HB sets sights on repeat as new season begins

The Hollis Brookline High School wrestling team is coming off its third Division II title in four years, but coach Brian Bumpus said the bar this season has been set even higher.

The Cavaliers return 10 starters from last year, seven of which are seniors, but the graduation of place-finishers Thomas Hoey, Lucas Cummings and 160-pound state champion Andrew Butler puts more pressure on the returning players to defend their title.

HB brought back plenty of talent this season, most notably individual champions Kayne Robert (195 pounds) and Caleb Lomme (182). Other returners, such seniors Wyatt Farwell (160), Garrett Klausner (120/126) and Christian Lopez (170), are aiming for higher individual finishes, making it easier to put the championship in the past.

"There are a good handful of our guys that did a lot of offseason work," Bumpus said. "There was some unfinished business left on the table for some of our guys that they’re hoping to capitalize on and hopefully clean up at the end of this season."

Windham and Winnacunnet, which finished second and third, respectively, last winter, expect to be HB’s biggest threat at the top once again. Then there’s Milford, an annual contender that finished fourth in the state tournament.

Spartans coach Dana Bourassa expressed uncertainty about exactly who would be on his roster this season. The graduation of senior Travis Hughes, who won the D-II title at 285 pounds last season, certainly left a void in its roster to be filled. But Milford does return 145-pound state champion senior Michael Pellitteri and figuresto finish in the top half of Division II again this season.

Bishop Guertin returns six starters this season, but they’re all sophomores and juniors, leaving 18th-year coach Paul Rousseau with an inexperienced team. Leading the Cardinals will be junior Jacob Blue, who took first at 113 pounds in the Division II state tournament. Sophomores Hunter McLaughlin (152) and Sam Colantuoni (285) also placed last season and will look to grow as second-year wrestlers this season.

Hollis-Brookline

Coach: Brian Bumpus, seventh year

Last year: 13-5 overall, first in Division II

Returning starters: Cameron Dreyer, soph., 106; Savannah Eliza, soph., 113/120; Garrett Klausner, sr., 120/126; Nathaniel Lindsay, sr., 138/145; Nick McPherson, sr., 138/145; Wyatt Farwell, sr., 160; Christian Lopez, sr., 170; Caleb Lomme, sr., 182; Kayne Robert, sr., 195; Clement Sherwood, soph., 220

Returning letterwinners: Sam St. Pierre, jr., 152

Coach’s comments: "We lost some bodies from last year so a lot depends on the younger guys stepping up and filling holes and the older guys staying motivated and focused on the postseason this year as opposed to living off of last year," Bumpus said.