Sports editor emeritus
PAWTUCKET – Despite competing without several of its better wrestlers, Tolman High showed it could be a contender in Division II this season with an impressive 45-33 victory over a solid Hope team on Thursday evening.
Tolman and Hope both picked up easy wins over shorthanded Central Falls, which fielded only four wrestlers during a 75-6 loss to Tolman and three in an 84-0 burial by Hope.
“If we get everyone healthy, I think we can contend for the division title,” Tolman coach Dave Vecchiarino said after the match with Hope ended. “We were missing our co-captain Darius Harrison tonight. Keane Marcello and Austin Bizier were also out. I was really impressed with our kids tonight in the match against Hope. We have a freshman at 113, Dayvon Cyler, who is wrestling for the first time this year and he has won his first three matches.”
Tolman opened its season with a 60-18 loss to Barrington on Wednesday night. The Tigers bounced back quickly, taking three of four bouts against Central Falls in their abbreviated meet and then roaring out to a 42-12 lead against Hope, which has made some waves with individual wrestlers at the state tournament in recent seasons.
Tolman High’s Daniel Stubbs, who wrestles at 220 pounds, has his own state title dreams.
“I finished seventh last year,” he said before matches began on Thursday. “My goal is to win the state title this season.”
Stubbs showed his strength and skill when he overpowered Hope’s Jesse Castillo in the third period.
The Tolman-Hope meet began with the 152-pound bout. Ed Dufresne got the momentum going for Tolman with a 56-second pin. After Hope won the next two matches, Tolman picked up forfeit wins worth six team points apiece, to take an 18-12 lead heading into Stubbs’s match.
Heavyweight Kevin Furtado made it 24-12 with a 90-second pin and then Tolman’s lightweights did their job. Albert Tavares scored a pin at 106 and Cyler also won by fall at 113 to give Tolman a 42-12 advantage with four bouts remaining. Hope then closed to 42-24 with two pins before Alben Chingo clinched the team win for Tolman despite losing a tough 5-4 decision at 132.
Keane Patino-Cyler concluded the match for Tolman with a 15-8 victory at 145 pounds.
The Tigers are now idle until January 8 when they visit Exeter/West Greenwich.