OUTLOOK: Newcomer North Andover, with three Division 2 state titles to its credit, joins the league and is the automatic favorite to take top honors, but it’s hardly a slam dunk.
A young and talented Chelmsford team which, says North Andover coach Carl Cincotta, has a strong guy at every weight, is on the rise. Defending Division 1 champ Methuen is still dangerous, Dracut boasts outstanding individuals and — because of its numbers — no one is counting out Lawrence.
MVC teams have won the Division 1 state title the last two years (Lawrence in 2011) and no one would be surprised if the trend continues. Regardless, with Methuen’s Christian Monserrat and Paul Sughrue, North Andover’s Brad Drover, Fritz Hoehn and Ryan Neals and others, the league is busting with outstanding talent.
2011-12 season: 1-11, 12th at Division 1 North
Returning starters (7): Shiv Chawla, Sr., 132; Ben Dykstra Sr., 145; James Burke, Sr., 120; Joe Solimini, Sr., 152; Jack Reilly, Jr., 120; Tyler Ferris, Soph., 113; Jack Kiley, Soph., 113
Promising newcomers: Nick Bouchard, Sr., 160; James Herman, Soph., 138; Matty Marcotte, Frosh., 132; John Croston, Soph., 138; Nate Dykstra, Frosh., 106; Nishan Bilazarian, Frosh., 120;
Candidates: 25; Captains: TBA
Fast facts: Sobhan Namvar returns as head coach after two years during which he got a master’s degree and competed in Iran. He was Andover’s first coach. ... Senior Nick Bouchard returns to the program after taking two years off. ... Freshman Matty Marcotte is the younger brother of Nick Marcotte, a standout on last year’s team. ... Senior Chiv Chawla is an outstanding student likely headed to MIT. ... New assistant Brian Caldwell is a former state placer from Ohio. Junior Jack Reilly and sophomores Tyler Ferris and Jack Kiley give the Warriors strength in the lower weights. ... Freshman Nishan Bilazarian has youth wrestling experience despite having a prosthetic leg. ... The team will practice at the Wood Hill Middle School.
Returning Division 1 North top-4 placers: Tyler Ferris 3rd
Assistant coaches: Brian Caldwell, Aaron Blanco (volunteer), Neal Callahan (volunteer)
Coach Sobhan Namvar (5th year overall): “Most of the kids are brand new. It’s a rebuilding year. We’re trying to get kids interested in the sport. For the kids with experience, we want them to accomplish their individual goals.”
2011-12 season: 13-10-1, 4th in Division 2 North
Returning starters (8): Pat Lacroix, Sr., 126/132; Jon Schneir, Sr., 132/138, Dave Sergi, Sr., 160/171; Ben Tavitian, Sr., 225; Dave Veilleux, Sr., 285; Morgan Bronson, Jr., 182/195; Travis Scott, Soph., 113/120; Riley Sergi, Soph., 126/132
Returning lettermen: Julio Hernandez, Sr., 138/145; Andres Castaneda, Sr., 152/160; Colby Dion, Sr., 160/170; Zach Canto, Sr., 160/170; Nate Hall, Sr., 138/145; Zach Janco, Jr., 171/182; Mitchell Kosman, Soph., 113
Promising newcomers: Ryan Dowgiert, Sr., 152/160; Jack Kiely, Soph., 113/120; Matt Mears, Soph., 145/152; Jack Putnam, Soph., 160/170; Justin Landry, Soph.. 285; Tom Pagliarulo, Frosh., 106; Brandon DesFosses, Frosh., 113/120; Nick Janco, Frosh., 152/160; Donovan Nolan, Frosh., 145/152
Captains: Pat Lacroix, Dave Sergi, Ben Tavitian, Dave Veilleux
Fast facts: Former Central standout Jamie Durkin, who was the head coach at Andover the last two years, has joined the staff as an assistant. ... Freshman Brandon DesFosses of Methuen pinned his way to the New England Middle School title. He also won New Englands as a sixth grader. ... Freshman Tom Pagliarulo of Haverhill should be the starting 106-pounder. ... Pat Lacroix was 51-5 last year and finished fourth in New England. ... Senior Ben Tavitian, who had an outstanding junior season, was an All-MVC lineman in football.
Returning Division 2 North top-4 placers: Pat Lacroix 1st, Ben Tavitian 1st, Dave Veilleux 2nd
Assistant coaches: Jamie Durkin, Mike Armano, Matt Armano, Tim Lattrell, Eric Boucher
Coach Dennis King (22nd year, 337-91-6): “We definitely have more depth but it’s too early to say how strong we’ll be. We have some good kids, but there are some weights that have some question marks.”
2011-12 season: 7-7-1, 11th in Division 1 North
Returning starters (8): Tyler Bard, Sr., 132; Javier Colon, Sr., 152; Jomar Cannon, Jr., 170; Saul Medina, Jr., 285; Jorge Alfonso, Jr., 138; Samie Al-Ziab, Soph., 220; Orlando Rojas, Soph., 126; Matt Haskell, Soph., 220/285
Promising newcomers: Jamal Babiker, Jr., 138/145; Kyle Wood, Jr., 152; Micah Puello, Jr., 145; Andy Marcotte, Soph., 132/138; Luke Chretien, Frosh., 182; Jake Prescott, Frosh., 120; Colby Prescott, Frosh., 113/120; Reece Millington, Frosh., 132/138; Dan McDonald, Frosh., 152
Candidates: 26; Captains: TBA
Fast facts: After two years without a team, the revived wrestling program had a surprising debut campaign, going 7-7-1 last winter. ... Former Hillie standout Dan Purpura has joined the staff as an assistant. ... Thanks to a strong relationship with the football program, there are 10 football players on the team. ... There is a strong crop of freshmen, led by New England youth champion Luc Chretien. .. Freshmen Jake Prescott and Colby Prescott are not related. ... Jamal Babiker and Kyle Wood wrestled at Whittier last year.
Returning Division 1 North top-4 placers: Orlando Rojas 4th
Assistant coaches: Dan Purpura, Joe DelGrasso (volunteer)
Coach Brian Urquhart (2nd year, 7-7-1): “As we come into the league with a complete MVC schedule, we want to be competitive. We still have some holes, like no 195-pounder, but we’re developing some depth. I think we could surprise some people.”
2011-12 season: 20-4, 3rd in Division 1 North
Returning starters (5): Hector Reynoso, Sr., 106; Rizky Riyanto, Sr., 113,; Jeremiah Damiron, Sr., 145; Henry Carpio, Sr., 152; Yariel Velez, Sr., 195
Returning lettermen: Luis Severino, Sr., 120; Michael Almonte, Sr., 170; Manny Arias, Jr., 126; Anfernee Green, Jr., 132; Andy Delacruz Jr, 220; Jan Pichardo, Jr., 285; Braulio Reyes, Soph., 106; Rangel Villar, 152, Soph.
Promising newcomers: Adrian Collado, Sr., 138; Hector Jimenez, Sr, 220; Nathaniel Cruz, Sr., 160; Chris Pena, Sr. 182; Franklin Landivar, Sr, 138; Eriberto Batista, Sr., 171; Ambar Dejesus, Sr., 113; Jonaly Dejesus, Sr, 171, Sonlly Pena, Jr., 132; Yosvani Lopez, Jr., 132; Steve Toro, Jr., 182; Allen Houth, Jr., 195; Marvin Felix, Jr., 120; Alex Lopez, Jr., 285; Miguel Rodriguez, Soph., 113; Chris Hernandez, Soph,, 132; Michael Vasquez, Soph.,145; James DeJesus, Soph., 160; Chris Liriano, Soph., 160; Rafael Medina, Soph., 132; Jose Ramos, Soph., 220
Candidates: 122; Captains: Hector Reynoso
Fast facts: A stunning 144 kids came out for the team in the first few days of practice. ... Captain Hector Reynoso is a sectional champ and New England qualifier eager to win a state title. ... Former Division 2 state champ wrestler Alex Vargas from Greater Lawrence has been added to the staff. ... Lawrence’s schedule is a tough one and includes Vermont power Mount Anthony, Springfield Central and West Springfield.
Returning Division 1 North top-4 placers: Hector Reynoso 1st
Assistant coaches: Ozzy Morales, Christian Guzman, Alex Vargas
Coach Rob Niceforo (9th year, 152-66-2): “The kids have been working hard and seem focused and excited. We lost a lot of good seniors in the upper weights, but I believe we will get stronger as the year progresses. While I believe there are so many strong MVC teams, I think North Andover is the team.”
2011-12 season: 20-0, Division 1 North champ
Returning starters (6): Paul Sughrue, Sr., 126; Jimmy Summa, Sr., 130; Anthony Giorgio, Sr., 285; Giovanny Rivera, Sr., 170; Christian Monserrat, Jr., 113/120; Mike Golio, Jr., 192
Returning lettermen: Andrew Bolduc, Sr., 160; Aaron Labrecque, Sr., 113; Fouad Samara, Jr., 220; Ben Fitzgerald, Jr., 195
Promising newcomers: Ryan Doyle, Sr., 126; Edward Soriano, Sr., 170; George DeLeon, Sr., 285; Reagan Katulege, Jr., 145; Dennis Vo, Jr., 195; Will Wilder, Jr., 113; Rafael Caceres, Jr., 138; Brayan Ortiz, Soph., 138; Dan Aziz, Soph., 152; Tim Michelini, Soph., 120; Alexis Lima, Soph., 220; Alfonso Palacios, Soph., 195; Abi Gonzalez, Soph., 170; Dan Menihane, Frosh, 138; Will Travers, Frosh., 138; Hunter Andrews, Frosh., 138; Bill Wehring, Frosh., 106; Todd Moschetto, Frosh., 132; Cam Heffernan, Frosh., 138; Christian Kozdra, Frosh., 220; Nick Morales, Frosh., 132; Arturo Rivera, Frosh., 160; Jose Rivera, Frosh., 220; Giancarlos Varela, Frosh., 126; Sam Zdanowicz, Frosh., 152; Nick Desantis, Frosh., 152
Candidates: 60; Captains: TBA
Returning Division 1 North top-4 placers: Christian Monserrat 1st, Paul Sughrue 1st, Anthony Giorgio 4th
Fast facts: Last year Methuen won its first dual meet state title and posted its first unbeaten season since 1984. The last Methuen team to win a state title was the girls basketball team in 1999. ... New assistant coach John Sughrue was a four-time state champion for Methuen and was 204-5 in his high school career. He is the older brother of Paul. ... Freshman Bill Wehring was a standout middle school wrestler and should do well at 106. ... Junior Luis Perez tore his ACL in football and will miss the season. ... Assistants Calvin Kattar, Ricky Silveira and Sughrue were teammates on an MVC championship team. Kattar has been very successful in MMA. Paul Sughrue and Christian Monserrat have won back to back All-State titles. Monserrat holds an impressive 96-2 career record. ... Jason Pendergast is in the starting lineup at Bridgewater State.
Assistants: John Sughrue, Calvin Kattar, Ricky Silveira
Coach Bill James (12th year, 190-52-1): “Last year was a great year for our program, but now it is time for this group to see what they can accomplish. We have some talent returning, but depth is an issue. The majority of our starting lineup enters the year with no varsity experience. We know it is going to be tough, but we expect to be successful.”
2011-12 season: 22-2, 2nd in Division 2 North
Returning starters (8): Ryan Neals, Sr., 182/195; Danielle Coughlin, Sr., 106/113; Alex Inangelo, Sr., 285; Brad Drover, Jr., 152/160; Zane Melillo, Jr., 132/138; Nick Cincotta, Jr., 132/138; Jake Caporale, Jr., 285; Fritz Hoehn, Soph., 145
Returning lettermen: A.J. Neukuckatz, Sr., 120; Nick Villalba, Jr., 120/126; Dan Villalba, Jr., 120/126; Conor O’Sullivan, Soph., 120; Peter Taylor, Soph., 120; Matt Alexander, Soph., 126; Stephen Cincotta, Soph., 160/170
Promising newcomers: Conor Ford, Frosh., 106; Stephen Manning, Frosh., 106; Vincent Greco, Frosh., 145/152; Mathieu Messina, Frosh., 195; Owen Rosenberger, Frosh., 195
Captains: Ryan Neals, Danielle Coughlin
Returning Division 2 North top-4 placers: Fritz Hoehn 1st, Ryan Neals 1st, Zane Melillo 2nd, Danielle Coughlin 3rd, Brad Drover 3rd
Fast facts: North Andover has won three straight Division 2 state dual meet titles. ... Brad Drover came on strong last year to finish second in New England with a 47-10 record while Ryan Neals was 48-6 and fifth in New England and Fritz Hoehn was 45-5. ... The Knights have a Dec. 15 dual-meet showdown at Timberlane. ... Heavyweight Jake Caporale was a first-year wrestler last year who made great strides. ... The Knights have at least 12 wrestlers who could compete at 120 or 126 pounds.
Assistants: Dave Timpe, Mike Wilson, Larry Coughlin, Matt Routhier
Coach Carl Cincotta (2nd year, 22-2): “As far as a tournament team, we have some real good guys. If we can bring five or six guys to New England, we’ll do well. For a dual meet team, we have a lot of holes to fill — we lost 10 seniors. We should be pretty strong by the end of the year once we sort out the weights. It’s tough to match the team of last year, but it’s comparable.”