EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

March 18, 2014

Season to remember

League titles, unbeaten New England champions among highlights

(Continued)

In the CAL, look for Masco — if it remains in the league — to get back on top. Its youth program seems to be thriving.

In New Hampshire, look for Timberlane, Londonderry and Concord to once again battle for supremacy.

Turning to New England, both Londonderry and Timberlane will return two placers with the potential for more. The Lancers have potential with the likes of Tyler Byrd and Ryan Cabezas while Dan Scalzo and Brian Lonergan are certainly capable.

North Andover, too, could be a factor, what with Fritz Hoehn back for another year and potential placers in Peter Taylor and Jack Perry among others.

That it all means is that, great as this season was, there should be no slippage next year. And, overall, there may even be more competition.

Season reflections

Hats off to Lawrence. The Lancers lost three quality starters who left the team during the season and still came within a whisker of winning the MVC crown. Rob Niceforo keeps losing quality seniors and yet comes back to challenge all comers.

Pelham deserves a lot of credit for finishing 8-6. The Pythons had only 13 wrestlers most of the season, but they hung tough. With only two seniors on the roster, they could finally get better numbers next year.

Whittier Tech senior Tyler Tannian quietly had an outstanding season. Despite moving up three weight classes, he finished with a 43-11 record and defeated some tough opponents along the way.

Among several wrestlers who won’t get the postseason recognition they deserve are Haverhill junior 220-pounder Samie Al-Ziab and Methuen freshman 160-pounder Darius Franklin. Al-Ziab only had two losses, both to New England finalist Carl Neff of Exeter West, before getting mononucleosis and Franklin had just one loss before suffering a bad knee injury.

Kudos to first-year Georgetown/Ipswich coach Ryan Archambault for leading his squad to an 11-8-1 record. Among his returnees will be Constantine Galanis, who was 43-11 this season.

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