Last Thursday nightâ€™s match against Silver Lake had all the makings of a good, old-fashioned barn burner between two teams who are both trying to find their rhythm heading into the postseason. The Dragons came out firing on all cylinders to win their fourth match, and made senior night a memorable one for Duxbury wrestling captains Pat Donovan, Jamie Auer and Alec McKenzie.
However, it was the underclassmen who stole a little bit of the senior captainsâ€™ thunder when the match began in the 125 lbs. weight class.Â Duxbury freshman Jim Chappuis took the mat against SL junior Nick Foley, and after an early takedown by Foley, Chappuis earned an escape, takedown, and back points to take a 6-2 lead heading into the second period.Â With both wrestlers back on their feet, Chappuis got another takedown and three more back points before Foley made it interesting in the third period with a reversal and back points of his own.Â However, it was too little too late for the SL junior, who lost a 14-7 decision.
Making his varsity debut in the 130 lbs. weight class was Duxbury sophomore Brian Leddie, who has been out most of the season with a knee injury.Â Believing that Duxbury was trying to avoid a match-up between SL freshman phenom Tom Grifa (52-2 as a middle schooler) and Duxburyâ€™s Jake Genereux, who both wrestle at 130, SL coach Russ Shute went to his bench for the match.Â After going scoreless through two periods, Leddie got a reversal and three back points en route to a 5-0 victory.
With a 6-0 lead in favor of Duxbury, Grifa and Genereux would face off in the 135 lbs. weight class.Â Grifa tried to score on a single-leg takedown twice, but Genereux defended well, and then with a minute left in the first period, the Dragon grappler took Grifa down, grabbed his head, and cradled him for the pin, and the win.Â
The victory extended the Duxbury lead to 12-0, but more significantly, Silver Lake would have to bump up their remaining wrestlers. That was the case when junior Mike Silva (135) had to face Duxbury senior captain Pat Donovan in the 140 lbs. weight class.
Donovan put on a clinic for the youth wrestlers in attendance when he continually scored back points with tilts, mounting a 12-0 lead before pinning Silva with three seconds remaining in the third period.
That set up what turned out to be the featured match of the evening with Duxbury senior captain Jamie Auer taking the mat against SL junior Dom Vito in the 145 lbs. weight class.Â Auer got the first takedown, but Vito would cut the lead in half with an escape.Â With a 2-1 lead, Auer chose bottom to start the second period, and got an escape to extend his lead to 3-1.Â However, Vito went on the offensive, and took the Duxbury senior captain down to tie the match at 3-3 heading into the third period.Â It looked like Auer was in command when he earned two back points from the top position, but Vito somehow managed a reversal with time running out in the third period to force overtime. It would take two overtime periods before Auer prevailed 8-5 on senior night.
Silver Lake freshman Mike Landry would earn his teamâ€™s first points in the 152 lbs. weight class when he defeated Duxburyâ€™s Lucas Trumbo 5-0.Â The visitors would also win by forfeit in the 160 lbs. weight class.
Thatâ€™s when Duxbury sophomore Cody Dormady came through for the hosts in the 171 lbs. weight class against SL junior Nick Miller.Â The match would be a see-saw affair after Dormady got the first takedown and three back points.Â Miller, however, would eventually get a reversal and takedown to pull within one point. Dormady reversed him, and gave up an escape before pinning the SL junior with 20 seconds remaining in the second period.
With a commanding 27-9 lead, Duxbury had one more senior to send out in captain Alec McKenzie (189).Â Unfortunately for McKenzie, he would have to face off against Silver Lake junior captain Matt Ketchum (171), who was also forced to bump up for the contest.Â Ketcham showed why heâ€™s one of the best in the state at 171 lbs., as he dominated the match en route to a 12-1 major decision.
Next up for Duxbury was junior Bobby Boyle, who took the mat in the 215 lbs. weight class against SL senior Pat Thompson.Â Boyle got the first takedown as he often does, and took a 4-3 lead into the third period where he earned a reversal and back points before pinning the SL senior to give the hosts a commanding 33-13 lead.
In the absence of Duxbury heavyweight Owen Grey, head coach Kyle McCarthy had the luxury of sending sophomore Tommy Connelly out to the mat for his first varsity win by forfeit at 285.
However, in a good showing of sportsmanship, Duxbury did not send out sophomore Nick Kates at 103 or junior Brendan Gillis at 119.Â In an effort to make the match appear closer than it really was, Silver Lake took the forfeits, giving the visitors 12 points and closing the gap to 39-25.
The No. 4-seeded Dragons did not fare as well at team sectionals on Saturday, losing in the second round to Plymouth North, who they had beaten the week before, and then losing by two points to SharonÂ after forfeitingÂ three weight classes due to injuries.
Winning both of their matches for Duxbury were sophomore Jake Genereux (130), junior Bobby Boyle (215), and senior captains Pat Donovan (140), Jamie Auer (145), and Alec McKenzie (189).