Hometown Weekly Reporter
Walpole’s last dual meet of the year came against Weymouth on Wednesday night. Unfortunately for the Rebels, this particular night was not only senior night for Weymouth’s veteran (especially compared to the extraordinarily young Walpole) team, but it was a chance for Weymouth to win the Bay State Conference title.
But after a 57-19 loss, Walpole coach Steve Hile was unwilling to let his team off the hook - though he conceded that Weymouth’s crowd and motivation may have been the reason for the defeat.
“Maybe, maybe a little bit, but we were flat, which is disappointing,” Hile remarked. “In the last dual meet of the season, I would hope we could come out strong. We got a great effort by Manny Rosado at heavyweight - he spoiled the Senior Night there - and that’s it. We were mismatched in some weight classes, but overall, we were just flat. I thought we could have won a couple of those matches.”
Manny Rosado’s match wasn’t just a highlight for the Walpole team, it was likely the highlight of the meet. With Weymouth heavyweight, senior Jake Kaulbfleisch, desperate for one last win in his home gym, the packed rafters screamed for him while his coach consistently complained that Rosado was stalling while the two wrestlers were locked onto each other. Ultimately, a huge takedown in the third period would give Rosado a 3-2 victory, and the Weymouth crowd that had seen so many of their senior wrestlers victorious left with a sour taste in their mouths, despite the easy meet victory.
Don Muho had a nice victory, leading 11-1 after the second period before cruising for much of the third before going for the pin late in what was ultimately a 13-4 victory. Other wrestlers that stood out for Walpole were Ryan Piersiak, who was dominating his opponent, Nick Kuja, before he was reversed beautifully and pinned in a match he would surely like to have back. Henry Morris lost, but competed at 120 lbs, which may not seem huge, but is literally 13% higher than his usual 106 lb weight class. Because of the weight bumping, captain Anthony Borelli didn’t wrestle, which likely took a win off the board.
“We are what we thought what we would be,” Coach Hile said, wrapping up the season. “We ended up 12-13-3. We’re a .500 team. I said that the very first day of practice. I think we’ve made strides from the beginning of the season to the end, but now it’s tournament time, and that’s what we live for.”
Yes, while the dual meets are over, the tournament has only begun for Walpole. And while the team was only a .500 one, Coach Hile sees a few guys that could go far, individually.
“Borelli, Muho and Rosado have the best chances to go far in the tournament, with Antonio Servello probably fourth, and if we can sneak one or two other guys in there to place, I think we would be in good shape,” he commented.