The North Attleboro High and Norton High wrestling teams turned their respective MIAA South Sectional Championship meets into their own team showcases as both squads brought home sectional crowns Saturday.
The Rocketeers continued their domination on the mat by running away with the Division 2 South Sectional at Oliver Ames High School, while Norton grabbed the Division 3 South Sectional by a wide margin as well at Foxboro High. The Rocketeers claimed the team title with 287.5 points to easily outdistance second-place Hingham (207) in the 12-team field, and Norton amassed 258.6 points to pull away from host Foxboro, which finished second with 186 points.
- Five NORTH ATTLEBORO wrestlers claimed sectional championships in their weight classes, and five more finished in second place after reaching the finals.
"We have an older group of kids who work well together," said Rocketeers coach Wayne Griffin. "We don't have any cliques on the team and really have a family atmosphere. That has been something we have preached for years now."
Alex DeVitto, wrestling at 126, became the first champion of the day for North Attleboro with a pin at 5:20 of Whitman-Hanson's Mike McDonough. At 285 pounds for North, Brennan Sankey, last year's sectional runner-up and All-State place-finisher, took the championship after going 4-0 with three pins. His three matches totalled 3:41 as they all ended in pins, giving him the most pins in the least time through the tournament.
Rocketeers' co-captain Nick Morrison was 3-0 with a pair of pins on his way to taking the championship at 182 with a pin, avenging a loss from last year's final. Jack Donahue, wrestling at 170, was the fifth and final champion for the Rocketeers. Donahue, who missed last season due to knee surgery, was in control of his tight final to pull out a 1-0 decision over Jack MacDonald of Silver Lake.
Other second-place finishers for North included Devin Spratt (120), Jake DiRenzo (113) and Leo Thibeault (220). Both Spratt and DiRenzo ran through their opponents to reach the final round, but were unable to overcome tough opponents in the finals and lost by falls. Thibeault knocked off, CJ Burt of Plymouth North, the No. 2-seeded wrestler in the 220 weight class, but dropped his finals matchup.
Senior captain Mike Gould finished runner-up at 138 pounds after he earned his 100th career victory in the opening round of the tournament in the first round. Gould then took out last year's sectional champion, Joe Ryan from Hingham. Mike's younger brother, Nick, had more success, taking the championship at 145 with a comeback victory in the final.
North Attleboro will return to the mat next weekend to compete among more than 50 schools in the MIAA Division 2 State Championships Friday and Saturday at Marshfield High. Eleven members of the Rocketeer wrestling team have already qualified, with three alternates who have a good chance of advancing as well.
North Attleboro placements: 106-Brady Folan (3-2); 113-Jake DiRenzo (3-1, two pins), 120-Devin Spratt (3-1, three pins); 126-Alex DeVitto (3-0, two pins); 132-Brandon Graveline (2-2); 138-Mike Gould (3-1, three pins); 145-Nick Gould (3-0, two pins); 152-Collin Fiske (3-1, one pin); 160-Jordan Tillinghast (2-2, one pin); 170-Jack Donahue (3-0); 182-Nick Morrison (3-0, two pins); 195-Brad White (2-2, two pins); 220-Leo Thibeault (2-1, one pin); 285-Brennan Sankey (4-0, three pins).