2023 HS wrestling guide

  • Volunteer wrestling coach Murdoch Miller, left, offers instruction as Abigail Stone, 15, puts teammate Tanner Brown, 15, in a hold during practice at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, N.H., on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2021. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. James M. Patterson

  • Lebanon High School wrestling Head Coach Chauncey Wood lays out his expectations of the team in practice in Lebanon, N.H., on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2021, ahead of their first meet against ConVal. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. James M. Patterson

  • Damian Nestle

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 1/24/2023 10:32:37 AM
Modified: 2/2/2023 11:59:11 AM

All four Upper Valley wrestling programs are back this winter, with Mascoma aiming for a state title and Lebanon rising quickly. Newport has an entirely new group, while Colby Shepard will fly solo for Stevens.

LEBANON

Coach: Chauncey Wood (fifth season).

Last year: 10-4, sixth place at state championships.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Returners: Seniors — Sawyer Beaulieu (120/126), Dustin Jarvis (182), Drew Sanchez (152). Juniors — Jonathan Eylander (220), Benjamin Nelson (182/195), Abigail Stone (126/132), Zachary Thornton (145/152), Nicholas Wolstenholme (220/285). Sophomore — Christopher Kinne (285).

Newcomers: Senior — Anna Numme (160/170). Junior — Toms Linkaits (182/195). Sophomores — Aero Buzby (138/145), Charlie Sylvestre (113). Freshmen — Cole Ashline (138/145), Caitlin Hastings (145/152), Ethan Leland (132/138), William Healy (106/113).

Analysis: Now in their second season as a varsity program, the Raiders return seven starters, led by Beaulieu, Jarvis, Kinne and Stone, who all finished in the top four in their weight class at last year's state championship meet. Wood has high hopes for Healy, Ashline and Numme.

"We are still a very young team without a ton of experience," Wood said. "We will be very competitive in the weight classes that we are returning. The wrestlers we have are learning fast and eager."

MASCOMA

Coach: William Stone (first season).

Last year: 6-3, three individuals won state championships.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Returners: Seniors — Alanna Cilbrith (132), Garrett Giovagnoli (145), Asa Michetti (152). Juniors — Connor Hobbs (160), Cameron Jesperson-Pecor (IR), Damian Nestle (195). Sophomores — Austin Crowder (106), Ethan Lewis (182).

Newcomers: Seniors — Nolan Rombow (160), Sam Steinburg (152). Juniors — Sierra Gianini (138), Zakery Guziewicz (152), Nathan McGrody (160), Ben Poitras (170). Sophomores — Neil Rugg (138), Angus Shampney (160), Hunter Zarr (120). Freshmen — Paxten Roberts (126), Jacob Stone (120), Eli Svahn (138).

Analysis: Stone has been with the Royals since the program's inception in 2012, and now takes over as head coach for Bill Clifton. Nestle will be chasing back-to-back state championships, and seniors Michetti and Giovagnoli figure to be contenders.

"We have a solid team, with eight returning veterans and 12 new wrestlers this season," Stone said. "While we won't be filling all of our weight classes this year, we still have a strong team that will be competitive."

NEWPORT

Coach: Collin Shaughnessy (fourth season).

Last year: One wrestler advanced to Meet of Champions.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Newcomers: Sophomore — Gaiden Gilman (220). Freshmen — Noel Beauchaine (106), Bryce Palmer (120), Blake Ploss (126), Taylor Davis (126).

Analysis: The Tigers will field five underclassman wrestlers, all of them new to the program. Ploss, though, won the New Hampshire youth state championship last year as an eighth grader, and Davis finished second in the girls youth state championship.

"The dedication and talent of this young team will pave the way for a successful future," Shaughnessy said.

STEVENS

Coach: Joe Shepard (third season).

Last year: No team duals or events.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Returner: Senior — Colby Shepard.

Analysis: The Cardinals are in their third season as a varsity program, and after having two wrestlers last year, Colby Shepard will go at it alone this winter. He finished 29-9 last season, finishing third at the Division III state meet and in the top eight at the Meet of Champions. This year, he will compete in Vermont and Massachusetts as well as New Hampshire, and will also be at the Virginia Beach Nationals in March.

Benjamin Rosenberg can be reached at brosenberg@vnews.com or 603-727-3302.


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