Three members of the Whitman-Hanson Wrestling team are moving on.
Seniors Jake Filicicchia, Alex O’Roak and John Will have advanced to the Division 2 state tournament after placing in the top four of their respective weight classes in the Division 2 South Sectional tournament held Saturday at North Attleborough High School.
Filicicchia came in as the No. 2 seed in the 113-pound weight class and took care of his first opponent, Will Stern of Sharon, besting him via pinfall in 1:28. He then claimed victory over Sam Roberts of Duxbury by pinfall 0:25 in. Filicicchia then met Silver Lake’s Daniel Walsh, who he toppled 6-0 to avenge an early season loss to the Laker. Filicicchia wrapped up his day falling 7-0 to top-seeded Jacob Garcia of Marshfield.
“Jake has worked very hard in the offseason to improve his wrestling skills,” W-H head coach Gary Rabinovitz said. “Jake set some high goals for himself this year and has worked hard to achieve them. He also studies all of his opponents to get any advantage he can”
In the 182-pound weight class, Alex O’Roak went 2-1 on the day to earn his spot in the Division 2 state final. O’Roak, who came in as the No. 6 seed, ousted Stoughton’s Bobby Shaughnessy by pinfall in 1:27 and knocked off second-seeded Joe Freda of Hingham via pinfall in 3:24. O’Roak would then fall in the final to Marshfield’s Joe Pomella.
“Alex had an up and down season as he was nursing a shoulder injury most of the way,” Rabinovitz said. Entering the sectionals, he was 13-13 and was the last-seeded wrestler in his weight class. Alex pulled it all together and finished second and now has a season record of 15-14.”
Entering as the No. 3 seed in the 220-pound weight class, John Will earned a pinfall in 3:33 over his first opponent, Dylan Burns of Pembroke. In his second-round match against Dimitri Kalogeras of Sharon, Will took an inadvertent head butt to his right eye, but finished off his opponent by a pin in 4:40. After being cleared by the trainer and being forced to wear a head mask to prevent his eye lid from any further trauma,Will knocked out Marshfield’s Jeremy Edwards in a 4-3 decision. Will ended the day with 3-0 loss to North Attleboro’s Brad White.
“John has been a true team leader all season long,” Rabinovitz said. “He wrestles hard and never gives up. Like Jake, he works very hard every day and is pushed by my assistant coaches.”
Rabinvotiz, who is in his first season as the head coach of the Panthers, said he could not be any prouder to have three wrestlers representing his program in the Division 2 state final.
“The three finalists — Alex, Jake and John — are all four-year wrestlers,” Rabinovitz said. “I truly believe that if you put in your best effort and stay with it you can be successful in wrestling. All three of the guys have proven that.”
The Division 2 state tournament will run from Friday, Feb. 17 to Saturday, Feb. 18, at Algonquin Regional High School and kicks off Friday at 3 p.m.
To advance to the MIAA All-State Tournament, each wrestler must place in the top four of their respective weight class to guarantee a spot.