As the end of the season approaches, the Varsity Wrestling team is setting its sights on the ISL and New England tournaments to cap off its dominant dual meet performance. Over the course of the past month, captains Harrison Shapiro ‘20 and Hamza Shemsu ‘20 have led their team to a series of victories over league rivals. Beginning in January with a trip down to Blair Academy in New Jersey, the group had the chance to compete with some of the best wrestlers in the nation. Notably, this is the first team in Belmont Hill history to wrestle in a dual meet against Blair Academy, Baylor Academy, and St. Joseph’s High School. Inspired by the skill they faced, the team wasted no time in bringing that energy back to the NEISWA league and the ISL.
From Frederick Pimental ‘23 at 106 pounds to Tim Brown ‘20 at 220 pounds, the team’s solid lineup has trounced any league competition in their way. With decisive victories over ISL squads such as Nobles, St. Sebastian’s, Roxbury Latin, St. Paul’s, Brooks, Milton, and St. Mark’s, the team won the ISL dual meet championship for the fifth year in a row. Their victories did not halt there; traveling down to Tabor Academy for the Bidstrup-Seabrook Duals in late January, the boys bested New England competitors such as Philips Exeter and Avon Old Farms. On top of that, the team secured a key win over longtime rival Northfield Mount Hermon, the first dual meet victory over this formidable opponent in three years.
Over the past weekend, the team dominated the ISL Graves Kelsey wresting tournament, securing the championship with all fourteen participating wrestlers placing. Alex Gavronsky ‘23 was named Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament, while captain Harrison Shapiro was named Globe All-Scholastic and received the Most Pins, Least Time award.
For the first time in a few years, the team is on track to have a shot at becoming undefeated New England champions. Despite this exciting prospect, Coaches Bradley, Leonardis, Davis, Sullivan, and Kaplan refuse to let their edge dull. Grueling practices and hard training abound, but the wrestlers know that through this hardship they will reach success.