By Evan Mugford
---- — BYFIELD — The Cape Ann League Open wresting tournament wa held over the weekend at Triton Regional, and although the overall winner was the cooperative team of North Reading and Lynnfield (207 points), the three River Rival programs involved gave valiant efforts.
Placing second was the host team, the Triton Vikings (152.5 points), fourth were the Pentucket Sachems (137 points), and placing ninth was the Georgetown/Ipswich (52) cooperative team. The other teams included Beverly (3rd; 147), Danvers (5th; 114), Masconomet (6th; 104.5), the cooperative Marblehead/Swampscott team (7th; 60), Peabody (8th; 54), Salem (10th; 42), and Saugus (11th; 23).
Out of the 11 Triton Vikings (14-6-1) who wrestled, eight were named to either the All-League team or to the All-Star team.
“I was just very pleased with how everyone competed,” said Triton coach Shawn McElligott. “It was a long weekend and the kids stepped up.”
Triton senior Mark Rosmarinofski has a tremendous tournament, going 3-0 and taking first place in the 126-pound division. In the process, the All-League Rosmarinofksi was awarded as the most outstanding wrestler of the tournament for the lower weight classes, and he received the Dan Madigan Memorial award for the most falls in the least amount of time — the second time he’s won both of these awards.
Perhaps most impressive is that Rosmarinofksi also became Triton’s first wrestler since Glen Guilmette in 1978 to become a three-time Cape Ann League champion.
“It’s pretty exciting,” said Rosmarinofski, who believes his team has what it takes to make another deep late-season run. “We have a ton of talent, a couple holes, but I’m confident that this team can make another go at the state title. This team has determination. We have the talent, but we also have the will power to never give up.”
Also making waves for the Vikings was the tandem attack of sophomore Luke Boyle (139 lbs.) and his older brother Mark (160 lbs.; 34-3 record), both of whom went undefeated on the day and earned back-to-back CAL titles.
For his strong showing, Mark was named as the most outstanding wrestler of the higher weight classes, and Luke, who began wrestling for Triton when he was an eighth-grader, is now in rarified air, needing only two more wins to reach 100 career victories.
With the remainder of this season, and then two more still to go, Luke is poised to rewrite the record books.
“It’s pretty impressive stuff,” said McElligott. “My assistant coach, Brandon Hayes, has the school record of 145 wins, and he’s taken Luke under his wing and is supporting him.”
Also making the All-League team for Triton was Victor Ramirez (120 lbs.; 3-1; 3rd place), who was voted in by the league’s coaches. All-Stars for the Vikings include Ramses Medrano (103 lbs.; 3-1; 3rd place), Cody Nixon (132 lbs.; 2-2; 4th place), Jesse Caldwell (152 lbs.; 2-2; 4th place) and Clay Bruneau (182 lbs.; 2-1; 2nd place).
And while the Vikings earned a higher placement, an upstart Sachems team continued to turn heads. In addition to earning the CAL Open Sportsmanship Award, Sachems head coach Dennis Puleo was named the CAL Coach of the Year, and Pentucket senior Tom Funk was named the CAL Wrestler of the Year.
An All-Star as a sophomore, Funk won the title at 113 pounds as a junior, and now as a senior at 120. His brother Jeff took first place at 145 pounds.
Going into the season with more questions than answers, the consensus was that the Sachems (12-9) would struggle for wins in 2013 — a notion that even members of the team considered.
“We were hoping to have a good team this year because we didn’t have any seniors last season, and because we knew that we would have several upperclassmen this year,” said Tom Funk, “but when a couple wrestlers didn’t come back our hopes kind of faded, and we were expecting to have a much harder season. But with some of the freshmen and some of the new guys in the room, those new faces have really pulled through. Those additions have allowed this team be much more competitive. There’s a great team atmosphere and I think that’s a big part of our success.”
Also taking home a title and earning All-League status for Pentucket was sophomore Josh Wesolowski at 132 pounds. Sachems named to the All-Star team were senior Mike McCarron (170 lbs.; 2nd place), junior Sean Clohisy (195 lbs.; 3rd place), senior Kevin Clark (138 lbs; 4th) and sophomore Kyle Knox (113 lbs.; 4th).
Pushing through their learning curves and persevering are the Georgetown Royals (2-10), a team that harbors four CAL All-Stars.
Sophomore Charlie Galanis placed second in the 120-pound division, losing only to the eventual CAL wrestler of the year, Tom Funk.
“This is probably the best that Charlie has wrestled all year. He’s peaking at the right time, and he came out and just wrestled great,” said Royals coach Mike Curley. “In every single match he took risks that he normally wouldn’t make, and it just looks like he’s beginning to do things that guys at the next level tend to make.”
Junior Mike Gallanar placed third in the 126-pound division.
“(Gallanar) was just a super competitive wrestler all day,” said Curley. “He’s continued to move forward, really progressing, and he’s just a much better wrestler than he was at the start of the season.”
Juniors Dave Conway (195 lbs.) and Derek Chamberlain (220 lbs.) are a pair of wrestlers coming back from injury in impressive fashion Conway and Chamberlain earned fourth-place finishes.
“(Conway) was really focused and intense, and it was great to see the way he wrestled, same with Derek Chamberlain,” said Curley. (Chamberlain)’s another guy who has just improved all year long. We’re hoping to see him do some big things in the sections and maybe surprise a few people.
“It was an overall team effort,” said Curley. “A lot of guys wrestled very well. The CAL tournament is a very prestigious tournament and it seems like every team always wrestles their best there. It was good for these guys, because there was some really excellent competition on hand.”