Chelmsford Should Be Right Up There Once Again
LOWELL -- Bruce Rich is entering his 40th season as Chelmsford High’s head wrestling coach and over the past four decades the Lions have done plenty of winning on Rich’s watch.
Rich, a former wrestling and football standout at Chelmsford and Boston University, has guided the Lions to seven MIAA Division 1 team state tournament titles and 14 Merrimack Valley Conference crowns.
Last winter, Chelmsford captured the Massachusetts version of high school wrestling’s Triple Crown -- finishing first at the Division 1 North Sectional, Division 1 State and All-State tournaments.
With defending Division 1 state champions, Evan Goodall (145 pounds) and Evan Kinney (106) leading the way, Chelmsford remains the team to beat in the always ultra-competitive Merrimack Valley Conference.
MVC Division 1 is once again home to a number of powerful programs, including Methuen, Lawrence, Central Catholic and Lowell.
Legendary Lowell coach George Bossi, entering his 56th season overall, hopes to have his Red Raiders in contention in the MVC and at the year-end tournaments. Lowell will be led by seniors Clevince Bogle (138), Brock Pare (152/160), Aaron Diaz (195/220) and Thomas Radzik (285).
In MVC Division 2, Dracut’s Dante Rossetti (113/120) is a returning Division 2 State and All-State placewinner.
Senior James Best (132) hopes to help lead Billerica to another winning season.
Tewksbury’s Dylan Chandler is a force at 285.
In the Commonwealth Athletic Conference, Shawsheen Tech has had a firm grip on the league title, finishing first in the standings the past 12 seasons.
The Rams will field one of the deepest lineups in the state. Shawsheen opened its season by winning four matches on Saturday, including a 41-29 victory over Chelmsford.
Ram senior standout Omar Eldaly (220) is one of the premier grapplers in the state. Eldaly placed second at the New England and All-State tournaments last season.
Brian Caldwell (132) is another key returner for Shawsheen. Caldwell placed at the Division 1 State and All-State tournaments.
Greater Lowell Tech sophomore Gabe Rivera will look to build off last season’s success. As a freshman Rivera was the 170 champion at the Division 2 State, Division 2 North Sectional and State Vocational tournaments.
Nashoba Tech hopes to make its presence felt in the CAC in its first season as a league member. The Vikings won the Colonial Athletic League title last season.
Defending Dual County League champion Westford Academy has several key wrestlers returning, including Jack Quaranto (106), Stephen Donovan (126) and Jake Morash (182).
In the Middlesex League, Shane Penney (120), Joe Ganley (126) and Stephen Smolinsky (170) hope to lead Wilmington to a winning record.
With Evan Rankin (120), Josh Ducharme (138), Matt Tyros (145) and Mark Thomas (170) leading the way, Tyngsboro hopes to push toward the top spot in the Midland-Wachusett League standings.
Pelham’s Conor Maslanek is one of the top wrestlers in the Granite State. Maslanek was named the Outstanding Wrestler at the New Hampshire Division 3 State Tournament while winning the 160 crown last season. Maslanek has moved up in weight to 195 this year.