The New England Tournament didn’t turn out anything like Paul Sughrue wanted or expected.
After banging up his knee while winning the 132-pound division at All-State, Sughrue lost two matches and was eliminated at New England. It was a far cry from his runner-up performance at New England as a junior.
“It was disappointing,” said Sughrue. “My knee was pretty messed up after All-State. I tried to rest it but that didn’t help. I couldn’t put any pressure on it and I couldn’t shoot (for takedowns).”
Unfortunately, Sughrue won’t have a second chance to end his season on a high note. He was planning on heading to the National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) nationals in Virginia Beach next week with a definite goal in mind, to place and be an All-American, but the cost of the trip became prohibitive.
“It’s disappointing because I was feeling good, and I was training for it (nationals) at the Barn, but there’s nothing I can do about it,” he said.
Sughrue was willing to entertain offers from colleges if he had done well at nationals but he’s more than content to wrestle at Bridgewater State, where he’ll probably wind up. Older brothers John and Kevin attended Bridgewater State but neither wrestled there.
NHSCA action at Virginia Beech runs April 3-6 for the freshmen, sophomore and junior divisions, April 4-7 for the senior division and April 5-6 for middle school.
Running at nearly the same time, April 5-6, at Indiana University in Pennsylvania will be the Flonationals. North Andover sophomore Fritz Hoehn has opted to compete there.
Lacroix shines in duals
Although he finished second to Methuen’s Christian Monserrat in New England and wrestled an excellent tournament, Central Catholic senior Pat Lacroix was not completely satisfied.
But Lacroix had no complaints with how he competed at the Pinning Down Autism Duals in West Orange, N.J., the weekend of March 15-17. And understandably so.
Competing for the All-New England team, Lacroix won all four of his matches. He had a dominating 19-5 major decision against New York, a 48-second pin against Michigan, a 3-2 decision against Delaware and a 7-3 decision against New Jersey.
Against New Jersey, Lacroix was losing 3-2 in the third period but a late reverse and near fall gave him the victory.
“I banged up my knee during the season and probably shouldn’t have wrestled in the meet, but I’m glad I did,” said Lacroix. “I’m more than happy with how I did. It did a lot for my confidence.”
Lacroix plans on wrestling in college, probably at either WPI or Roger Williams University.
Roger Williams, incidentally, is a program on the rise and already has secured verbal commitments from seniors Jimmy Ryan (149) of Dracut, Ben Defronzo (106) of Lincoln-Sudbury and Luke Nigro (152) of Burlington.
Owl dynasty numbers
Some facts brought out at the recent Timberlane wrestling banquet underline just how dominant the Owls have been over the last two decades, both in New Hampshire and New England.
Timberlane has won 81 dual meets in a row in New Hampshire and its record in-state since 1992 is 219-3. Overall since 1993, the Owls are 398-16-2. Overall in 30 years, coach Barry Chooljian’s record is 471-46-5.
In the New England tournament over the last 18 years, Timberlane has finished in the top three 16 times, including first a record 10 times.
As for this year’s team, while it failed to place first at New England for the first time in six years, it had astounding success in dual meets. Its average margin of victory was 43 points and it smashed Connecticut state champion Danbury 46-12.
Mt. Anthony’s dynasty
New England champion Mount Anthony of Vermont only defeated Danbury 34-21 in their dual meet. The Patriots were unbeaten (24-0), although they didn’t participate in the National Festival duals, where the Owls picked up their only two losses.
Mount Anthony does wrestle a tough out-of-state schedule, however, making the overall record of head coach Scott Legacy, at 585-35-2 in 28 years, rather mind boggling.
In-state, Mount Anthony has won a national-record 25 straight state titles and has not lost to a Vermont opponent since 1989, putting together a remarkable string of 255 consecutive victories. Its overall record in that span is 558-16-1.
It should be noted that Mount Anthony has never had the kind of challenger in Vermont as Timberlane has faced in the likes of Salem, Concord or Pinkerton, but it’s still impressive domination.
Headed to nationals Seniors --Harry Denoncourt (182), Timberlane Juniors -- Mitch Rose (113), Londonderry; Brad Drover (160), North Andover; Christian Monserrat (126), Methuen Sophomores -- Dan Scalzo (132), Timberlane; Fritz Hoehn (152), North Andover (Flonationals); Richard Bilodeau (170), Londonderry; Ian Butterbrodt (220), St. John's Prep Freshmen -- Ryan Peters (126), Timberlane; Dylan Barreiro (195), Pinkerton; Luc Chretian (182), Haverhill