EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

March 18, 2014

Smitty's Barn rules tourney

NORTH ANDOVER — Plaistow’s Dylan Hughes was all smiles Sunday afternoon, but he was far from the only one happy with his 154-pound title at the middle school division of the Youth New England wrestling Tournament at North Andover High School.

Hughes, an eighth grader at the Timberlane Middle School, was competing for both Timberlane and the Smitty’s Barn wrestling club, so coaches for both teams were ecstatic.

“That’s the story of the tournament as far as I’m concerned,” said Smitty’s head coach Matt Smith.

Seconded Timberlane coach Tim Brown: “He just wrestled out of his mind today. He put it all together.”

What was truly impressive about Hughes’ title was that he was only second in the New Hampshire state meet at 143 pounds and decided to bump up to 154 for New England. He was seeded fourth.

When asked who he felt most allegiance to, Hughes said: “It’s close but probably Smitty’s because I wrestle there more.”

Regardless, both Smith and Brown were plenty happy, and not just about Hughes, who defeated Methuen’s Travis Manick 12-6 in the finals.

Smitty’s Barn had 13 finalists and seven champs in the middle school finals and it won the overall two-day club team title, which include third through sixth grade competition Saturday. It was the third straight New England title for Smitty’s since the tournament began keeping team scores.

Timberlane, meanwhile, had the highest score Sunday of all the middle schools. It had two other finalists, Jacob Post at 169 and Noah Beaulieu at 250, both of whom were runner-up. It also had a fourth at 250 with Dom Vitello.

The title for Timberlane was its first middle school New England title and caps a perfect season after it previously won the Tri-County tournament, the Patriot dual meet tournament, the regional championship and the middle school division state championship.

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