Cavaliers reign above all at Division II State Meet

GOFFSTOWN – Okay, so perhaps the Hollis Brookline wrestling squad wasn’t seen as the absolute favorite to win the Division II state championship at Goffstown High School on Saturday. But coach Brian Bumpus’ Cavaliers were expected to be right at the center of the hunt for the crown.

And when it came down to the proverbial bottom line, Bumpus’ bunch had everything going for it in the way of motivation, effort and intestinal fortitude – along with a modicum of luck – in bagging the program’s first state title since 2015.

Windham, which moved up to Division I this winter, won the D-II crown each of the last three years.

The new divisional champs tallied a team score of 206 to comfortably outdistance the injury-addled Bishop Guertin Cardinals (187) and the 10 other competing teams at the D-II championships.

Merrimack finished third (176), host Goffstown took fourth (165), Milford placed fifth (129), Portsmouth claimed sixth place (74), and Souhegan wound up just a single point out of the sixth position.

“BG unfortunately had a few kids who had to drop out, which helped us. But we came in expecting to be able to compete for the championship, and we performed great,” said Bumpus.

The Cavaliers grasped decent, double-digit leads through much of the title match, with their advantage standing at a fair 178-167 over the Cardinals going into the bouts which would decide who the medalists -the top six finishers – would be. Merrimack was a ways back with a score of 145, with Goffstown a close fourth with a 143.

But rolling into the finals, the Hollis-Brookline lead was down to seven points (182-175) with both the Cavaliers and Cards boasting seven grapplers who would be going for crowns.

However, five of its seven Cavalier finalists claimed titles while Guertin managed just two. Merrimack had three.

All 14 Cavs placed with Troy Moscatelli (120 pounds), Dan DeLong (126), Scott Anneser (160), Zack Brickner (182), and Owen MacMillan (220) finishing at the top of the heap of their respective weight classes. The top five finishers in each weight class advance to the state Meet of Champions at Nashua South this coming Saturday.

“I’m happy for the kids who took firsts, but the kids who took seconds and thirds and others were all big contributors too,” said Cavs’ coach Bumpus. “Wrestling is a team sport, and that’s the way we look at it and talk about it as a team.”

Colin McGarry (second at 113 pounds), Teddy Moscatelli (second at 138), Seth Ponders (fourth at 106), Tyler St. Pierre (fourth at 170 pounds), Sam Koch (fifth at 195), Robinson McAdams (sixth at 132), Hunter Hudzik (sixth place at 145), Robbie Dwyer (sixth at 152) and Andrew Wink (sixth in the 285-pound division) piled up the HB points.

The runner-up Guertin contingent, which stepped into championship Saturday with some ailing athletes, had Zach Rioux and Dan Franco claim titles at 138 and 170 pounds respectively. Steven Bouchard (132 pounds), Matt Frechette (145), James Murphy (152), Andrew Ha (182), and Nick Connerty (285) all had to find a way to be satisfied with second place.

Other top-six efforts for BG were delivered by Aiden Szewczyk (third in the 220 class), Matt Ha (fourth in the 160 division), Liam Chapman (fifth at 106), Calvin Jozokos (fifth at 120), and Rich Ronzo (sixth at 195 pounds).