Two Wrestlers Advance to Mass. All-State Wrestling Tournament

Two Swampscott-Marblehead wrestlers advanced to the 2013 Massachusetts MIIA All-State wrestling tournament that takes place Friday and Saturday at Salem High School.

Jake Powell placed second in the 126-pound weight class at Division 3 State tournament and Sean Taylor placed sixth in the heavyweight class.

Powell, who has placed first in the Division 3 North Sectional tournament, lost to Eric Reyes of Dedham by a score of 9-5. Powell fought well against Reyes, a four-time New England youth wrestling champion, but was unable to pin or score enough back points in the third period against the number one seed from the Division 3 Central division to turn the tide.

Powell advanced to the championship match by defeating Jehu Barbee of Sabis with a pin at 1:32. He finished the tournament with a 3-1 record."Sad that we couldn't get that last win for him, but no regrets and nothing to be ashamed of,” said Michael Stamison, the head coach of the Swampscott-Marblehead wrestling team. “He did everything he could to turn Reyes, and just could not sink in any cradles on him. That kid is the real deal, and I will certainly be watching his career with great interest." 

"Jake had the best season in terms of tournaments wins and accolades any Black and Bluer has ever had, and I' very proud of him,” said Stamison. “Directly after the finals, we were in the locker room talking about All-States and strategy, so he is not done by a long shot." Powell, meanwhile, faced the disappointment of not winning the championship by looking forward.  

“I gave it everything and came up short,” he said. “There are no excuses. We placed where we placed. There is nothing we can do about it now. It’s time to take All-States. I can't stop now.”

Powell has now advanced to All-State tournament for three straight seasons having placed third in his sophomore year in the 103-weight class at the Division 3 state tournament, and having placed fifth as a junior in the 113-pound weight class.

Taylor, meanwhile, lost a close match in the semi-finals at the Division 3 State tournament. He lost to the number one seed from Division 3 West, Brian Wodecki from Dean Tech by a score of 2-1. The match was lost by virtue of a hand-lock call against Taylor and a takedown call that didn’t go his way later in the match.  Taylor finished the tournament with a 2-3 record. 

"Tough to lose on borderline calls, but a saying we've had this year is 'leave no doubt' meaning put your opponent on his back, a pin is a pin, no matter who is officiating,” said Stamison. “We need to score points and leave no doubt."

Despite the disappointment of losing in the semi-final and suffering two losses later in the day, Taylor will wrestle for the first time ever in the Massachusetts All-State tournament in his high school career.

Said Stamison: “I’m very proud of Sean, as he becomes the first Marblehead high school wrestler to wrestle at All-States since his older brother, Jon, did so in 2009. We still have work to do, and a lot to prove.”

For Powell and Taylor this season will mark the end of eight years of wrestling together since their days as fourth graders in the now defunct Swampscott-Marblehead Youth Wrestling Program.

Also of note, the wrestling team’s annual banquet will be held on March 7 at 6 pm at the Swampscott Yacht Club.

This article was submitted by Black and Blue wrestling.


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