“I knew how tough he was,” the 17-year-old McDonald said of Anderson. “That was one of my toughest matches of the year.
“When we got to OT, all I could think of was (assistant football) Coach (Ben) Goodhue’s running sessions during the summer, and I told myself, ‘I am not going to let my conditioning let me down now.’”
Thomas pointed to both McDonald and Brian Perry (a 220-pound wrestler who didn’t have to compete last night) as two of the team’s senior leaders that the Orange-and-Black look up to.
“Those two guys set the tone for everyone else,” said Thomas. “They’re our barometers, the heart and soul of what we do.”
With a 17-point lead at this point, the Panthers put the pedal to the metal as junior Tom Wilbur (160 lbs.) and seniors Brendan McGee (170), Peter Reusch (182) and Brian Tripoli (195) closed out the match, and another NEC championship, with four pins in rapid succession.
Alshrafi, senior Antuan Tran (126) and junior Joey Kozlowski (132) also recorded pins for the Panthers while Jonah Feingold dominated his match at 120 pounds to each a 16-1 technical decision.
Danvers, in just its second year as a varsity program, got pins from a pair of sophomores last night: Chris Davis at 115 pounds and Chris Behen at 138. But in the end, they didn’t have the depth or experience that the Panthers possess.
“These guys are great kids who work hard, but we have a long road ahead,” said Danvers head coach Mark DeCiccio. “It takes a real team to lose and get better from it.”