The Needham seniors pose for a picture with head coach Robert Pritchett on senior night against Wellesley.
By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
The Wellesley and Needham High School wrestling teams met in their annual grudge match last Wednesday night, with the Raiders prevailing 39-36 for their first victory of the 2016-2017 season in a tightly contested bout.
The Rockets jumped out to a 36-21 lead over the Raiders thanks to victories by David Kurker, Carl Serhan, Brady Liss, Ryan Cohen, Adam Kates, Peter Bannon and Dan Aksman in their respective matches.
However, Wellesley’s Gus St. Fort, James Bennett, and Brandon Sullivan were able to win their respective matches to keep the Raiders in it, and their wins proved to pivotal down the stretch. In a strange set of circumstances, the Rockets were forced to forfeit their final three matches of the night, causing Needham to surrender the lead and allow Wellesley to prevail with a 39-36 overall victory.
Following their defeat at the hands of Wellesley on Wednesday, the Rocket wrestlers traveled to Newton South on Saturday to compete in the D1 Central Sectional Championships. Brady Liss won the Central Sectional Championship for the 126-pound weight class after a 7-0 victory over his opponent from Franklin.