On Tuesday and Wednesday, Norton wrestlers made a remarkable bid to win the prestigious Marshfield Holiday Tournament but finished a close second in the 32-team field against some of the best teams in the state. The Lancers scored 220.5 points, just 10 behind N. Andover's 230.5 and well ahead of N. Attleboro in third place with 168.
The run for the title was marked by a balanced team effort. Norton entered 13 wrestlers and nine placed in the top eight with every wrestler on the team winning matches to contribute to the team's point total.
The Lancers lived up to their state #1 ranking in division 3 placing ahead of all division 2 and 3 teams and behind only division 1 power N. Andover. Senior co-captain Scott Coleman was Norton's only champion keeping his undefeated streak alive with a 9-1 major decision in the 145 lb. finals. This was Coleman's third trip to the Marshfield Tournament finals and his second straight title. Senior co-captain John Royle pinned his first three opponents to reach the finals at 138 lbs. but lost there by pin and had to settle for second place. Junior Steve Hudson also pinned his way to the finals at 285 lbs. but lost by a pin, finishing second as well. Senior co-captain Brett Gallagher took a tough loss in the semi-finals at 120 lbs. but came back to earn third place honors. Senior Cam Hale improved his record to 13-1 en route to a third place finish at 132 lbs., his only loss coming by a score of 9-8 and later avenged that loss with a 12-2 decision over the same opponent. Senior John Norton took fifth and so did junior Jack Cuneo at 126 and 170 lbs., respectively. Senior James Cuneo pinned five opponents but three losses caused him to wind up sixth at 152 lbs. Senior Matt Pelletier battled hard and went 3-2 to place seventh. Sophomores Ahrayah Saintius (113) and Mike Travers (160) went 2-2 but did not place. Freshmen Elliott Johnson (1-2 at 182) and Alek Donovan (3-2 at 220) also did not place, but wrestled tough.
The inspired performance of the whole team earned the Lancers much respect from coaches, wrestlers, and fans alike.
Not to be outdone, the Norton JVs made their mark in Marshfield too, winning five gold medals in the tournament Thursday. Jared Marvel, JT Taylor, Branden Pike, Stefen Winfield, and Tony Giglio all finished first in their eight-man brackets while Brett Pike finished second, Myles McAlpine third, Grant Monast fourth, Nick Cardone seventh and Jared Shute eighth. The team won 23 matches on the day and lost only 10.
The varsity and JV wrestlers head to Middleborough on Saturday to compete in the 12-team Rod Berry Invitational Tournament.
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