hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


January 4, 2012

Comeback of Haverhill High wrestling requires hard, but satisfying work

A year hiatus and a collection of new athletes can cause growing pains for a high school sports program.

But with a trio of successful wrestlers and an experienced coach, the Haverhill High wrestling team has shown promise in its opening two varsity meets of the season, despite a 1-4-1 record.

"Our team is still learning the ropes," said head coach Brian Urquhart, who has more than 40 years of wrestling experience. "I've seen a huge advance in their skill level since they started wrestling a month ago."

The team has wrestled in two varsity meets so far in the young season. The Hillies beat Saugus, lost to Salem and Masconomet at Masconomet, and tied Georgetown. Haverhill also fell to New Bedford and Pentucket at a six-team meet in Pentucket last week. The Hillies have also wrestled in junior varsity meets, including a good showing at the Sons of Italy Tournament in Wilmington.

Part of the reason for the losses is the spread of talent that Haverhill has in its weight classes. The Hillies are loaded with wrestlers in upper weight class divisions, while lacking bodies in the divisions less than 120 pounds. That forces them to forfeit matches in those lighter divisions.

"We're forfeiting three or four weight classes at six points a class," Urquhart said. "So right away, we're already down 18-0 before we even start the meet."

The bunching in weight classes is typical of a high school wrestling team. Teams are usually bunched in the 130-150 pound weight class, but don't normally have the heavier class wrestlers that Haverhill does, which can allow the Hillies to take some points in meets.

Haverhill High had big expectations for freshman Orlando Rojas, the Hillies' lightest wrestler at 120 pounds, after he won the New England Championship as part of the Haverhill youth wrestling program. Rojas has lived up to the expectations and won his first 11 matches of the season, before falling last week at the Pentucket meet.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

    Senior captain Samie Al-Ziab bench presses 315 pounds during his workout.

    Weighing in on plans for a successful season Posted 6 days ago 4 Photos
  • 140731_HG_HAND_ALLSTARS_3

    Competing at the event were, from left, Chloe Simard, 9, Kendal Kelley, 11, and Zoe Voulgaris, 13.

    In the national spotlight Posted 13 days ago 6 Photos
  • 140710_HG_CRU_HAVHOOP_1

    Navin Cruz of the Raptors drives to the hoop, with Elias Sanchez of the LA Clippers defending from behind.

    Popular summer tourney draws players, fans to club Posted 20 days ago 5 Photos
  • Send us your sports photos/news Updated 1051 days ago
  • 140709_hg_tje_ymcacamp_01

    Jack Simas, 10, takes aim at the target in the archery area of the camp.

    Escaping summer in the city Posted 27 days ago 5 Photos
  • Thursday, July 17, 2014
  • 140701_hg_tje_camptasker_04

    Walker Deschenes, 11, casts his line out while fishing off the docks.

    The summer sporting life Posted 34 days ago 6 Photos
  • Thursday, July 10, 2014
  • 140630_HG_ASW_TENNIS_5

    AMY SWEENEY/Staff photos oMadeline Scovotti, an instructor with the Recreation Department, teaches tennis technique to, from left, Liam Hudson, 11, Luke Hudson, 9, Patrick Lavanga, 6, and Bryan Lindsay, 10, all of Haverhill. June 30, 2014

    Getting into the summer swing of things Posted 41 days ago 6 Photos
  • Noah teze

    Courtesy photo/Indiana University, Mike DickberndNoah Vonleh led the Big Ten in rebounding while he played at Indiana University.

    Ready for the BIG time Posted 41 days ago 6 Photos
  • Thursday, July 3, 2014
  • 140628_hg_tje_jamboree_06

    Katelyn Cornacchio, 8, gets ready to throw a baseball at the dunk tank target.

    Celebrating a great season Posted 48 days ago 7 Photos
  • Thursday, June 26, 2014
  • 140620_HG_CRU_RACE_6

    First-place female finisher Ashley Bock of Haverhill and her boyfriend, Patrick Lawlor of Haverhill who took third place overall, spend time together at the finish line.

    Helping make his dream come true Posted 55 days ago 6 Photos

Sports News
Photos of the Week