Sports editor emeritus
PAWTUCKET â€“ 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.
â€śIf we get everyone healthy, I think we can contend for the division title,â€ť Tolman coach Dave Vecchiarino said after the match with Hope ended. â€śWe 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.â€ť
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 Highâ€™s Daniel Stubbs, who wrestles at 220 pounds, has his own state title dreams.
â€śI finished seventh last year,â€ť he said before matches began on Thursday. â€śMy goal is to win the state title this season.â€ť
Stubbs showed his strength and skill when he overpowered Hopeâ€™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 Stubbsâ€™s match.
Heavyweight Kevin Furtado made it 24-12 with a 90-second pin and then Tolmanâ€™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.