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December 26, 2013

A close-up look at area holiday tournaments

(Continued)

“We went every year in the 1970s through the 1990s,” McElligott said. “We stopped in 1996 and went to the Pentucket Holiday Tournament, but in 2006 (the Lowell Holiday Tournament) brought us back and we have been going since.”

Getting up for big meets is nothing new to Coach Mac’s team, for they are eager and ready to go in every dual meet they have. The feel, preparation and strategy of a tournament is far different, however.

“It’s two different feels,” McElligott Said. “Dual meets are more geared toward the wrestlers individually. It’s a different game plan for how they wrestle a match in a tournament. In a dual meet, they may be more cautious, where in a tournament it’s easier for them to take more risks, especially if they are losing. This is because getting pinned won’t hurt us as a team in the long run.”

Because of the staggering number of teams competing, winning isn’t a realistic goal for the Triton Vikings. That doesn’t mean, though, that McElligott’s crew will enter the tournament without objectives.

“A goal that we always have is to be the top Division 3 school that goes there,” he said. “We have been in the mix the past six or seven years. We want to be in the top 20 and would like to be able to crack that at some point.

The Boyle brothers, Mark and Luke, were significant in last year’s Holiday Tournament and could make noise this year. Mark Boyle took fifth last year, while Luke Boyle just missed the placing round. Along with the Boyles, Jake Durkin, Cody Nixon and sophomore Alec Moffat have had strong seasons so far this year and are expected to help the Vikings greatly.

“(Moffat) didn’t wrestle last year, but I kind of wish he did,” McElligott said. “In a three-week period, he has progressed quickly. He has great balance and strength. He’s an athletic kid with good hand-eye coordination. He’s 3-1, one of his wins coming when he pinned his opponent to win our match against Quincy. In his one loss, he was outweighed by 60 pounds. He’s trying to learn the game, but he has done very well. To be above .500 is a big accomplishment for any sophomore kid, but he has progressed very quickly for us.”

Triton High School heads into the tournament with a 3-2 record, fresh off their victory against Georgetown/Ipswich on Monday morning.

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