Cavaliers look to defend D-II crown
Friday, February 15, 2013
Brian Bumpus likes where his Hollis Brookline High School wrestling team will be for Saturday’s Division II championship meet.
As to how the defending division champions will finish, that’s a different story.
The Cavaliers will be hosting this year’s division meet for the first time, which means no pre-dawn wakeup calls or long bus rides, and hopefully, a little more comfort.
But even though the Cavs were the division dual meet champions
(9-0), Bumpus knows there are challengers who could easily knock HB off the throne.
“We’ve seen Bedford in two tournaments this year, and they beat us in both,” he said. “Milford has a few returning placers. Merrimack has a shot at putting something together. Goffstown lost a lot of big horse, but they have some tough kids.”
For Milford coach Dana Bourassa, whose team finished second to HB by two points a year ago, the winner of the meet will come down to a simple factor.
“Whoever has a good day is going to win,” he said. “There’s a lot of parity. The big thing is everybody has some kids. Even if (a team) comes with two kids, they might take 40 points, who do they take it away from.”
The Cavs enter the meet with the most wrestlers seed No. 1 in their respective weight classes. That includes Nate Ashe, who is the top seed at 195 pounds this year after winning at 182 in 2012.
HB also returns six other wrestlers who placed in last year’s meet, including top seeds Jonathan Lopez (106), Zach McPherson (132) and Zach Jennings (152). Caleb Lomme (145) is also a No. 1 for the Cavs.
Other wrestlers seeded in the top three include Austin Bumpus (182, third) and Hunter Longland (220, second). Both Bumpus and Longland placed in last year’s championship meet.
“We’re healthy, knock on wood,” Brian Bumpus said. “We’re monitoring the injuries we do have. The most important thing is to be set and ready to go. Last year, we lost a kid three days before the tournament. We’re not going crazy this week.”
The Cavs will also have the advantage of wrestling on their home mats.
“One thing it does for us is we don’t have to get on a bus early Saturday morning,” Bumpus said. “They’re comfortable wrestling in their home gym and they’re not going to get here at the crack of dawn.”
Saturday’s meet is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and will feature HB, Milford, Bedford, Merrimack, Alvirne, Winnacunnet, Con-Val, Spaulding, Goffstown and Manchester West.