By Tim Lima
---- — Before his first season as a head coach began, Ryan Archambault expressed his feelings on his Georgetown-Ipswich wrestling team.
“We have a very motivated, hardworking group of kids,” he said. “We look to be .500 or better in dual meets.”
While finishing the season with a winning record may not be the loftiest of goals, Archambault knew that improving his team would largely be a rebuilding effort. The Royals-Tigers were rebounding from a 5-17 2013 season and facing a 2014 campaign with an inexperienced group.
It was quickly proved evident that a breath of fresh air was just what the doctor ordered for Georgetown-Ipswich, as Archambault coached his team to a 5-4 record in its first nine meets. The record wasn’t ground-breaking, but it established a base from which to work.
The Royals-Tigers team showed continued growth in its following quad-meet tournament. Competing against three other schools, Georgetown-Ipswich went 3-0-1, beating Everett, Tyngsborough and Gloucester in the process.
Most impressively, they did it by utilizing veteran leadership and experience while also displaying the growth in its first-year wrestlers.
“It’s tough to single out one guy to talk about when every kid throughout the lineup is wrestling as hard as they are,” Archambault said after the meet.
“Our veterans are taking care of business as they should be, and the young wrestlers just don’t quit. We have had five first-year wrestlers pick up their first varsity wins this weekend. My hat is off to them for the effort they continue to pour out when they step onto the mat.”
One of the helping veterans was Charlie Galanis, who reached a personal milestone just eight days later with his 100th career win.
“I wasn’t thinking about it at all,” Galanis said afterward.
“I was focused on wrestling, winning and doing what I can to help the younger kids on the team.”
After a hot-and-cold start to the season, Georgetown-Ipswich started off 2014 strong with a 5-0-1 run, but the Royals-Tigers team couldn’t keep its momentum going, as it lost four of its last seven meets, finishing the season 11-8-1.
Nevertheless, the team achieved its goal to finish the season with a winning record, and with a full season now under their belts, Archambault and his team also laid the foundation for greater success going forward.