Hopkinton’s Connor Pelletier (in green) wins his match after fighting against his AMSA opponent (in blue) for three hard rounds. Video by Evan Dackowski.
By Evan Dackowski
In a mid-season matchup between two out-of-league contenders on Wednesday, December 21, the Hillers varsity wrestling team defeated the visiting Advanced Math and Science Academy Eagles 54-15, improving their record to 3-2.
HHS team members Nathan Weiner, Connor Pelletier, Jerome Shea, Tucker Mayo, Tim O’Malley, Nolan Cornu, Nick Ferris, Grant Olson, and E.J. Picozza all were victorious in their matches.
“Nick Ferris and E.J Picozza wrestled the best overall,” said Coach Tim Nelson, “They were both very aggressive right off the whistle and didn’t put themselves in bad position.”
Senior captain Jerome Shea had a particularly interesting match. Within the first 30 seconds of the match, Shea collided with his opponent and the opponent forfeited because of a large gash on his forehead.
Reflecting on the match, Shea said, “Wrestling out there today could have gone better. I saw some openings I was hoping to exploit early on, but his head got cracked open before I could do so. I’ve had some shorter matches though.”
Senior Nathan Weiner said, “Even though several people, including myself, did not get the results they wanted, I think we did a great job as a team fighting for every moment of every match. The effort we displayed today is the effort that we need to carry into the rest of our practices and matches.”
Senior Connor Pelletier echoed Weiner’s remarks, stating, “I am satisfied with both the fight I put up and the fact that I came out on top. However, I am very disappointed with my offense and will definitely look to improve it for next match.”
Despite the frustrations expressed by some of the team members, Coach Nelson was pleased with his team’s overall performance.
“It was great to go into vacation with a win and set a good tone for the second half of the season,” he said, “I hope to improve with each match and peak come sectionals and the post season. I would like to send at least four guys to the state tournament.”
The Hillers will look to build off this win for their next match against Keefe Tech, and ultimately for their match later on against arch rival Holliston. The Panthers dominated the Hillers in their lone match last year, pinning every Hopkinton wrestler except Jerome Shea and Nolan Cornu.
“The team will be cranking up the conditioning during our practices to get in better shape,” said Pelletier, “We’re also going to review the tapes form today’s match searching for any improvements that can be made.”
Shea stated, “Like Coach told us, its good that we’re going into the second half of the season on a positive note. Now we need finish out the season with a bang.”
The Hillers host Keefe Tech January 5 at 7:00 pm and visit the Panthers on January 25 at 7:00 pm.