The return of wrestling to Haverhill High School has been a success this year as the Hillies have surprised several opponents on their way to a 5-7-1 mark.
In one of their strongest performances of the year this past Saturday, the Hillies downed Marlboro, 42-22, defeated Sharon, 48-33, and lost to perennial Central Mass. power St. John's, 35-33. Orlando Rojas, Tyler Bard, Javier Colon, Parris Williams and Jamie Al-Ziab each went undefeated with three pins on the day. The Hillies will travel to Leominster this Saturday before returning home on Wednesday evening to host Acton-Boxborough.
The boys and girls track teams both pulled out narrow victories over Dracut last Thursday, defeating the Middies by scores of 42-38 and 45-41 respectively. The Hillies finished up their dual meet schedule with a couple of close losses to Central Catholic on Monday afternoon. The teams will now gear up for several important league and state meets, starting with the MSTCA Invitational this Saturday morning at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston.
Hillie basketball fans packed the Mansfield Gymnasium on Friday evening for a rare girls-boys doubleheader. The girls' team dropped a thrilling overtime game to Dracut by a score of 47-42. The boys' team played strong in the opening half but the No. 1 team in the state proved to be too strong, as Central Catholic pulled away for the 75-48 win. It was the annual Costello Night, and former Hillie Bobby Costello was remembered. Two Haverhill students were honored prior to the game and received the annual Bobby Costello awards. As always, the Haverhill sports program is appreciative of the generosity and efforts of the Costello family. The boys' basketball team will be home this Tuesday night to host Lawrence. The girls will be at home on Friday evening to take on Notre Dame.
The hockey team jumped out to an early lead on Saturday, but Methuen came back to score two quick goals at the start of the second period and went on to a 3-1 win. The Hillies have two more home games slated for this week, facing Newton South on Wednesday evening and hosting Boston Latin on Saturday at 5 p.m.
The Hillie boys swim team fell to Andover on Friday afternoon to drop to 3-3 on the season. The squad will host Central Catholic on Monday, Jan. 30, in the final home meet of the year. Haverhill will then host the MVC Championship at the Charles C. White Pool on Friday, Feb. 3.
For complete winter schedules and updates information on Haverhill sports, visit our website at: www.hillies.org
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Tom O'Brien is athletic director at Haverhill High School. He contributes this regular column.