EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

January 20, 2014

On a mission

Bigger and stronger, North Reading's Wise determined to finish strong

It comes with the territory.

Because of his name, and because he is an excellent student with a GPA of 3.82, North Reading senior Joey Wise gets plenty of good natured kidding.

“I get it all the time,” said Wise. “They say I’m a ‘Wise guy’ or say ‘you’re not so Wise’ and all kinds of things like that.”

When it comes to his wrestling, however, Wise gets more respect than kidding, especially this year.

As a junior for North Reading/Lynnfield, Wise had a fine season, finishing 24-10 as a 126-pounder, but it hardly ended the way he would have liked. Moved up to 132 for the sectional, he faltered and, of 14 wrestlers, he was the only member of the team not to advance to the Division 3 state meet.

“I was a little injured, with some tendinitis in my knee and some back issues, but I was still mad that I didn’t place,” said Wise. “But that motivated me to get better and more determined to do better.”

So Wise took regular trips to workouts at Dough Boy in Lowell, he frequented the two-week Carl Adams wrestling camp at Boston University and, most of all, he lifted weights.

While getting stronger, Wise got much bigger, forcing him to wrestle at 152 pounds this year, which is a jump of four weight classes. But that hasn’t been a problem.

Through last week, Wise had a 25-3 record, with two of his losses coming by a point, and he placed first at the Pentucket Tournament. He has 14 pins already.

“Joey has taken his wrestling to a different level,” said North Reading/Lynnfield coach Craig Stone. “After last year, he really dedicated himself in the offseason to getting a lot better and it shows.”

Wise wasn’t expecting to jump four weight classes, but he’s adjusted smoothly to the higher weight while noticing a significant difference in the two classes.

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