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WRESTLING 2023-24: A Cavalier threepeat in Division II?

By Tom King - Staff Writer | Dec 6, 2023

Hollis Brookline's Caden Bruseo has control over Portsmouth's Andrew Nilly in hisDivision II title win at 120 pounds last year. Bruseo is back, wrestling at 132-138 this year which starts tonight vs. Alvirne. (Telegraph file photo by TOM KING)

It’s been a great local high school wrestling rivalry over the years, and expect that to continue this season between two-time defending Division II champion and challenger Bishop Guertin.

The Cards won the team title in a dual meet tournament in 2021, and the last two years the Cavaliers have been the champions in the traditional meet format the last two seasons.

But there’s always the need to fill the holes left by graduation, and we’ll begin to see how teams are doing that starting with a full Opening Night schedule tonight.

“HB will be looking for several new wrestlers to fill the spots left by last year’s graduating seniors,” Cavs coach Brian Bumpus said, “and hope to remain competitive in Division II.”

In Division I, Nashua South will miss some of its talent from a year ago, but will look to be a factor.

Here’s the rundown:


The Panthers of course lost four top individuals to graduation, including Telegraph Wrestler of the Year Anthony Fernandez.

“But we’ll be rebuilding with solid talent and fresh faces eager to be at their best,” South coach Adam Langlois said.

South will be boosted by the return of Robert Perez, now a senior, at 157 after injuries kept him out the last two years. They’ll be led by New England qualifier Connor Whitman, a junior, at 160, and also sophomore Benny Byrne at 144.

Also, watch the number of meet wins the Panthers get this year as Langlois is at 184, looking to get his 200th career triumph.

North was led last year by Carder Tillman, now a senior but was sixth in the Division meet at 152. The Titans are still rebuilding, and last year they had six freshmen,four sophs and seven juniors who are eligible to return to try to help that along.


HB has only one senior on its roster, but the juniors certainly aren’t bad at all: Jameson Keller (106), Caden Bruseo (132-138), Marty Burns (133-144) and Daniel Frixione (144). Sophomore Gavin Turcotte will be strong at 120.

But Bumpus knows the competiton will be strong.

“Bishop Guertin, Milford, Goffstown and Spaulding should all have strong teams in a competitive Division II,” he said.

Cardinals coach Paul Rousseau likes what he has.

“We have a nice mixture of veterans and new wrestlers,” he said. “If we can stay healthy and continue to have the new kids improve, we should be competetive in our Division.”

The Cards will be boosted by the return of Will Murphy, a senior at 175 who was injured last year. Two division champions return: Jack Kaler, a sophomore who is at 120 but last year was first at 113, and senior John Forcier, who is at 138 but won it at 132 last year.

Sophomore Austin Steinruck was fourth as a freshman at 106. Nick Rivera is a first-year senior at 165 and there are three freshmen who should regularly compete: Cam Faulds (126), James Algeo (144) and Bishop Kearns (285).

Milford lost one key wrestler to graduation and has some key seniors who were eligible to return in Kyle Lajoie (126 last year), Evan O’Connell (152), and Tomas Ziemeck (220 a year ago). Eli Wales had a good freshman season at 170 and Noah Kittredge, now a junior, was a contender at 160 as a soph.

Merrimack will look to take the next step with great numbers — 30 on the roster. Senior Brendan Curley was a Division II champ at 160 last year, and three other seniors are keys: Emily Angelo (132, state champ in the girls br1acket last year), Mitchell Krupp (144) and Grant Descheneaux (138).

“Thirty wrestlers with many freshmen and athletes new to the sport,” Tomahawks coach Brian Dine said. “They’re young, but motivated to do well.”

Alvirne will be paced by its four captains: Senior Morgan Gora (113), juniors Shawn Boudreau (190), Shayne Mackey (175) and Logan Jacques (157). And watch out for junior Cam Steed (165).

“We’re very excited for both our youth and our experience moving forward,” Broncos assistant Conor Gannon, who works with head man Chris Dejesus, said. “We have a very bright future, but we also have a lot to work for. We also believe we have every right to be very competitive in Division II this year.”


Campbell has been competitive over the years, but if you want freshmen, this year the Cougars have them with eight first-year wrestlers in the lineup.

“We’ll focus on developing our wrestlers to learn and grow as they work to achieve their goals,” Campbell coach James Marron said.

But back is two-time Division III champion Logan Allaire, a junior, at 165/157.

It’s expected Souhegan will be led by Logan Brown, eligible to return as a senior, after he won the division crown at 132 last year. Another senior who could be strong if back is Noah Denis, second at 138 last year. Sophomore Chase Knuckles was second at 126 as a freshman last year.


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