On senior night, the wrestling team prevailed over WPI, 26-13. Seniors Jeremy Burns (197), Nick Camera (184), Mike Fish (174), Joe Grippi (141), Derrick Longo (165), Gary Nevolis (141), Joe Ortiz (141), and Raymond Sturdy (197) all represented the senior class well.
Coach Jason Holder has brought his team to a whole new level of success. It is the second straight season that the Pride have tallied 14 wins. Holder is very proud of his team this season and happy with their performance against WPI.
“I think the guys wrestled well,” Holder said. “They did the little things to make it work, and it is a great way to cap off the season.”
Longo continued his fantastic career at 165 pounds by winning in a major decision over Justin Marsh, 14-6. The victory was a great way for Longo to end his career at Blake Arena.
“I thought I performed well,” Longo said. “It means a lot to get the win. I have had great support from my family and friends. They haven’t missed one of my matches.”
Longo has realized that he needs to really push down the stretch with regionals coming up. “This is the time to crank up the intensity. My goal [is] to go to nationals and win,” Longo added.
Longo’s fellow teammate and fellow senior, Camera, had a good showing on the mats as well. Camera capped off his home-match career with a 3-2 decision over Joe Pizzuto in the 184-pound weight class.
Camera knows how his hard work has paid off. “I was confident coming in, having a good week of practice,” said Camera. “My defense was really good, but I could have gotten better offense.”
He too knows how important this match was to him. “It was my last home match and I wanted to go out on a good note,” Camera added.
Sophomore Derek Adams also had a strong performance at 133 pounds. He defeated Brian Jennings, 12-2. Another senior, Fish (174), lost in a 10-0 decision to Zach Hartzell. Also, senior Andrew Bilena lost in a 6-1 decision in the 197 weight class to Teddy Kostopolos.
Dylan Foley lost in a great match to Mike Ferruccio in the 149 division. The decision was 5-4. Holder was happy with Foley’s performance, despite the loss.
“I thought Foley wrestled really well against a really good opponent,” Holder said.
With the great dual-meet season that the Pride had, they are looking forward to tournament season. The NEWA Futures is this Sunday, and the regional championships are on March 2. This is when it will matter most to a very dedicated Pride wrestling team.
Springfield will particpate in NCAA Northeast Regionals on March 2-3 at WPI.