Taconic's Burke through to All-States wrestling semifinals
Burke, coming off a second-place finish at the Division III state championships a week ago, started his All-State march with a pin over Haverhill's Joe Santoro in 54 seconds. In the next round, Burke pinned Dracut's Allyn French in 3:06 to set up a semifinal contest against Brookline's Abraham Spurlock today. In the other semifinal, Athol's Chris Waslaske — who beat Burke in the D-III championship — will face Agawam's Dom Ledoux.
"I thought he went out there and did exactly what we wanted him to do," Taconic coach Jeremy Tetreault said of Burke. "He was on. He got the pins."
Burke is the lone Brave still in the championship bracket, but he is not the only Taconic wrestler still going. At 145 pounds, Zabion Powell started his day with a pin over Natick's Jake Adelmann in 1:09. Powell, though, fell to Springfield Central's Cqari Bacote in the next round via a 10-3 decision to fall into the consolation bracket. Powell recovered by scoring a 7-1 decision over Sabis' Jalen Rogers.
"That's a kid he's wrestled one-point matches with," Tetreault said of Powell's match against Rogers, "and he opened it up and beat him 7-1.
"He's still alive. He's hungry now to come back for third."
In the consolation of four bracket, Powell will face off against Nashoba's Lucien Perla for a chance to advance to the consolation semifinals. Should Powell win both of those bouts, he would wrestle for third place at 145.
Mike LaFreniere wrestled at 132 pounds, falling to Longmeadow's David Barrett in the championship bracket. LaFreniere bounced back with a pin of Plymouth South's Lucas Coppola, but was eliminated by New Bedford's Ethan Medeiros via fall in the next round.
At 195, Shawn O'Shea fell to Xaverian's Tanner Alexander in his opening contest, then fell to Haverhill's Ryan McCartney in the next round to end his weekend.
The final Braves wrestler at the All-State meet was Zach Mathes. Mathes fell in his opening bout to Springfield Central's Mahari Miller, bounced back by pinning Norwood's Kevin White, but was eliminated after dropping a decision to Minnechaug's Sean Monteiro.
The one other Berkshire County wrestler at the All-State championships was Mount Everett's Zack Lupiani. Lupiani fell to Haverhill's Ron Fuller in his opener at 120, followed it up with a pin of Norton's Alex Turcotte, but had his tournament ended by Ethan Smith, of North Attelborough, via fall.
Wrestling picks back up today at 9 a.m. In addition to placement at the All-State meet, Burke and Powell are also wrestling for spots in the New England tournament.
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