Wrestling’s sectional win and state title bid

Above: ARHS Wrestling team after their sectional win (contributed photo)

The Wrestling team is sending nine athletes to the State Championship today and tomorrow.

Proud wrestling mom Eileen Cozzolino shared the following details for the team along with the photos below. (Click thumbnails to enlarge)

Bryce Finnegan (contributed photo) Drew Cozzolino (contributed photo) Shea Garand (contributed photo) Austin Roche (contributed photo)

 Left to right: top row - Shea Garand (4th), Garrett Powers (6th), Joe Vencile (3rd), Drew Cozzolino (1st), Austin Roche (1st), Curtis Clark (3rd), Colin Robinson (4th); bottom row - Jake Kerr (5th), Jack Golden (1st), James Mahoney (6th), Bryce Finnegan (1st); not pictured Walker Haskins (6th) (contributed photo)

After claiming the Central Sectional Championship last weekend for the first time in the programs history- the Algonquin wrestling team has a new goal this week- capturing the Division 2 State Title. The team is sending [nine] wrestlers to the Division 2 State Championship this Friday and Saturday at Marshfield High. Having this many wrestlers competing will certainly help with team points. The team had 215 points at Sectionals many of those coming from pins. [Out of the top eight] wrestlers that will be representing Algonquin this weekend, they pinned their opponents 18 times last Saturday.

Many of those returning to States, know the level of competition that awaits them. Six out of the [nine] were there last year. Two of Sectional winners this year, junior captain Bryce Finnegan (126) and senior captain Austin Roche (138) also won the title last year. While junior captain Drew Cozzolino (132) earned his third Sectional title last Saturday. When Cozzolino was a freshman in 2014 in the 106 weight class, he placed first along with his older brother, Joe Cozzolino (138) and then claimed the title again at 113 in 2015. Sophomore Jack Golden (113) placed 4th in 2015 but pinned his way to first place this year. Joe Vencile (Heavy Weight) and Curtis Clark both placed fourth last year and 3rd this year.

Two novice wrestlers will be representing Algonquin at Marshfield. Junior Colin Robinson (220) decided to ‘give wrestling a try’ when his friend and teammate from the football team, Joe Vencile, convinced him to try out. Robinson never looked back- he earned a starting position on the varsity team with his athletic build and willingness to learn. Also getting a varsity spot this year is freshman Shea Garand. Starting at the a heavier weight (170) is not easy for a freshman but three years spent in the Junior T-Hawk Youth wrestling gave him the needed skills to hold his own this year. Garand had two pins last weekend, at key times, to earn the 4th place spot in the 170 weight class.

While the team is looking for its first State title, each wrestler is also looking to capture their own individual title as well. There has not been a State Title winner at ARHS since Baird Lashley in 1989. The closest the wrestlers came were second place finishes by Mike Wrin 2009, 2010, Dylan Foley 2011 and Alex Mazzola 2013. Needless to say, the current wrestlers are looking to make their own history for Algonquin.

If any of these wrestlers place in the top six at Division 2 States, they will travel to Reading High School next weekend to compete at All States. More about that will follow after Saturday’s results. Follow the team on twitter @ARHSW for up to date results.

Breaking news: Jake Kerr (145) will be wrestling with the team this weekend. Kerr was placed 5th, a rank that earned him an alternate slot. Kerr practiced all week hoping to be able to have the chance to compete. The team just learned that he has been called up.

Good luck team!

Anyone who has news or photos to share of other teams’ accomplishments, you can email mysouthborough@gmail.com.

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