The TMHS Wrestling team

This past Saturday, the TMHS Wrestling team finished in second place, falling only to Division 1 state powerhouse St. John’s Prep, at the Woburn Invitational Tournament. The Redmen have enjoyed an incredible season to this point, ranked No. 13 in the entire state.     (courtesy photo).

WOBURN – The Woburn Invitational Tournament has long been a favorite of the Tewksbury High Wrestling program, with the Redmen annually turning in strong performances at the event. That was the case once again this past Saturday, with the Redmen taking their success in the tournament to an entirely new level this time around, earning a second place finish, continuing what has been an outstanding season to this point for the Redmen.

Tewksbury tallied 150.5 points to earn their second place finish in the 18-team field, trailing only Division 1 powerhouse St. John’s Prep, who won the tournament with 214.5 points. Andover took third with 143 points.

“That was the best finish I can remember in Woburn in my twenty years coaching with the team,” Tewksbury coach Steve O’Keefe said. “There are a lot of very good teams at that tournament every year, but we got a complete team effort. Everybody wrestled hard and we had a good day.”

The Redmen, who are currently ranked 13th in the state of Massachusetts, had no individual weight class champions on the day, but their depth helped lead them to their second place team finish. They had three wrestlers finish second in their weight class and nine wrestlers overall finish in the top six of their weight class.

“Obviously our depth helped us out,” O’Keefe said. “One of the big things for us was that even kids who lost early on went to the consolation bracket and wrestled well.”

Freshman Jack Callahan (120 pounds), junior Danny Lightfoot (132 pounds) and senior Dylan Chandler (285 pounds) all earned second place finishes for the Redmen, while senior Pat Fleming (170 pounds) and sophomore Nick Wilson (220 pounds) were both third.

Senior Connor Charron earned a fourth place finish at 138 pounds, while juniors Cam Cimmino (145 pounds) and Kyle Darrigo (160 pounds) were each fifth and Anthony DeSisto was sixth at 195 pounds.

Callahan picked up two pins on his way to his second place finish, taking down Michael McLarney of Chelmsford in just 17 seconds in the quarterfinals and Cameron Paolillo of St. John’s Prep in just 1:11 in the semifinals before losing to Ty Stewart of Dracut in the finals.

Lightfoot also advanced to the finals before losing to a rival from Dracut, pinning Zach O’Neil of Bridgewater-Raynham in 3:10 in the quarterfinals and Quinn Alexander of St. John’s Prep in the semifinals in 4:00 before losing to Dracut’s Brock Desmarais in the finals.

“They both have been solid all year for us, and they both wrestled very well on Saturday,” O’Keefe said. “Jack lost to the top seed from Dracut, but he will get another shot at him in duals and again in sectionals, and the same for Danny. He will get another shot at Dracut, and they will both be ready.”

Chandler dominated on his way to the finals, pinning Dominic Silva of Bridgewater-Raynham in the round of 16, before winning by technical fall over Jack Blizard of St. John’s Prep in the quarterfinals and pinning Joquawn Wright of Putnam in 5:21 in the semis. He was finally stopped by Antonio Ramos of Agawam in the finals, dropping a tough 4-2 decision.

The finals was an epic match between the top two ranked heavyweight wrestlers in the state, and the number one ranked Ramos was able to hold second ranked Chandler off this time around.

“That was a great match. Dylan wrestled him really well, and hopefully he will get another shot at him later in the season in the state tournament,” O’Keefe said.

Fleming and Wilson both went 3-1 on the day to earn their third place finishes, with earning his with a dramatic 10-9 win over Sean Ballou of Andover in the third place match, while Wilson won his third place match with a 7-0 win over Brendan Whalen of Danvers.

Charron was 2-2 on the day with one pin on the way to his fourth place finish, as was Cimmino on the way to his fifth place finish. Darrigo earned his fifth place finish by going 3-1 on the day. Darrigo lost his first match of the day, but then dominated the consolation bracket, winning three straight matches by pin. DeSisto went 2-2 with two pins on the way to his sixth place finish, as he also bounced back from a first round loss to wrestle very well in the consolation bracket.

As well as things went for the Redmen in the Woburn Tournament, they have been going equally well in their dual meets. Most recently, they improved to 10-3 on the season with a 51-27 win over MVC rival Billerica last Wednesday night, as they continue to close in on the MVC Division 2 championship.

The Redmen got wins from Adam Donovan (113 pounds), Jack Callahan (120), Danny Lightfoot (132), Connor Charron (138), Pat Fleming (170), Ryan Day (182), Anthony DeSisto (195), Nick Wilson (220) and Dylan Chandler (285) on the way to downing the Indians.

While the final score looked like a blowout, the Redmen were locked in a tight battle with the Indians, tied at 27-27, before dominating down the stretch. Callahan, Lightfoot, Charron, Fleming, Day, DeSisto, Wilson and Chandler each won their matches by pin.

“We ran off some good wins to take control,” O’Keefe said. “It could have gone either way, but we got some good wins. Billerica is a good young team and they will be around in the future.”

Tewksbury picked up another big win on Monday afternoon when they hosted MVC rival Lawrence, coming away with a 44-33 victory to improve to 11-3 on the season. Chandler (285), freshman Jack Donovan (126), Charron (138), Cimmino (145) and junior Richie Lavargna (152) each won by pin for Tewksbury. Lightfoot (132) and Fleming (170) won by forfeit and Darrigo (160) earned a victory by decision.

The Redmen were back in action on Wednesday night when they traveled to Chelmsford High School, with results of that math unavailable as of press time. They will hit the mats again on Saturday for a quad meet at Westford Academy.

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