The Londonderry High wrestling team officially made new head coach Jason Cucolo’s welcome warm last week by dominating its first two competitions of the 2014-15 campaign.
The new LHS leader saw his charges plow their way past Manchester Central in their first dual meet of the season during the middle of the week, and then power their way to the team title at the annual Alvirne Broncos Invitational in Hudson last weekend.
“The Central match was a nice way to ease into the season,” said the coach. “They are a very young team, but they have some tough guys and most of them come with some wrestling experience. The Bronco was also a nice starting tournament. The guys all got at least three matches and with each match came more of a challenge.”
The Londonderry crew officially began the new season by overpowering the host Manchester Central Little Green in a stunning, 74-0 shutout in the Queen City Wednesday, Dec. 10.
Victories on pins came from Mahdi Achab in the 170-pound division, Sebastian Rozczenko at 182 pounds, Craig Santos at 113 pounds, Tyler Byrd at 120, Ryan Cabezas in the 126 division, Andrew Chase at 132 pounds, Jean-Luc Lemieux in the 145-pound bout, and Jake Barr at 152 pounds.
Major decisions were collected by Richard Bilodeau in the 195-pound bout (16-6 score) and Kyle Byrd at 160 pounds (9-1).
Forfeit victories were taken by 285-pound grappler Nehemyah Dion, 106-pounder Kevin Robischeau, and Alex Boucher at 138 pounds.
Then at the Alvirne High competition last Saturday, Dec. 13, Londonderry placed seven grapplers in weight class finals and had five athletes crowned champions on a very productive day for the locals.
The Lancers had veterans Lemieux (138), Barr, Kyle Byrd, and Bilodeau and freshman Santos take weight class crowns, and Tyler Byrd and Cabezas wind up with second places. Thirds were bagged by Robischeau, Andrew Chase, Colin Reardon (152), Achab (170), and Rozczenko.
Where team scoring was concerned, the Londonderry crew claimed first place by tallying 203.5 points, with host Alvirne a very distant second (148).
The team will host the Londonderry Holiday Invitational Wrestling Tournament Saturday, Dec. 20. The event was previously hosted by Bow High School for many years, but has been moved to LHS this year.