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January 13, 2013

Velez, Lancers gear up for duel against Methuen

Senior 195-pounder Yariel Velez is back and it couldn’t happen at a better time for the Lawrence wrestling team.

Out all season with a broken hand , Velez returned to the lineup last week and yesterday won all three of his matches as the Lancers romped past Billerica (52-15), Haverhill (46-9) and Central Catholic (45-27) to improve to 14-3 and gain some momentum with several key dual meets upcoming, starting with Wednesday at Methuen.

“Today was really the first time all year we’ve had our whole team, so this was a good performance,” said Lawrence coach Rob Niceforo. “With everyone back, I feel we can compete with anyone in the state.”

Velez, who was a stalwart on last year’s 20-4 team, couldn’t be happier to be back.

“I was dying to get back,” said Velez, who missed time during the football season with a dislocated shoulder. “I helped out my teammates as much as I could, but it was tough just watching.”

Among those Lancers also having a big day was 132-pounder Sonlly Pena.and 182-pounder Chris Pena. Nathaniel Cruz lost his first match of the year at 160 to Central’s Dave Sergi.

Owls win three at Festival

Wrestling in the National Festival duals, Timberlane won three of five matches, losing to Pennsbury, Pa., and Blair Academy, the No. 1 team in the country. Dan Scalzo was the standout of the day, going 4-0 with two pins at 132 while backup Mike DiGregorio was 2-1 with two pins, Harry Denoncourt was 2-0 at 182, Josh Burnham finished the day 3-1 and 106-pounder Tyler Fitzpatrick had the only win against Blair, which rolled to the title with a 61-6 romp in the finals.

Windham wins crown

Windham continued its upward climb in New Hampshire wrestling, edging Hollis-Brookline for first place at the Pelham Invitational. The Jaguars were led by 182-pound champion Chris Ferri, who had a pin in the finals, and relied on superior depth. Jeff Armstrong was second at 113 for Windham and David Crichton was runner-up at heavyweight.

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