By Chris Paul
Three Londonderry High School wresters made it through the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association’s Meet of Champions on Saturday, Feb. 25, and will now head for the New England Championship.
Sophomore, David Pento Jr., senior, Nic D’Alessandro, and junior, Patrick O’Connor all won their respective weight classes and will be competing in the 57th Annual New England Interscholastic Wresting Championships starting on Friday, March 3, at the Providence Career and Technical Academy in Providence, RI on behalf of their Lancer team.
Overall the LHS squad finished in fourth place and coach, Jay Caccolo, was very happy with his team’s effort. “The kids wrestle hard all day and the team really has shown how much they have grown this entire season. I couldn’t be more proud and honored to have coached them this season.”
Lancer D’Alessandro headed into the tourney with a 37-9 record and won his 132-pound weight class with three strong wins. In his championship match, he had a 12-9 victory against Salem’s Caleb O’Rourke, whom he had lost to at the Division I tournament the previous week. D’Alessandro also had two pin wins on his way to the championship round. He pinned Souhegan’s Logan Brown in the Semis and beat Nate Maslanek in the Quarters by a fall in less than two-minutes.
Cucculo said, “He stuck to the game plan after making some adjustments from his lost last week. He pushed the pace and wrestled a very smart match for the win.”
Pento finished the season at 42-1 and had another strong tournament to remain undefeated in the state of New Hampshire. He took first at the MOCs with three more. Pento also had a rematch from the prior week in the championship round, beating Ben Little, of Timberlane, with 10-3 decision.
Pento also had a 14-2 major decision over Christian Morency of Manchester West and a 16-1 win over Jacob Critchfield of Hollis-Brookline.
Cucculo commented, “He stuck to the same game plan and pushed the pace and dominated the match in all three positions.”
O’Connor’s record went up to 39-8 with his three wins at the MOCs. He was able to claim a 6-2 victory over a very tough competitor from Plymouth in the championship.
Cucculo was happy for O’Connor, “Pat wrestled a very smart match and didn’t make any mistakes.”
He also had a 4-0 victory over Sam Onge of Exeter in the Quarters and a fall win at 5:36 over Landon Calazzo of Alvirne in the Semifinals.
Sophomore Nikki Stylianos placed third in the girls’ state tournament, which took place at the same time for the first time this season. She lost a close match in the Semi-finals and then wrestled back to third.
Manny Perez took fourth-place at the MOCs with three wins and a loss.
Michael Palma, Andreas Taliadouros, Owen Rondeau, and Chris Gear all wrestled hard that day but unfortunately did not place.