BEVERLY — Every team has its tone setters.
A high school wrestling squad is no different.
Beverly High may be a young team, but when its three strong seniors — Jonah Feingold at 120 pounds, Joe Kozlowski at 145 and Tom Wilbur at 170 — bring their best efforts, the Panthers are a tough matchup.
Last night with Marblehead/Swampscott visiting, the Panthers’ senior trio each scored pins over their opponents as the hosts claimed a 22-13 victory over the Black-and-Blue.
“Those guys set the tone for the team in both practice and in matches,” Beverly (13-9) head coach Mark Thomas said of Feingold, Kozlowski and Wilbur. “They work really hard and that rubs off on everyone else.”
Marblehead/Swampscott took an early 4-0 lead thanks to Stephen Hopkins, who opened with a 14-1 decision over John Jones at 106 pounds. Beverly rebounded immediately when Feingold took the mat for the 120-pound match against Michael Haskell. Feingold dominated the first round before pinning Haskell in the final 10 seconds of the opening period to put the Panthers in the lead, 6-4.
Later, with his team trailing 10-6, Kozlowski put the Panthers back in the lead when he pinned Max Bazarrov early in the second round after he had dominated the opening period by a score of 5-0. Beverly reclaimed the lead, 12-10.
Beverly’s Alberto Oyola followed with a win by decision at 152 pounds over David Bolognese before Wilbur put the contest out of reach with his win at 170, pinning Joe Warren midway through the first period to give Beverly a commanding 22-10 lead with just one match remaining.
Even though the visiting Black-and-Blue (a combination of wrestlers from Marblehead and Swampscott) have just seven wrestlers, it was extremely important that the Panthers pick up the win against a Northeasern Conference/Cape Ann League rival.
“Every league match is important; we treat them all the same. Any time you get a win in the league it’s a good thing,” explained Thomas, who knew his boys were excited to wrestle in front of the home crowd.