By Jeff Hamrick
---- — WINDHAM — Chris Ferri had just won his first state wrestling champion. But, remarkably, that’s not what left the Windham senior most excited.
“It means a lot to win,” Ferri said after a convincing 8-1 182-pound decision over John Stark’s Alex Lavalliere. “But I knew if I’d won, Windham would’ve clinched it. That was very important”
In this case, it just happened to be the Jaguars’ second consecutive Division III state title, which came one year after the wrestlers claimed the school’s first-ever championship in any sport.
Windham, which trailed John Stark by five points heading into the medal round, received wins in three of its five championship matches and another three third-place bouts to finish with 164 points — three more than they compiled a year ago.
John Stark was second at 153 while Plymouth with 145 was the only other school with more than 67 points.
Other Windham champions last night were seniors Jeff Armstrong at 113 and 138-pounder Dylan Swiderski.
Ferri, who improved on last year’s second-place finish, wasn’t the only Jaguar to come up big against a John Stark opponent. Armstrong, a 106-pound champ as a junior, won his second straight title by pinning his Generals’ rival in 3:39. Windham also had a huge consolation win from 195-pound senior Corey Alberico, who defeated John Starks’ Al Long 10-3.
Windham got second-place finishes from Zach Sprague (120 pounds) and David Crichton (heavyweight) while freshman Peter Caron (106) and junior Devin Marino (126) also qualified for New Hampshire’s Meet of Champions with third-place finishes.
Sanborn’s Jon Scheidegger once again provided the most impressive showing by an area wrestler with three pins in a total of 3:10 to claim his third straight state title and second consecutive at 152. The senior, who looks to improve on a second-place finish at the Meet of Champions and then place at New Englands, needed only 86 seconds to get past Plymouth’s James Nolan in the finals. It also marked his ninth tournament title of the season.
“Any wrestling match is still exciting,” said Scheidegger, who remained perfect on the season at 38-0 and raised his career mark to 141-32. “But there’s definitely more pressure on me (than three years ago). I haven’t lost yet, and it puts a bigger target on my back. I feel like I should be winning every match. Now I’ve got to win state next week.”
The only other local champion was Pelham junior Jared Boyden, who claimed the 106-pound title by pinning Winnisquam’s Login Patten in 1:50.
Other area wrestlers to advance to the Meet of Champions were Sanborn junior Tristan Leek (second at 138) and Pelham senior Matt Blanchard (third at 182).
NH Division III Meet
Team scores: Windham 164, John Stark 153, Plymouth 145, Winnisquam 67, Campbell 64, Souhegan 62, Pelham 60, Newport 52.5, Sanborn 42, White Mountains 34
Winners and area placers (top 3 advance to Meet of Champions):
106: 1. Jared Boyden, Pel; 3, Peter Caron, Wind; 113: Jeff Armstrong, Wind; 120: Codi Gaudreau, JS; 2. Zach Sprague, Wind126: Nick Widmann, JS; 3, Devin Marino, Wind; 132: Lucas Beltz, Kearsage; 138: Dylan Swiderski, Wind; 2. Tristan Leek, San; 4. Kevin DeAngelo, Pel; 145: Stephan Nix, Newport; 152: Jon Scheideger, Pel; 4. Jeremy Cocciardi, Wind; 160: Caleb Cole, Oyster River; 170: Corbin Ferland, Fall Mountain; 182: Chris Ferri, Wind; 3. Matt Blanchard, Pel; 195: James Ewing, Sou; 3. Corey Alberico, Wind; 220: Dakoda Simula, Ply; 4. Kody Folsom, Wind; HVY: 1. Sean Saikowski, Ply; 2. David Crichton, Wind