Wrestling team wins Division 3 state championship


Credit: Jakob Warner

Pictured above is the Wayland High School wrestling team after their victory over Norton in the 2015-2016 Division 3 State Dual Meet final.

After clinching the DCL title in a comeback win against Lincoln-Sudbury, the WHS wrestling team was at it again with a Division III state championship victory.

This past Saturday, the Warriors took to the mat 2012 and 2014 state champion Norton High School in the Division III Dual Meet state championship match. Tommy Cope came up with a win in the final match to give the Warriors a 28-27 victory.

“We knew it was going to be a tough match,” said Sean Chase, WHS history teacher and head wrestling coach. “In the past we had lot of good battles with them. They have a great program, a fantastic coach: Pat Coleman and a good coaching staff.”

After a 34-33 win over Lincoln-Sudbury, Chase found himself with a lot of confidence in his team. Although he had defeated the Division I team, there was still a job to finish.

“You still got to wrestle the match,” Chase said. “Wrestling’s one of those funky sports where because it is based on these individual matches, really anything can happen.”

One of the main reasons that Chase and his team gave for their success was their grit, their heart, the team chemistry and how hard everyone worked.

“We do have a lot of seniors on the team, and they have been playing sports with each other since first grade,” Chase said. “So there is definitely chemistry there, and you need that. You need that for a good run. I’ve had some great teams in years past that couldn’t put it together at the end because of chemistry.”

“I really think that our success reflects our work ethic. I believe that we work the hardest out of all the winter sports and probably all of the sports,” freshman Brooks Jones said.

The success of the team this year was partially due to the number of experienced seniors on the team. With a large number of seniors graduating this year, one would think there would be some worry as to the future of the team. But Chase isn’t worried about that.

“We are certainly going to be graduating a lot of athletes and a lot of wrestlers. What’s great is that they have set such an excellent example for others to follow in the years to come,” Chase said. “But we do have healthy numbers in our room, and it’s going to have to ask a lot of guys to step up next year and to jump into that role, and a couple people are going to have to be thrown into that role. But for right now we are just kind of focusing on just finishing the season strong.”

The team reminds Chase of a quote from a famous college football.

“For these guys it reminds me of a catchphrase from Pete Carroll when he was coaching at USC. It wasn’t really a catchphrase, it was kind of a goal, a lifestyle, and it’s ‘win forever.’ This group seems to embody that,” Chase said. “All of these guys, especially the seniors, have been very successful athletically and in the classroom, and I think it is something that will hopefully continue.”

This past Saturday, the team won the Division III state tournament. This season was the first since 2006 in which the wrestling team won both the dual meet state championship and the state tournament.

Throughout the season, the team embraced the motto “Charlie Mike,” meaning “continue mission.” It was meant to symbolize their pursuit of a state championship. After the win on Saturday, Chase included the hashtag “Mike Charlie” on an Instagram post congratulating his players. As opposed to “continue mission,” “Mike Charlie” means “mission complete.” The team had completed their mission; they were state champions.