Wrestling

HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING: State championships: Hendricken’s Nick Fine wins 3rd straight state title

HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING: State championships: Hendricken's Nick Fine wins 3rd straight state title

The delay of the RIIL wrestling championships from the winter to the spring was merely a delay of the inevitable for several competitors.

Chariho senior James Dougherty defended his title in the 170-pound weight class from a season ago and Bishop Hendricken senior Nick Fine won his third straight state title, this time in the 195-pound division, highlighting Saturday’s state championship meet at the Providence Career Technical Academy in the city’s West End.

Mount Hope senior Cory Grifka pinned Bishop Hendricken senior Nathan Reid in the 182-pound class, good enough for his third straight title as an individual and enough to earn the Huskies the team title Saturday with 197 points, outlasting Hendricken (176) and Ponaganset (167).

Fine, who’ll wrestle in the Ivy League at Columbia, pinned Hope senior Jaden Grigsby 0:41 into his title bout to cap off his senior year unbeaten. He was also named the Robb Smith Most Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament, in honor of the former Coventry wrestling coach and referee who passed away in April.

This one, even though I didn’t see the adversity I saw in some of my other ones, it just means the exact same,” said Fine, who lives in Cumberland. “I love competing with my team, I love this environment, I love this tournament, I love this stage.”

Fine’s teammate, junior Adolfo Betancur, also won the heavyweight class for a second year in a row, taking down Anthony Betello-Robshaw of Ponaganset. Cumberland senior Aidan Faria, who’ll wrestle at Kent State University in Ohio, took home his second straight title as well, defeating Nicholas Baccala with a pin 0:36 into his match in the 160-pound division. Faria won at 152 pounds as a junior.

Dougherty won in a decision over senior Sebastian Ford of North Kingstown, 5-0, avenging a setback he faced in the regular season against Ford, when Dougherty injury defaulted – the lone loss of his senior campaign.

“I wrestle a lot so we have a little bit of a rivalry,” Dougherty said. “It meant something to actually beat him, to get the full match in, at the highest level you can in Rhode Island.

Dougherty will wrestle at Western New England University in Springfield, Mass. next year.

While Betancur, Dougherty and Fine were back in the finals as defending champions, Hope senior Jonathan Feliz, North Kingstown junior Aidan Zarella and Coventry sophomore Hayden Myers were seeking redemption after falling in the finals of their respective weight classes last winter.

Mission accomplished on all counts, as Feliz scored a win in a decision, 12-5, over Michael Jarrell (East Greenwich) in the 220-pound division, Zarella defeated Mount Hope’s Brock Pacheco at 145 and Meyers went the distance in a 3-2 win over Jacob Joyce (Ponaganset) at 120.

It motivated me so much,” Feliz said of his loss a season ago. “I came to practice every day at 6 a.m., no excuses, no matter what. I always listened to my coaches, always.”

Ponaganset senior J’Mari Lowman, set to wrestle at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Va. next year, captured his elusive individual title in the 152-pound class over Noah Sclama of Hendricken, 12-0.

Lowman, who wrestled at under 100 pounds as a freshman before gradually moving up to his current level, said he plans on being in the 170-pound division to begin college.

“I’ve been putting the time in,” Lowman said. “I’ve got good people standing by me to make sure I’m doing everything right. They’re my superiors. I look up to them. They’ve been guiding me all this time to make sure I’m right.”

For Scituate freshman Gabriel Bouyssou, his goal for the next three years has already been defined: to win, win some more, and finally win again.

Bouyssou put the finishing touches on an unbeaten rookie campaign with a win over Jack Schartner in the 132-pound division.

“I’ve been dreaming about it for a long time,” Bouyssou said. “My goal is to be a four-timer. I really think it’s doable.”

Coventry freshman Peyton Ellis (106), Hope junior Nicholas Torres (113), Ponaganset sophomore Jason Hood (126) and Ponaganset junior Tim Cook (138) rounded out the day’s winners.

“It really shows all the work I put in, everything I’ve done, everything’s paid off,” said Torres, who placed fifth as a sophomore. “It really makes me happy to see my progress.”

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