Taconic Wrestlers Open State Title Defense with Strong Showing at Athol
ATHOL, Mass. -- Five Taconic wrestlers won their weight classes to lead the team to a second-place finish at the Athol Invitational on Saturday.
Mike LaFreniere, London Martin, Ben West, Dylan Burke and Sean O'Shea each finished first to help Taconic amass 200 points, second only to Natick of Eastern Mass, which won the event with 221 points.
Taconic finished nine points ahead of third-place Minnechaug.
LaFreniere pinned Natick's Sammy Papadopoulos in the second period of their championship match at 132 pounds.
"Very dominant performance, in the most stacked weight class with seven seeded wrestlers," Taconic coach Jeremy Tetreault said of LaFreniere's day. "He pinned his way through tournament, beating Division 2 State placer and sectional champ, Sammy Poppadopoulos."
Martin also pinned a Natick grappler, David Seiche, in the final at 152. It was Martin's third pin in three matches.
West needed less than a minute to dispense with his Natick opponent, Alexander Giberson, in the final at 160, completing a run of three pins on the day.
At 182 pounds, Burke went the distance with Hampshire Regional's Michael Baldwin, emerging with a 5-3 win.
Taconic sent six wrestlers to the finals on the day. Ryan Scott placed second at 145, and Mike Puskey was the runner-up at 170.
Taconic entered two squads in the season-opening tournament.
Taconic's "B" squad placed seventh out of 17 teams.
Wrestling for the B unit at 220 points, Eric Packard earned two pins on his way to the championship match, where he defaulted to teammate O'Shea.
"Eric destroyed the competition, showing to be very dominant," Tetreault said.
O'Shea's road to the final included two pins and a 5-1 decision over Natick's Christian Lederman in the semi-finals.