RHAM wrestling forges ahead with reduced numbers

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Hebron - posted Mon., Jan. 21, 2013
RHAM wrestler Jim Baver takes on South Windsor's Tom Anderson. Photos by Melanie Savage.
RHAM wrestler Jim Baver takes on South Windsor's Tom Anderson. Photos by Melanie Savage.

According to head coach Ryan Fitch, the RHAM wrestling team faces a number of challenges this year. Overall numbers are low, with just 21 members listed on this year's official team roster. "And we've been hit by the injury and sickness bug like crazy," said Fitch, as the team competed in the Eagle Classic on Jan. 19 at East Catholic High School. Fitch said that some of the more seasoned wrestlers have less experience on the mat than normal, "but they're still good leaders," he said.

Top competitors for this year's team include James Turgeon, a junior currently wrestling in the 132 weight class. "Hopefully he can bring us to the open or New England or both," said Fitch. Turgeon finished second at the Classic after a decision loss to South Windsor's Max Odell.

Junior Andy Russo, wrestling at 115 pounds, needs more mat time, according to Fitch, but is "one of our tougher competitors."
Senior Travis Salois is currently wrestling at 220 pounds. "Hopefully he can turn it on at the end of the year like he did last year," said Fitch, "make it to the open, place in the open." Salois went to the opens in 2012 but was eliminated during early rounds. At the Eagle Classic, Fitch hoped to see Salois advance far enough to face Windham wrestler Nick Poulin, a top competitor at 220 pounds. "That would give him a chance to see what real competition is like," said Fitch. But Salois was knocked out by Canton wrestler Skylar Lang during the semifinal round, which eliminated his opportunity to face Poulin. Salois ultimately took third place in the competition after a decision win over Manchester's Noel Cardona.

Overall, Fitch hopes to see his top wrestlers qualify for the Open competition, and possibly the New Englands. In the short term, he'd like to see increased commitment from his wrestlers. "We need to get our team back first, and then get these guys more mat time," he said. Even when they're sick or injured, wrestlers need to make every effort to support their teammates, said Fitch. "We're trying to get these kids to understand that," he said.

The assistant coach for the RHAM wrestling team is Joe Cleary. The seniors are Luke Archambault, Adam Baig, Kyle Holland, Thomas Hunt, Steve Russo and Travis Salois.

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