LOWELL – In many ways this season is somewhat of a rebuilding year for the Shawsheen Tech Wrestling team, with a roster filled with many wrestlers new to high school wrestling, or at least new to holding a starting role with the team.
But even in a rebuilding year, the Rams take pride in seeing how they match up with some of the top teams in the state, and they recently got that opportunity last week when they competed in the George Bossi Holiday Tournament at the Tsongas Center in Lowell. As it turned out things went very well for the Rams against the top notch competition, as they battled to an 11th place finish among the 75 teams at the tournament, with five wrestlers advancing to the second day, including three place finishers and one champion, as freshmen Sid Tildsley took home the title at 132 pounds.
“We had a good tournament,” Shawsheen coach Doug Pratt said. “I had told the kids coming in that I was hoping for a top ten finish, and we missed that by just a little bit, but we did well. We are so young, and we only brought ten wrestlers with us out of the 14 weight classes so we did well with the kids we brought.”
Of course, none were better than Tildsley, who continued his spectacular freshman season by going 6-0 over the two day tournament, including four pins and a major decision. After starting the tournament with three consecutive pins on Monday, Tildsley kicked off Tuesday with a 12-3 major decision over Cael Finn of Simsbury in the quarterfinals. He then pinned Minnechaug’s Auston Monteiro in 3:42 in the semifinals before taking a 5-0 decision over Adam Schaeublin of St. John’s Prep in the final.
“As a freshman, you just don’t go into the Lowell Holidays and win it, but Sid is part of a great group of freshman right now, not just at our school, but at a lot of schools around the area, who have gotten a lot of experience wrestling at Doughboys together for a long time,” Pratt said. “All of his hard work is paying off. The kid he beat from St. John’s Prep is a senior, so he has been through this before. But Sid did well. He gets into a tough situation and he doesn’t panic. We give him a game plan and he executes it.”
Other place finishers for the Rams included fellow freshman Brayton Carbone with a fifth place finish at 113 pounds, and sophomore Caleb Caceres with a seventh place finish at 138 pounds.
Carbone went 5-2 for the tournament, with his first loss coming to eventual finalist Miles Darling of Essex Tech/Masco. Carbone rebounded from that loss to pick up two more wins in the tournament, taking out Joseph Hiraldo of Hope by pin at 1:35 and then winning a 9-0 major decision over Jack Dragoumanos of Tyngsboro/Dracut in the fifth place match.
“Him taking fifth and beating that Tyngsboro kid was huge,” Pratt said. “What helps him is his experience in our room facing such great competition every day. The kid he lost to from Essex is very tough, but he battled him well also. He had seven matches in two days. That is a lot of hard work and that is great experience for a freshman.”
Caceres went 6-2 over the two days to earn his seventh place finish, including four pins. Caceres won his first two matches of the tournament by pin before suffering his first loss to eventual champion Ty Stewart of Tyngsboro/Dracut, putting up quite a battle before dropping a 4-0 decision.
“He gave Stewart all he could handle,” Pratt said. “He went in with a game plan and he followed it. He had a couple of shots, but he just couldn’t quite finish. He wrestled really well. He is another one who benefits from the great competition he faces in the room every day, and that shows when he gets to the tournament.”
Lucien Tremblay at 120 pounds was 2-2 for the tournament with a pair of pins, while Xavier Santiago was 3-2 with three pins at 285, rounding out the Rams scoring.
“Xavier is getting into his own a little bit. He had a couple of tough matches, and he is getting better and better as the weeks go on,” Pratt said. “It is the same with Lucien. He still needs to work on his technique a little bit, but he is improving, and if he puts in the time, he can be even better.”
The Rams will be back into dual meet action on Thursday when they host CAC rival Greater Lowell at the Mark Donovan Gymnasium at 7:00 pm.