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Depleted Raiders drop match to Milton

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By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter

On the surface, a close 30-27 loss to Milton that moved the team to 2-7 on the year may seem reason to be concerned if you’re a Wellesley wrestler.

It’s a bit more complicated than that, though.

Coach Mike Langan noted that his team is so banged up, and there are so many holes in their lineup, that as long as they’re winning the individual match-ups he thinks they should, he’s not that worried about team wins.

“I thought we wrestled very well out there,” remarked the coach. “It’s just tough wrestling with a bunch of young kids. We have a bunch of holes in the lineup. As we start to get numbers up, that’s when the team wins will start to come, but for right now, we’re focused on individual matches, winning those … I though we did a really good job of that tonight. We still have a lot to work on, but we should be proud of the way we wrestled.”

The night started of rough for the Monks, as Johnathan Natoli and Ian Miles were both pinned in the first period. However, the team turned it around with a Chase Stempel pin victory and an impressive win from Rudy Seaborn that saw him return from an injury timeout to hip toss and pin his opponent. Tony Rendell also added a nice tech fall victory, but with so many holes in the lineup resulting in what could have been forfeits if Milton wanted, there was no way the team cold have won the match.

“We had a bunch of holes in the lineup. They didn’t take as many forfeits as they could have,” explained the coach. “Just for sportsmanship, they take just as much as they need to, that way it’s not like they’re running up the score, because every time you take a forfeit you get six points. But we’re not worried about that - just focusing on [the fact] that we won the matches we need to, which I thought we did a nice job of.”

The match to which Coach Langan pointed as the one with which he was most impressed was that of heavyweight Anthony Messore. Messore (who’s name is pronounced like Missouri, which had the crowd chanting “Mizzoouu” throughout) had a 10-0 lead when he managed to get the pin in a match he was thoroughly dominating.

“Anthony Messore, our heavyweight, has been stepping up big time this year. He’s wrestling really well. He’s worked on his conditioning a lot. I would just say, all around, our younger kids are really stepping it up. The first/second-year kids are getting in the lineup, so you’re not going to win every match, but they’re stepping up big time and coming up with some wins.”

As for a message Coach Langan gave to his wrestlers going forward, it was an easy one: keep working and the wins will come eventually.

“Keep your chins up. Keep moving. Keep working hard at practice,” said the coach. “All this right now is getting us ready for sectionals, so we have a good team, a young team, but we should be getting a couple kids placing at sectionals and looking to move forward in the postseason. That’s our end goal.”

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