Heald wins MOC title
NASHUA – Bedford’s Bobby Heald proved himself as the best heavyweight in the state by claiming the top spot on the podium Saturday at the NHIAA Meet of Champions at Nashua North.
Heald, the Division I champion, entered as the top seed and lived up to the billing, pinning his way to the championship before earning a hard-fought 2-1 victory in overtime over Division II champion Patrick Hume, of Windham.
Heald beat Adam Hayward of Campbell in the quarterfinals and dropped third-place finisher Deene Hill, of Pinkerton, in the semifinals.
Adam Pagliarulo also placed for Bedford, finishing fourth at 120 pounds.
Wayne Nolette learned from his mistakes and emerged a state champion.
The Nashua North wrestler notched a go-ahead takedown with 50 seconds left and prevailed with a 3-2 victory over Goffstown’s Connor Bourque – avenging a prior defeat – in the 145-pound final.
He was one of three Greater Nashua grapplers to claim a title, joining Campbell’s Marc Boomhower (152 pounds) and the Alvirne’s Nicholas Millinazzo (126).
Nolette was determined to keep his composure and avoid a repeat of their previous meeting.
"Last time I wrestled him, I was just out there going wild, trying to get the takedown and he beat me on points," said Nolette. "I was definitely keeping my cool in the match and watching for what he was doing.
"It feels great," he added. "Next year, I hope to win another one."
Boomhower faced an uphill battle to the championship, but navigated his way past the top three seeds at 152 to earn the title. He faced Concord’s Chris Munnell in the final and was locked in 2-2 battle in the third period before a takedown with 1:03 to go gave Boomhower the lead. Munnell managed an escape and nearly completed a takedown as the final seconds ticked off the clock, but Boomhower held on for the win.
Boomhower was named Most Outstanding Wrestler.
"It was a lot of hard work. At the beginning of the season, I lost to all the guys here today," said Boomhower. "When they beat me earlier in the season, I knew I just needed to get back up and keep going. It took a lot for me to get here and wrestle the way I did today."
At 126 pounds, Nicholas Millinazzo pinned Concord’s Connor Stadnicki at 3:06 to earn a championship for the Broncos.
"Nick Millinazzo is just leading this team by example. He is doing everything right, on and off the mat; in school, at home, the kid’s an angel on the streets and and angel at home," said Alvirne coach John Mirabella. "Plus, he wins, and everyone on the team sees that. Everyone one the team aspires to try to replicate what he’s doing."
Cam McClure, Alvirne’s 119-pounder, nearly gave the Broncos a second title, but he fell 3-0 in the final to Keene’s Tristan Stetson.
"Cam is the technician of the group," said Mirabella. "Nobody on the team has put in more hours than he has."
In the 182-pound final, Merrimack’s Mitchell McMahon gave defending champion George Warwo, of Concord, everything he could handle, but McMahon suffered a 3-2 loss.
"He’s had an incredible year," said Merrimack coach Tim McMahon. "He came here last year and didn’t place. … He’s been the heart of the team. He’s a kid who has pushed it, always has the intensity, is non-stop at all times."
Hollis Brookline sent two wrestlers to their respective championships, but were denied a title.
Kayne Robert was defeated 11-3 by defending New England champion Dylan Barreiro of Pinkerton Academy. Nathaniel Lindsay reached the 138-pound finals, but was pinned in the first period by Salem’s Tristan Cabinta.
"The program is finally comfortable with competing at the Meet of Champs," said HB coach Brian Bumpus. "Last year, we had one kid in the finals, and that felt good for us. It was motivating for the kids to see that their teammates could make it happen. For this year, to have two kids in the finals, it’s great."
The top-three wrestlers from each weight class advanced to the New England Championships.
Hollis Brookline received two more invites when Caleb Lomme and Clement Sherwood won their third-place matches at 182 and 195 pounds, respectively.
Nashua North’s David Muite, Hollis Brookline’s Wyatt Farwell and Milford’s Jake Ricca settled for fourth-place finishes.
Milford’s Mike Pellitteri, Alvirne’s Da’Shaun Morin, Campbell’s Dillon Cloonan and Tyler McCrady all took fifth place, while Bishop Guertin’s Jacob Bue finished sixth.
The New England Championships will take place Friday and Saturday in Providence, R.I.