The Londonderry High wrestling squad enjoyed quite a bit of success last week, losing to just one of the five opponents it faced.
Wednesday, Jan. 6 was a busy and important day for the Lancer grapplers, who made the short trip over to Derry to first take on the Nashua South Purple Panthers in a tri-meet and then the host Pinkerton Academy Astros in a second dual competition. And the Lancers wound up splitting those meets.
In the head-to-head battle with South, Londonderry snagged a lopsided and 50-18 defeat of the Purple Panthers that featured some strong Lancer performances.
Londonderry victories were delivered by Tyler LeBlanc in the 113-pound bout, David Donnelly at 120 pounds, Ryan Cabezas at 126, Tyler Byrd in the 132-pound contest, Andrew Chase at 138 pounds, Colin Reardon in the 152-pound bout, Mahdi Achab at 170 pounds, Ben Psaledas in the 182-pound match, and Jacob Holmes in the 285-pound contest.
Within minutes of collecting that match victory, the Lancers were down to Ball Family Trophy action with the arch-rival Pinkerton Astros. And the academy crew was able to squeak out a 41-36 victory, thanks in part to three forfeit wins from the LHS bunch.
The Lancers surrendered forfeits at 106 pounds, 195, and 220, and received one at 170 pounds where Achab had no opposition.
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 Donnelly for a 2-1 win at 120 pounds.
Londonderry got a win at 126 pounds, thanks to 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 Chase at 138 (fall 1:03 in), Craig Santos at 145 pounds (fall at 5:21), and Reardon at 152 (fall at 3:24) to take a 24-13 match lead.
The Astros then tallied a win at 160 pounds before Achab received his forfeit victory at 170.
Psaledas bagged a relatively quick pin at 182 pounds (1:57) to give LHS a 36-23 advantage, but then forfeit wins for PA at 195 pounds and 220 helped set up the hosts for their win. And a pin win at the heavyweight level followed by a forfeit at 106 pounds gave the academy side the 41-36 match victory.
The decision left Londonderry with a 6-4 record on the season.
“We won most of the matches against Pinkerton, and I felt taking away forfeits we were the more dominant team. We continue to get better every day, and it’s all about how strong we can finish. I’m very proud of their fight every day and their ability to get better each day,” said coach Jason Cucolo.
The Lancers then tasted nothing but success last Friday, Jan. 8 when they welcomed teams from White Mountain Regional of Whitefield, Kearsarge Regional from Sutton, and Bishop Guertin of Nashua to the LHS gym.
Cucolo’s crew creamed Kearsarge (64-18) and BG (57-12) and got past WMR as well (39-29) on a big winning day.
Cabezas, Byrd, Chase, Santos, Reardon, Alex Boucher, and Achab all bagged three victories for the hosts.