The Duxbury wrestling team competed in the 26th Annual Marshfield Holiday Tournament over the vacation break, and three Dragon grapplers placed in the top seven out of a field of 31 teams. The field included Bridgewater-Raynham, North Andover, Plymouth South, North Attleboro, and Marshfield, all of whom are ranked among the top 25 teams in the state. 

While a depleted Duxbury squad still managed to finish 16th overall, they had some outstanding individual performances. Senior captain Pat Donovan finished third at 140 lbs., with sophomores Nick Kates (103) and Jake Genereux (130) finishing sixth and seventh in their respective weight classes. The two-day tournament is an early indication of where wrestlers stand in comparison to some of the best wrestlers in Divisions 1, 2, and 3.

Donovan got off to a good start with a pin and a major decision (11-1) over his Hanover and Pembroke opponents in the first two rounds.  Unfortunately for the Duxbury senior captain, he had the misfortune of meeting the top-ranked and tournament favorite, Matt Libby, in the quarterfinals.  The B-R senior captain and New England Champ showed why he’s the best in the 140 lbs. weight class with a first-period pin of the Duxbury captain.

While Donovan was disappointed with the draw and the loss, he put himself in good position to join the rankings, winning a 2-1 nail-biter over No. 7-ranked Shawn Adams of Wilmington in the consolation round. The Duxbury senior followed that win with a dominating 16-5 major decision over Norton’s Derek Hoyt, setting up a match on the big stage with Mike Cofsky of Walpole, and the opportunity to take home a bronze medal.

Donovan set the tone of the match with a first-period takedown, and an early 2-0 lead.  The Duxbury senior would extend his lead to 5-0 in the second period with an escape from the bottom position, and another 2-point takedown.  The Walpole senior chose bottom to start the third period, but Donovan held him down for the entire period, hanging on for the win, and an impressive third-place finish.

Sophomore Nick Kates (4-3) was hoping to improve on last year’s sixth-place finish in the 103 lbs. weight class, but North Andover’s Daniel Coughlin proved to be his nemesis, beating him in the quarterfinals, and then for fifth/sixth place later in the day.

Kates got off to a good start with a win and then a pin of New Bedford’s Dontae Monteiro before losing a 4-0 decision to Coughlin in the quarters.  Now in the consolations, Kates won a 7-0 decision over Kevin Wright of Sandwich, and then won by technical fall (15-0) over Plymouth North’s Anthony Christensen before losing to B-R’s Steve Pace.  The loss, however, would give Kates a second opportunity at beating Coughlin, but the North Andover sophomore had other ideas, taking advantage of a second-period reversal, and then pinning the Duxbury sophomore with a cradle for fifth place.

Sophomore Jake Genereux (5-2), who finished in seventh place last year at 112 lbs was hoping for at least a similar fate, jumping up three weight classes to 130 lbs. However, Genereux was shocked in the second round by Barnstable’s CJ Botello.  While the early loss was deflating, Genereux rattled off three wins in a row, beating Brockton’s Evan Rocha by technical fall (20-4), Sharon’s Tyler Layer by pin, and PL rival Mike Garrett by a 7-3 decision.  Unfortunately, Genereux’s win streak came to an end with a loss to North Andover’s Brad Dover. The loss set up a rematch with Botello and a chance at redemption for the Duxbury sophomore, who came out fired up and built an 11-0 lead before pinning Botello in the third period for seventh place.

Junior Brendan Gillis (3-2) was once again a key contributor for Duxbury in the 119 lbs. weight class. While pinning his Braintree opponent in the first round, Gillis also suffered a setback in the second round with a loss to B-R’s Darvin Anderson.  However, a pin of Hanover’s Dylan Joyce, and a thrilling 8-6 win over Whitman Hanson senior Alex Perry, who had beaten the Duxbury junior at the PL Championship, was one of the highlight matches for the Dragons.  Unfortunately for Gillis, his run would end on day two of the tournament at the hands of Bristol Aggie’s Zach Leblanc.

Also making it to the second day with strong performances were senior captains Jamie Auer (3-2), who recorded a team-high three pins in the 145 lbs. weight class, and Alec McKenzie (2-2), who had two pins at 189.  Junior Bobby Boyle (2-2) also had two pins in the 215 lbs. weight class, and sophomore Owen Grey (2-2) had a win and a pin at heavyweight.

Next up for the Dragon grapplers is an away match with Patriot League Champion Whitman-Hanson on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.