CV grapplers set to get back on mat

Weight class separation will be crucial

  • The ConVal wrestling team placed sixth overall at the Division II Championships on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal wrestling team placed sixth overall at the Division II Championships on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

ConVal’s wrestling team has been solid year in and year out for the previous three decades under long-time head coach Brian Whittemore. This may be a lean year for the Cougar grapplers, however; while the team will return several excellent wrestlers, they are distributed over only a few different weight classes, which will make it harder for them to score points at team meets.

“It’s going to be a hard year, to be honest,” Whittemore said. “If we get above .500 we’ll be happy. Our division is fairly decent, and most teams have a full lineup that makes it harder for us.”

Out of the 14 wrestlers on the roster, four are currently bunched up in the 220-pound weight class and another two are at 126. With a little training and weight loss, Whittermore hopes to spread his athletes out over a few more classes and give them a better shot at points.

“We’ve got to try and separate them a little bit,” Whittemore said.

Senior Adam Smullen should be the wrestler to watch this season. He’ll return to the 160-pound weight class this year, the same weight at which he placed first overall in DII last year. He also placed 4th in the Meet of Champions, just shy of the top-three finish required to qualify for the New England championships. Smullen is a protoypical high school wrestler, with a wiry, sinewy strength ripples out from the shoulders. He should be one of the top wrestlers in the state again this season,

“Hopefully, we’ll get him to qualify for the New Englands this year,” Whittemore said.

Junior Jakob Rupp is shooting to get into the 145-pound class after placing 5th in DII is the 152-pound class last year. He, like every other Cougar wrestler who qualified (save Smullen and ‘13 grad DJ Colburn), was winless at last year’s Meet of Champions.

Senior Mike Allen is at 138 pounds this year, up from the 132-pound class where he placed 4th in DII last year.

“He should have a decent year,” Whittemore said.

Josh Curran, a sophomore with grappling in his blood, made waves last season at 145 pounds.

“He was above .500, which is good for a freshman,” Whittemore said. Curran hopes to wrestle at 152 pounds this year.

Senior Jordan Loll, the Cougars’ standout tackling machine during football season, is up to 220 pounds this year; last season, he finished 6th in Division II at 195 pounds. Joining Loll in the 220-pound weight class are a pair of juniors, Johnny Voorhees and John Norton, as well as freshman Jeffrey Pinkham.

ConVal’s only other senior is Aaron Taylor, a light 170-pounder. The remaining junior is lanky cross-country runner Andrew Hunt. Hunt is fairly new to wrestling, but did compete last year. His endurance alone should give opponents pause as he wrestles in the 199-pound class.

Sophomore Cameron Vrissette was a successful middle school wrestler who took last year off from the sport. He joins the Cougars this year in the 126-pound class, though Whittemore would like to see him get down to 120.

“He’s a wild card,” Whittemore said.

Sophomore Josh Bartsch is another wrestler at 126 pounds who may drop down to 120. The team’s last sophomore is Eric Wall, who’s in the 106-pound class. Freshman Emalee Coutu, the team’s only female wrestler, rounds out the team at 132 pounds.

ConVal hosts Winnacunnet tomorrow night at 6 p.m.

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