Pinkerton Academy wrestling stalwarts Dylan Barreiro and Kevin Ell won weight class championships and their teammate Shayne McCann was second in his division at the New Hampshire Wrestling Meet of Champions (MOC) at Pinkerton Saturday, March 1.
Ell followed up his title-winning performance of a week before at the Division I championships in Concord by taking his 220-pound division’s crown at the MOC. And Barreiro did inspiring work by turning the tables on talented Manchester Central veteran Keaton Peterson who defeated the Astros’ young standout at the D-I championships and pinning that opponent mid-way through the third period of their MOC bout to snag the state championship.
Whether one enjoys Greco-Roman wrestling or doesn’t, the Barreiro MOC victory over an opponent who had vanquished him by a single point for the D-I title a week earlier was just as classic as it comes.
“I was thinking about (having lost to Peterson) every day in practice,” said Barreiro. “I knew I was capable of beating him because I’d beaten him the first time we wrestled.”
The score of the Barreiro/Peterson rematch sat at 0-0 after one period, but the Pinkerton standout was up 3-1 at the end of two.
Barreiro put the final touches on his victory when he pinned the Central stalwart with 1:25 remaining in period three. And there was every reason for the young Astro and his family, teammates, and coaches to celebrate.
Ell and his opponent, Shawn Grenier of Timberlane Regional who had also faced off for top weight class honors at the D-I championships a week earlier had to pace around nervously for what seemed like an eternity as a controversial situation in the 195-pound title match on their mat was heatedly discussed by coaches and officials.
Once the championship bout got going, Ell collected a 1-0 lead in period one, and that held up until just five seconds remained in period three, when an impressive escape by Grenier knotted the score up at 1-1.
Ell notched two points early in the overtime stanza and collected a 3-1 win.
Shayne McCann had given it his all in the title match against Nashua North’s Marcel LaPlante who had bested the talented young Astro in the D-I finals before suffering a 5-1 defeat in the MOC title contest.
PA coach Dave Rhodes’ contingent finished seventh out of 37 competing teams at the MOC, one point out of sixth behind Manchester Central. Timberlane of Plaistow got its 11th straight MOC team title, with Londonderry taking second.
Pinkerton standouts Ell, Barreiro, and McCann now all turn their attention and skills toward the New England Championships, which will be held in Providence, R.I. this coming weekend. Taking on the best, they aim to be the best.