When it comes to high school wrestling, you can always count on Mount Everett providing tough competitors and coming home with a Western Massachusetts or state championship almost every year.
The Eagles' Bradley Lupiani said that kind of an expectation is something he
"It's definitely a positive," said the sophomore wrestler. "I want to try and beat their records. I did feel pressure early on, but I'm used to it now."
Lupiani is this week's High School Player of the Week, after winning the 113-pound weight class in Saturday's Mountie Invitational at Mount Greylock. Lupiani is 23-1 this year, with only a loss in the Chad Antoch Memorial Tournament in Westerly, R.I., a blemish on his record.
The sophomore, who moved up one weight class from a year ago, said he felt confident heading into this season.
"My goal was to be undefeated until states and try to win Western Mass. undefeated," he said. "I've lost that one match. So, I'm at my goal, almost."
That loss hasn't shaken Lupiani's confidence.
"I wasn't down when I lost in Rhode Island," said Lupiani. "I knew it was going to be a good match. I thought I was going to get killed, because the guy looked a lot better than me. It was a close match. I was winning at one point."
There were no losses Saturday in Williamstown, as the Eagle standout
Lupiani was the top seed in his weight class. That's a nice thing to have, but not the be-all and end-all for any wrestler because, as he said "anything can happen."
That seed was, however, a bit of a surprise.
"Coming into the tournament and not knowing who was going to be there, I thought it was going to be really tough," said Lupiani. "I thought I was going to be the fourth or the third seed, because Colonie [Central of New York] was there and there were a lot of tough teams from Rhode Island.
"Once I got there and I looked at the brackets, I was surprised that there wasn't anyone too, too tough in my weight class."
Lupiani is looking ahead to the Western Massachusetts Division III tournament, which will be contested at Monument Mountain High School. For Lupiani, it's not about where the tournament is held, it's that he has a shot to win this year. He finished third last year behind finalists Brendan Weir of Hampshire Regional and Steve Thibault of Southwick.
"[Thibault] was almost impossible for me to beat. I was almost positive I wasn't going to win Western Mass. last year," Lupiani said. "I was happy getting third."
That's not going to be the case for 2013.
The sophomore also qualified for the State Tournament and the All-States. One of his teammates from last year, Seamus Wolfe, won the state Division III title at 132 pounds.
"It's definitely cool," he said. "I'd like to see my name up there some day."