A huge crowd of some 459 young wrestlers from all six New England states converged on Pinkerton Academy’s Hackler Gymnasium on Sunday, March 23, to compete in the Greater Derry Boys’ and Girls’ Club Wrestling Rebels’ 17th annual Rebel Classic.
A slew of local grapplers showed off their considerable skills and walked away from the event with awards in their possession, gained through determination and hard work against some of the top young wrestlers the New England region has to offer.
Team-wise, the middle school division crown was won by the Methuen (Mass.) entry, and a number of local wrestlers placed among the top four finishers in their respective weight classes.
Among the top locals, first-place finishes were claimed by Sterling McLaughlin of Derry and Henry Lagasse, the Londonderry Middle School stalwart who continued his exceptional 2013-14 wrestling season with still more success.
Receiving silver medals for finishing second overall in their tough respective weight divisions were Luke Zabriskie and Mike DeMartino of Derry and Ben Psaledas and Ty Belville from Londonderry.
Bronze medalists who bagged third place finishes in their weight classes included Molly Foley, Jack Mackiernan, and Kyle Setzer of Derry.
Fourth-place finishers included Londonderry’s Michael Watts, Dylan Raadmae, and Ben Mazzoni, and Derry wrestlers Dominic Sanders and Lorenzo Milano.
Longtime Wrestling Rebels’ director and present Pinkerton assistant and junior varsity coach Jim Cherniack and his wife, Anne, have received praise for helming the respected annual tournament, and Jim Cherniack doled out praise in another direction following the 2014 event.
“I have to say that the tournament could never have happened without the support of the Pinkerton wrestling team,” said Cherniack. “The Astro wrestlers and coaches gave up their weekend to help out.”