BRISTOL - Now that the regular season has come and gone, the Bristol Central wrestling team has its eyes on the postseason.
The Rams (10-8) finished up their regular season Thursday evening, in their annual city series matchup against Bristol Eastern.
Unfortunately for Central, it was another year of not winning, as the No. 2 Lancers beat the Rams 58-13.
But, Central isn’t dwelling on the past.
The Rams are competing in the CCC Invitational on Saturday at Berlin High School before going into the Class L state championship next week.
Central’s team is young, but has plenty of potential.
The Rams have six seniors this year: Alexis Barbosa, John Duncan, Joseph Frechette, Michael Guzman, Damian Mahaffy and Chris Trelli.
The seniors have been leading the way for the Rams, especially during Thursday’s meet.
“We’ve been young, but we have some quality seniors,” Bristol Central head coach Matt Boissonneault said. “I thought that [Mahaffy] at 170 did a really great job. He came from behind to get that last takedown and to ride him out. [Guzman] just kind of out-worked him at 220 and [Trelli] got the major decision right at the end, against some quality kids.”
Apart from the six seniors, the Rams have six juniors and 20 other underclassmen. This past season has been a learning process, but Central has already seen a decent amount of progress.
“If we wrestled [Bristol Eastern] back in December we would’ve lost by 75 points,” Boissonneault said. “We’re definitely getting better and that’s where we want to be going into the postseason.”
All season long, Boissonneault has been preaching about execution, and Thursday evening the Rams finally followed through.
“We’ve had our ups and downs,” Trelli said. “We mainly focus on just practicing and working on stuff in the room to bring it out on the mat. Executing is big for us and I think a lot of our guys executed [Thursday].”
Having tough competition toward the end of the season will always be challenging. Whether you win or lose it gives you the opportunity to see where you are and how far you’ve come.
Boissonneault told the Rams that they want to be wrestling the best teams in the end; they should be taking on the best of the best so they can prepare themselves for the postseason.
Trelli has high hopes for himself and the rest of the Rams. His goal is to win the 120-pound match in the Class L state championships and also win State Open title. He hopes to continue on and place at nationals in Virginia Beach.
Last year Trelli made a deep run in the state tournament, but lost in both the Class L finals and the State Open finals to Jarod Kosman of Fitch.
He is expecting to see Kosman again this year and is looking to redeem himself.
As for the rest of the Rams, they are each focusing on their individual goals and hope to make a run of their own during the championships.
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860)801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org