5 Taconic wrestlers place first as Braves claim inaugural Battle for the Tomahawk tournament

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PITTSFIELD — For the first time in school history, the Taconic Braves hosted their own wrestling tournament on Saturday, calling it the Battle for the Tomahawk tournament.

The Braves made the inaugural tournament one to remember, with seven wrestlers competing in the finals, and five of them claiming gold in their weight class. The Braves won the tournament with a score of 211, followed by Hampden Charter, who finished with a score of 158. Besides Taconic, the only other Berkshire County school to compete was Mount Greylock, which finished in 11th place.

The biggest win of the day was in the 145-pound weight class, where Zabion Powell picked up his 141st career win, breaking the Taconic wrestling wins record.

"Honestly, we expected it," Taconic's coach Jeremy Tetreault. "When he was a freshmen we used to joke with Isiah Williams (the previous record holder) that he would break his record. It feels good, and it is definitely awesome, but it is something we saw coming."

Powell's day started with two straight pins, pushing him over 100 pins in his career. After his championship win over Jalen Rodgers via a 4-1 decision, Powell was excited to celebrate the accomplishment in front of his home crowd, especially in the final match of the event.

"It is really awesome," Powell said. "I got my 100th win last year at the Mount Greylock tournament and it was just kind of given to me. I was a little nervous, I've faced [Rodgers] before and he's strong as hell."

Four other Taconic wrestlers joined Powell on the podium to claim first place in their weight classes. Mike LaFreniere won at 132 with a pin over Sabis' Xavier Reyes, Dylan Burke took the 182-pound title with a 13-5 decision over Hampshire's Kobe Cliffor, Shawn O'Shea topped Jesse Cameron via fall at 195, and Isiaha Hartman-Caesar took gold at 285, finishing the night off with a pin over Hampden Charter's Akhmet Mamedov.

Deven Pekosz came up one win short of a first-place finish in the 126 weight class, losing to Devin Lewis of Hampden Charter on a pin in 19 seconds. The 138 weight class final between Northampton's Noah Brink and Taconic's Zach Mathes came down to a major decision, with Brink taking the win 19-6.

Mount Greylock had three wrestlers finish the day in fourth place in Trey Lepicier at 106, Jack Rosier at 145 and Liam Feeley at 170.

With the dominate performance by the Braves in Saturday's tournament, the Tomahawk Trophy will call the brand-new Taconic High School home for a trip around the sun, before the second-annual Battle For The Tomahawk takes place in 2020.

"We wanted to make this enjoyable for all the teams competing," Tetreault said. "I think we accomplished that. We had some good wrestling from both our 'A' and 'B' teams. I said that if it is going to be the battle for the tomahawk, you have to win a tomahawk. I had the machine tech and carpentry shops put together the trophy so I really want to give them some credit for that."

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Team scores — 1. Taconic, 211; 2. Hampden Charter, 158; 3. Hampshire 102.5; 4. Berlin, 99; 4. Sabis, 99; ... 11. Mount Greylock, 42.

Championship bouts

106 — Lisandro Martinez (Hampden Charter) def. Alex Willard (Hampshire) via fall, 1:24

113 — Evan Yerdon (Berlin) def. Christian Kelly (Sabis) via fall, 3:21

120 — Christian Rivas (Sabis) def. Maddox McPherson (Northampton) via fall, 3:43

126 — Devin Lewis (Hampden Charter) def. Deven Pekosz (Taconic) via fall, :19

132 — Mike LaFreniere (Taconic) def. Xavier Reyes (Sabis) via fall, 3:09

138 — Noah Brink (Northampton) def. Zach Mathes (Taconic) vai maj. decision, 19-6.

145 — Zabion Powell (Taconic) def. Jalen Rogers (Sabis) via dec., 4-1

152 — Thomas Czartoryski (Hampden Charter) def. Kevin Argueta Flores (Excel Academy) via fall, 3:55

160 — Michael Baldwin (Hampshire) def. Tyreece Cherival (Hampden Charter) via dec., 10-5

170 —Mason Biagini (Mohawk) def. James Buddluph (Smith Vocational) via dec., 6-1

182 — Dylan Burke (Taconic) def. Kobe Clifford (Hampshire) via dec., 13-5

195 — Shawn O'Shea (Taconic) def. Jesse Cameron (Berlin) via fall, :41.

220 — Zach Hall (Smith Vocational) def. Xavier Chartier (Northampton) via fall, 3:02

285 — Isiaha Hartman-Caesar (Taconic) def. Akhmet Mamedov (Hampden Charter) via fall, 3:48.

Jake Mendel can be reached at Jmendel@berkshireeagle.com, @Jmendel94 on Twitter and 413-496-6252.


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