There was no reason to believe that there would be anything easy for Pinkerton Academy wrestler Dylan Barreiro this winter as he attempted to equal his exceptional accomplishments of the 2014-15 season.
But betting against the intense and driven Barreiro doing exactly that would have been foolish.
Well, after winning Division I, New Hampshire Meet of Champions, New England, and then national titles last winter, the Pinkerton star is three-quarters of the way to repeating all of those superb feats. And Barreiro has done it impressively as well.
Despite battling through a 2015-16 regular season during which a great many of his scheduled matches earned him forfeits because opposing coaches knew that sending one of their grapplers out onto the mat with Barreiro meant a guaranteed loss, the Pinkerton standout was more than ready for post-season tournament action as he plowed his way to 195-pound weight class crowns at the Division I, Meet of Champions (despite a nasty case of food poisoning), and now New England titles.
Barreiro bagged the latter crown in Providence, R.I. last Friday and Saturday, March 4 and 5, by powering his way past worthy but over-matched opponents.
In late-round action, the local stalwart defeated Brandon Brock of Foxcroft Academy (Dover-Foxcroft, Maine) in a 12-2 major decision; Dakota King of Mount Anthony (Vt.) in a 16-3 major decision in the quarterfinals; Nathan Skarwinski from Cumberland (R.I) in a 21-5 technical fall in the semifinals, and lastly Benton Whitley of Minnechaug (Wilbraham, Mass.) in a lopsided 8-2 decision in the championship bout.
Pinkerton also had D-I and Meet of Champions’ titlist Shayne McCann compete in the 132-pound division at the New Englands, besting Cody Costa of New Bedford (Mass.) by a 6-3 score before dropping tight decisions to grapplers from Fairfield-Warde (Conn.) and Tolland (Conn.).
And the Pinkerton contingent also had heavyweight standout Deene Hill compete at the big regional event after finishing in the top-three at the state Meet of Champions.
All in all, the academy team of three finished a respectable 17th out of more than 130 teams from across the region with 31.5 points.
Caption: Pinkerton wrestling standout Dylan Barreiro, shown disposing of a Timberlane opponent, has now powered his way to Division I, Meet of Champions, and New England crowns over the last three weeks. Photo by Chris Paul