After one year of practicing/conditioning, varsity meets and tournaments, Tabor Academy’s junior varsity wrestlers finally earned a chance to show off in a tournament of their own. Although the junior varsity team had attended tournaments in Pembroke and Natick, this tournament presented the team with the unique chance to become a New England champion at home.
After three hours of unrolling mats, carrying tables and chairs, and taping the boundaries, Tabor’s other wrestling team was ready for tournament time. Around 9:30 am, weigh-ins began and by 10:30 am, the tournament had begun.
Schools from all over New England, from Maine to Connecticut, traveled to Tabor Academy to enter their junior varsity teams. Broken into 8-man brackets, each wrestler was guaranteed at least 3 matches.
These brackets were filled out at the 8 scoring tables by some Tabor varsity wrestlers and other volunteers. The first, second, third, and fourth place finishers were awarded medals at the end of the tournament. Each match was broken into one 2 minute-period and two 1 minute-periods; matches could be won on pin falls or points.
At the start of the day, many Tabor wrestlers were surprised early. Plenty of the junior varsity athletes were bumped into the conciliation round. However, as the tournament progressed, many Seawolves managed to wrestle their way back into a contest for third and fourth.
Tabor junior Roger Tan and Tabor freshman Mason Johnson, in a unique situation, wrestled each other in a bout for third place. Although Roger ultimately emerged victorious, Mason’s hard work despite an injury earlier in the year paid off in the form of a fourth place medal.
Junior Michael Kadison wrestled an outstanding first round against Michael Sotirou, pinning his opponent in the second period. In the second round, competition stiffened and every Tabor wrestler besides Kadison was bumped into the conciliation rounds, while he edged out a 6 to 4 victory over a tough Hyde School-CT wrestler. In the championship match, Kadison hung on for a 4 to 2 victory over his Phillip Andover Academy opponent and became Tabor Academy’s only 2012 junior varsity New England Champion.
Throughout the day, various helpers and volunteers contributed to make the tournament work. Coach Leary and Coach Townsend operated the head table and worked to make the tournament function as smoothly as possible.
The wrestlers who did not compete worked at the scoring table, excluding varsity athletes Miko McGuire and Clayton Caliendo who filled in for Leary and Townsend and worked as coaches for Tabor’s junior varsity wrestlers.
Ms. Harding and Ms. Jacobs managed the concession stand all day, serving food to hungry wrestlers, families, table-workers, and referees. Everyone’s contribution facilitated Tabor Academy’s junior varsity wrestling tournament. The tournament and this cooperation once again proved to be an enormous success.
By Jake Farias