NHIAA Wrestling Meet of Champions: Timberlane pins foes for 10th title in a row
Newport High's Matt Tremblay has the upper hand momentarily on Nashua South's Chris Dube in the 220-pound class. However, Dube won the match during the Meet of Champions at Pinkerton Academy on Saturday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
The Timberlane of Plaistow wrestling team showed its depth and made Timberlane coach Barry Chooljian's 54th birthday a happy one by earning its 10th straight state title.
Timberlane completed the meet with 241.5 points. Pinkerton was second with 119, followed by Nashua North (108.5), Hollis/Brookline (95) and Exeter (83).
"I thought we had the best team, but New Hampshire wrestling is very deep this year and I thought the field would give us trouble," Timberlane coach Barry Chooljian said. "The kids in our (school) district love to wrestle and our kids work really hard. That's what I told the kids today: 'No one works harder than us.'?"
The Owls, who have won the last 14 Division I championships, have prevailed at the Meet of Champions in 18 of the last 21 years.
Seven Timberlane wrestlers advanced to the finals, and five won state championships: Tyler Fitzpatrick (106 pounds), Adam Corey (120), Josh Burnham (138), Josh Riley (170) and Harry Denoncourt (182) . Corey also won last year's 120-pound state championship, and the 119-pound state title as a sophomore.
The 182-pound final, where Denoncourt defeated Milford's Joe Albina, 11-5, may have been the meet's best matchup since both wrestlers won titles at the Meet of Champions last year. Albina was the 170-pound champ, and Denoncourt won at 182.
"The coaches are good, wrestling at the youth level is good and it's fun," Denoncourt said when he was asked about Timberlane's success. "I'm here for two reasons: I want to win, but I want the team to do well too."
Nashua North's Marcel LaPlante (113), Pinkerton's Jean-Luc Lemieux (126), Bishop Guertin's Brandon Levesque (132), Manchester Central's Azalkhon Sarvolov (145), Sanborn's Jon Scheidegger, Exeter's Ross Dannar (160), Nashua North's Joe Chimelski (195), Plymouth's Dakoda Simula (220) and Pinkerton's Camden Crowell (285) are the other wrestlers who won state titles. Sarvolov beat Bow's Peter LaRiviere, 13-9, in the final to improve his record to 31-4 this season.
"He hasn't lost all year in his weight class in state," Central coach Jason Cumming said. "The only time he lost was at the Lowell (Mass.) tournament, and when he bumped up to 152.
"He wrestled awesome today. He had tough competition all day. I'm really proud of him."
Two other Manchester Central wrestlers - Kyle Peterson and Keaton Peterson - reached the championship match in their weight class. Kyle Peterson lost to Levesque, 3-1, in the 132-pound final; and Kenton Peterson lost to Burnham, 9-5, in the 138-pound final.
The last time a team other than Timberlane won the Meet of Champions was in 2003, when Salem earned the state championship.
"To put seven wrestlers in the finals is hard to do," Chooljian said. "We wrestled very well in the medal round.
"Four years after I took over we won our first state championship. All my assistants are guys I coached and at this point the program is feeding itself. I really enjoy working with the kids."
The top three finishers in each weight class earned an invitation to the 49th annual New England Interscholastic Wrestling Championships, which will be held Saturday and Sunday at the Providence Career and Technical Center in Providence, R.I. Manchester Central's Kenton Thompson-Kennedy, who placed third at 126 pounds; and Manchester West's John Ware, who earned a third-place finish at 285, are among those who advanced.
Timberlane's Zach Bridson was the only New Hampshire wrestler who won a New England championship last year. Bridson prevailed at the 113-pound weight class.
MEET OF CHAMPIONS
106: Championship: Tyler Fitzpatrick (Timberlane) def. Cam Bennett (Nashua North); third place: Amir Daouk (Londonderry) def. Connor Stadnicki (Concord); fifth place: Taylor Thyne (Alvirne) def. Jake Hall (Bedford).
113: Championship: Marcel LaPlante (Nashua North) def. Tim McLinden (Timberlane); third place: Jacob Nault (Goffstown) def. Mitchell Rose (Londonderry); fifth place: Jeff Armstrong (Windham) def. Dana Colburn (Con-Val).
120: Championship: Adam Corey (Timberlane) def. John Rheaume (Salem); third place: Dan Losacano (Concord) def. Codi Gaudreau (John Stark); fifth place: Trevor St. Laurent (Spaulding) def. Peter Daniels (Nashua North).
126: Championship: Jean-Luc Lemieux (Pinkerton) def. Ryan Peters (Timberlane); third place: Kenton Thompson-Kennedy def. Nick Widman (John Stark); fifth place: Lucas Rosa (Winnacunnet) def. Connor Bourque (Goffstown).
132: Championship: Brandon Levesque (Bishop Guertin) def. Kyle Peterson (Manchester Central); third place: Dan Scalzo (Timberlane) def. Dakota Krol (Pinkerton); fifth place: Tyler Siverhus (Salem) def. Josh Teixeira (Exeter).
138: Championship: Josh Burnham (Timberlane) def. Keaton Peterson (Manchester Central); third place: Peter Shea (Goffstown) def. Tristan Leeke (Sanborn); fifth place: Jackson Peck (Salem) def. Dylan Swiderski (Windham).
145: Championship: Azalkhon Sarvolov def. Peter LaRiviere (Bow); third place: Caleb Lomme (Hollis/Brookline) def. Stephan Nix (Newport); fifth place: Derek Lawton (Bishop Guertin) def. Will Bean (Londonderry).
152: Championship: Jon Scheidegger (Sanborn) def. Vinny Benincasa (Concord); third place: Tyler Ellwood (Nashua South) def. Tyler Wilson (Pinkerton); fifth place: John Young (Londonderry) def. Zach Jennings (Hollis/Brookline).
160: Championship: Ross Dannar (Exeter) def. Caleb Cole (Oyster River); third place: Chris Pagliccia (Timberlane) def. Adam Smullen (Con-Val); fifth place: Connor Borne (Milford) def. Pat Morse (Alvirne).
170: Championship: Josh Riley (Timberlane) def. David Burke (Exeter); third place: Robert Bernard (Bedford) def. Dylan Barreiro (Pinkerton); fifth place: Corbin Ferland (Fall Mountain) def. Evan Manning (Alvirne).
182: Championship: Harry Denoncourt (Timberlane) def. Joe Albina (Milford); Third place: Jeff King (Exeter) def. Evan Manns (Nashua North); fifth place: John DiSessa (Londonderry) def. Chris Ferri (Windham).
195: Championship: Joe Chimelski (Nashua North) def. Walters Ndi (Concord) ; third place: Kevin Ell (Pinkerton) def. Nate Ashe (Hollis/Brookline); fifth place: Evan Drouin (Spaulding) def. Edgar Hernandez (Manchester West).
220: Championship: Dakoda Simula (Plymouth) def. Zachary Pickard (Merrimack); Third place: Hunter Longland (Hollis/Brookline) def. Shawn Grenier (Timberlane); fifth place: Chris Dube (Nashua South def. Dom Gigante (Salem).
285: Championship: Camden Crowell (Pinkerton) def. Josh Norman (Nashua South); third place: John Ware (Manchester West) def. Hisham Hafez (Hollis/Brookline); fifth place: Christian Boucher (Manchester Memorial) def. Zach Stewart (Timberlane).