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ConVal wrestler get used to life on the road

  • The ConVal wrestling team hosted its only meet of the season against Goffstown on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal wrestling team hosted its only meet of the season against Goffstown on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal wrestling team hosted its only meet of the season against Goffstown on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal wrestling team hosted its only meet of the season against Goffstown on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal wrestling team hosted its only meet of the season against Goffstown on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal wrestling team hosted its only meet of the season against Goffstown on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal wrestling team hosted its only meet of the season against Goffstown on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal wrestling team hosted its only meet of the season against Goffstown on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal wrestling team hosted its only meet of the season against Goffstown on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal wrestling team hosted its only meet of the season against Goffstown on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal wrestling team hosted its only meet of the season against Goffstown on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal wrestling team hosted its only meet of the season against Goffstown on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal wrestling team hosted its only meet of the season against Goffstown on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal wrestling team hosted its only meet of the season against Goffstown on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal wrestling team hosted its only meet of the season against Goffstown on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

It lasted less than an hour, but it wasn’t the time that mattered.

The ConVal wrestling team was just happy to be at home. While home has been a relative term for winter sports teams at the school this season, it has particularly impacted the grapplers.

With the ongoing renovations to the ConVal gymnasium, the Cougars have been forced to practice in a portion of an old warehouse rented by the school and only had one meet on their schedule that did not require a bus trip.

So after 13 dual meets and tournaments, all on the road, ConVal finally got its chance to be the host. There was just one team, Goffstown, coming for Wednesday’s meet, which in addition to being the home opener, also acted as the home finale and Senior Night all wrapped into one short stay at South Meadow School. But it was just nice to be the ones with more fans in the stands.

“It’s very, very special. It’s my senior year,” said co-captain Jesse Mitchell. “I just couldn’t wait for my senior year to come. It’s been hard, but you have to deal with what you’ve got. I’m just glad I get to wrestle.”

And when it was all said and done, the Cougars finished with a 42-37 victory — giving them a perfect record at home. While a number of those points, 24 in all, came via forfeits, including the last six that put ConVal ahead for the first time all evening, that does not mean there was not some strong performances on the part of the home squad.

“It’s good to be on our own home turf even though we have the gym under construction, but at least we have somewhere to have a meet,” said junior Adam Smullen who competes in the 160-pound weight class. “I wish we had more, but we only have one so we had to give it our best shot.”

Smullen and freshman Josh Curran (145 pounds) each secured first round pins, while junior Zach Davis earned his victory at 220 pounds with a pin in the second period. Mitchell went three full rounds with Peter Shea, who was the Division II champion at 138 pounds last year, only to fall just short in his senior match, 7-2.

But all those long bus trips, including one to Bellows Falls, Vt. in early December for the annual ConVal Early Bird, helped this year’s group grow more like a family. After losing six wrestlers to graduation and the addition of quite a few newcomers, the team needed some time to gel. And long bus rides, usually twice a week, allowed for that to happen.

“The bus rides got us more together, more as a team and I think that will only help for the coming years,” said Mitchell. “The bus rides have been difficult, but we just deal with it. You give us a match and we just go out there.”

On Saturday, ConVal returned to the road and finished seventh at the Franklin Tournament. Senior DJ Colburn won at 113 pounds and Smullen was second at 160. Jordan Loll took third.

While this season was anything but easy, the future is something the underclassmen have to look forward to.

“I can’t wait for it. I’m so ready,” said Smullen. “It’s going to be my senior year and we get to have that whole new gym.”

They certainly will appreciate rolling out the mats on the ConVal gym floor for the Early Bird in December.

And having a place to call home.

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