Mt. Hope Wrestling

McCarthy's great escape secures state title

Huskies' wrestlers place sixth at state tournament


Junior Andrew McCarthy escaped the grasp of Ponaganset’s Colby Vital with one second left to win the 144-pound state championship by a 7-6 decision during the state wrestling tournament at the Providence Career and Technical Academy on Saturday. 

“That was amazing,” said an elated McCarthy after the match. “One of the best feelings.”

“That was one of the best matches that I have ever seen,” said senior co-captain James Thibaudeau of his teammates match. “He puts in the work. That was special.”

McCarthy held leads of 2-0, 4-2 during the match, but Vital battled back each time to tie it up.

With 30 seconds left in the match, McCarthy clung to a 6-4 lead. The Huskies coaching staff thought it best to restart the match in a neutral position with both wrestlers standing facing each other. It was a mistake, Vital attacked, grabbed the athletic junior and threw him to the mat to even the match again with seconds left. McCarthy, thinking quickly, pulled off a Houdini-like escape, got to his feet with just one second left and sent the crowd into a frenzy as he won the match.

“I had seconds left to get up and get out,” he said, describing the feat. “I was maxed. I just knew in that moment that I really wanted it. I started ripping hands with everything I had. I cut free and got my one (point) with one with a second left.”

McCarthy won an 8-5 decision over Tyler Schartner of North Kingstown in the semifinals and pinned Thomas Slater of East Greenwich and Nolin Vangel in earlier rounds after achieving a first round bye. 

The prolific junior lost to Vital 3-0 earlier in February during their regular season match for his first loss of the season, dropping his season record to 52-1 and 126-13 for his high school career.

“Andrew wrestled very conservative that first match,” said Huskies head coach Ryan Fazzi. “Vital is a fantastic wrestler and Andrew knows that. We knew that these two would see each other eventually and thankfully he got to see him during the regular season.”

McCarthy and Coach Fazzi dissected the film and came up with a game plan for the tournament. 

“This match, Andrew was strategic and attacked constantly,” said Coach Fazzi. “We respected Vital’s top game a lot. There was great wrestling back and forth. But Andrew leveled up, escaped and won it for us.”

McCarthy finished second the last two seasons at lower weight classes. This year he broke through. 

“We are super proud of him,” Coach Fazzi said. “This year was about making him healthy. Last season we felt he took too much of a weight cut. It impeded on his performance, especially at New Englands. Now he’s very healthy. He makes 144 pounds very easily. He is able to lift and stay strong throughout the season. And he looks fantastic.”

McCarthy will next wrestle in the New England tournament at the PCTA this Saturday. 


Huskies place sixth as a team, Thibaudeau places 5th

Mt. Hope placed sixth as a team with 87 points. Ponaganset accumulated 306.5 points to win the team championship. 

Senior James Thibaudeau placed fifth in the 150 pound class. He received a first round bye for his hard work over the season and wrestled well early in the tournament, pinning John McCann of South Kingstown in the round of 16 and winning a 6-2 decision over Travis Morel of Providence in the quarterfinals.

Thibaudeau began to feel the heat in the semifinals and lost a 9-6 decision to Matt Pappas of Cranston. He lost a 3-2 decision to Gonzalo Pool and took fifth place when Alijah Sainsurin of LaSalle forfeited.

“I had a rough day,” he said. “I came out flat. I lost to two kids that I beat in the regular season. It was tough. But I’m going to get back in the lab and do some more work and try and get better.” Thibaudeau is looking into wrestling at RIC next season.


Lombardi takes 6th, Martel places 5th

Freshman Anthony Lombardi and senior Ethan Martel also made it into the semifinals round. Lombardi wrestling at 126 pounds, had the honor of wrestling undefeated Peyton Ellis of Coventry, who went on to win his fourth state title. Lombardi lost his last two matches to take 6th place.

“Anthony is a ball of fire,” Coach Fazzi said. “He went out and won freshman states this year. I really can’t wait to see what he can do next season.”

Ethan Martel fell to Ben White of South Kingstown in the semifinals. He won a 13-8 decision over Ethan Uttley of Woonsocket to take fifth place in the 132-pound class.

“He is by far my most improved wrestler,” said Coach Fazzi of Martel. “He made some major strides this season.”


While the semifinals were taking place on center stage, Ethan Delehanty was wrestling his way back into contention in the 190-pound weight class. He lost a 5-0 decision to Jack Gianetto of Narragansett in the quarterfinals, then the muscular senior won three matches in a row, pinning Tony Tip of Cranston East, winning a 4-1 decision over Joe Patnaud of North Kingston and a 7-0 decision over Aaron Bolduc of Lincoln for the right to wrestle for third place. Delehanty fell to fourth place after losing a tough 6-3 decision to LaSalle’s Josiah Garcia.

“Ethan looked good all season. He’s very, very strong,” said Coach Fazzi. “He wrestled competitively with some of the best wrestlers in New England.”

Michael Siravo at 106 pounds, Matt Thibaudeau at 138 pounds, Nick Rogers at 165 pounds, Jacob Andreozzi at 175 pounds, Mason Tavares at 215 pounds and Derek Case at 285 pounds, all wrestled for the Huskies at the state tournament.

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