With dominating performances, three wrestlers from Connecticut won championships at the 53rd annual George Bossi Lowell Holiday Tournament Tuesday at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, Massachusetts.
Norwalk’s Brendan Gilchrist (195), Fairfield Warde’s Will Ebert (170) and Simsbury’s John Mairano (145) each brought home individual titles from the long-running, two-day tournament that attracted wrestlers from 73 teams from across New England.
With seven medalists and a pair of finalists, Fairfield Warde finished third with 159 points behind St. John’s Prep out of Danvers, Mass., who nipped Timberlane Regional from Plaistow, N.H., by two points, 205-203. It was the closest finish since December 2006 when Concord, N.H., beat Timberlane by 1½ points.
Along with Ebert, Warde’s Ben Zuckerman (120) finished second while Dom Spadaro (113) finished fourth, Owen Sherman (106) and Lucas Coleman (152) were sixth and Jeremy Brault (145) and Nehemias Pettway (220) each finished seventh. It’s the best finish for the Mustangs in the tournament and the highest finish by a Connecticut team since Southington was third in December 2017.
Ebert was dominant throughout the tournament, going 6-0 with five pins, including three in the first period. He beat Jack MacKiernan of New Hampshire’s Pinkerton Academy, 6-2 in the championship match.
Zuckerman had a pair of solid wins to earn a spot in the championship match. Zuckerman beat Samuel Oates of Windham, N.H., 2-1 in the quarterfinals thanks to a takedown with 1:10 left in the third period. In the semifinals, Zuckerman got a takedown with 51 seconds remaining in the match to beat Ryan O’Rourke of Salem, N.H., 4-3.
Zuckerman lost in the finals to Matt Botello of Hingham, Mass., 11-3.
Gilchrist won his first Bossi Lowell Holiday title going 5-0 with four pins at 195 pounds. The only match to go the distance was his 3-2 win over Bennett Sonneborn of Natick, Mass., in the semifinals. Gilchrist, the top seed at the weight, got the first takedown to take an early 2-0 lead and added an escape in the second period for a 3-1 lead.
“Although four out of five (wins) were pins, the level of competition (in the tournament) was outstanding,” Norwich High assistant coach Art Schad said. “Brendan placed second at the (National High School Coaches Association) nationals at Virginia Beach (in May) and he has been improving steadily. He is very focused on his technique and conditioning, constantly asking relevant questions about strategy and never takes a day off.”
Unlike in Connecticut, Gilchrist and other wrestlers from the state had to compete in masks in the tournament. In Connecticut, wrestlers are allowed to compete without masks although they are expected to wear it at all other times inside buildings. COVID-19 regulations in Massachusetts mandate that wrestlers, coaches, officials and spectators wear masks at all times – even in bouts.
“Wearing the mask wasn’t an issue,” Gilchrist said. “Wrestlers are wired to always adjust to challenges, this was just another hurdle to overcome. It was mandated, so we obliged. We were thankful for the opportunity to compete at this prestigious event.”
Top-seeded Mairano was one of four medalists for Simsbury, which finished sixth with their best finish in the tournament. He was 5-0 in the tournament at 145 pounds with three pins. He pinned Mark Botello of Hingham, Mass., in the finals in 3:33.
Teammate Zach Johns (152) went 5-1 in the tournament with three pins and a technical fall victory in the semifinals. Rawson Iwanicki of St. John’s Prep pinned Johns in the finals, picking up two crucial bonus points for Prep, who won the tournament by just two.
Cael Finn (143) and Chad Mairano (160) – John’s brother – each earned medals with Finn finishing fourth and Chad Mairano taking seventh.
Other medalwinners from Connecticut included Norwalk’s Phoenix Gardella, who was fourth at 120 pounds and three wrestlers from Newtown. Ben Plaue (126) was fourth, Fisher Stites (170) was fifth and Luca Manfredi (132) finished eighth.
Each team finished in the top 20 with Newtown finishing 16th and Norwalk taking 17th spot with five wrestlers in the tournament.
George Bossi Lowell Holiday Tournament
At Lowell, Mass.
Top 15 team results – 1. St. John’s Prep-Danvers, MA 205, 2. Timberlane Regional-Plaistow, NH 203, 3. Fairfield Warde 159, 4. Central Catholic-Lawrence MA 150½, 5. Natick, MA 141, 6. Simsbury 137½, 7. Montachusett Regional-Fitchburg, MA 130, 8. Hingham, MA 127, 9. Milford MA 116½, 10. Hope-Providence RI 105½, 11. Salem, NH and Shawsheen Valley Technical-Billerica MA, 105, 13. Minnechaug Regional-Wilbraham MA, 99½, 14. Chelmsford MA 97, 15. Billerica MA 91
Other Connecticut schools: 16. Newtown 90, 17. Norwalk 89, 48. Hall 39.
73 teams participated in the tournament.
106 James Tildsley (Billerica MA) pin Scotty Moreau (Lowell (MA) Catholic), 4:57
113 Isiac Paulino (Montachusett MA) dec. Miles Darling (Essex Tech/Masco-Boxford MA), 14-6
120 Matthew Botello (Hingham MA) dec. Ben Zuckerman(Fairfield Warde), 11-3
126 Tyler Knox (St. John’s Prep (MA)) dec. Jonah Paulino (Montachusett MA), 7-0
132 Sidney Tildsley (Shawsheen MA) dec. Adam Schaeublin (Saint John’s Prep), 5-0
138 Ty Stewart (Tyngsborough/Dracut MA) dec. Jimmie Glynn (Central Catholic MA), 9-3
145 John Mairano (Simsbury) pin Mark Botello (Hingham MA), 3:33
152 Rawson Iwanicki (Saint John’s Prep) pin Zach Johns (Simsbury), 0:40
160 Michael Bobola (Xaverian MA) dec. Rafael Knapp (Algonquin MA), 5-0
170 William Ebert(Fairfield Warde) dec. Jack Mackiernan (Pinkerton Academy NH), 6-2
182 Bryce Parker (Timberlane NH) dec. Aaron Johnson (Mount Anthony VT), 5-1
195 Brendan Gilchrist (Norwalk) pin Dom Pallaria (Timberlane NH), 0:53
220 Timmy Vadnais (Burlington MA) dec. Cooper Kelley (Timberlane NH), 6-5
285 Thomas Brown (Chelmsford MA) pin Hunter Jeffers (Concord NH), 4:51
Consolation finals (third place)
106 Aidan Baum (Milford MA) dec. Ryan Conlan (LaSalle Academy RI), 4-2 OT
113 Alex Schaeublin (Saint John’s Prep) pin Dominick Spadaro(Fairfield Warde), 4:32
120 Ryan O’Rourke (Salem NH) pin Phoenix Gardella (Norwalk), 5:14
126 Jayden D’Ambrosio (Reading MA) dec. Ben Plaue (Newtown), 8-2
132 Austin Monteiro (Minnechaug MA) dec. Cael Finn (Simsbury), 7-3
138 Ian Darling (Essex Tech/Masco MA) dec. Cam Ice (Minnechaug MA), 4-1
145 Brent Nicolosi (Haverhill MA) dec. Maurice Cooper (Hope RI), 10-3
152 Greg Deeley (Wayland MA) dec. Jack Walsh (Chelmsford MA), 5-3
160 Xavian Natal (Montachusett MA) pin Anthony Rousseau (Timberlane NH), 5:50
170 Desmond Mclaughlin (Springfield Central MA) dec. Gill Stawinski (Essex VT), 3-0
182 Timothy Goddard (Algonquin MA) pin Brandon D’Agostino (Central Catholic MA), 2:29
195 Bennett Sonneborn (Natick MA) dec. Jason Foster (Keene NH), 1-0
220 Hampton Kaye-Kuter (Milford MA) pin Michael Jarrell (East Greenwich RI), 4:09
285 Gustavo Ventura (Lowell MA) dec. Jason Canavan (Keene NH), 4-0
106 Louie Linton (Natick MA) pin Owen Sheiman(Fairfield Warde), 0:50
152 Michael Anniballi (Natick MA) FOR Lucas Coleman(Fairfield Warde), 0-0
170 Fisher Stites (Newtown) pin Mason Pellegri (Milton MA), 4:58
132 Anthony Fernandez (Nashua South NH) tech fall Luca Manfredi (Newtown), 15-0 4:43
145 Elliott Humphries Hampden, MA (Minnechaug) FOR Jeremy Brault (Fairfield Warde)
160 Chad Mairano (Simsbury) pin Isael Perez (Hope RI), 2:54
220 Nehemias Pettway(Fairfield Warde) dec. Jeremy Rousseau (Whittier MA), 6-3
George Bossi Lowell Holiday Tournament (brackets and results)