16 - March 4, 2011
Pelham~Windham Sports Pelham~Windham Sports
Python junior Josh Medeiros puts a hurtin’ on Central’s Tompson-Kennedy with an 18-1 tech fall win
by Marc Ayotte Saturday, February 26, was an action-packed
Python Rich Sullivan (blue) defeated Josh Riley of Timberlane, 6-0, at the MoCs on Saturday, February 26 The brightest star of the day for the Jaguars of
day of wrestling at the Londonderry High School gymnasium. Taking place was the 2011 Meet of Champions (MoC), which featured the best wrestlers representing some-30 schools scattered throughout New Hampshire. The field was comprised of the top three finishers in each weight class from last week’s divisional state championship. New Hampshire wrestling is comprised of Divisions I, II, and III and 14 different weight classes, ranging from 103 pounds to the heavyweight division tipping the scales at 285 pounds.
Included in the field of wrestlers vying to be the best of the best in the state was a combined seven wrestlers from Windham High School and Pelham High School. Representing the Jauguars from Windham were Jeff Armstrong (103), Dylan Swiderski (130), the Division III number-one seed for this tournament, Gage Fenton (145), and last week’s newly crowned state champion, freshman Tyler Siverhus (125). The Pythons stormed into the MoCs flaunting two championship medals. Owners of the precious medals were junior Josh Medeiros (112) and senior Warren Greenhalgh (171). Joining his teammates as a second seed from Division III was Rich Sullivan, who finished in second place in the 152 class at last week’s states.
Windham High came in the form of freshman phenom Tyler Siverhus weighing in at a 125 pounds. Picking up where he left off in last week’s state championship at ‘The Snake Pit’ at Pelham High School, Siverhus turned a lot of heads with his first match of the tourney. In getting a first- round bye as a result of his Division III number- one seed, Siverhus’ first opponent was Will Smith of Timberlane. In a tough and lengthy match, Siverhus prevailed by pinning Smith at 5:46 of the match. Tyler now moved on to the championship bracket semifinals, where he faced hometown favorite Tyler Wilson of Londonderry High School. Wilson, who also had a lengthy match earlier, didn’t realize that the upcoming ‘battle of Tylers’ would significantly test each one’s endurance. After another six grueling minutes of wrestling,
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the Tyler of Jaguar wrestling fame defeated the Division I number-four seed by a 15-11 decision, thereby advancing him to the championship match. Jaguar Assistant Coach Jack Byrne commented on Tyler’s high scoring victory: “He found a way to win—that’s the way he does everything.” When asked how he felt going into the championship finals, a pumped-up Siverhus exclaimed, “it feels great. I’m ecstatic—a freshman going into the finals? I’m happy about going in to meet Tanner Burke [of PA].” Siverhus continued with recounting his week-long preparation for the MoCs: “ … I did nothing special. It came [down] to basics; I worked hard, trained. This is what it all comes down to.” When asked if he would be happy with a second- place finish at the meet, the enthusiastic freshman replied, “I would, but I’m going for this … I’m ready.” By now, after two hard-earned victories, going up against the Division I number-one seed was not going to be an easy task. The competition sadly came to an end for Siverhus in the championship match, but the freshman can hold his head high with the second place finish—as he gets to wrestle on one more Saturday. By finishing in second place, Siverhus will move on to the New England Championships on Saturday, March 5, in New Haven, CT. In doing so, the Windham freshman becomes the first Jag to represent Windham at the NEs. Windham Head Coach Tom Darrin gave a lot of praise to Timberlane’s Barry Chooljian for the Jags’ preparation during the past week. In pointing out his long and close relationship with
the head Owl, Darrin said he took advantage of Chooljian’s willingness and sportsmanship to let his Windham team practice with the Timberlane wrestlers. As a result, the head Jag thought it went a long way in getting his four participants ready for the big tourney.
A tough start at the MoCs awaited Python state
champ Josh Medeiros in the 112 weight class. After a first-round bye for being the Division III number-one seed, Josh would face Cole Fokas of Bishop Guertin in a quarterfinals match. In uncharacteristic fashion, Medeiros’ match actually entered the second period. And when Fokas drove Medeiros to the mat, it injured a shoulder that had hampered the Python junior for the better part of the season. Fighting courageously through the agonizing pain was not going to be enough for the state champ, as he fell to the Bishop Guertin (BG) Cardinals at 3:30 of the match. With his season seemingly having come to an abrupt end, the gutsy junior from Pelham prepared for his consolation match. Refocused and determined, the methodical Python wrestling machine returned in style to dispose of his ConVal opponent in an efficient 46 seconds. Just :29 into the second period of his next bout, Medeiros continued his quest with a win by fall over Dan Losacano of Concord. The ‘Medeiros Machine’ kept revving as he destroyed his next opponent in the consolations semis with an 18-1 technical fall. With retribution the order of the day, Medeiros once again faced Fokas of BG in a rematch battle for third place. At 2:29 of the match, Medeiros revenged his earlier loss with a win by fall, earning him his second consecutive trip to the New England Championships. Also representing Pelham High School as a recently crowned state champ was Warren Greenhalgh in the 171 weight class. Having finished the regular season on fire as well as continuing his groove into the states, the MoCs would treat the Python senior a little differently. Although receiving a first-round bye as the Division III number-one seed, Warren lost his quarterfinal match to Josh DeVriendt of Goffstown. Dropping down into the consolation bracket, Greenhalgh in his next match defeated Will Melanson of Plymouth with a win by fall at 1:21. In the consolation quarterfinals, Greenhalgh picked up a victory over another Losacano of Concord – this time, David – with a pin win at 4:27 to put him into the consolation semifinals. The wins for Warren would stop there, unfortunately, as subsequent losses in his next two matches would mean a still-respectable, sixth- place finish for the Python senior. The Jaguar day started with Jeff Armstrong wrestling in a 103-pound preliminary match. In his preliminary bout, Armstrong fell to Pinkerton’s Alex Gerhold at 2:16 of the match. Not being deterred by the defeat, Armstrong rebounded to win his next match in the consolation bracket with a win by fall over Mitchell Rose of Londonderry. Jeff followed that win up with a 14-7 decision over Goffstown’s Nick Flanders. That set up a rematch with Gerhold. Unfortunately for Windham fans, déjà-vu was in the house as Gerhold once again prevailed. Armstrong went on to capture sixth place on the day and was
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Two Windham-Pelham Wrestlers Escape Meet of Champions, Siverhus and Medeiros Advance to New Englands
Tyler Siverhus’ second-place finish at the MoCs will send him to Connecticut on March 5 for the New Englands
one of only four Windham and Pelham wrestlers to finish in the top six of their respective weight classes.
Earning recognition for their great regular seasons as well as their performances at the state tournament, which earned them bids to the Meet of Champions, were Dylan Swiderski and Gage Fenton of Windham. Although they did not finish in the top six, one can not take away from the tremendous individual seasons that each of them experienced. On the Pelham High School front, an impressive first-round 6-0 decision over Timberlane’s Josh Riley re-aggravated a knee injury and forced Rich Sullivan to default in the next round. As Python assistant coach Vinny Cannizzaro observed, “He’s tough. He’s tough. I know the agony he’s in with that [knee].” In addressing Sullivan’s decision to not wrestle in his second match, Head Coach Bob Riddinger had this to say, “[he has] a sprained knee and a bone bruise—sometimes there’s pain to wrestle through, other times it’s the physical limitations.” All said and done, a valiant and gutsy effort on Saturday from the Pelham senior epitomized a tremendously successful season as well as high school career for the Python wrestler. Individually, Pelham and Windham each finished with two top-six finishes, with respect to the team standings that translated into Pelham finishing in 15th place with 28.5 points while the Jags tied for 17th with Nashua North with 26 points. To no one’s surprise, Timberlane High School finished the MoCs on top again, with a runaway victory over second-place Pinkerton and the rest of the field. The Meet of Champions Crown for the powerhouse Owls, who featured six individual champions, was an amazing eighth straight and an astonishing 15 out of the last 17. As noted earlier, the New England Championships will take place in New Haven, CT, on Saturday, March 5, with the top three finishers in each weight class from the MoCs representing the state of New Hampshire.
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photos by Marc Ayotte
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