LHS Wrestling Has A New Leader and Strong Talent Mix

A new era begins in Londonderry High School wrestling this winter, and there are reasons to believe that year one of the Jason Cucolo era will be noteworthy.

Former Connecticut wrestling standout and first-time head coach Cucolo takes over a Lancer team that got plenty done for veteran coach Jim Marron during the final year of his tenure at his post last winter, finishing second at the Division I championships and the Meet of Champions.

There’s plenty of returning talent – including senior star Jean-Luc Lemieux – and some promising freshmen who found success at the middle school level and are aiming to have it carry over to high school.

Cucolo is familiar with his Lancers after having served as an assistant coach at Salem High each of the last two years. Prior to that he was an assistant for five years at Fairfield Warde High School in Fairfield, Conn., and before that Cucolo was an assistant for the wrestling contingent at his alma mater – Sacred Heart University – in Fairfield for four years.

The Darien, Conn., native found success as a wrestler in high school, college, and even after college. He was an All-American in high school, compiling a career record of 142-20 with 98 pins, and then an All-American at Sacred Heart and an All-American in Greco-Roman wrestling after college.

Cucolo was a team captain in high school and college, showing his leadership skills that led him straight to coaching once his own grappling career was done. And he wasn’t a slouch in the classroom, claiming academic honors as well.

Upon finding out that the LHS head coaching job was available, Cucolo jumped at the opportunity to claim it.

“I felt it was a great place to continue to build a wrestling program and I was very excited for the opportunity,” he said.

When asked about his personal coaching philosophy, Cucolo responded, “To teach wrestlers the understanding of wrestling through hard work, dedication, and commitment. To have wrestlers show sportsmanship whether they win or lose a match. To be physical and aggressive within the rules of wrestling. (To teach) that winning isn’t the only thing, but learning and continuing to improve is the most important thing. Londonderry wrestling will be known as a tough, physical team that does so within the confines of the rules.”

And the new Lancer mentor takes a long, wide view of success with his athletes and team, aiming to “develop each person to become the best student and wrestler that they can be, and win New Englands as a team and be able to compete year after year with the best teams in the country. My goal is to be able to sustain and have a competitive team year in and year out.”

Cucolo’s assistant coaches will include Cody Byrd – a former LHS star who has two younger brothers wrestling for the team again this winter – Mark Williams, and Travis Murphey.

Along with 138-pound class champion Lemieux – who enjoyed a stellar, undefeated season last winter – the Lancers have key returnees in his fellow seniors Jake Barr (at 152 pounds), Jake Thorpe (152 pounds), Kyle Byrd (160), Sebastian Roszczenko (182), and Richard Bilodeau (195); juniors Caleb Moscoso (120 or 126), Andrew Chase (120 or 126), Ryan Cabezas (126), Kam Lynch (132), and Mahdi Achab (170), and sophomores Tyler Byrd (120), Andrew Burns (120 or 126), and Colin Reardon (145).

When asked to point out the freshmen who could make some waves, Cucolo responded with the names Tyler Leblanc (106 pounds), Kevin Robischeau (106), Craig Santos (113), Alex Boucher (145), and William Luzanari (220).

Cucolo’s crew had a tune-up scrimmage last Saturday, Dec. 6, which saw it face off against teams from Marshwood, Maine., and White Mountain Regional in Whitefield, in hopes of being ready for the start of the 2014-15 campaign this week.

The locals were slated to get started Wednesday, Dec. 10, at Manchester Central (after Londonderry Times press time).

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below and subscribe to our newsletter