MARSHFIELD - North Attleboro High rode the strength of its quantity of quality wrestlers on the mat to bring home its first MIAA Division 2 State Championship team trophy since 1997 Saturday despite not having a single individual champion.
The Rocketeers, however, did have 14 wrestlers all earn points at Marshfield High School to stake head coach Wayne Griffin's South Sectional champs to their fifth, and biggest, tournament championship this season.
"This team has no superstars," said Griffin. "To win like we did is an indicator to the breadth of our squad."
North Attleboro had three wrestlers reach the finals with three consecutive wins apiece in the earlier rounds. Co-captain Nick Morrison (182) cruised through the tournament before falling to top-seeded Mike Phillips of Marlboro in their final, losing by pin 4:50 into their championship bout. Morrison had a spectacular tournament after missing the first month of the season due to injury. At 170, Jack Donahue advanced to the state finals with three wins, including one by pin, but lost to Catholic Memorial's Josh Bechen by pin 3:28 into the match.
The final Rocketeer to finish as a state runner-up was senior anchor Brennan Sankey (285), who won his first two matches handily but was challenged in the semifinals against Carlos Cabrera of second-place Central Catholic, winning the decision, 5-2. Sankey lost his finals match to Joshua Sokol of Hopkinton after a takedown by Sokol in the final 30 seconds of the match to break the tie.
"His semifinal match was the key to sealing the event for North," said Griffin. "He took the match into overtime and, relying on his physical conditioning, he overcame his opponent who was a rematch of the dual meet finals two weeks prior and put us 14 points ahead at the time."
Devin Spratt, wrestling at 120, dropped a hard-fought semifinal match to Nick Comacho of Woburn by major decision. Spratt went on to win his third-place match with one of his three pins in the tournament. Senior co-captain Mike Gould took fourth place at 138 after climbing through the consolation bracket and taking out second-seeded David Ellis-Rech of Sharon. Nick Gould made it to the semifinals before dropping into the consolation bracket, and also ran into top-seeded Lucas Cordio of Nashabo Regional. Nick Gould finished 3-2 at 145.
Collin Fiske (152) also nabbed a fifth-place finish after being seeded ninth in his weight class. Fiske tallied three pins and went 4-2 in the tournament. At 126 pounds, Alex Devitto started strong with two wins, but lost to Josh Lee of Burlington, the top seed in his weight class, by pin 2:34 into the bout and then dropped a pair of consolation matches, finishing sixth.
North Attleboro will send eight wrestlers to the All-State tournament this coming weekend at Reading High School - Spratt, Devitto, Mike Gould, Nick Gould, Fiske, Morrison, Donahue, and Sankey.
MIAA Division 2 Championship Meet
Team scores: 1-North Attleboro 141, 2-Central Catholic 111, 3-Winchester 97, 4-Algonquin 93, 5-Nashoba 92.5, 6-Natick 86.5, 7-Woburn 77, 8-Milford 76, 9-Hopkinton 70, 10-Masconomet-56, 20-King Philip 43.5
North Attleboro results: 113-Jake DiRenzo (1-2); 120-Devin Spratt (4-1, four pins); 126-Alex Devitto (2-3, one pin); 138-Mike Gould (4-2, two pins); 145-Nick Gould (3-2); 152-Collin Fiske (4-2, three pins); 170-Jack Donahue (3-1, one pin); 182-Nick Morrison (3-1, one pin); 195-Brad White (1-2); 220-Leo Thibeault (1-2); 285-Brennan Sankey (3-1, two pins).