At the end of this season, Triton wrestlers and brothers Luke and Mark Boyle will likely rank first and second, respectively, on the school’s all-time wins list.
Luke Boyle, a junior, has 113 career wins — just 32 shy of the school’s all-time record of 145 set by Brandon Hayes (Class of 2004). Older brother Mark, a senior, has 110 career wins to his record, certainly within striking distance of Hayes’ mark considering he had 41 wins last season.
So, it seems to reason that the Boyle brothers are the best wrestlers in program history. Right?
Not necessarily. While the Boyles will certainly end up on the short list of Triton’s all-time best wrestlers, the statistic for career wins can’t serve as the only criteria to measure greatness.
The biggest difference between the modern wrestling era and that of the 1970s, ‘80s and 90s is the increased number of competitions per season. A local wrestler might have competed in 20 to 25 matches per year in the 1980s, whereas now, with the addition of quad meets and tournaments, some wrestlers might compete in up to 50 matches per year.
“The milestone is difficult to compare with wrestlers from the past,” Pentucket assistant coach Steve Beaudoin said. “The kids are wrestling many more matches during a season. You also can’t compare the wrestlers without knowledge of the number of years that they are allowed to participate and the strength of the team’s schedule.”
The last point best explains the small disparity in wins between the Boyle brothers, even though Luke is a year younger. Luke joined the Triton team as an eighth-grader, the same year Mark joined as a freshman. If Luke even approaches the win total he delivered last year as a sophomore over the next two seasons, he could finish his career with close to 190 career wins.