On Saturday the 19th, the Phoenix Varsity Wrestlers made the trip to Northfield, MA for the 2013 NMH Duals. This dual meet event brought together the top prep schools in New England as well as The Kiski School and #3 in the nation Wyoming Seminary from Pennsylvania.
The Phoenix faced a stout test of attitude on Saturday. Our pool consisted of Wyoming Seminary followed by Kiski before facing Class A League opponents Loomis Chaffee, Phillips Exeter, and the host Hoggers of NMH in the nightcap.
The box scores tell one side of the story:
Hyde 3 Wyoming Seminary 68
Hyde 36 The Kiski School 36
Hyde 18 Loomis Chaffee 64
Hyde 30 Phillips Exeter 48
Hyde 6 Northfield – Mount Hermon 75
The other side of the story is that against some of the toughest and most experienced competition we will face this season, the Phoenix showed up to wrestle. I am proud to say that no one on the team backed down and no one conceded a single point. While we did forfeit several weight classes after a week where Hyde was hit hard by illness, the Boys from Bath battled in every match of the day, and the attitudes were inspiring and will serve as a springboard for us as we head into tournament season.
The team highlight was without doubt battling the Kiski School of Pittsburg, PA (a top ten place finisher at last year’s National Prep tournament) to a draw! Absolutely clutch performances were turned in by senior captain Billy Martinez (132), and junior 195 Jack Howarth who both earned huge pins. The absolute standout match was wrestled by senior 220 Will Davis who battled back from an early deficit to earn an enormous pin in the final seconds of his bout!
In the day’s first match, senior captain Steven Dwight (285) squared off against Wyoming Seminary’s Michael Johnson (ranked #7 in the nation). Steven was outstanding – combining power, quickness, and strategy. He nearly got past his opponent’s defenses several times, though he couldn’t finish his takedowns in this rematch of December’s Caruso Invitational final. When the dust settled, the score stood in his opponent’s favor at 5-0. This match clearly illustrated that wrestling can sometimes be a sport of inches and minute details. That’s just how close Steven came. We are all looking forward to Nationals! Steven rebounded well from this defeat, going 4 -1 on the day. In his final match of the day, he pinned the defending New England Prep Champ in :39 seconds.
Junior 138 Darvin Anderson wrestled an incredible match against his Wyoming Seminary opponent and gutted out a very impressive 3-1 win over a very tough opponent, earning victory with a last second takedown! He set the tone for the team with 4 dominating wins on the day against his lone loss to the #1 ranked wrestler in New England.
The “Man of the Match” for Saturday has to go to senior 160 Cody Baker who brought a really inspiring attitude to the meet. Losing the battle to illness all day, he continually fought through the sickness to deliver an indomitable spirit and 2 HUGE WINS, each coming at times when the team needed the emotional boost the most. The other Phoenix really deserving of special recognition is junior 170 Charles Chen who may lack the skill of some of his competitors, but will never be outworked on the mat and brings drive, heart and toughness every time he competes!
We now set our sights on our final weekend of dual meet competition this season (Saturday, 2pm at Worcester Academy) and the Northern New England Invitational at Hyde- CT the week after. I couldn’t be more proud of this team for the effort and attitude they brought to the battle on Saturday. These gentlemen have much to feel good about and much more to work towards in the coming weeks!
Dreaming Big, Working Hard!