Best wishes for Samie
Haverhill junior Samie Al-Ziab received tough news this week when he was diagnosed with mononucleosis and will miss at least three weeks and probably more. Al-Ziab, an All-State runner-up last year at 220, was 21-2 this year and determined to win a state title and finally take down St. John’s Prep star Ian Butterbrodt of North Andover.
The hope is that Al-Ziab will be back in time for sectionals but how much strength and endurance he’ll have at that point is open to question. One can only hope for the best for such a quality student athlete.
Methuen coach Bill James says that “a strong argument can be made for it (Saturday’s Methuen Invitational) being the toughest one-day tournament New England” and he’s got a good case.
The field includes Vermont power Mount Anthony, which is the defending champion and last year’s New England champ, defending Division 1 Mass. champ Springfield Central, defending Division 2 Mass. champ North Andover and Rhode Island power Exeter West.
Individually, there are four New England champions (Methuen’s Christian Moserrat, Exeter West’s Christian and Andrew Labrie and Mount Anthony’s Jesse Webb), a New England finalist in North Andover’s Brad Drover and numerous state champions.
Monserrat, Butterbrodt cited
In recent masswrestling.com rankings, Methuen’s Christian Monserrat and St. John’s Prep’s Ian Butterbrodt are the top two wrestlers ranked pound for pound as the best in Massachusetts. What’s more, North Andover’s Brad Drover is No. 3.
Monserrat is also ranked as the top senior and Butterbrodt is rated as the top junior.
As far as team rankings, St. John’s Prep is ranked as the No. 1 dual meet team followed by Springfield Central and North Attleboro. North Andover is ranked sixth, but the feeling here is that the Knights should be much higher.
WRESTLING FAB 5 The Eagle-Tribune's weekly ranking of area high school wrestling teams: 1. Timberlane 16-0 2. North Andover 17-2 3. Londonderry 7-1 4. Brooks 15-1 5. North Reading/Lynnfield 21-0 Honorable mention: Lawrence (12-7), Methuen (15-4)