 (with one forfeit) for the day. Dylan Marx ’15 stepped up yet again and wrestled a great match, earning a solid pin. He went 2-1 for the day as well. Brian O’Dea earned a 30-second pin bringing his record for the day to 3-0 (with one forfeit). Andrew Wang ’15 earned a solid pin to go 2-1 for the day as well. An impressive pin came from Paul Randall ’15, who has struggled to earn many wins this season. He came out like a fireball against his opponent and pinned him in an astounding 19 seconds! With 6 pins and 3 forfeits in our favor, we ended the day with our second team win.
On the ride back, AD Sean Saucier noted that this could be a springboard match for us. I hope he is right and that we have seen our best this weekend and will now be more motivated and determined in the matches to come. We rallied around the victory bell upon our return and the sense of pride was palpable. We look forward to the coming weeks with a new resolve, and stick by our team motto: “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop!” Wish us luck on Wednesday, as we face off against Marianapolis and Brooks. We also have a big tournament this weekend, the Brunswick Invitational.
Thanks for your support,