On Wednesday, December 11th , Hyde-Woodstock hosted a tri-meet against Northfield Mount Hermon School and Worcester Academy. We had added a few more to our line-up for this match and hoped that this would tip the balance in our favor. Although our squad is made up of several rookies and second year grapplers, we embodied grit and toughness in this tri-meet which allowed for us to earn our first win of the season.
Northfield Mount Hermon: 43
We faced off first against Northfield, one of the tougher schools in past years. NMH has been top of the Class A’s and New England’s for several seasons, but this year they have thinned out a bit. Hoping to capitalize on this, the Wolfpack came out strong but found that they were still relatively tough even with the new squad and coach they had this year. The only wins against Northfield came from Orestes Nicopoulos ’17 and Felipe Azevedo ’14 who both wrestled tough to win by decisions against their opponents. It is always great to see rookies go the entire six minutes against their opponent, especially since this is a skill that usually comes with a few years experience. Some tough loses came from our team captain, Marcos Mercado ’14, and Dawit Kiflemariam ’15. Marcos wrestled his rival from last year. Both young men had fallen in the round of 16 at National’s and had seen each other all throughout last winter, and even in the summer at Cornell’s wrestling camp. Marcos has bested him only once in four attempts, and it was tough to see him lose in a 11-3 decision. Dawit brought his match all the way into overtime, but couldn’t get the first takedown to ensure a victory. Both of these matches reminded the team that conditioning is essential to make it into the final period.
Our second match of the day was against Worcester Academy. We have not beaten Worcester for a few years due to their coaches smart choices as to where he puts his wrestlers in the line-up. Always a close match up, we hoped to change that trend this year. Unfortunately, Worcester’s line-up was thin and they had to forfeit a total of 5 weight classes which made this a lopsided event. With forfeits aside, Hyde won five out of the seven matches. Quick pins from McCallum Landt ’15, Marcos Mercado ’14, Vaughan Blehl ’16, Dawit Kiflemariam ’15 and Dylan Marx ’14 sealed Worcester’s fate. Also of note was Felipe Azevedo’s ’14match against his opponent who will likely place in the top-3 in the league. Felipe fought the entire six minutes and only gave up a major decision (11-2) rather than getting put on his back. With time and training, Felipe can really be a force to be reckoned with this season. It’s a shame he didn’t join wrestling a few years back when he first joined Hyde.
With our first win of the season behind us, the Wolfpack grapplers look forward to yet another home match this Saturday against Canterbury and Suffield. We hope that we will improve our score against Suffield seeing as we just saw them last Saturday. The plan for the week is conditioning, conditioning, conditioning… beginning today with a team run. Wish us luck and swing by the wrestling room on Saturday if you can.
Coach Jenkins and Assistant Coach Labeef