With every passing week, the Bishop Hendricken wrestling team continues to cement its status as one of the top dual-meet teams in the state.
That status looked even more definitive last week.
Facing young teams in Cranston East and Chariho, the Hawks lost just one bout in the two matches, beating East 70-0 on Wednesday and Chariho 69-3 on Thursday. When the competition increased on Saturday, the Hawks were still up to the task in a victory over Warwick Vets.
Hendricken is now 7-0 – and showing no signs of slowing down.
“Everything’s going the way it should right now,” said head coach Kevin Hennessey. “We’re going to work a little harder because we’re not satisfied, but everything’s headed in the right direction.”
The Hawks are one of two unbeaten teams left in Division I, along with 8-0 Cumberland. The Hawks and Clippers will meet Feb. 8 in what should be one of the season’s best matches.
For now, the Hawks keep taking care of business.
Against Cranston East, the Hawks won two matches by forfeit and posted victories in all the others, finishing with seven pins.
It was more of the same against Chariho.
The match started at 106, and the Hawks needed less than two minutes to set the tone. Jason Davol pinned T.J. Lamphear in 55 seconds at 106, and Rob Lanni pinned Nick Polumbo in 47 seconds at 113.
“Davol’s been doing well,” Hennessey said. “Lanni finally made weight and he’s doing well. I have no complaints.”
At 120, Nick DiMauro steadily took care of Blake James, winning 18-2 by tech-fall in the third period. Lewis Stewart then continued the strong start with a pin of Matt Hannuksela at 126.
Hendricken suffered its only loss of the night at 132, where freshman Nick DiMauro took on Chariho standout Stephen Thomas. DiMauro took a 3-2 lead on a reversal in the second period, but Thomas responded with an escape and a takedown to go up 5-3. Thomas then got a reversal late in the third to seal the 7-3 win.
Despite the result, even that match had some positives.
“DiMauro wrestled a really tough kid, and honestly, he wrestled well,” Hennessey said. “There are certain things we can work on to improve but he’s been doing a fantastic job throughout the year.”
Hendricken continued to dominate after the loss. Nick Parente held off a charge from Patrick Drummond to win 10-6 at 138 and Dan Cofone controlled the action in an 11-1 win over William Flynn at 145.
Chris Barone then out-lasted Brandon Browning 3-1 at 152 before the Hawks surged to five pins and a forfeit in the final six matches.
Captains Dylan Bessette and Mike Gelardi started the run with quick pins at 160 and 170. Bessette needed just 25 seconds to pin Jacob Breault at 160.
“Dylan’s been turning it up,” Hennessey said. “He’s been wrestling tough and he works hard in practice. I couldn’t ask for much more out of him.”
Gelardi also made quick work of his opponent at 170, pinning Tyler Chattell in 1:08. Hunter Boesch followed with a pin at 182, and Alex Knight pinned Ryan Parra at 195. After a Chariho forfeit at 220, Dallas Sauer finished off the victory with a first-period pin of Ben Miller.
The Hawks kept the good times rolling on Saturday with a victory over the ’Canes as part of a full-day event at Vets. That was the first big test of the season for the Hawks.
With more tests ahead, they’ll keep working.
“There’s always something we can improve on, even when you go out and pin the guy really quickly,” Hennessey said. “You can always do better than you did. There’s no point in being satisfied. You’ve got to strive to get better all the time.”