Bishop Hendricken went undefeated in dual meets and won the state wrestling championship last season. The Hawks are working for more of the same this year, and Thursday’s tri-meet with North Providence and Warwick Vets offered more proof that they’re on the right track.
Despite going against some solid wrestlers from both their opponents, the Hawks won 17 of the 20 matches they wrestled and cruised to a pair of victories. They beat North Providence 58-6 and Vets 62-17 to improve to 7-0 on the season.
“It’s about doing better than last year,” said junior Jon Arruda, who won two matches Thursday. “Last year was great, but we’re going to put in as much as work as we can to do the best we can do.”
It seems to be paying off. The Hawks have dominated each of their seven dual-meets, winning by a combined score of 432-89. Tougher challenges await at the end of the season, but for now, it’s smooth sailing.
“Overall, it went well tonight,” said Hendricken head coach Kevin Hennessey. “There’s definitely room for improvement, but that’s okay. We’re only halfway through the season. We’ll keep getting better. I think everything is going just the way it should at this point. We’re progressing.”
North Providence topped Vets 48-26 in Thursday’s other match. The Cougars are now 3-1, while Vets fell to 1-3. The ’Canes have battled low numbers and are also without senior standout John Altieri. The three-time state champion has a shoulder injury, and while he’s expecting to be back for states, he’s sidelined right now.
“The numbers are really hurting this year,” said Vets head coach Brendan Friel. “It is what it is. We’re planning on putting our guys in good positions to get them where we want them for the state tournament. We’re not going to win that many dual-meets because of the numbers, the injury to John, things like that, but we’re going to keep working.”
Vets took on North Providence in the first match of Thursday’s tri-meet and won five of the nine contested matches. But the ’Canes also had to forfeit five matches, which sealed their fate.
On the bright side for Vets, Logan Amirault, Davin Lourenco and Aaron Hurst all won by pin, while Owen Amirault delivered a tech-fall and Tom Galligan won by decision at 160.
“We’ve got some potential with a lot of our guys,” Friel said.
The ’Canes and Hawks squared off in the final match of the night, and only six matches were contested. Lourenco cemented his spot as the team’s biggest bright spot of the night with a tech-fall of Matt Jacobson at 132. Two weeks ago, Lourenco knocked off Cumberland’s Kris Nordby, a state runner-up last year.
“He’s turned a corner this year,” Friel said. “He’s one of those kids who you kind of sit around and wait for the first two years. You don’t know what he’s going to give you. A lot of times with guys like him, junior year is exciting because that’s when they start to turn the corner.”
Outside of Lourenco, the Hawks won every other match against the ’Canes, continuing a solid overall performance. Jamie Swanson won by tech-fall over Logan Amirault at 126, Arruda beat Bobby Thomas 6-0 at 138, Anthony DiMauro pinned Kendall Watts at 145, Lewis Stewart pinned Galligan at 160 and Jimmy Sauro pinned Trent Mochel at 170.
“We’re looking good right now,” Arruda said. “We’re never where we want to be, but right now, there’s no complaints. There’s a good feeling, a good atmosphere with the team.”
The Hawks also dominated against North Providence, losing just a pair of decisions and delivering seven pins. DiMauro and Stewart both pinned, and they finished the night with two each in a total time of 2:29.
“They’ve been consistently tough throughout the year,” Hennessey said. “Lewis was at 170 , he’s now down at 160. Anthony is great to have around. The best part is they’re both juniors.”
Against the Cougars, the Hawks also got pins from Jason Davol at 120, Swanson at 126, Hunter Boesch at 182, Dallas Sauer at 285 and Jon Celico at 106. Every single pin came in the first period.
Jacobson added a hard-fought 6-2 win at 132 over Shawn McCarron, Arruda topped Joseph Jerez 7-1 at 138, Sauro out-lasted Kevin Mulligan 1-0 at 170 in the closest match of the night, Pierre-Louis Arcand beat Tyler Rodrigues 10-1 at 220 and Nick Celico edged Andrew Lourenco 7-4 at 113.
“They stick in there,” Hennessey said. “Some of these kids get beat up at practice so they’re not going to go away. Battles are good.”
The Cougars won two matches. Dylan Rodriguez beat Ron Papa 10-6 at 152, while Sebastian Dziadkiewicz out-lasted Nick Martino 7-4 at 195.
The Hawks will be back in action Wednesday when they visit Woonsocket. They’re also gearing up for a series of tough tests as they’ll hit out-of-state tournaments on the next three weekends.
“We had last weekend off and this weekend off,” Hennessey said. “We went hard early in the season so we wanted to take a little break and just focus on practicing. We’re back at it – we’re out of state the next three weekends in a row, so we’ve got to keep working hard.”
Vets will host South Kingstown on Wednesday at 5 p.m., before heading to Toll Gate on Thursday for the Warwick City Championship, which is set for 4 p.m. The ’Canes have won the last seven city titles.