Wrestlers Send Five to State Meet

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Senior Mike Cofsky and junior Cam Benoit practice for their State Meet.

Jeff Meaney

Senior Mike Cofsky and junior Cam Benoit practice for their State Meet.

Walpole High has had great success on the wrestling mats over the last few years under head coach Devin Pacelli took fourteen wrestlers to the Metro Sectional Meet on Saturday, February 12 at Natick High School. As a team, Walpole faired well at the meet with five wrestlers moving on to the State Meet on February 18-19. Senior Captains Mike Cofsky (140) and Sean Coyne (160) both placed first in their respective weight classes.

The meet lasted almost all day with the wrestlers weighing in at seven o’clock in the morning and the finals for the last match ended just after eight at night.  In the all day event the top seeded wrestlers only had three matches while wrestlers that placed fifth and sixth had five matches over the thirteen hour period that they were at the Natck High School gym. Walpole’s Cofsky, Coyne, and fellow senior Captain Johnny White all had first round byes because of their outstanding record throughout the season.

Walpole’s senior trio of Cofsky, Coyne, and White breezed through the preliminary rounds of the tournament. White, who has been in the finals every year since he was a sophomore – and was a sectional champion at 160 lbs last year – lost in the 171 lbs semi-finals to Sean Fagan of Arlington. Cofsky (140), who as a Metro Sectional Champion last year at 135 lbs, won his semi-final bout 5-3 against Dillon Prives of Wellesley. Coyne wrestled Lage-Restivo from Natick in the semi-finals. In the regular season, Coyne edged out Lage Restivo 2-1.  Coyne prevailed in the semi-finals rematch winning 7-5.

Throughout the tournament there are three mats enabling multiple matches to go on at the same time, but when its time for the finals, Natick has a special arrangement for the finals match. One mat is set up in the center of the gym and a light hangs from the ceiling that eluminates a ring around the mat. With all other lights turned off in the gym, the finalists get to wrestle under the spotlight. Walpole’s two wrestlers in the finals- Cofsky and Coyne- shined in the limelight. Cofsky (140) had the quickest finals match in the Metro Sectional Finals. Cofsky pinned Zinck from Natick in 48 seconds. Last year in the finals, Cofsky and Coyne both pinned their opponents with the spladle. When White wrestled after them spectators were saying, “watch out for the spladle”.  Obviously, Natick did not remember last year because Cofsky used Walpole’s signature move, the spladle, to subdue his opponent and win the match.

Two matches later, Coyne (160) was under the spotlight against an Arlington opponent. Coyne did not get the quick pin that Cofsky did, but enjoyed a 11-4 victory in his finals match. Coyne scored two points quickly on a reversal then surrendered one after Moisand escaped. The first period came to an end with Cofsky on top 2-1. To open the second period, Cofsky gained another point by escaping an attempted pin by Moisand. After escaping, Coyne added to his lead with a takedown making the score 5-1. Coyne intentionally let Moisnad escape to avoid a possible reversal. After Moisand escaped, Coyne immediately went on the offensive scoring two more points by a takedown which made his lead 7-2. Coyned ended the match by tacking on two more takedowns and surrendered two more intentional escapes to win the 160 lbs weight class 11-4.

Coyne and Cofsky will be joined by teammates White (171) and junior Cam Benoit (135) at the State Meet in Marlborough on February 18-19. Having two wrestlers win their weight class in sectionals was impressive, but the Natick Blue and Red had five sectional champions compared with Walpole’s two champions.  A strong performance at the State Meet would overshadow these results at the Metro Sectional Meet.