The North Central Massachusetts high school wrestling scene has been a brewing ground for talent over the last decade or so.
Many talented grapplers have claimed sectional, state and New England crowns and helped propel their respective programs to team glory, as well. Nashoba Regional and Monty Tech have cranked out gifted wrestlers, year in and year out, while Leominster and North Middlesex Regional continue to be programs on the rise after breakout 2022-23 seasons.
Here’s what to look for from the area high school wrestling squads this winter.
Record last year: 19-4-2
Tournament finishes: Third at the Division 1 West/Central sectionals
Key losses: Isaiah Vega, Tadeu Sena, John Escabi, Jiovanni Roman, Laudon Bercovitz
Returning letterman: Troy Greaney, Danny Greaney, Aramis Reyes, Anthuan Lino-Diego
Wrestlers to watch: Troy Greaney, Danny Greaney, Aramis Reyes, Anthuan Lino-Diego
Head coach: Matt Schiller
Season outlook: “We’re still very young, with only one senior in the starting lineup, but you know we won the league last year. So that’s our goal this year, to do that and hopefully just keep putting together winning seasons.”
Record last year: 17-5
Tournament finishes: Second at Tyngsboro Big Red tournament, First at Monty Tech Kieron Smith Memorial Tournament, third at Division 2 West sectionals, fifth at Division 2 state tournament.
Head coach: Chris Godfrey
Key losses: Jeffrey Kidwell, Daniel Kidwell, Faith Maldonado, Trevor Gendron
Returning letterman: Xaedyn Natal, Jonah Paulino, Cooper Wiebe, Sean Lyle, Daniel Lehmann, Gregory Lehmann, Conor Fuller, Zachary Smith-Pratt
Promising newcomers: Chime Chaim
Season outlook: “I’m excited for the season, I think we’re gonna do well. We’re division one now, but I don’t think it will be a big change for us because we already wrestle all tough tournaments so it should be a fun season.”
North Middlesex Regional
Record last year: 13-3-1
Head coach: Ryan Ponte
Key losses: Dustin Fournier, Noah Lake
Returning letterman: Matthew Piper, Darrien Crawford, Pat Ditte, Kris Kummings, Josh Neal
Promising newcomers: Gavin Chosse, Damien Agraz, Richard Marques
Season outlook: “We’re young, but I think we’re trying to build upon that of which we did last year. This team is only in its third year and we’ve been seeing some steady improvement; its first year, I think the program went 1-10 and last year our record jumped up, so I’m excited to see it and see where this program goes.”
Record last year: 11-13
Tournament finishes: ninth at Division 2 West sectionals, second at Monty Tech Kieron Smith Memorial tournament
Head coach: Michael Cassella
Key losses: Brody Flannery, Yeshua Guerrera
Returning letterman: Dillon Daukantas, Matthew Cahill, Brendan Downey, Eabhan Ambrose, Alexander Heim, Daniel De Almeida, Taetum Cassella, Josh Phillips
Promising newcomers: Jacob Perez, Connor Cox
Season outlook: “Nashoba will be returning 18 out of 22 wrestlers from last year’s team. Twenty of last year’s wrestlers were freshmen or sophomores. We will again be wrestling a tough schedule against some of the better teams in Massachusetts and a top team from Rhode Island in Cumberland. As a coach, I am just looking for improvement as the season progresses. We made major improvements last year as the season progressed and if we can continue that this year, everything should work out.”