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High School wrestling team participates in regional tournament

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By Cameron Hopkinson Dec. 16, 2023

Last Saturday on a cold December morning at 6 AM, the Winchester High School Wrestling Bus, packed with sleep-deprived yet nervously excited student-athletes, pulled out of the WHS parking lot—the destination: Amherst New Hampshire, specifically Souhegan High School. 

You might ask, “For what grand occasion required that these young men wake to wrestle at such an ungodly hour?” I’d tell you that it’s part of the game. In all seriousness though, the event in question was the Annual Milford-Souhegan Wrestling Tournament which this year has been occurring for 31 years since 1992. In this tournament, 16 towns from across New England such as Winnacunnet, Milford, Portsmouth, and more send their wrestling teams to compete in a grueling full-day wrestling tournament. For reference, the tournament this year began around 9 AM and lasted until past 10 PM. 

This year, Winchester performed very well. Overall, the team placed 2nd place at this year’s tournament. Both the junior varsity and Varsity sides wrestled exceedingly well, especially the JV team which for the most part was composed of guys who just began wrestling this year. During every match that a WHS wrestler was wrestling in last Saturday most of the team was by the mat hyping up their teammate and offering in-game encouragement. The level of brotherhood demonstrated that day helped to keep everyone laser-focused on their match, and made winning a chance not only to fulfill the individual but to honor the team that took the time to stand by their side during the match. 

Of course, though the whole team excelled on Saturday, there were also individual talents worth mentioning. For starters, Varsity wrestlers Eddie Donlon, Massimo Cella, and Ilyas Malik of the Class of 2026 placed 2nd, 4th, and 3rd respectively in each of their weight divisions, fighting hard until the very end to secure victory. The level of wrestling flair each one of these boys demonstrated throughout the day until the very last match was truly a sight to see, and made every match a real treat to get to witness.

Anyway, looking forward to the rest of the season if the team continues to support each other as they did last weekend, successes like these will keep happening. Not to jinx anything, but fingers crossed, the 2023-24 wrestling team might be on track for its best season in a while.

Cameron Hopkinson is a Winchester High School student journalist.

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