Wrestling: Athol uses big roster to its advantage in win over Mohawk Trail (PHOTOS)

Athol’s John Robertson (left) competes against Mohawk Trail’s Wade Purington on Tuesday at Mallet Gymnasium.

Athol’s John Robertson (left) competes against Mohawk Trail’s Wade Purington on Tuesday at Mallet Gymnasium. STAFF PHOTO/THOMAS JOHNSTON

Athol’s Abduli Gilmore attemps to secure a pin on Mohawk Trail’s Danny Gougeon on Tuesday at Mallet Gymnasium.

Athol’s Abduli Gilmore attemps to secure a pin on Mohawk Trail’s Danny Gougeon on Tuesday at Mallet Gymnasium. STAFF PHOTO/THOMAS JOHNSTON

Mohawk Trail’s Logan Moore attemps to secure a pin against Athol’s Brady O’Connell on Tuesday at Mallet Gymnasium.

Mohawk Trail’s Logan Moore attemps to secure a pin against Athol’s Brady O’Connell on Tuesday at Mallet Gymnasium. STAFF PHOTO/THOMAS JOHNSTON

Athol’s Aiden Kirwan competes against Mohawk Trail’s Oliver Schwenger-Sartz on Tuesday at Mallet Gymnasium.

Athol’s Aiden Kirwan competes against Mohawk Trail’s Oliver Schwenger-Sartz on Tuesday at Mallet Gymnasium. STAFF PHOTO/THOMAS JOHNSTON

Mohawk Trail’s Will VanVleet attemps to secure a pin against Athol’s Timmy Gerry on Tuesday at Mallet Gymnasium.

Mohawk Trail’s Will VanVleet attemps to secure a pin against Athol’s Timmy Gerry on Tuesday at Mallet Gymnasium. STAFF PHOTO/THOMAS JOHNSTON

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

Staff Writer

Published: 01-30-2024 8:51 PM

ATHOL — The Athol wrestling team did what it had to do on Tuesday against Mohawk Trail. 

The Bears had the match clinched before it started, as the Warriors are down to just five wrestlers. With Athol boasting a nearly full roster, the Bears had the victory off forfeiture points before it even began. 

Mohawk Trail won three of the five varsity matches wrestled on Tuesday but it was Athol that walked away with a 59-18 victory at Mallet Gymnasium. 

Bears coach Fred Marks said he has seen improvement with his squad throughout the year. Athol has dealt with injuries — most notably to star Nate Torres (285) —  but Marks said he’s been impressed with how other athletes have stepped up to fill those roles and keep the train rolling. 

“This season has been going well,” Marks said. “Some of our varsity guys have been out due to injury. The guys who have stepped into those roles have done a really good job and have been crucial to the wins. The guys who have had to step into those varsity spots have really stepped up and elevated their game.” 

For Mohawk Trail, it’s been a difficult dual meet season due to a lack of numbers. It’s not easy going into matches knowing that the math is against you, though the Warriors have still wrestled tough.

For the Mohawk Trail wrestlers, it’s about improving each time out there to prepare for the upcoming postseason. 

“It’s always been a small team here,” Mohawk Trail’s Will VanVleet said. “The last time we were competitive in a team capacity was two years ago. It's a small school and I’m apparently not great at getting kids to do wrestling. Or I am and they end up going to school somewhere else.”

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

An intimate concert in the hills: Watermelon Wednesdays celebrates 25 years of presenting world-class acoustic music
12-year-old Gill resident joins Circus Smirkus, with local performances this weekend
Real Estate Transactions: July 19, 2024
Former NMH dorm head admits to having sex with minor; charge stems from 1975
Montague board may consider Falls Farm enforcement order after erosion, wetlands violations
Talks on noise mitigation at Greenfield grow facility to continue Aug. 15

Mohawk Trail’s Wade Purington opened the night with a victory, securing a pin over Athol’s John Robertson with 56 seconds remaining in the opening period at 106 pounds. 

Athol’s Abduli Gilmore — the defending MIAA Division 3 state champion — got Athol on the board with a pin over Danny Gougeon 56 seconds into the first round at 113. Mohawk Trail’s Logan Moore picked up a pin over Brady O’Connell 42 seconds into his match at 150 before Athol’s Aiden Kirwan won by technical fall, 20-1, in the third period against Oliver Schwenger-Sartz at 157.

VanVleet closed out the night with a pin over Timmy Gerry at 215, doing so while up 12-0 in the second period.  

With sectionals just under two weeks away, both the Bears and the Warriors are getting their teams ready for postseason wrestling. 

In the meantime, Athol is hoping to find a way to win the Suburban League North, with big matches against Mahar and Franklin Tech on the horizon next week. 

“I have some guys who are going to make a good run at sectionals and states,” Marks said. “We’re excited to get it going. It’s a big week next week. Those are two big matches. We’ll have to be at our best to win the league.”