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Wellesley High wrestlers humbled by Braintree

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By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter

While every team at Wellesley High School goes by the name “Raiders,” for decades, the school’s wrestling team has adopted the moniker “Monks,” a tradition whose origin remains unsolved despite the school’s thorough investigating.

Unfortunately, on Wednesday night against Braintree the young team didn’t have a prayer.

Wellesley dug themselves in such an early hole against the Wamps that they trailed 42-0 before they won their first match, a Braintree forfeit when they didn’t bump any of their 152 lb wrestlers up to 160. From that deficit, there was no way to come back. Wellesley would ultimately lose the match 48-18, dropping their record to 1-3.

Braintree’s wrestlers were hard to pin down all day.

Braintree’s wrestlers were hard to pin down all day.

However, there were a few highlights for Wellesley, in the form of a pair of nice victories by their most veteran wrestlers. Senior captain Hudson Sewall had a textbook slam, which eventually led to a pin after his opponent helplessly bridged, squirmed and flailed to no avail.

Senior Luke Celi also pinned his opponent, and credit should be given to Chase Stempel and Tony Rendell, who, in what were ultimately losses, fought hard to keep from getting pinned, despite being clearly overmatched.

Head coach AJ Grignaffini’s response to the younger members of the team: you have to work harder.

“We’ve got to come back and keep working hard at practice,” said Grignaffini. “You can see it on the mat - I’ve got kids not working as hard as I’d like them to work. They know it. It’s early in the season, and we’re trying to change that attitude.”

His message to the older members of the team was even simpler: you have to teach these kids how to work hard.

A textbook takedown from Wellesley as coach AJ Grignaffini looks on.

A textbook takedown from Wellesley as coach AJ Grignaffini looks on.

“We’ve got a young team, so we really need to focus on having these older kids help us out - help out the younger kids - kind of just send a message, set the tone. I mean, they’re going to be with the program for the next couple of years, so really, just push the pace, set the tone and teach these young kids how to work hard. We got a lot of hard work out of our seniors and our captains, but I mean, again, we just need to have them help these younger kids, set the example.”

Wellesley’s Wrestling team has not been working as hard as they should, and on Wednesday night, the Monks paid their penance for it.

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