The Norton High wrestlers simply ran out of steam and luck at the All-State Tournament in Salem this weekend. Fatigue, injuries and illness all caught up to the Lancers, and although they made a strong bid, the level of competition was unforgiving.
Scott Coleman, D-3 State champion at 145 pounds got the wind knocked out of him in his first match and, with his lungs still compromised by a recent case of pneumonia, had an asthma attack and couldn't recover within the 1 and 1/2 minutes of injury time allotted and had to default. He came back to win 9-3 in consolation over a D-1 state runnerup, but gassed in his next match and lost 4-3 to the wrestler he beat two weeks ago in the D-3 state semi-finals.
Jack Cuneo, who was sixth in D-3 States at 170 pounds, also lost his first match, came back to win by pin in consolation but lost his next match and was eliminated. Both Cam Hale (third in D-3 States at 132) and Steve Hudson (third in State at 220), competed with nagging shoulder sprains and went 0-2. John Royle who was second in D-3 States was the last man standing for Norton as he went 2-2 and finished in the top eight in the tournament, but did not qualify for the New Englands. He advanced to the quarterfinals with a first round win, but lost to the eventual All-State runnerup by a close decision. Despite getting slammed and straining his neck in his first match, he defeated the D-3 North Sectional champ in consolation before losing 4-2 to the eventual third place finisher from Franklin.
So that concludes the record-setting season for the Lancers who were 26-1 overall and Division 3 State Champions. Norton won the Tri-Valley League title for the fourth time in five years and were champions of the D-3 Central Sectionals for the first time ever. The team finished first out of 13 teams at the Middleborough Tournament, second out of 32 teams at the Marshfield Tournament and third out of 16 teams at the Woburn Tournament.
The varsity team wasn’t the only wrestling team with success. The Lancer JVs, coached by Chris McCarthy, went 15-0.
At a ceremony just prior to the All-State finals, Coach Pete Holmes was honored as Assistant Coach of the Year for his seven years of outstanding work as volunteer coach for Norton High. This will be his last season with the Lancers but his footprint will be forever entrenched in Norton High wrestling. Volunteer coach Brian Gallagher was also honored as an inductee into the Mass. Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as coach of Foxborough where his teams won five state championships. Coach Pat Coleman received a plaque as a new member of the Wins Club for 115 victories in six varsity seasons at Norton High School.
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