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Guertin wins wrestling crown

GOFFSTOWN – On paper, Bishop Guertin was the clear winner of Saturday’s NHIAA Division II Wrestling Championships. To paraphrase the old saying though, wrestling meets don’t take place on paper, they take place on gym mats.

The Cardinals took the overall team title with 255 points on the day, 56 points better than second-place Merrimack and and 86 points better than third-place Hollis Brookline.

However, Bishop Guertin and Merrimack combined for 10 of the 14 individual state titles on the day, with Nick Connerty’s decision in the heavyweight final for Bishop Guertin over Merrimack’s Eric Griffin preventing both schools from leaving with five state champions apiece.

Bishop Guertin head coach Paul Rousseau had praise for his squad and praise for Merrimack as well, stating that the Tomahawks would have been much closer to Bishop Guertin’s overall final tally if not for an experience gap between the two squads at some of the lighter weight classes.

“I’m very proud of my boys, they worked hard the whole year,” he said. “(Merrimack) worked hard too and they were well coached.”

The list of individual state championships for Cardinals wrestlers included Connerty, Andrew Ha (170 pounds), Anthony Fernandez (106 pounds), Connor MacDonald (126 pounds, Steve Bouchard (132 pounds) and Zach Rioux (145 pounds)

Other individual champions on Saturday included Troy Moscatelli from Hollis Brookline (120 pounds), Souhegan’s Victor Ceballos (138 pounds) and Hollis Brookline’s Henry Burns (182 pounds).

Ceballos was also awarded the outstanding wrestler award. This award is only handed out to one wrestler per tournament and is voted on by each attending teams head coach.

Rioux’s win over Hollis Brookline’s Teddy Moscatelli marked his third-straight state

championship.

That capped off a day that saw his 100th career victory.

If not for a high ankle sprain suffered early in the season, Rousseau believes that Rioux’s 100th victory likely would have come several weeks ago.

“You couldn’t ask for a better kid or a harder worker or a better student. He’s an all-around kid,” Rousseau said on Rioux. “Couldn’t be happier for a nicer kid.”

The two squads met in the finals at 106, 152, 170 and 220 pounds in addition to the heavyweight scrap between Griffin and Connerty. Anson Dewar (152 pounds) and Griffin Ostrom (220 pounds emerged victorious in those bouts, with Adam Presa pinning Jacob Perron of Souhegan for the title at 160 pounds and Evan Torres taking down Levon McCann of Winnacunnet for the title at 113 pounds.

“I think we had a good weekend, we put seven in the finals and had four champs,” said Merrimack coach Bryan Dunn. “I think BG is a tough team, but I’m really happy with our effort.”

Both teams will have significant presences next week at the New Hampshire Meet of Champions in Nashua, but Rousseau says that Saturday in Goffstown was the ultimate focus of this season and anything beyond last Saturday is

extra.

“Moving up to Division I with the Concords and Pinkertons and Timberlanes, it’s a different animal,” he said.

“We’ll do the best we can. Whatever happens, happens. We won’t win it because we’re not at that caliber yet, but we’ll make some noise.”

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