The Swampscott-Marblehead wrestling team once again returned home with some hardware after participating in the annual Dan Gionet Memorial wrestling tournament in Pelham N.H. on Saturday.
Sean Taylor, a Marblehead senior and co-captain, won first place in the tournament in the heavyweight division. And Jake Powell, a Swampscott senior and co-captain, won his 100th career varsity match with a pin over Jake Velari, a 126 pounder from Nashua South, appropriately with a cradle in the second period.
Taylor faced three tough opponents in the tournament: He won his first match in the third period with a pin. He won his second match in the third overtime with a pin. And then he won in the third period of his championship match against David Crichton of Windham, NH, the number four ranked heavyweight in New Hampshire, with a pin as well.
"Sean had a tough one in the semi-final, going to the third overtime with Josh Norman, the heavyweight from Nashua South,” said Michael Stamison, the team’s head coach. “He was able to ride him out for a win, and in his finals match he wrestled a lot better. We still have a lot of work to do with both him and Jake, as well as with the rest of the boys."
Other members of the Black & Blue team achieved milestones as well. Ali Atallah, a Marblehead junior (182) wrestled his way into the semi-finals of the tournament, a first for him since last year's Pentucket Holiday Tournament; Brett Resnick, a Swampscott freshman (113), recorded his first career varsity win; and Stephen Hopkins, a Swampscott 8th grader (106), and Cam Budrow, a Marblehead junior (132), each won two matches.
"I’m very excited for these four, as sometimes they get overlooked by what Jake and Sean do,” said Stamison. “Brett and Hop have been grinding all year for us, and Cam and Ali both bounced back to wrestle very well after both having rough nights for us on last Wednesday vs. Danvers/Hamilton-Wenham."
Powell was recognized after his 100th victory by Coach Bob Riddinger of Pelham, and was given a trophy by Stamison. "A very proud moment for me as a coach and wrestling fan, and I'm happy I was able to share it with his parents Amy and Bob who were in attendance to see him get number 100,” said Stamison. “We are all very proud of him."
The Black & Bluers travel to Beverly for a dual meet that begins at 7PM on Wednesday and then the team will travel to Weymouth High School for the first time in the program's history to take part in that school’s tournament.