It’s been an early season of ups and downs for the Needham wrestling team, but over Christmas break there has been a lot to be proud of. In the George Bossi Holiday Tournament in Lowell, the Rockets found a way to represent the town pretty well.
It’s been an early season of ups and downs for the Needham wrestling team, but over Christmas break there has been a lot to be proud of.
In the George Bossi Holiday Tournament in Lowell, the Rockets found a way to represent the town well.
Senior John Corbett placed 12th in the 285-pound division, while Dan Walsh (145 pounds) and Noah Ramos (132 pounds) cracked the top 16 in their respective weight classes.
“John (Corbett) has made tremendous steps on improvement,” Needham coach Robert Pritchett said. “He beat the No. 3 wrestler in the state in his division, so we know what he’s capable of. He’s becoming more coachable. He’s listening more and I think it’s great.”
Overall, Needham finished in 43rd place out of 77 teams at the tournament, and had a lot of terrific individual performances.
"It wasn’t a bad turnout. I think we learned a lot and gained some experience,” Pritchett said. “Seventy-seven teams is a lot, close to a national tournament. It was a great test and a great measurement of where we want to be.”
Harvard Wang (182 pounds) and Joe Woodnorth (120 pounds) had superb performances, lasting until the second day of the tournament in their respective weight classes.
The Rockets have had to shuffle the lineup a bit due to early season injuries.
Senior Peter Bannon, who usually wrestles in the 132-pound division, has been sidelined for a couple of weeks due to injury, which has been a big blow to the lineup. Sophomore Alex Shipmen (120 pounds) has also been sidelined, but will return in the coming weeks.
“We hope to have Peter back this week. Peter is the blood and guts of the team,” Pritchett said. “He’s really tough. He’s been a two-year captain because he never gives up and answers the call when called upon."
Also starring for the Rockets has been senior John Bolliver, who’s wrestled in the 160-pound division.
“I’m really looking forward to hopefully see John get into a nice groove. He has a lot of potential,” Pritchett said.
Needham (2-2) has picked up their first two wins of the season against non-league opponents Malden Catholic and Boston Latin.
According to Pritchett, the kids competed at a high level in both victories, notably earning a pin in every weight class against Malden Catholic except for one.
Needham will be back in action on Thursday, Jan. 3, when they travel to play Bay State Conference opponent Walpole at 5 p.m.
Adam Nazzaro can be reached at 781-433-8338 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @anazz93.