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February 5, 2013

Talented Ferri, Windham on the rise

Jaguars take aim on defending state championship

They’ve come a long way, but senior 182-pounder Chris Ferri and the Windham wrestling program have another step to take,

Freshman year, Ferri was one of the original Jaguars to help start the wrestling program under Tom Darrin. That first year wasn’t easy as Windham, with a roster of fewer than 20 wrestlers, had a varsity record of 3-10 and Ferri won just two of 11 matches.

“It was tough that first year,” admits Ferri. “The workouts were tougher than anything I was used to and everyone I wrestled had a lot more experience. I didn’t know what I was doing.”

My, how things have changed. The Jaguars improved to 15-10 the next year then were 20-7 and Division 3 state champions last year. They are currently 15-1 despite wrestling a much tougher schedule. Their only loss was by five points to Division 1 Pinkerton, which has also lost just once.

Just as important, the numbers have risen every year, to near 30 in the second year, 40 last year to over 50 this year.

Ferri, meanwhile, has improved at a similar pace. He improved to 24-12 as a sophomore and was 31-10 last year while finishing second at the Division 3 state meet. Currently, he’s 24-4 with all of his losses coming to Division 1 opponents.

“Chris has really become a great wrestler,” said Darrin. “He has learned the technique and he’s strong ... plus, he’s a great leader for our younger kids.”

Ferri and classmates Jeff Armstrong, Dylan Swiderski, Jeremy Cocciardi and Connor Golden are all holdovers from the original class and starters on this year’s team. They’re at the heart of the remarkable rise in less than four years.

But, despite taking pride in how far the program has come, there is at least one goal that has not been achieved.

“We’d really like to do better at the Meet of Champions and get someone to New England,” said Darrin. “That’s something we need to do a better job of.

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