Walpole Wrestling Reaches .500 For First Time Against Norwood

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One of the Rebel’s senior Captains works to pin his opponent in the 170 pound bout.

Justin Rouhana

One of the Rebel's senior Captains works to pin his opponent in the 170 pound bout.
One of the Rebel’s senior Captains works to pin his opponent in the 170 pound bout.

With their record even at 9-9, Walpole Wrestling traveled to Norwood High School’s main gym on Wednesday night, January 30. The Rebels finally put their record past .500 for the first time all season by winning the dual meet 52-22.

The meet began at the 132 pound weight class in which the Rebels struck first when senior Garrett Barry pinned his opponent in the third period to start Walpole off on the right foot. Barry said, “I tried to set the tone early for the team, I’m not used to going first, we usually start at 106.”

At 138 pounds, sophomore Matt Hancock won in a minor decision against his evenly matched Mustang opponent. Hancock, who is a first year varsity starter, made up for his inexperience with his brute strength: on Wednesday, he lifted his opponent off the mat to score a take-down several times throughout the bout. Senior Captain Noah Kung said, “It was a good win, I just think he needs to stick to the basics and use the strength he has. He’ll become a great wrestler.”

After two losses in a row by pin at 145 and 152 pounds, the Rebels had an interesting match at 160 pounds. Junior Ryan Mcweeney, who was filling in for injured classmate Harry Mourad, wrestled Norwood’s senior Captain Mike McDonough. McDonough won the Weymouth Tournament that Walpole attended on January 18. Mcweeney wrestled tough and even though he did lose the bout, he still did not get pinned and helped his team by only giving up 4 team points to Norwood.

Walpole won the next three bouts at 170, 182 and 195 pounds, nearly clinching the meet mathematically. Senior Captains Trevor Wassel and Kyle Robbins won their bouts at 170 and 182 pounds by points. Classmate and Co-Captain Justin Rouhana won by forfeit at 195 pounds for the Rebels.

At 220 pounds, Kung—who had previously pinned his Mustang opponent at the January 18th Weymouth tournament—won his match decisively, which sealed the win for Walpole mathematically. At heavyweight, senior Armen Andonian won his bout by pin in the third period. Andonian was ahead in points during a back and forth bout. Of his Norwood adversary, he said, “I’m glad I didn’t underestimate that kid; It could have gone either way. He was explosive, strong.”

At 106 pounds, the Rebels injury-defaulted (forfeited due to injury) when freshman Mike Shea got hurt in his bout. The match was back and forth, but Shea was ahead in points when he called for injury time. After a conference with the Walpole trainer,  Head Coach Devin Pacelli gave the signal for injury default to the referee, and Norwood took the automatic six team points.

At 113 and 126 pounds, the Rebels got wins from junior classmates Joe Delaney and Kyle Kilroy. These wins only padded the Rebels’ stats in their already dominating win.

Although Walpole Wrestling — which had a lot of hype in the preseason — suffered from early-season injuries, the team’s record improved to 10-9 after their convincing win against the Norwood Mustangs. They now hope to ride this momentum into the final stretch into the postseason. And now, these Walpole Wrestlers look to make some noise in the upcoming Division 2 State Tournament.