Cavaliers capture D-II wrestling title
Friday, February 22, 2013
HOLLIS – Brian Bumpus couldn’t help but keep track of the score during the medal rounds of Saturday’s Division II wrestling championship.
This time, the Hollis Brookline High School coach really didn’t need to.
A year ago, the Cavaliers went down to the wire with Milford, and beat the Spartans by just two points to take the division crown. This season, HB led second-place Bedford by 261⁄2 points going into the medal rounds, and with six wrestlers winning titles, the Cavs cruised to their second-straight Division II championship.
Zach McPherson (132 pounds), Nate Ashe (195), Jonathan Lopez (106), Caleb Lomme (145), Zach Jennings (152) and Hisham Hafez (285) all won their respective weight class as the Cavs finished with 223 points.
Bedford took second with 1721⁄2 points while Milford was third with 169. Goffstown, which had three individual champions, finished fourth with 150 and Merrimack came in fifth with 123. Alvirne was seventh with 891⁄2.
While the win was less dramatic than a year ago, it wasn’t any less satisfying for the Cavs.
“We’ve been talking to the seniors for four years now of building a tradition and everything they do is geared toward winning,” Bumpus said. “Since the first day of the season, we talk about winning Division II. This year, we sat down during the summer and I asked the guys, what do we want to accomplish this year, and every single one said we want to win Division II. It’s a true testament to our guys.”
After having their final meet of the regular season cancelled due to last weekend’s blizzard, HB was anxious to get on the mats after a 10-day layoff. The Cavs showed that emotion at the end of their matches.
Ashe nearly threw Bumpus across the gym in celebration after winning his match, while Jennings gave the coaches a bear hug. Lomme’s family ran across the mat to give the freshman a hug after his victory.
“I think that was the most excited I’ve ever seen Nate Ashe after a win,” Bumpus said. “There was a lot of anticipation building up to (Saturday). Not wrestling last weekend prolonged it.”
Milford’s Joe Albina won his second straight Division II title after moving up to 182 for his senior year. Albina pinned Winnacunnet’s Colin Currier in 59 seconds, the shortest match of the final.
Afterward, Albina admitted to being a bit nervous heading into the final, but Milford coach Dana Bourassa believes that just shows what kind of wrestler Albina is.
“That’s the sign of a good wrestler, to be nervous going into a match,” Bourassa said. “You should have a few butterflies going into a match, and when the whistle blows, it all goes away and that’s how Joe Albina is. He respects every opponent until he beats him and then he moves on.”
Albina will move on to the Meet of Champions, along with all of the top five wrestlers in each weight class. HB will take 11 to the MOCs on Feb. 23 at Pinkerton, while Milford has 10 and Merrimack nine.
The Tomahawks got a first-place performance from senior Zack Pickard, as he defeated Manchester West’s Michael Garcia 5-0 in the 220 final. Merrimack’s only other finalist, Kurt Beeten, fell in the 106 title bout.
The Spartans had two other wrestlers in the finals, as Scott Danewicz (170) and Devin Dolliver (132) both finished second. Also taking second place was Alvirne’s Patrick Morse at 160.
The Cavs also got two third places from Hunter Longland (220) and Austin Bumpus (182), who battled Merrimack’s Joe Rodriguez through three scoreless periods and almost two minutes of overtime before winning 1-0.
“Those kids who wrestled back, those are the kids who win the championship,” said Brian Bumpus, who was named Division II Coach of the Year. “It’s great to have the individuals as champs, but you don’t get a team championship without those guys wrestling back and hopefully place high. We had five wrestling for third and fourth and that’s huge team-wise.”
HB also got three fourth places from Ryan Alquist (126), Wyatt Farwell (138) and Andrew Butler (160) while Kayne Robert (170) took sixth.
All of Milford’s wrestlers going for third place were successful, as the Spartans got wins in the third-place matches from Michael Pellitteri (120), Joe Pellitteri (152), Connor Borne (160) and Stephen Dumais (285). Travis Hughes (220), Dominic Nguyen (113) and Rueben Carson (126) all placed fifth for Milford and Jacob Girouard (106) came in sixth.