By Jean DePlacido
---- — Boxford residents Harrison Shapiro, Jack Darling, and Colin Vallis have been wrestling since they were in the first grade. Last weekend the talented trio of sixth graders all won their weight classes at the Bluehawk Tournament in Exeter, N.H., and have an amazing combined match record of 102-5 this year in competition throughout New England as well as in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Vallis wrestles at 106 pounds, Darling at 80, and Shapiro at 118.
The other Masco wrestler to take first place at the Bluehawk was Ryan Garlitz (72) while Ian Darling (66), Cristian DiBlasi (62), Miles Darling (48), Luke Connolly (45), Colby Holland (90), and Quinn Holland (130) all placed second.
Todd Darling started the youth wrestling program and is also the head coach for Masconomet Regional this winter. Pete Vallis and Joe Nugent have been coaching in the Masco Youth Wrestling and Mercury Rising programs for several years. MYW is open to youngsters across the North Shore in any community where there is no youth wrestling program available.
“About 20 kids went to Bluehawk and another 20 competed at the Running of the Bulls Tournament in Woburn,” said Nugent, who has five youngsters wrestling. “Both our Masco and Mercury programs are very strong this year with over 90 kids participating. We had a strong dual meet season, finishing with a 5-1 record after wins against Westford and Reading. Several of our wrestlers were undefeated in the Northeast Region League.
“We have also been well represented at tournaments all year, and have had multiple first, second, and third place finishes. Our wrestlers are preparing now for their sectional, state, and New England tournaments that are coming up in February and March where we hope to be one of the top teams.”
The club came home with several first place finishes at the Woburn tournament which was also held last weekend. Alex Schaublin (52 pounds), Colin Nugent (55), Ryan Saslaw (57), Will Mitchell (61), Adam Schaublin (63), Cara Nugent (73), and Michael Haskell (107) all received awards for winning their respective classes.
“We decided not to run a separate program for the girls this year, but several joined and earned spots on our dual meet team,” said Nugent. “We haven’t found any girls-only tournaments, but they are holding their own in the tournaments that we attend.”
Marisol Nugent and Cara Nugent took first at meets in Chelmsford and Woburn respectively while Dani Nugent and Paige Garlitz finished in the top four in tournaments this year.
Next on the schedule is the Brute Northeast Nationals at the Mullins Center on the UMass Amherst campus. A select group is also planning to travel to Ohio, Virginia, and North Carolina to compete.