EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

February 7, 2014

Going for 'all the marbles'

After beating cancer, Andover's Jackson Quinn saves the day for Brooks wrestling

(Continued)

Which brings us to Saturday.

“We all knew before the match that it was probably going to come down to last match,” Richard Quinn said. “I told my wife, Julie, the only thing we don’t want to happen is have Jackson’s match as the last match.”

When the pre-match lot was drawn to select the first match on Saturday, the 116-pound weight class was chosen. That meant, as he had dreaded, that his son’s match would be last, probably for “all the marbles.”

But, his son had some confidence in himself.

“I hadn’t wrestled the kid before but I figured I had a pretty good chance against him,” Quinn said. “I honestly did.”

For about the first 90 seconds of the match, Quinn and his Belmont Hill competitor fought to a stalemate. For most of those 90 seconds, he held on to his opponent’s right leg. With the Belmont Hill wrestler appearing to have Quinn set up for a “cradle,” Quinn broke away and put the Belmont Hill kid on his back.

“I was not going to let go of his leg,” he said. “I just wasn’t going to let go. I think that helped when I eventually was able to turn him on his back.”

The crowd went into a frenzy as Quinn slowly attempted to get both of his opponents shoulders on the mat. It took about 30 seconds before the referee slammed the mat for the pin and Brooks’ victory.

“I’ve been involved in a lot of big wins here and that might be the biggest,” said Brooks long-time wrestling coach Alex Konovalchik, whose sons Andrew and Nick are two of the school’s top wrestlers. “We’ve had some tough, tough losses against Belmont Hill. We hadn’t beaten them in 10 years. And then this, with Jackson pulling it off. It’s been a few days and I still get chills talking about it.”

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