Sunday, March 2, 2014

Wrestling Repeats as State Champs, Claims Hendricken's 8th Banner


Fresh off state championships in football and cross-country as the fall sports season melded into the winter season, the buzz around the halls at school was whether we had the teams to take all five state titles during the colder months: hockey, basketball, swimming, wrestling,and indoor track. While it was certainly no sure thing, all five squads looked to make strong runs. 

The possibilities for the swim team needed no explanation, since that program was the 24-time defending state champion. Smithfield did, however, put an end to that streak by knocking off our guys in the states. The indoor track team likewise went into their state competition with quite reasonable expectations that they would emerge with yet another title but in the end fell a bit short. 

In the previous post here on The Network site, we pointed out that the hockey team last night captured the top seed in the Cimini Division for the upcoming state playoffs, and the basketball team finished with a 13-5 record and in fourth place in Division I. Their first-round division game is coming this Wednesday at 5:30, when they jump it up against Smithfield on a neutral court site at East Providence. If you can't make it to the game, we'll have it live here on The Network

So, the prospects for strong playoff runs from both of those teams are still strong. It is, however, the wrestling team that has taken home Hendricken's first state title of the winter season, as they successfully defended the belt that they won last year and took home the program's 8th overall championship.

This year's two-day state championship tournament was different for the Hendricken team and their fans, simply because, as Coach Hennessey pointed out, the Friday matches last year didn't entirely go our way. Consequently, the team had a lot of work to do on the second day to come out on top. This year was different, probably for a number of reasons. The majority of last year's state championship team remained intact coming into this season, so there's obviously a lot to be said for experience. Our guys also ran the regular-season table as clearly the top team in the state, so they had every reason to feel confident going into the weekend. 

By the time the Saturday matches rolled around, the Hawks and their fans were in a very comfortable position and were sufficiently assured of having already defended the title. Six of our guys made it to the title round, which added greatly to the team's cumulative total of 221 points: the Celico brothers, Jason Davol, Lewis Stewart, Hunter Boesch, and Dallas Sauer. Nick Celico and Dallas then added title-round victories to boot.

The Network's Cam Brennan got Nick Celico's take on the team's and his own success:

Several of our guys were defeated in the later rounds, but by that point the larger issue had been decided. So, Coach Hennessey and his staff can chalk up another campaign well done. Congratulations to all the Hawks' wrestlers for a dominant title defense in 2013-'14.