Nashua North wrestlers win title at George Bossi Tournament
LOWELL, Mass. – Not since Mike Grillakis conquered the 189-pound weight class in 2008 has a Nashua high school wrestler won a George Bossi Lowell Holiday Wrestling Tournament title.
Marcel Laplante and Joe Chimelski erased that fact Monday night at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell.
Laplante used a knee pick takedown into a double for two points late in the first period then rode it out from there, holding on for a 2-0 win over Mac Hamilton, of Lincoln-Sudbury (Mass.), for the 113-pound title.
Chimelski used his strength and speed, grabbing a 3-0 lead heading into the third period before finishing off his 195-pound final match the way he ended all five previous matches in the tournament.
The Titans senior pinned Mt. Anthony (Vt.) junior Tyler Mattison with 34 seconds left in the match.
The victories were even more special than just claiming another Lowell Holiday title for the Gate City. Grillakis attended Nashua South. Laplante’s win was the first for any Nashua North wrestler at the event. Chimelski made it two Titans titles in the same year.
“This feels awesome,” Laplante said after a victory that put his overall high school record at 116-21. “This is one of the biggest tournaments in New England, and it’s one of the biggest Lowell has hosted.”
With 73 teams and 850 wrestlers competing, Laplante’s win helped keep the Titans lock up a Top 10 spot as a team.
In Laplante’s match, the 2-0 lead held through two periods, which also included two stoppages because Hamilton was bleeding. The third period was similar to the second, as Hamilton latched on to Laplante’s leg as the North senior tried to escape.
“I’m pretty tired right now,” Laplante said. “A lot of the match was spent riding each other. I was able to grab those two points at the end of the first period and then just got ridden the rest of the way.
“Mac is a real strong wrestler. It was a tough match. I’m just so excited I pulled it out.”
He wasn’t alone in his excitement as teammates Peter Daniels (eighth at 132 pounds), Cameron Bennet (seventh at 126) and Chimelski, who improved to 123-16, were cheering him on the entire time.
Bennett, Daniels and Laplante reversed roles later in the evening as Chimelski went to work on Mattison. Grabbing a 3-0 lead midway through the third period, a battered Chimelski – black eye and bloody nose – used every ounce of energy left to not only secure another pin, but ninth place overall as a team for North.
“That pin was important,” said Chimelski, who earned the tournament award for most falls in the shortest amount of time. “We came here wanting to make a statement as a team.
“For me to pin my way through my bracket was big for me personally, especially at an event this size with so much talent. But each one of those pins were important for us as a team. We not only grabbed two individual titles, but we also finished in the Top 10.”
Other locals wrestling Monday night were Bishop Guertin’s Patrick Sands (fifth at 160) and Brandon Levesque (fourth at 138).