Naturally, the competition in any sort of all-star event is going to be challenging.
The opponents that three Winchester High wrestlers faced in the second annual Pin Cancer all-star meet between the Middlesex League and Merrimack Valley Conference were especially challenging.
The Sachems’ Isaac Graylin, Jack Kinsey and Patrick Doherty each dropped a decision against their MVC counterpart on Thursday, Dec. 6 at Andover High School’s Dunn Gymnasium.
The MVC won the team competition, 55-7.
“All three wrested well,” said Winchester coach Charlie Cowen, “They kept it as close as they could. They didn’t get pinned. They made the other guys earn it.”
Graylin, a junior who won a championship at the MIAA Division 2 Metro tournament last winter, lost to Mikey Glynn of Central Catholic, 14-0 at 120 pounds. Glynn was a sixth-place finisher in the New England tournament last year.
“He’s really good,” Graylin said. “I got in on some good shots, but I need to work on finishing. It’s a little intense, but when you’re on the mat it’s just one-on-one. It was fun. I didn’t feel any pressure.”
Doherty, who finished seventh in the Division 2 state tournament last year, battled returning All-State champion CJ Cincotta of North Andover at 160 pounds, dropping a 13-3 decision.
“He knows how to work, but I feel that I held my own,” Doherty said. “His speed is very good. It’s very hard to sprawl against him. His reaction time is so good. He’s very quick off the whistle.”
In the 152 pound bout, Zabian Cruz of Methuen defeated Kinsey, 20-7. Kinsey, who placed fourth in Division 2 Metro last season, replaced scheduled starter Sean Herbert of Melrose, who was an All-State finalist last season.
The meet took place just before the end of the second full week of practice for Winchester, which opens the season on Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Milford/Souhegan tournament in New Hampshire. The Sachems’ first dual meet is against Lexington on Wednesday, Dec. 12.
Cowen, a former Winchester High wrestler and coach at Lexington Christian Academy, is in his first year coaching at his alma mater.
“With the new coach, we’re learning a lot of different things,” Doherty said. “Everyone is working hard.”
Said Graylin, “It’s fun. We’re missing a few people, but we’ll do well.”
Last year, in coach Larry Tremblay’s 38th and finish season at Winchester, the Sachems were undefeated in dual meets, won the Middlesex League title and the Division 2 Metro championship.
Tremblay, who has won more dual meets than any coach in Massachusetts history, is now coaching at Melrose High School.