Despite its 1-14 record, the Swampscott-Marblehead wrestling team is young and full of potential. Head coach Michael Stamison referred to this season as a “rebuilding” year, but said he’s been impressed with both his fresh and veteran wrestlers for delivering “great performances” thus far.
Swampscott-Marblehead recently picked up its first team win in a dual-meet against Pentucket/Newburyport (54-22). Wins came from captain Nicolai Tarason, Liam O’Brien, Devin DiBarri, Clive Connolly, Sam Jendrysik, Angelo Knight, Colin Hart, Ben O’Brien and Justin Gonzalez.
“This is one of the younger, but most athletic teams I’ve ever had,” Stamison said. “Each of our younger, first-year guys have the tools to be solid wrestlers.”
Many individuals have stood out for the Black and Blue, including a pleasant surprise in freshman O’Brien (19-5). O’Brien has impressed at both 106 and 113 pounds. He won the Pentucket Holiday Tournament, placed sixth at the Anthony Listano Memorial Tournament, and most recently, went a perfect 4-0 against Bridgewater-Raynham.
Mason Hinshaw is a newcomer to the Swampscott-Marblehead family, but is far from being a newcomer to wrestling. Hinshaw recently moved from San Antonio to New England, and has had a good start with his new team (15-4 record).
“Mason has been a fixture at 138-145 pounds. He has been wrestling hard for us and placing third in the Listano tournament,” Stamison said.
Senior Tarason has been another top wrestler this season with a record of 18-6. Tarason won the Lisitano Memorial Tournament and placed fifth at the Pentucket Holiday Tournament. Stamison said Tarason has been “excellent.”
This past weekend, junior Angelo Knight was recently appointed the Black and Blue’s second captain.
“Angelo is vocal, compassionate, a solid wrestler, but more importantly, he is a great teammate,” Stamison said.
With the season taking place in the harsh winters of New England, Stamison described the challenges he and the team are facing because of that.
“With the close-quarters nature of our sport, illnesses can spread through a wrestling team quickly,” Stamison said.
Another challenge the team faces is the schedule congestion in January, something Stamison said could lead to potential injuries.
“We enter a grind in January with two matches a week, including Saturday matches,” Stamison said. “It’s a lot of wrestling and that can take a toll.”
Looking forward, Stamison wants the team to win the Gionet Memorial Tournament this Saturday. In addition, Stamison is hoping to send five or six wrestlers to the Division I state playoffs.