Black and Blue on the Mat

The coop Marblehead/Swampscott wrestling team is larger this year than last and returns skilled members to help the newcomers develop.

Exhaustion and intensity accompany grapplers as they grind through grueling matches.

Intensity peaks at season’s end but sweat and exhaustion are constant companions for many at the season’s start.

Black and blue wrestlers were back on the mat Tuesday, building endurance and toughness, and developing intensity they will need when they square up against opponents in dual matches and tournaments.

Mike Stamison’s coop Marblehead/Swampscott program has grown. 

He has about 23 kids on the team, as opposed to 15 on last year’s team.

“This is the first year I’ll be able to fill all the (weight) classes,” the coach said.

Wrestling matches cover 14 classes ranging from scrappy 106-pounders at the light end to powerful 285-pounders at the heavy end.

The best the Black and Blue team could muster last year was fill 11 of 14 classes. That meant they had to forfeit matches.

It was a spirited team whose members got excited for each other and included fine individual performers.

Two of those performers are captains this year, 126-pound senior Jeff Sherman of Marblehead and 113-pound junior Jake Powell of Swampscott.

Both Sherman and Powell are leaders, the coach said.

Sherman leads by example; and Powell is more demonstrative.

Another stalwart is Sean Taylor, a 285-pounder from Marblehead who was throwing his weight around the gridiron Tuesday in high school football playoffs.

It’s a young team, the coach said.

Half of them have never wrestled.

Practices started Monday.

The team is working on basic stances, basic take downs.

They drill.

They are getting in condition by doing push-ups and sit-ups and by wrestling.

“The best conditioning is live wrestling,” the coach said. “A lot of drilling and live wrestling.”

It won’t be long before they put their conditioning and wills to work, grappling with other wrestlers.

The first tournament is the Northeast Conference tournament, Dec. 10.


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