Friday, February 21, 2014

Hawks Finish Strong, Go into States Undefeated

To say that the Hawks' wrestlers will be moving into the state playoffs with momentum on their side might be a real understatement. 

The defending state champions and with a roster full of returning upperclass veterans, The Hawks entered this season widely viewed as the favorite to retain their title. Our guys went into this final week of the regular season undefeated and with two stiff challenges still remaining on the schedule, LaSalle and the only other squad with an unblemished slate, the Cumberland Clippers. 

The champs entered the week undefeated and left in the same way. 

On Tuesday night, our guys went down to Academy Avenue to take on our archrivals, the LaSalle Rams. The Hawks started quickly and never looked back, emerging from the contest with a 57-9 win.

Some of the highlights from the match against the Rams can be seen here. 

Sophomore Jamie Sauro scored this pin early in the contest to give the Hawks a 15-0 lead...

...and then later in the match, Nick Celico pinned his opponent to the mat, putting the Hawks up by a score of 52-6.

Last night, the champs traveled up to Cumberland High School for the final dual meet of the 2013-'14 season and one of the most highly anticipated matches of the entire wrestling season. Once again, our guys came out on top, this time by a final tally of 48-12. 

The Providence Journal's slideshow of the meet can be seen HERE

As noted in a previous post here on The Network site, the Hawks' basketball Senior Night was spoiled by North Kingstown. This time, it was our turn to leave a down note on another school's Senior Night festivities. The match began at the 220-pound class, with the Hawks' Pierre-Louis Arcand (a Cumberland native) battling for a hard-fought 1-0 win. The Hawks continued to roll from there, as Dallas Sauer, John Celico, and Nick Celico all followed with pins, spotting the Hawks an early 21-0 lead. John Celico's pin can be seen here:

The match of the night, the one to which everyone was looking forward, was the one between the Hawks' Jason Davol and the Clippers' Cody Beaudette at the 120-pound class. Davol and Beaudette are two of the top wrestlers in the state, and their match would determine the number one seed in the coming states. 

Beaudette drew first blood by putting Davol down early, but J-Dog recovered quickly and never looked back. Davol chose the top position for the second period and refused to let Beaudette escape, and then, in the third frame, Beaudette was put on his back three times, giving Davol a decisive 11-4 win and earning him the top seed. 

The rest of the match played out as many thought it would, as the Hawks and Clippers demonstrated why they're clearly the two best squads in the state. Following a Jamie Swanson pin for the Hawks - which upped the Hawks' lead to 30-0 - the Clippers won three of the next four matches. The Hawks rounded out the meet on strong notes, however, as sophomore Jamie Sauro grappled with the Clippers' senior captain and came out the winner in a tough 3-1 battle, and then Hunter Boesch finished things off by collecting a first-period pin at the 182-pound class. 

Despite the seemingly decisive nature of the 48-12 final, it's still a good bet that most of our guys would be the first ones to admit that the final score may not accurately reflect the strength of the Clippers' team. By and large, it was a tough, hard-fought win from beginning to end.

From here the state champs move on to next weekend's states. Let's get as many people to these matches as possible, so that Coach Hennesey and his wrestlers can hang back-to-back titles on the banners in Pepin Gym.