Cole Johnston worked his way to a pin in the Division III semifinals. (Photo by Joshua Spaulding) (click for larger version)
February 24, 2021PLYMOUTH — In normal years, the end of the wrestling season would involve an individual tournament where the performances of individual athletes contribute to the team points, giving kids the chance to earn points for their team while also competing for an individual weight-class championship.
Since this is not a normal year, the end of the regular season brought a dual meet tournament and the Plymouth Bobcats, as the top seed in Division III, had a bye in the opening round before playing host to Mascoma in the semifinals on Saturday morning.
While the Royals put up a fight, the Bobcats were able to come away with a hard-fought 45-15 win to advance to the Division III finals.
"A nice win against a competitive Mascoma squad," said Plymouth coach Randy Cleary. "They were tough."
Former Plymouth standout Ricky Simula coaches the Royals and Cleary gave him credit for building a solid program at Mascoma over the past few years.
"They're good, tough, hard working kids," Cleary stated.
The day started off at 160 pounds, where senior captain Joe D'Ambruoso kicked things off with a pin for a quick 6-0 lead for the Bobcats.
Matt Cleary was next up for Plymouth at 170 pounds and fought through for a 7-0 win, pushing the Bobcat lead to 9-0.
Senior captain Cole Johnston got a pin at 182 pounds for a 15-0 lead and Jaivon Cadore got a forfeit win at 195 pounds for a 21-0 lead. Neither team had a wrestler at 220 pounds and at heavyweight, Gabe Crane was pinned to give Mascoma their first points, cutting the lead to 21-6.
Neither team had wrestlers at 106 pounds or 120 pounds, but sandwiched in between, Gianni Ciotti picked up a forfeit win at 113 pounds to make it 27-6. Ty Beauchemin also got a forfeit win for Plymouth at 126 pounds for a 33-6 lead.
Charlie Comeau at 132 pounds and Andrew Comeau at 138 pounds both picked up pins to stretch the Plymouth lead to 45-6.
Mascoma got the final points of the match, with Joe Peters getting pinned at 145 pounds and Mason Lessard losing 6-4 in overtime at 152 pounds for the 43-15 final score.
The Bobcats adopted the slogan of the 2003 Red Sox, "Cowboy Up" and Cleary noted it exemplifies this year in particular.
"When things get tough, they have to suck it up and get back in the saddle," Cleary said of the origins of the saying. "You can complain or you can move on and make the most of it."
The Bobcats advanced to the Division III finals, which took place after deadline on Wednesday. This marks the first time the championship will be determined by a dual meet competition and will be contested on one team's home mats.
Sports Editor Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 279-4516, ext. 155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.