08 NMH Wrestlers Take Class A New England Championship
Led by four champions and five additional place winners, the NMH wrestlers won the school's first New England Wrestling Championship. NMH's margin of victory was the largest in tournament history and was a fitting capstone to a season that saw the the team win the Class A League Tournament, three other tournaments, place 11th in the National Championships, and post a 21-1 season dual meet record. Fourty-four of the 50 New England wrestling schools were represented at the event. The team title helped to partially erase the frustrating second-place finishes in '98, '01, and '02 for retiring Coach Frank Millard.
Omar Bey '10 (112) was the first champ as he overwhelmed his opponent in the finals. His opponent was a two-time New England Champ, a two-time All American, and had pinned Omar in last year's NE finals and in the finals of an early season tournament this year. Naval-Academy-bound John Coutoumas '08 (125) was never challenged in the tournament and in the finals, beat the defending champion. Todd Patterson '08 (130) was the next champ, and his relentless attacking mode allowed him to wear down all of his opponents. TJ Strunk '08 capped off the champs with another dominating performance as he completely controlled his opponents when they were on their feet wrestling for a takedown. The Hoggers' four champions ties a the school record for number of champions set in 1997.
NMH's other finalist, All-American Ryan Ponte '11, lost to another All American who had dropped down from 112 to wrestle 103 at the Nationals and New Englands. Senior Ryan Roddy's semi final match was the rubber match this season between him and his opponent, and his opponent beat him in the closing seconds as he countered a great effort from Ryan with a little better one of his own. NMH's other third-place finisher was Marty Tarantino '08, who ran into a buzz saw in his semifinal match with the defending ISL league champion. Max Wright '09 continued his outstanding success story with a very strong fourth-place finish and Mike O'Brien '08 concluded his wrestling career with a very good performance placing a solid fifth after being seeded ninth.
This article appeared on the Northfield Mount Herman School website.