By Chris Paul
The Londonderry High School Varsity Wrestling team didn’t get much of a break over the holiday season, as they traveled to Massachusetts two days after Christmas and competed in the annual George Bossi Lowell Holiday Tournament, where the squad placed 25th out of an 87-team field.
Before the holiday break, Londonderry traveled to Concord High School on Dec. 21, where they faced a tough Crimson Tide team in a Dual Meet where they were only able to claim three, match wins and fell 63-15.
The three Lancer victories came from the 145-pound Michael Palma over Wesley Thompson in an 8-5 decision.
At 152, David Pento added another pin to his season when he defeated Jeydon Wilson with a fall at 1:40.
Patrick O’Connor had the final match win of the evening with a pin over Austin Freire at 3:28.
Following that loss, Londonderry had the Lowell Holiday tournament on Tuesday, Dec. 27, and Wednesday, Dec. 28, where they finished with their highest finish since 2015. The team’s 25th place finish was just two behind the 2015 team’s result of 23rd.
At 132 lbs., Nic D’Alessandro was seeded fourth in his bracket and wrestled to his seed. Despite a rough start, losing in his first match of the tournament, D’Alessandro rallied back with seven straight wins, including a win over the wrestler that beat him in the first round for the fourth-place finish.
Manny Perez (138 lbs.) Finished with three wins and two losses and Michael Palma (145 lbs.) went 2-2.
The 152 lb. Lancer, David Pento, Jr., was the top Londonderry finisher, claiming the weight championship. Despite being seeded first, Pento did not have an easy path through the tournament, meeting some incredibly tough opponents in all three rounds from the quarterfinals through the finals.
Pento managed three wins on Tuesday and three on Wednesday for the title.
He began the tournament with a first-round, 13-0 victory over Jacob Critchfield of Hollis-Brookline. In his second match, Pento had a 7-0 decision over Nadim Baghdady of Belmont. In the round of 16, Pento got his first pin of the day with a fall over Steve Fogarty out of Melrose. Pento then beat Anthony Matas of Essex in a tight 4-3 decision to move onto the semifinals. In his semis match, Pento had an 8-2 win over Luca Manfredi of Newtown then wrested a 9-7 win in the finals.
At the 170 lb. weight, Pat O’Connor went 5-2, losing in the “blood round” and fell just one match short of placing.
Pento and D’Alessandro are Londonderry’s first placers at the Lowell Holidays since Alex Boucher back in 2017.
Over the newyears holiday weekend, Londonderry faced Haverhill High School in Massachusetts.
In that Dual Meet, the Mass. team beat LHS 60-19.
The Lancers had just four matches won.
D’Alessandro had a 19-8 major decision win.
Manny Perez and David Pento both had victories by fall and Kyle Jasper got a 6-2 win in the 285 lb. weight-class.
The Lancers wrestlers were scheduled to host a dual meet against the Nashua North Titans on Wednesday night, Jan. 4, to begin the new year.