The first full week of 2016 was a productive one for the Pinkerton Academy wrestling squad, which narrowly defeated the arch-rival Londonderry High Lancers in a dual meet during the middle of the week and then ended the span with a fine showing at a renowned Vermont tournament.
The Astro grapplers snagged a 41-36 victory from Londonderry in early Ball Family Trophy competition at PA on Wednesday, Jan. 6, receiving some key wins from key sources and also benefiting from three forfeits turned over by the visiting Division I champion Lancers.
The Lancers surrendered forfeits at 106 pounds, 195, and 220, and received one from their hosts at 170 pounds.
Pinkerton zoomed out to an early lead in the match by having Keygan Nacos win at 113 pounds (on a fall 3:41 in) and Derek Wilson edge out Dave Donnelly for a 2-1 win at 120 pounds.
Londonderry got a win at 126 pounds, thanks to Ryan Cabezas’ fast pin (1:30 in), but Shayne McCann added another PA victory with a 13-4 success at 132 pounds.
However, the Lancers got consecutive wins from Andrew Chase at 138 (fall 1:03 in), Craig Santos at 145 pounds (fall at 5:21), and Colin Reardon at 152 (fall at 3:24) to take a 24-13 match lead.
The Astros then tallied what turned out to be a very important win from Kyle Setzer at 160 pounds (a 16-4 decision) before surrendering the forfeit victory at 170.
Ben Psaledas bagged a relatively quick pin for LHS at 182 pounds (1:57) to give his side a 36-23 advantage, but then forfeit wins for PA at 195 pounds and 220 helped set up the hosts for their match victory. And a pin win at the heavyweight level by Astro Deene Hill followed by a forfeit at 106 pounds gave the academy side the 41-36 match win.
“It was a nice win for us,” said PA coach Dave Rhoads. “I was pleased with the overall effort of the guys. Keygan, Derek, and Shayne got some big wins when we needed them, and Deene Hill came up big at 285 to clinch the meet. We’re only half way through the season and we’ve seen progress at each step. We just need to continue working hard toward the state tournaments.”
And the academy crew then created a few waves at the annual Mount Anthony Union Academy Tournament in Bennington, Vt., on Saturday, Jan. 9, finishing fifth out of 13 competing teams there.
Pinkerton had Dylan Barreiro win the 195-pound weight class title, Joey Lydick snag the 220-pound crown, Tyler Mackiernan (126) and Shayne McCann (132) bag second places in their respective classes, and heavyweight Hill snare fourth place in his.