Four Swampscott-Marblehead wrestlers took home medals and awards from the annual Northeastern Conference-Cape Ann League (NEC-CAL) wrestling tournament this past weekend held at Triton Regional High School.
Sean Taylor, co-captain and Marblehead senior, placed second in the heavyweight division, after losing 3-2 in the championship match to Andrew Kibarian of Lynnfield/North Reading (LNR).
"Tough one to lose, but, we know what we need to work on, and we will absolutely see Kibarian again on Feb. 9 at Melrose for sectionals" said Head Coach Mike Stamison.
Joe Mitlin, a Swampscott senior (160), and Maleek Newsome, a Swampscott junior (170) both placed third in their weight classes. For Mitlin and Newsome, it was the first time in their high school careers that they've placed in the top three of a tournament.
"Happy for both of them, they wrestled in tough weight classes, and kudos to Joe, who in the consolation final wrestled against an opponent from Masco who has beaten him earlier that day,” said Stamison.” Maleek was very sharp in his wins."
The NEC-CAL tournament features teams from both conferences, including perennial powerhouses, Triton, Pentucket, Masco, and LNR.
Ali Atallah, a Marblehead senior (182) went 2-2 at the tournament. Michael Haskell and Stephen Hopkins placed third and fourth respectively in the CAL-NEC junior varsity tournament.
"Ali has been nursing an injury all year, hopefully the 10 days we have between Peabody and D3 North Sectionals will help him get back to full strength,” said Stamison. “Hoppy and Haskell as 8th and 7th graders, respectively, have handled themselves quite maturely, and I'm very excited to have them as a lightweight 1-2 punch next year. They both have potential."
Also of note, Jake Powell, co-captain and Swampscott senior, received the NEC wrestler of the year.
"We were joking around after he was announced as having won wrestler of the year, something along the lines of 'say Jake, you didn't even have to wrestle today, and you still managed to get your name called during the awards ceremony!', but that being said, that award is voted on by the coaches of the NEC, and he's more than earned it, with two tournament wins and outstanding wrestler awards in those tournaments, combined with a 23-2 record, he is more than deserving to be the first Black & Blue wrestler to win NEC Wrestler of the Year,” said Stamison. “I am very proud of him, and all the boys, in what has been our best year yet."
The team wrestles in its last home dual meet of the season against Peabody on Jan. 30, 7 pm. The team will honor its senior wrestlers, Jonah Weinstein, Eugene Bromberg, Joe Mitlin, Sean Taylor, and Jake Powell, prior to the start of the dual meet. Ceremonies are slated to starting around 6:30PM that day and there is no admission cost. "Should be a great night, I urge one and all to come check out what should be an exciting dual meet, and any prospective wrestlers, I'll make myself available after for any questions you may have about joining the team next year."
After that dual meet, the team will wrestle in the Division 3 North Sectional tournament on Feb. 9 at Melrose high school. The top 4 place winners there will wrestle in the Division 3 State tournament on Feb. 15 and 16 at Wakefield high school, and the top 6 place winners there will wrestle in the All-State tournament on Feb. 22 and 23 at Salem high school.